Xbox 360 Review: Bodycount

May cause bodily harm…

What do you get if you combine a pathetic, forgettable story with a very average FPS? You get Bodycount, an FPS from Codemasters that has potential but it never manages to be fun or memorable in any way. The plot sets you to South Africa and Asia as you try and understand why massacres are still going on to find it’s because of a group called The Target, your character has no personality and is just worthless, it’s obvious that these guys don’t know how to make a half-decent story because this one is painfully bad.

Bodycount follows the standard FPS pattern of going from waypoint to waypoint, killing the enemies along the way but it adds 4 special powers which can give you adrenaline boosts for harder sections, explosive rounds, and an improved radar scope and later on, you can call in airstrikes. The problem is that you need to collect the orbs that drop from fallen enemies to activate these abilities, which is a pain especially on the Hard difficulty, not that it’s terribly difficult, its just a chore to play.

You also don’t get much variety in terms of weapons, nor can you pick up your enemies weapons. Instead you find a weapons cache in each level and can choose 2 weapons, but some don’t become unlocked till very late in the game. You can also get grenades and mines to use against your foes, which can come in very handy during areas where you have to hack terminals and need to stay in the area.

In the early missions, you’ll get objectives like hunting down rebel leaders, but these guys take a lot of damage to go down and they keep popping up when you really don’t want them to. If that wasn’t bad enough, there’s a chick in a cyborg suit trying to kill you. In one area, she manages to poison you and in the following area, you sometimes can’t even shoot for brief periods of time, which is just ridiculous when you have dozens of Target troopers trying to shoot you down. The level design is also very lazy, not to mention misleading. I followed a waypoint and came to a dead end and assumed it was a horrible glitch, instead they expected me to shoot through a wall to access the waypoint, yet there was no way to figure that out unless you either got lucky or found out online.

Thankfully, the campaign is short and drops lots of achievements as if they were going out of fashion. There is a co-op mode with 4 maps and waves of enemies, which can be fun in short bursts but it’s not the best by far. The multiplayer is also predictable with the Deathmatch modes. The biggest complaint though has to be the AI as they are perhaps the dumbest I’ve come across in a game. Sometimes they’ll just stand in plain sight waiting to be shot, even though you’ve been firing at them, they are idiotic but ruthless on Hard mode because it’s almost impossible to tell what your health is. There’s also a problem with hit detection, I’ve been killed through impenetrable walls and in one case, a Target trooper got caught in a door and still managed to shoot me.

Bodycount looks like a very average game for this generation, the character models are terrible, the very few cutscenes are poor, the levels look dreadful and the framerate can dip during key moments. Voice-acting is minimal but cheesy and it’s not helped by an abysmal plot.

The Verdict

Bodycount is an FPS that underachieves at every opportunity. There’s nothing that redeems it other than the fact it gives out achievements easy. So achievement hunters, I’d suggest renting this and to every one else, avoid!