In Bodycount, you’ll be counting a lot of bodies, and a lot of wreck. Modern first-person shooters need a story, a background, or a plot to base their shooting feature on, but Bodycount doesn’t – Bodycount just needs guns and a lot of destruction.
The above fact is evident simply by looking at the size of the guns while playing the game; they take around one-fourth of the entire screen. Yes, big fat guns and a crazy lot of shooting, along with loads of demolition-capability are what define Bodycount. You’ll notice that it’s clear in just about every action-packed scene. Even the rather lengthy reloading animation tends to elaborate the lush details of the weapons by zooming in.
The guns aren’t just big and beautiful (in their own manner); they also pack quite a punch. They feel like real weapons when fired – strong, brutal and heavy. The damage they do is quite evident from the fragility of the entire environment in the game. Tough-looking walls will exaggeratedly crumble into dust when sufficiently sprayed at, and your grenades and other projectiles will leave massive unsymmetrical holes in walls and buildings.
The delicate nature of the environment reminds us of Battlefield: Bad Company 2, but while DICE’s game attempted to show it realistically, Bodycount just wants to show it in a way that would satisfy the one causing the mayhem.
The destruction of the environment can really help in bringing down bad guys as well, of which there are plenty. Shoot a few bullets through a wall and the resulting orifices will show you what’s going on behind the wall. Spot an enemy and you can wall-bang him to oblivion.
However, that doesn’t mean destroying everything you come across will result in success. Have too much fun with it and you might just not leave adequate structures to take cover with. It’ll be like walking naked in front of hordes of enemies with one massive gun. But cover isn’t an part of Bodycount – you just use it to recuperate when under immense suppression. Most of the times the situations will enforce run-and-gun tactics, which is both fun and intense.
Bodycount has two main modes – the singleplayer campaign and horde-mode co-ops. The co-ops is the typical horde-styled modes seen in games today, with the objective of surviving waves of enemies. Big bad enemies like the Psycho – a massive minigun-wielding dude that takes durability inspiration from the minigun-captain in Resident Evil 5 – need good endurance to eliminate, as they can survive multiple grenade explosions in their faces and half-a-dozen magazines of ammunition.
Defeated enemies in the co-ops mode shower red and blue orbs, which can be collected to attain ‘superpowers’ like air-strikes that can lay waste to the area and Adrenaline which grants you temporary invincibility from bullets and allows you to pass through walls.
The single-player has an iconic shooting style which is satisfying and engaging. You play as a former American soldier called Jackson, who is recruited by a mysterious organization called ‘The Network’ to do specific tasks (which involve shooting people of course). Jackson soon realizes that warfare is not exactly what it seems to be in reality, and that the hands of specific people are behind wars across the world.
So far the game is looking like a captivating first-person shooter that focuses more on the shooting and yet still doesn’t feel corridor-y and too linear.
Bodycount will be released for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 and will be available on August 30 in North America and September 2 in Europe this year.