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Bionic Commando Rearmed Review

by GaryTun


Bionic Commando Rearmed sees a return of the intense 2-D side-scrolling, shooting, and grappling action from the much-loved 1988 Bionic Commando. Bionic Commando Rearmed brings the amazing gameplay up to date with stunning new visuals, new weapons, online rankings, and a reworked musical score just for starters.

Players: 1-2
Released: 2008

Review August 2008 – by Keith Murray.

Bionic Commando Rearmed (BCR), a reimaging of the original NES title, was developed by GRIN in collaboration with Capcom and seen as a sampler for the forthcoming 3D spectacular due to arrive on the 360 & PSN in 2009. Instead of being a mere side dish, GRIN and Capcom have most definitely put their 3D title in the shade with some good, but not so old-fashioned, 2D gaming.

The first thing the player notices when starting out on BCR is how limited it appears. Why can’t I jump over this obstacle? Why is it so unbelievably difficult? Then it clicks. The bionic arm affixed to the lead character, Nathan “Radd” Spencer (even the characters names are a wonderful throw back to a bygone era of gaming) is not only the way to get around, it is the centre of the game’s universe. As such it is as integral as any weapon you may pick up and its use extends to everything from grabbing enemies and using them as shields, to knocking bullets out of the air, and ultimately, defeating bosses.

Learning to time swings onto another ledge or platform must be done with pixel perfection, less our hero plummets to his doom. Using the superb tutorial (with both beginner and advanced levels of training) to acclimatise to the controls, the player becomes `as one` with the claw, attempting to survive long enough to discover the different secrets littered throughout by (literally) hurdling around the different levels and their unique layout. Eventually a boss encounter will loom and serve to challenge you to the fullest. It all proves highly satisfying and never frustrating as errors are down to the player, not the game.

From the wonderful opening areas, to more complex levels littered with moving platforms and truly evil sections with well concealed secrets such as upgrades to weapons or new equipment, the player is treated to one of THE most enjoyable, crushingly hard and above all perfectly executed titles ever released for the download services. Every time the player learns or gains a new ability or upgrade, the game levels up to keep the difficulty honest and above all, relevant. If the player fades or becomes frustrated, the various challenge rooms that are dotted around the game map provide a sublime extra which will cause many an hour to be spent attempting to better their times in competitive leaderboards with others across the world.

BCR is that rare thing: a download title that accomplishes more than some £40 rated blockbuster releases fail to manage. The price of entry means it’s utterly essential for anyone with an internet connection and a 360 or PS3 looking for something that encompasses everything that modern games` foundations were laid upon.