Bodycount, from Codemasters, is a futuristic arcade first-person shooter based in fast action skill shots and high scores. You were just not meant to fight. Bad things happen when you’re in the “right place” at the “right time” and you can’t change anything about it, but survive. Or should you?
Like most, or read all, modern-day first-person shooters, Bodycount uses the triggers to do the killing. The most awkward part of this isn’t the placements, but the fact that the left trigger is of analog control. Hold it down all the way and you plant yourself there, either prone or standing, and able to tilt while aiming. Hold it halfway, you still have the full control. I point that out to have it understood that either way, you’ll still pull off your (head)shots without a flaw. Toss a few mines, grenades, or just shoot some exploding barrels, you’ll get it done. Also, like any score based shooter, there are specific boosters that you acquire via story progression; like an adrenaline shot, incendiary bullets, enhanced radar, and an air strike, that help you receive your skill shots easier. I found them to be something left to be desired. Then again, that is how I felt about the whole game…
I could go on about how the gameplay is the same as the latest shooters, but within this genre, that’s bound to happen. I can, however, talk about one of the bullet points from the back of the box. Multiplayer. The game comes with this feature like any and all game nowadays, but it lacks a key feature: PLAYERS. There are no people playing this game. The one match of deathmatch I got into, there was only one other person. We played our 15 minute match for 4 minutes, me in the lead with 4 kills out of 15, and the dude dropped out. Unbelievable.
Bodycount also sports online co-op, but without the other players, there really isn’t any point.
For some of us out there, we have grown tired of the drab brown, gray, and night vision green in the latest shooters, so in that sense Bodycount excels. There are lush and vibrant areas in which you can destroy via the environment, enemies, or like I said before the exploding barrels. Yellows, pinks, purples, reds, and whites pop off every corner you can see, but when you’re deep in the action of a few explosions, things can get a little blown out. The UI is good, but not great, clashing against some of the earlier levels, but later on, it’s hard to depict every detail you need to survive. There is barely any lag or hiccups, but when the only way to test that, no other person there remember, what do you expect?
This. Game. Is. Boring. From top to bottom, this thing is drier than any mummy jerky you’d ever been introduced to, and that’s only exaggerating a little bit. “Hey there mister militia guy, I know you’re busy shooting at the Resistance Army guy, but if you just hold on a second, and let me set this right up to shoot you in the head, that would be great. Thanks!” Onto the next guy. Rinse. Rather. Repeat. “Oh, look, this guy tore off a heavy machine gun. Throw mine, throw mine, throw mine; run away!” Dead. “‘We’ve picked up some intel and you need to kill this dude that looks like the same dudes you’ve been killing this whole time, but he’s all the way at the beginning of the level. KTHNXBAI.’” You run, shoot, stop, shoot, run, grenade, run, shoot, maybe die, and it just never changes. The skill shots are even repetitious, HEADSHOT, HEADSHOT, GERNADE, BACKSTAB, HEADSHOT, HEADSHOT, EXPLOSION, EXPLOSION, HEADSHOT, repeat for 30+ times. There really isn’t any point for the ‘different skill shots’ because you only do the same ones to increase your multiplier. “Crap, I shot that guy with my shotgun not my rifle or pistol, oh well: HEADSHOT.” I’m OCD, but lazy, so just doing the repeating skill shots made this game dwindle in my opinion.
I don’t want anyone to feel like they are trudging through the monotony and minutia of this game just to witness the pretty lights. It’s not worth it. Sure, the environments are pretty, but that doesn’t hide the ugly that is this game. For people looking for a quick shooter, you can find it in Bodycount, but other than that, look elsewhere.