Bionic Commando: Rearmed Review

Xbox Live Acrcade and the PlayStation Network have seen a number of remakes in recent months, with publishers like Capcom leading the way in revitalizing relatively ancient properties for distribution during the current era of gaming. The most recent of these restorations comes in the form of Bionic Commando: Rearmed; fans have pined for this for ages.

Developer GRIN has done a fantastic job at updating the classic NES title while still remaining true to the game’s original content. Anyone who has played Bionic Commando in the last 20 years will instantly feel at least a small sense of nostalgia when they see the 3D version of the game’s map or receive the first radio transmission from HQ.

In essence, Bionic Commando: Rearmed is just that–a rearming of the original title with a fresh new look, slightly tweaked controls, and a few added features. The 2 1/2-d high-definition visuals look wonderful, and controlling the titular claw-armed soldier feels better than ever.

BCR is an action-platformer in which players must guide supersoldier Nathan Spencer through a series of missions on his way to rescue a comrade in distress. On this quest, he has the help of a grappling gun-equipped arm that acts as both an offensive tool and Nathan’s primary mode of transportation. Throughout all of his military training, Nathan apparently never learned how to jump, so this cybernetic appendage is a huge boon.

The bionic arm allows Nathan to grapple ledges and other solid structures, then pull himself toward/over them or use the length of the grappling claw’s chain for Tarzan-like urban jungle swinging. The mechanics take a bit of getting used to, but end up being a great deal of fun once mastered. The claw is also useful for removing certain obstacles and for grabbing heavy barrels to launch at enemy soldiers.

A number of swappable weapons, from a simple pistol to a devastating rocket launcher, also help to clear Nathan’s path of soldiers, tanks, turrets, and other opposition. In addition to these primary foes, coming into contact with enemy unit icons on the map leads to a Commando-style top-down shooting sequence. Unfortunately, there are only a few of these that repeat themselves with each confrontation.

Boss fights in BCR are big and impressive, and have been re-worked for this version of the game. Each is unique, and forces players to use the bionic arm in creative ways in order to succeed.

Other additions to BCR include 3D puzzles that must be navigated to hack into the enemies’ lines of communication, timed challenges, and local competitive and cooperative multiplayer modes. Unfortunately, there is no online multiplayer, which is both puzzling and disappointing.

Bionic Commando: Rearmed is one of the better remakes of one of the better games of the 8-bit era. If you are looking for a fun platformer with unique and inventive gameplay, I’d recommend picking this one up for 10 bucks.


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Author: Eddie Inzauto View all posts by
Eddie has been writing about games on the interwebz for over ten years. You can find him Editor-in-Chiefing around these parts, or talking nonsense on Twitter @eddieinzauto.

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