All swingers welcome...What’s it about?
Bionic Commando is the sequel to the 1998 NES version and a direct sequel of last year’s Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network downloadable offering Bionic Commando Rearmed. If you’ve ever played the original arcade or the NES version, you’ll know that Bionic Commando was essentially an action platform game that ditched the traditional jump button in favour of a swing and shoot mechanic. Instead of leaping and climbing from one ledge to the next, you’d use Ladd’s Bionic arm to grapple onto platforms and swing vertically and horizontally through a 2D space.
This latest version takes its inspiration from that side-scrolling classic and is set 10 years after the events of the NES version. This time however it follows the dread-locked superhero Nathan Spencer as he attempts to eliminate a fierce terrorist threat. Having spent three years in prison for crimes he didn’t commit, Spencer is offered a life-line after an experimental weapon explodes in Ascension City. With the entire population wiped out and terrorists moving in, Spencer is called to bring his Bionic arm into action again and help investigate the threat.
Bionic Commando is a third person shooter that incorporates a revised version of the same swing mechanic from yesteryear as well as giving the main character a whole host of new powers to play with. You use your grapple hook to traverse the 3D environments,swinging across canyons and between towering buildings, latching onto suspended roadways, lamppost and monorails as you head toward way-points and complete a variety of side objectives. You fight against baddies head on with a range of weaponry, or by using the immense power of your Bionic arm, and along the way you'll tackle plenty of mini-bosses, which come in form of Biomechs.
Mastering the environment and timing your grappling hook swings as you move from one object or building to the next is essential to your progression as you try to work out ways, high and wide, to reach your intended target. You'll also find a vast area to explore, where you can take full advantage of the grappling hook and go on the hunt for dozens of collectibles that are tucked away in hard to reach places. As well as a being a shooter, Bionic Commando's swing mechanic is at the core of its gameplay.
Bionic Commando also features a multiplayer component, boasting game modes such as DeathMatch and Capture The Flag.
Gameplay impressions overleaf...