First Look At Binary Domain, A Shooter From The Creator Of Yakuza

By Spencer . December 1, 2010 . 12:23am

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Binary Domain from Toshihiro Nagoshi, creator of the Yakuza series, is indeed in the works. Sega announced the sci-fi shooter today for North America and Europe.


In 2080, Tokyo is invaded by robots. The metropolis is split into two parts, the lower levels where a war rages on and a peaceful upper level for affluent. You’re part of an international peace keeping squad battling the robot threat. Wait, are robots a threat? That’s a point Nagoshi wants you to ponder in Binary Domain. In this vision of the future, robots exhibit human-like traits. Sega carried this theme into game design by developing enemies with highly advanced AI.


“The keyword we have in mind for this project is ’Life’. I wanted to make something that will be accepted by both the Japanese and Western markets, and this fundamental theme is something everyone knows but which the full extent of can be difficult to grasp,” Nagoshi explained. The director promises his sci-fi story will have deep human drama.



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  • ShinGundam

    These are dark times.

    • Aoshi00

      Is that line spoken by Sir Patrick Stewart? Otherwise it won’t work :)

  • arghhh!! what is this s**t??? this looks like a stupid american game. what a delusion! i’m a big fan of the yakuza series…

    • Testsubject909

      Appealing to the stereotypical american market in a vain attempt to increase sales off shore is what you could decide to call it. But we’ve yet to see gameplay, so for all we know it’ll be a bit like Vanquish. Absolutely cheesy, partially stereotypical, but damn good fun.

      But yeah, I can understand the rage, even more so if you consider all the previous attempts that Japan has dished out to appeal to the western market by emulating it. It’s not doing too well, they’re sacrificing too much of their own flavor and incidentally adding it where it shouldn’t mix, causing a bit of a sour taste in the end.

      Either they should learn to incorporate some of the mechanics and concepts, apply them slowly until they’ve mastered the recipe and truly cook up something delicious for us all, or stick to their exotic dishes from Japan, make it not just so that it appeals to the palate of their people, but rather, refine the dish until it is one worth tasting worldwide. Though it would clearly be a Japanese dish, it would nevertheless be one that many, not just connoisseurs or fans of Japanese flavors would enjoy, but even the regular joe, as they’re stuck, both mystified and delighted at the strange yet excellent taste of a fine, triple A quality, all Japanese game.

      Seriously, they’re rushing too much to try and get a cut of a market that one could argue is as Xenophobic as the Japanese, just in a different manner. What with the ongoing misconstrued stereotype that all JRPGs are the same (Which is as bad as the All FPS are the same).

      And I’ve ranted too much.

      • Guest

        The increasing obsession of japanese companies to appeal to cliches stereotypes they think would please the western market is them just giving up on the home console market in japan. Handhelds make them more money, so now they just want to sell generic “western looking” games to the west, disregarding quality whatsoever.

        Now, this looks generic as hell, but we didn’t see any gameplay footage. So we will have to wait until then to get a better idea of how this game could turn out.

      • Icon

        If the characters were Japanese I don’t think you’d have anything to rant about, honestly. Let’s call a spade a spade. It’s a trailer, there’s a couple of cliched western characters, and people are freaking out over nothing. For no reason, really. No gameplay here. No systems or mechanics talked about. We don’t even know if the visuals were real time or pre-rendered. The idea that this is not an “all Japanese game” is kind of weird considering who’s making it. I can’t believe some of the attitudes of so-called hardcore gamers.

  • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

    Bro fights? Terminators? Nagoshi really jumped from the deep end of Japanese movies to the (stereotypical?) deep end of American ones.

    EDIT: To be fair, the trailer ended on an intriguing note. I imagine the teaser would have more impact had they only showed the high tower “mother” segment, cutting out what was before entirely.

    • Aoshi00

      I think it’s kind of cool, like a blend of Terminators and iRobot, the end of the trailer was definitely something… well at least it’s not another Yakuza game :) After this Nagoshi needs to make Shenmue 3 w/ Suzuki.

