Bionic Commando was one of my favorite games from childhood on my old NES, and I’m sure others felt the same. So back in 2008-2009, Capcom attempted to revive the series first with a remake of the original called Bionic Commando: Rearmed. While they did a fantastic job with the remake, the game-play felt like it had aged quite a bit. I guess swinging on 8-bit buildings was cooler for me back in the early 90s. I didn’t even care for the modern sequel until recently. I had first thought that it was a shameless action game hoping to latch on the success of its retro counterpart. But I honestly was pleasantly surprised by its quality.
The original NES Bionic Commando was set in a World War II-ish land with a 50’s sense of good and evil, this sequel however takes the plot into a more futuristic and gritty world. Despite the mood change, you’re still equipped with your handy pistol and more importantly your bionic arm that can latch to almost any surface. While the gun-action has a very generic action-game feel, the bionic arm (once you master it) will make you feel like spiderman. I had a lot of fun hopping from building to building, even in the middle of a firefight.
But it does a pretty swell job at keeping variety, preventing you from being bored. You go from rampaging through a dystopian city, exploring dark caverns, and using stealth in a beautiful garden area of a once-peaceful city. Plus there’s always a good number of surprises to keep you occupied, mainly the robotic juggernauts that become fiercer than its predecessor. I just wish your regular weapon didn’t become useless near the end of the game, especially in areas where the bionic arm was not the wisest weapon for combat.
I don’t know how every fan is going to feel about the sequel since it has a reputation of being a hit or miss among critics, but I enjoyed my time with Bionic Commando. It’s a decent action game with a considerable amount to discover, and some good moments. It’s a shame it’s probably never going to get a sequel, because there could of been so much more they could have fine-tuned to make it a true-blockbuster instead of a overlooked-gem.
Score: 8 out of 10