Bodycount is an arcade FPS that tries to stand out from other first person shooters.
I really wanted to enjoy Bodycount. I don't blame it for trying to be different from other first person shooters. It's over the top action with close-quarters combat and destructible environments. It sounds like a lot of fun on paper but in reality it's a mess. With clunky controls, repetitive gameplay and other issues, Bodycount is a tough ride and not so fun.
There's no great back-story to Bodycount so if your expecting one you will be
left disappointed. In short, you play as a American Soldier called Jackson who
works for an organisation called The Network. Your are sent in to deal with
conflicts at different locations that couldn't be resolved. It's nothing fancy
and it doesn't elaborate it throughout the game. Bodycount focuses more on what it sets out to do that anything else. And in some cases it does succeed but there's problems along the way.
Skillshots play a major role in Bodycount and this is what sets the game
aside from other shooters. Skillshots are earned in a number of ways. It can be from headshots, kills behind cover, close up kills etc. Everytime you earn a
Skillshot you will gain a point towards your combat chain, known as the
multiplier. The higher your multiplier the more Intel will be dropped from
enemies. Intel is shown as glowing circular objects and these are the games
currency. They can unlock and upgrade new weapons. They also recharge abilities that are unlocked throughout the game. There's four in total and they can help you out in a number of ways. For example, one will boost your health for a limited time and another can call in a airstrike. The problem is these abilities feel dull and never seem fun to use.
The game is filled with destructive environments but I would say there's only
around forty percent destructive. Whilst I never seemed to enjoy the shooting it
was amusing when shooting explosive barrels and watching enemies fly across the air. Blowing things up and throwing grenades helps to chain your multiplier for longer, leaving you a better score, which you are graded on at the end of each level.
One of the biggest issues with Bodycount is its controls. They feel very heavy and clunky when aiming. It seems to auto lock on enemies and stops you from moving. This is more useful when using it's cover system. Crouching behind any cover whilst aiming will allow you to shift from side to side and duck over objects. It works very well and encourages you to take your time before rushing in all guns blazing. There's only 10 weapons in Bodycount and they range from the typical assault rifle, handgun and SMG. I only came across to that were fun to use. One was the accurate silenced pistol and the other was a highly powered SMG. Other weapons like the assault rifle are standard stuff you find in many shooters to day but they all feel powerful and get the job done.
Repetition is another problem with Bodycount. Your objectives start becoming
more familiar as your progress. You are guided through the game with a ladies voice and are told what to do. If it be planting or defusing explosives, hacking or going ffrom A to B. With each level on the short side it doesn't help the repetitive nature and does become tiresome fairly quickly.
Apart from the singleplayer experience you can also hop into CO-op. There's
also a Bodycount Mode and other multiplayer modes on offer. Bodycount Mode lets you revisit levels from the campaign and try to beat your last score. The multiplayer is pritty standard stuff with your typical deathmatch and team
Bodycount feels like a missed opportunity. It holds some interesting ideas
that try to be different from your standard FPS. But It feels rushed and with a bit
more work it could have been something great.
Review by Gareth Smith