      White guy: “Wake up Fool” that’s priceless… :)

      • You speak as though mixing “I, Robot” with anything is a good thing.

        • Testsubject909

          It can be. Think about the base concept of I Robot…

          It’s basically HAL, running not a single facility up in space, but an entire company that deals in robotics. Now, considering that they can mass manufacture these buggers and that they’re capable of uploading them all with highly advanced A.I. in a mainly automatized manufacture…

          I Robot is basically just HAL taken to the nth degree. It’s just the execution, focus of the story, etc, that can be considered a bit shaky.

          But hey, at least there’s Will Smith.

        • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

          Yup not gonna lie, I wish those robots looked less “I, Mac”.

        • Aoshi00

          I liked the concept, like how robot helpers have entered into our everyday lives, it’s kind of creepy. Not saying it was the best movie, but I enjoyed it. Plus Will Smith had a sexy rock hard body like a robot, and I’m straight :)

      • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

        …For everything else there’s Mastercard (sorry, I got brainwashed by those).Considering how groundbreaking Shenmue 1 was at the time, if Suzuki puts as much of his efforts and ambition into a Shenmue 3 that utilizes today’s assets with a proper budget, my god… he could surpass Naughty Dog’s artistry and Rockstar’s living worlds to make the worldbeater to end all worldbeaters. I have a nuclear mental orgy just imagining what that could look/play like.

        EDIT: I do wonder how well Nagoshi would work with Suzuki though…

        • Aoshi00

          Does Nagoshi have a big ego or something? He just seems very badass and should be able to bring that badassness to the thugs in Shenmue 3 :) The style of graphics in Yakuza just reminds me so much of Shenmue, the chars look like pretty realistic Asians instead of anime chars.

          • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

            Oh no, sometimes it’s not so much big egos as creative/technical differences. When 2 masters of a trade come together, they’re not always going to match up. Each have their own set methods of working, tried and true creation processes, beliefs about fine details… Be it fighting or yielding to each other, the best decisions aren’t always made because of compromises. The resulting product might be disappointingly mediocre and not the best showcase for either collaborators.

            However, sometimes they will complement each other quite well, knowing what the other wants and smoothly building off of it; learning productively from one another and bettering the project from it. As an outsider one can know this happened when the two collaborate more than once or twice (such as the Super ‘Stache Bros), yielding excellent results.

            So honestly, I don’t know. I hope Nagoshi and Suzuki could work well together. When I first played Yakuza, I thought it was so similar I suspected Suzuki had slipped us a new one, especially when it was Sega…

    • I completely agree with every point you made. In fact, I think I’d be excited for the game if they did what you said at the end, with only showing the mother segment. Instead, I’m all, “Meh.”


    1.04 that guy just had a Vanquish moment. Lol.

  • fuzzy_hobo

    Oh my, this dialogue…

  • Eh, better late to jump on the bandwagon than never I suppose.

  • Well I don’t see any proper Yakuza games coming for a while, if not ever. I tell you why, being a Japanophile, I follow japanese gaming, but I also follow japanese culture/news/politics (thank god for NHK channel and english language japanese news sites). There is a Yakuza crackdown currently going on in Japan by the Japanese government and so it is sensitive times there. We may be eager to play Yakuza games but in real life the Yakuza have made peoples lives a misery. It reminded when I was watching a documentary on the mafia, and they show normal people from Sicily who actually hated the mafia there (if you had a family member killed by the mafia you have every right to hate the mafia), hollywood glamourize gangsters but in reality are nasty pieces of work.

    Go google “Yakuza crackdown” and read up.

    It seems Sega’s Yakuza will be no more and Binary Domain will be like Yakuza but the with robots! Just guessing though…

    Sorry to rain on anyone’s parade. BTW I’m really looking forward to Binary Domain

    • If you’ve read interviews with Nagoshi, he acknowledges this and says the Yakuza in his games are more old-school Yakuza than the current thug-style. A bit like how movies like Goodfellas and the Godfather (well, at least, the first two movies) take place in the past. I seriously doubt that it’s the end of the Yakuza series just because of the real-life crackdown. That’s just silly. Gang members make cause way more misery in real life in the States, yet that doesn’t stop the Saints Row series from existing.

