Do you remember the game Black? Yeah, it got a lot of press back in the day as being the be all, end all of first person shooters. It was supposed to give off the big action movie feel with massive explosions, fast gun play, and a theatrical presentation. Now, don’t get me wrong, Black was not a bad game, in fact, the presentation was what stood out the most about the game, but in all honestly, it just didn’t deliver for me. Well, the team that was behind Black is now making a new FPS entitled Bodycount. I played the demo of Bodycount. Here’s what I thought.
From what I can tell, you play as an operative working for a secret organization called The Network. The demo puts you in the middle of a conflict in West Africa. There’s not much story in the demo, honestly. You are told to reach a certain point, obtain some objective, kill a warlord and escape.
Now the biggest aspect of Bodycount: the game play. You have the standard weapons with you: an assault rifle, and a shotgun. You can deploy mines, throw grenades, and use special power ups such as airstrikes, explosive bullets, and adrenaline. The demo only allows for explosive bullets. The shooting itself feels rather good. There are certain shooters out there that don’t feel like there is any weight to your shots. I like to call it “Oomph.” Bodycount has a lot of “Oomph.” Much like Black, explosions play a pretty big part in Bodycount. Luckily, there are red barrels all over West Africa. Shooting these while enemies are next to them will send them flying and award you with Skillkill points. There’s even a multiplier that goes up for how stylish you make your kills. Multiple kills, headshots, grenade kills, etc. all add to the multiplier. It doesn’t go into detail what exactly the points and body count do, but it is rather satisfying.
When going into cover, you will have to hold down the aim trigger to position yourself to a piece of cover. This is where the game gets a little difficult to control. If you pull back on the left stick, you will duck behind cover, if you push forward, you will look over the cover and aim. Pushing left and right will allow you to tilt. The problem I have is that because you’re using the aim trigger to stay behind cover, you feel stuck in one spot. If it were a separate button other than aim, it would have felt better. What ends up happening is I’m trying to aim at the enemies, but I end up being confined to a piece of cover and accidentally ducking. It feels “sticky.” That’s the best way to describe Bodycount: sticky. There’s an auto-aim feature that will automatically target the closest enemy when you aim down the sights. Sometimes it will aim at the wrong guy. It just feels a little cumbersome, at times.
Another aspect of the game that the developers are pushing is the destructible environments. Now, this feature actually works. Is it as good as another well known shooter? I say no, but it is very close. Practically everything is destructible. This feature makes the cover system a very frantic ordeal (in a good way.)
The game play is very fast paced, and the overall presentation is well done. The arcade feel gives off that Bulletstorm vibe, the destructibility has the Battlefield feel, and the over the top action reminds me of Black. The only thing I see wrong with all of this is that there’s just too much to juggle. It ends up feeling like the jack of all trades but the master of none. Is the demo bad? Not at all. There is still a lot to be had in Bodycount. Will it be worth checking out when the full game releases? I know I am going to give it a shot. I’m sure with the game play mechanics and the good feel of the shooting, there is still a lot of fun in store for players. Plus, with talks of online multiplayer including co-op, I think Bodycount has a ton of potential.