Bodycount is a game where the focus is completely on gameplay and little anywhere else. You are given a gun and are told to shoot first and ask questions never. The only real thing driving you forward is the urge to kill and to not die in the process.
If you are looking for some semblance of a story, then think of it as one faceless corporation vs. another faceless corporation. You are a member of a faceless corporation and they believe in action. When the world is in chaos, you are sent in to make it right again. While on a mission, you discover another faceless organization are the masterminds behind the firefights and it becomes your job to eliminate them. To make the story synopsis even shorter: Everybody in the game wants you dead. Shoot them until they stop shooting at you. Story here is a thing that was perhaps a second priority for Codemasters. You get this feeling when the two corporations get their unimaginative names The Network (you) and The Target (the bad guys).
The real focus here is the gunplay. This is an arcade-style shooter, so the main thing driving you besides not wanting to die is to get as many points as you can for each mission. You gain multipliers for doing skill kills such as headshots or explosive kills. The more carnage you deal out, the more your multiplier goes up and the more intel you receive for being able to use Operative Support. These are special powers you can use that ranges from invulnerability to the very effective insta-kill. The gunplay is very tight and utilizes a few features to its iron sight targeting. Rather than having the gun pop to the middle of the screen, the view simply zooms in for a more focused aiming. I at first was a bit turned off by it however I soon discovered it was a more effective aiming system. When only using iron sights, the target is usually obstructed by the gun itself. Here there is no obstruction and I can clearly see the target I am aiming for without any excess clutter.
The game also has a lean and peek function with its iron sights, but it seems to contradict its style of gameplay and has quite a learning curve with it. When looking down the sights, your character locks into position and can only lean from left to right. This means it is pretty much best utilized behind cover, yet cover is quite the flimsy thing in Bodycount. The game has a shred system where nearly every kind of surface can be obliterated. This aspect really negates the whole first-person cover concept. Also, I have never really been a fan of a cover system in FPSs. It always functioned better in a third-person perspective. In third person, you can take cover and then rotate the camera giving you a strategic viewing of the land helping you decide where you want to go next. While in first-person, you really only use cover to hide away from oncoming fire.
However, most times cover really isn't necessary to take as the AI in the game is severely stupid. There were multiple times where I would run past an enemy and they would just continue walking their route waiting for me to open fire on them.
The game does have some good environments. To the urban industrial settings of Africa, to rain slick docks of China and even high-tech bunkers of The Target Nexus hubs, the locations look rather sleek and nicely put together. This is where shredding comes in handy. It looks really neat in practice. While in Africa, splinters of wood comes flying off walls in spectacular fashion. However you seem to be in only one location for each locale. You stay in one target area for both China and Africa and The Target Nexus hubs look quite similar on the inside.
Shredding the environment also really showcases the game's sound design quite well. In The Target Nexus hubs, electricity arcs and sparks and glass go flying. It pays off to be quite destructive.
There is a multiplayer function for the title. It comes with the standard array of deathmatch, team death and co-op play. After that there is a Bodycount Mode to play, but all you do is replay story missions to try and get a better score.
Bodycount is viscerally fun. It plays fast and sounds great thanks to all the carnage you dish out. However, it isn't really deep. The story almost seemed like a second thought and AI makes most levels feel like just a shooting gallery. If you like your shooters shallow, it is at least worth a try.