Bionic Commando review

After a 20 year wait, Capcom’s Bionic Commando is now back in full 3D. You may have recently played the remake of the original subtitled Rearmed, but this one follows on from the first game as you respond to a terrorist threat that’s just blown up a whole city and caused a massive earthquake. Luckily that means there’s lots of stuff to swing about on too.

You still play as Spencer, who’s about to be sentenced to death when he’s saved by the authorities to go into the hot zone and sort things out. You’re given your left arm back and then it’s into the action.

Unfortunately, there are warning signs as soon as you begin the game. Loading screens are long and often and compared to other 3rd-person games you feel vulnerable when out in the open. You can shoot enemies with you right arm or do all sorts of nasty things with them with your bionic arm. To progress further there are also nodes you have to hack into with your arm once you’ve cleared out all the enemies. The main problem this game faces is the actual navigation round the 3D maps. Unlike the Spider-Man games where movement is fluid thanks to your webs latching onto invisible things anywhere above you, you have to latch onto specific targets and frequently you’ll find there’s nothing to swing from when in mid-air. So you fall to your doom into a radioactive pit and have to start from the last checkpoint.

You don’t even start the game with all the powers you learn to use in the tutorial. It feels weird to do them at the start of the game and then have them snatched away from you. It also doesn’t seem fair when you swing into an environment, drop onto the floor and then find yourself surrounded with no duck or cover button to help you avoid the bullets. You can roll but it’s not all that effective.

If you like you can also skip into any part of the game you like. You won’t be able to save your progress. Alone in the Dark let you do this too and that was also a game that didn’t float my boat either.

I was looking forward to this one but it just doesn’t work in 3D as well as it did 20 years ago. It gets an average 5 out of 10.

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