Bionic Commando Review

Bionic Commando Review (PS3, Xbox 360, PC)

MSRP: $4.99 to $9.99 

GRIN and Capcom’s Bionic Commando reboot for the current console generation is honestly one of the most disappointing games I have ever played. I’m actually a big GRIN development studios fan and really liked the other games they’ve made. I’m also a big fan of the original NES Bionic Commando. However, this reboot is GRIN’s worst product so far. The main character is annoying and unlikable, the gameplay is repetitive, the combat system  uninspired, and the controls are so loose that players end up dying in-game too much to actually get some enjoyment out of it.

Bionic Commando casts the player as Nathan “Rad” Spencer, a soldier with bionic implants that’s been incarcerated for the last decade. A terrorist attack ravages Ascension City which results in Spencer getting reunited with his powerful bionic arm and is recruited to investigate the situation. The story is uninspired and borderline cliche that they even add a “missing wife” plot point a bit further into the game.

I really couldn’t get myself to like Spencer. As hard as I tried, Spencer would spew out horrible one-liners and dialogue that grated on my nerves. He also doesn’t get much in terms of character development. He begins the game a grizzled douchebag and ends his adventure a grizzled douchebag.

Gameplay isn’t much better. Combat was so bloody boring that I actually avoided it as much as I could. The weapons didn’t have that “kick” or sense of power that most other other third person shooter have. Using Spencer’s bionic arm to fight wasn’t much different. Although I did get some powerful moves later in the game, the bionic arm didn’t have that “cool” factor that differentiated it from other games. Hell, Bloodrayne had a weapon similar to it and I found that a better game than Bionic Commando.

It took me about an hour to get used to the loose controls, but I did manage to have some fun moments swinging around the environments. That was, until the loose controls and spastic camera dropped me into another radiation filled death pit.

Mulitplayer also provides some pretty decent fun if you can actually find other players online. It features some pretty cool variants on standard game modes. As well, the vertical gameplay changes they dynamics of every battle since players will have to be aware of enemies above and below them. Overall, its an okay multiplayer package.

Technical Presentation

Audio – Voiceover and dialogue is laughable with Spencer being the worst of the bunch. If I wanted to hear a cool gruff and grizzled voice, I’d rather listen to David Hayter’s portrayal of Solid Snake. Spencer just sounds too angry and too “emo” to be believable, or relatable for that matter. The game did sport some really cool militaristic soundtrack that accentuated some of the dramatic set pieces and plot twists.

Graphics – The game features some pretty nice lighting along with water effects, and the scope of some of the environments seem epic, sprwaling, and inviting for players to swing around. That is, until  players find the numerous hidden walls that keep them within a linear path designed to keep the action going. Environments are also repetitive. I got really tired of swinging through broken down buildings that all looked alike. Don’t get me wrong, not all of it looks the same; there are some really cool set pieces and environments especially with boss battles. But most of the game looks just okay and nothing to write home about.

Final Thoughts

I really wanted to give this game a chance. I found it in the bargain bin for $2.99 and thought it was a really good deal for a game that I originally thought was too harshly reviewed. However, once I tried it myself, I found myself agreeing with many of the reviews found online. I can’t believe that I actually prefer playing the old-school Bionic Commando: Rearmed compared to the current generation reboot. If you’re looking for a game that has fun swinging mechanics, I would suggest getting the Spider-Man games instead. You’ll have more fun playing those.


About janhutchings

Canadian Game Industry Blogger / Contributor for @Sonyrumors & @ShogunGamer / Communications and PR Professional. Voice of Canadian and Indie Gaming.

Posted on August 2, 2011, in Game Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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