Bionic Commando Rearmed 2 Preview
Those who remember the 8-bit days will likely grin when you mention Bionic Commando. The side-scrolling action title featuring that nifty grappling hook captured the hearts of many way back when, and although the 3D iteration this generation failed to impress, Bionic Commando Rearmed was a great piece of retro software. It certainly warranted a sequel, which should arrive during the first quarter of next year. Developer Fatshark have a few additions and enhancements in store for fans of the original, so don’t think you’ll be looking at a rehash. In fact, the very foundation of the game has changed a bit, thanks to one all-new – and much-requested – ability. If you’re unfamiliar with the Bionic concept, you should probably head over to Wikipedia or something. If you loved the first one and want the lowdown on the sequel, keep reading.
First things first: you’ll now be able to jump. See, all you could do in the original was use your grappling hook to swing and climb. While the hook will once again be the highlight of this fast-paced adventure, the ability to jump should really open things up and make the gameplay feel more dynamic. Only practice and patience will allow you to become a master of the hook, and with new weapons awaiting and special secrets to be found (despite the perceived linearity, a wee bit of observation and exploration will prove beneficial), Rearmed 2 is shaping up quite nicely. You can see a large number of weapons on display in the gameplay video below, including a nifty homing device and a heavy shotgun of sorts. Your character can also break through certain obstacles and walls, and utilize his surroundings to his advantage. In short, this is the Bionic Commando that should satisfy fans, both old and new.
You probably noticed that “drop of death” attack in the trailer, where you can leap from platforms high above and drop down to decimate foes below. That’s part of the skill that will let you deal with puzzles and break through walls, and you’ll even be able to unlock more physical skills. For instance, there’s a powerful uppercut that can either directly connect with baddies or be utilized to launch explosive barrels in their general direction. And you know; there’s a lot more involved than just firing and dodging. Fatshark has gone to extra lengths to add modern-day features, including a bit of strategy and even stealth, along with multiple ways of disposing difficult opponents. Big boss fights await, as well as a variety of different situations that will require more than just fast reflexes. It’s this kind of stuff that makes us think such a style of gaming isn’t dead.
Players will also welcome the return of the cooperative multiplayer mode that lets you sit and play with a buddy, just as we did all those years ago. You share lives and any unlockables you may find and thankfully, you don’t have to worry about friendly fire (that would be downright absurd). You can also work together to take down significantly tough enemies even faster, which makes playing together all the more attractive. If you’re old enough, you well remember the days when this was the only form of multiplayer. But anyway, Bionic Commando Rearmed 2 is an honest-to-goodness sequel, in that we still have the same solid formula, but the developers have taken it upon themselves to add and improve. For a nicely polished retro experience, you likely won’t find many better titles available on the Network.
9/7/2010 Ben Dutka