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Sept 8 , 2011
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‘Bodycount'

By Matthew Scott Hunter

Just another shooter

(M) **1/2

Codemasters

Xbox 360

As generic as its title suggests, "Bodycount" does little to distinguish itself amidst the myriad first-person shooters in the crowded Xbox marketplace. You portray a member of an agency that prevents large-scale wars by waging one-man-army, small-scale wars to resolve conflicts.

While endeavoring to prevent one such large-scale war in Africa, you'll unravel the mystery of a secret warmongering organization, but the brief, six-hour campaign fails to build any substantial intrigue, and the protagonist has zero personality. Environments are largely destructible, with cover withering away under gunfire. But levels consist mainly of impoverished African cities and sleek industrial complexes, and whether they're in pristine condition or in bullet-riddled states of disrepair, they're always forgettable.

To the game's credit, despite its rote mechanics, it does encourage you to make things more interesting. You're rewarded for various skillshots — be they sneak attack kills or sequential headshots. Whenever you pull off one of these skillshot achievements, you're rewarded with exclamation point icons that spill from the bodies of fallen enemies. Eventually these icons grant you new abilities, like the option to call in an air strike. But the advanced tactics you use to win these skillshots and the enhanced capabilities they grant are ultimately unnecessary. You can easily navigate the battlefield frantically running and gunning in standard fashion. It's nice that they give you the option to make gameplay more interesting, but interesting gameplay should be default, not optional. CV



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