Bodycount brings us back to the glory days of arcade firefights with its blending of environment tearing and big-bang explosives. Feel the need for a little more speed in your shooter? then we have a game for you.

After completing the tutorial level (Welcome to Africa) one thing is clear, I had no clue what just happened. You see, Bodycount is one of those arcade shooters, that puts big explosions before its narrative. It's an outlandish journey that luckily highlights its gunplay before its other attributes. This odd mixture of ridiculous factions at war combined with score-based shooting makes for a fun, yet shallow experience. Unlike other “arcade” based FPS like 'Bulletstorm,' Bodycount tries to be more serious than it should. It's this half-baked tale of international turmoil that ends up drawing you out of the action, rather than towards it. Strange enough, Bodycount feels like it would fit the N64 generation better than the current hardware.

Looking past its obvious storytelling flop, Bodycount has some redeeming qualities. The main reason to pick up this game would be its fast paced, let's be stupid and shoot everything that moves gameplay. In this regard Bodycount excels. Within no time you will have massacring an uncanny number of mercenaries for almost no reason aside from the sure value of entertainment. Their philosophy; the gun is in your hand, so shoot it, silly! This is an odd quality to highlight, but sometimes you just want a sense of abandonment without reason. Bodycount is very much a throwback to the olden days, the days when shooters didn't even need plots, just a badass character. Oops, I shouldn't have said that because Bodycount really doesn't have a character. No Duke Nuk'em, no Serious Sam, no Master Chief... just an arm, a hand and a gun.

So the narrative and character development is failure, however we still have a few more positives to help tip the highlight the hard work Codemasters has done to complete this project. Coming in second are the solid controls that easily fall into the "pick-up-and-play" category. Simply put, Bodycount is silky smooth. This helps the players ability to take on the world presented. However, Bodycount doesn't do much to encourage to progress. The missions structure is brutally plain, and even though they are clearly marked, they never surpass the point-A/ point-B formula. Aside from the enjoyment of shooting, the missions/objectives feel like a complete waste of time.

Bodycount also has its own twist on aiming. Shooting is basically conventional, yet when you zoom into the screen by looking down the gun sight, your feet will be locked allowing you to peer left and right. It's an interesting tweak that takes a few moments to get used too, although once you do, it works out to your advantage. Your radical auto-targets each enemy, which might makes Bodycount an instant pass for some gamers. It's not as bad as it sounds given the nature of the game, which helps to make high pressure situations a breeze to blast through; just close your eyes and fire!

Another feature jammed into Bodycount is the idea of "racking up your bodycount." This happens via skilled shots that conceptually works, but fails to be interestingly built into the game. Sure everyone likes a multiplier rewarding a skill shot (ie shot someone in the back of the head, kill someone by exploding a barrel and so on) but it really doesn't feel organic to the gameplay. You can also earn power-ups like an adrenaline boost or the ability to unleash airstrikes; but yet again, it doesn't really gel with the gameplay. Most gamers will probably just carry on with their usual blasting without worrying about their "bodycount."

Making your rounds a little more interesting is the amount of damage that will be caused during your fire fights. Bodycount boasts a bullet point of destructible environments; while its nothing close to the level found in something like 'Battlefield: Bad Company,' it is enough to add another layer of enjoyment into the mix. Bullets can chew through walls, explosions will blow apart sections of the world... and best yet, this feature carries on into the multiplayer portion. Bodycount encourages destruction with a plethora of explosive barrels to target, and hot keys for grenade and mine deployment. This one is going to get loud.

While the online side of Bodycount is weak, like all things Bodycount, it has its moments. Online multiplayer supports 2-12 player competitive deathmatches and a two-player survival mode. Online the action mirrors the single-player campaign, which means it is very aggressive. For a comparison I couldn't help feeling like I was playing a slightly like a mocked up take on last years 'James Bond 007: Bloodstone.' Even though I found the multiplayer to be mildly satisfying, I don't think any hardcore online fan will hanging around the lobbies too long because there just isn't enough content to keep things interesting.

Bodycount is a no-brains needed arcade shooter that provides a few hours of embellished destruction. The gameplay is fast and overly simplified so you'll have no problems blasting away your enemies. However, the downsides trump the good on this one, and sadly this makes Bodycount very forgettable. Even though Codemasters gave it the good old college try, it's not going to stand up with the onslaught of holiday shooters. Simply put, there isn't enough here to hold players interest, depth isn't always needed, but in this case, Bodycount could have used deeper waters.

  • Fast and smooth gunplay
  • Lots of destruction!
  • Graphics hold up with their own unique style
  • Almost an orb -- lots of shiny icons to pick up
  • Skill shot your way onto the leaderboards
  • The narrative completely fails
  • Shallow gameplay
  • Run-around boring objectives
  • Auto-aiming could be a deal breaker for some
Quote: "Bodycount is a no-brains needed arcade shooter that provides a few hours of embellished destruction."
Reviewed by DowntownJimmy | 09.07.11

Similar Games: James Bond 007: Bloodstone (7.0) | Bulletstorm (8.7)






US Release
August 2011


PS3, X360

Players 1
Co-op 2
Online MP 2-12
HD 720-1080p
5.1 surround