Haven't seen a proper impressions thread for Binary Domain so far, so here we go. I don't know how much interest there really is in the RPS community for Yakuza creator Toshihiro Nagoshi's new action game, but personally I'm having a blast with this whimsical and refreshingly Japanese take on the shooter genre (hell, I've barely even touched Risen 2 this weekend despite being a big fan of Piranha Bytes' previous RPGs). Apart from being predictably gamepad-focused, Binary Domain's PC port seems really solid and delivers a smooth 1080 experience with robust art assets which for the most part carry over nicely to non-console resolutions.
In essence, Binary Domain is a linear third-person cover-based shooter but it's not your typical Gears of War clone. Nagoshi is known for story-driven, almost soap opera-inspired games (such as the long-running Yakuza series), and BD brings this kind of highly charged melodrama to the Westernized shooter genre. It's worth noting that Platinum Games tried something similar with its mechanically excellent Vanquish (which sadly never saw a PC release) but failed miserably due to a tone-deaf script and (even more) one-dimensional characters. There's much about Binary Domain's dialogue and character interaction that is downright silly, but there's definitely a sense that most of the cheesiness on display is deliberate. And even players who don't appreciate the broad stereotypes and stupid one-liners should be able to appreciate the fact that the game isn't afraid to grapple with some (familiar but well-executed) Blade Runner-esque philosphical ideas as well as a much wider range of emotional themes than similar Western titles like Gears of War.
Although most of the plot is delivered through non-interactive cutscenes, there's a small dialogue system ("party banter system" is perhaps a more accurate description) which to some extent influences the player's relationship with his team members and often results in hilarious exchanges between the characters. Weirdly enough, it's also possible to select dialogue responses by saying the lines into a headset or microphone (I should perhaps note that unlike ME3 this is not a Kinect title on the Xbox) but I can't comment on that feature since I'm not using it myself. There's a "Trust Level" for each individual team mate which is affected by dialogue choices but partly by combat performance as well. A low trust means that the character in question is less likely to accept one of the few rudimentary tactical commands you can issue (Cover Me, Hold, Fire, Charge etc.), but although I can't say for sure I highly doubt it has any story-related implications. One unfortunate and grating aspect of the team system is that the non-playable characters frequently yell at you to do things ("go there, get weapon X, shoot enemy Y" etc.), which comes off as awkwardly implemented hand-holding from the developers rather than as legitimate character interactions.
Although it's the story and character interactions which sets Binary Domain apart, it doesn't exactly hurt that the core gameplay is a lot of fun. The crucial component of BD's otherwise fairly traditional third-person combat is the ability to destroy individuals limbs on the robot enemies, which is not only very satisfying but becomes a tactical consideration as well since different dismemberments have different effects on the behavior and combat capabilities of your mechanistic foes. Also, as with most action games these days there are lots of weapon upgrades to purchase (both for yourself and for your team mates) and more skillful kills means more "XP" to use for those upgrades. The system as a whole doesn't quite have the sophisticated elegancy of Vanquish nor the dependable robustness of Gears of War, but it works well for what it is and the moment-to-moment action can get properly intense.
I have only played the first few missions so far but fans of linear action games looking for something a bit different should definitely check out Binary Domain. I know Sega have been porting a lot of of their Sonic games recently but I really didn't except BD to get a non-console release as well and now that it's out I'm really happy to be able to play this game on my PC.