      • I agree but Japan and US are different environments with different sensitives and thresholds, what could be fine in one country, could be offensive in another. Just saying…, didn’t EA rename the Taliban enemy in Medal of Honor to Opposing Forces after listening/bowing to public pressure/families of soliders station in Afgan? Japan censor board are more strict than the west, a case being you japanese games are less bloody that western counterparts? I’m not being a moral guardian or something, I’m gamer like you but sometimes you need to venture out of Hyrule back into the real world ;)

        • Uh, hello. I spend quite a lot of time in the real world, actually. You probably wouldn’t believe some of the things I’ve seen and experienced over the years. Traveled the world, toured, had way more than most guy’s share of adventures over the years. Also, have known quite a few people who one wouldn’t exactly call reputable. So, I resent your comment, greatly (I assume it’s a Zelda-related one, although I can’t be sure as I’ve only ever played Zelda 2 for the NES).

          Back to the facts, Yakuza is one of the biggest hits in Japan. It’s not going anywhere. Yakuza To The End will be a huge hit and there will be more in the series next year.

          • I’m only jesting, I getting Yakuza: To The End for Christmas next year. I’m just saying. Obviously Yakuza is big in japan (tell me something I don’t know) but that doesn’t give it immunity. This is exactly what I was trying to say, you have to try to get into the mindset of the Japanese to understand how it’s games tick. You have to look at the bigger picture my friend.

            “have known quite a few people who one wouldn’t exactly call reputable”, I think now’s not the time to compare our wiener sizes in our hot dogs.

            I would love the Yakuza series to continue and I hope they do continue. I hope you’re right buddy :)

            Do you honestly think the real “Yakuza crackdown” happening in Japan will have no influence on Sega whatsoever? Honestly?

          • What you never played Ocarina of Time, Wind Waker or Twilight Princess, you haven’t lived! They some of the best RPGs out there!

          • Nope. Never played them. Only Nintendo system I ever owned was the original NES. Was a Genesis man during the 16-bit days and then Nintendo systems never had enough games I was interested in for me to pick up one of their subsequent systems.

          • RupanIII
        • Testsubject909

          Bzzzz. It wasn’t pressure from the soldiers stationed in Afgan, but there definitely was public pressure, mainly political and military pressure from the higher ups.

          The soldiers down low were protesting the removal of Taliban forces, at least a few soldiers were documented as doing so.

          The army basically pulled an ultimatum. You DON’T put Taliban forces in, and we allow you to use actual military personnel for your publicities.

          At least, that’s one way to look at it.

  • urbanscholar

    You have to admit that was some super chessy dialogue.

    • godmars

      For a FPS, that was Shakespeare :p

      • Hraesvelgr

        This game isn’t an FPS.

        • neocatzon

          then Shakespeare left the building

  • That looked absolutely awful until about the last 20 seconds. I certainly hope they make a demo for this that’ll just impress the hell out of me or this will not be in my collection.

    In the meantime, very much hope that Yakuza 4 sells well enough in America that we get Yakuza Of the End. That game looks awesome!

  • Christian Wright


  • Guest

    How did that lady have a baby if her lower half is robot?

    • YOU ARE VERY WRONG! Cling to your pathetic myth of fluid exchange!

    • Testsubject909

      Easy, she’s got a different peripheral/attachment that doubles as an incubation pod where she can clone things in her pseudo-metallic-and-glass-womb…

      And now wait until what I’ve said turns into an actual rule34 picture… Wait for it… Waaaaiiiit for it….

      • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

        Stop bringing 4chaness into the picture! X_X

  • Code

    I’m suddenly reminded of 1998 for some reason opo;

    • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

      Movies, you mean?

  • Thiefofhearts

    I liked the trailer and want to see what the actual game looks like.Yes, I enjoyed that B-movie action squad’s antics, but what was striking was the use of different languages to suggest a possible “Japan Isolation” or “Foreign Liberators” allegory, which could only happen with the contrast of who we assume are the heroes of the show and find out they might not be viewed the same way in the sky city.

  • PrinceHeir

    i didn’t like the sound effects, especially the handguns, it reminded me of the first Resident Evil handgun shots.

    he should have proposed Shemue III to sega, just get the original staff and combined it with the yakuza staff and now you have a masterpiece :)

  • Testsubject909

    As someone else stated, and I believe they said it well.

    “It’s like someone took Gears of War, I-Robot and Terminator and blended it all together!”

    I’d also like to add Surrogate to the list, or rather the original movie it was a remake of, though the title escapes me right now and I’m too lazy to IMDB.

    I’ll reserve judgement of the game for when I see actual gameplay. Premise is interesting enough and the developers are a group I trust, so I’ll just pray it’s better then what it seems.

  • The only “teaser” to this “trailer” is the cheesy dialogue, which “could” sound better if the voice acting wasn’t half-assed. Not even Laura Bailey(I think the girl is) can’t balance it. So yeah, other than the “concept” of the game, they need to get their act together.

  • Pretty unimpressed by the grand showing of misogyny here.”Just try not to hit me.” Really? Yes, someone who was picked for this crack robot-killing squad needed to be reminded of that. Because her ovaries might make her forget how to aim, or that friendly fire is bad.(…On second thought, he was probably right to say something to her. If I was in her shoes, I think I’d aim for the head. Based on her accuracy she could plug him pretty easily.)…Neither of them would have to worry about hitting him if he hadn’t decided to go all HERP DE DERP COWBOY TIME LETZ ROLLLL in the first place anyway. And then the grenade thing. What a thoroughly unredeemable “protagonist”….Then Supreme Moron and Slightly Less of a Moron get into a slap fight elementary school style, and she yells “Hey ladies!” to get their attention. Really?! My eyes, they are rolling into the back of my skull.

    • puchinri

      The weird bits of misogyny creeping into certain games nowadays has been enough to make me sneer and shake my head. It’s either subtle or overt, and I just wish all of it would be avoided entirely.

      • Hraesvelgr

        Misogyny is only creeping into games now? You must’ve played a lot of different games than me…

        • puchinri

          No, not just now, hehe. But how it’s changing and making its way in is certainly weird.

    • SolidusSnake

      Don’t you mean racism? I’m pretty sure he was talking to the black guy with the machine gun.

      Edit: Actually, what IS misogynistic is the fact that the chick is armed with some gimpy pistol while the doodz have badass machine guns with bayonets. What good is a pistol gonna do against those robots anyway? Nobody uses pistols anymore.

      • His head is turned to her when he says it, and he puts his hand out to indicate that she should stay back. Plus I figure Supreme Moron would be yelling over the noise of the machine gun if he was talking to the other guy. (Not to say that there isn’t racism in here too, but…)

        Maybe you’re right, though. Either way, I think I’m done paying attention to this dreck.

      • Aoshi00

        I just saw Predators last night, the Jpn Yakuza dude only had a pistol until he picked up a Samurai sword later, dueling w/ one of the predators one on one, bad ass movie that lives up to the original :)

        • SolidusSnake

          Maybe the next Yakuza game should be a Predator crossover… c’mon Sega make it happen! :D

  • RAVENKam

    This actually looks pretty interesting. Most of the trailer screams Gears of War with a little iRobot but the end had me surprised. This could be special and with Nagoshi at the wheel I have no reason to doubt it won’t live up to that expectation.

  • Yukito

    Well, while I am not attracted to this new thing, I am pleased to say, atleast they kept this futuristic game away from the Yakuza series. I was hoping Nagoshi would be one not to follow the western suit…. let’s hope To The End is going to be as western as he will get, and go back.


  • Icon

    I guess the pedigree of the Yakuza staff doesn’t mean much to readers here. Yep, screw that, looks just like a “stupid American game!”

  • I’m quite interested in a sci-fi story with deep human drama which concerns robots with human traits….kinda reminds me of Eve no Jikan or iRobot.

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