If you haven’t already rushed out to get Bionic Commando after so eagerly anticipating the full-scale 3D adventure to GRIN’s remake of the original NES title Bionic Commando: Rearmed – DON’T. Save yourself the $50 and just play through the above mentioned BC:R for a much better experience.
I’m not one for bashing a video game… I can usually find something good in everything. A prime example: I even managed to slum some fun out of Terminator Salvation and that is saying something, indeed.
I’m sure there is a lot to like about Bionic Commando and truth be told, after the first 20 minutes of ‘training’ I was very much looking forward to applying my newfound Tarzan-like skills to the ‘real’ world outside my nifty 80’s-esque 3D training booths.
What I found once unleashed on the city was this: frustration. A lot of it. I knew swinging from my bionic arm was going to take some getting used to. I never did which rendered the entire experience about as compelling as rubbing sandpaper on my arm to see how long it would take to bleed.
I’m not going to waste an entire review on this game, here’s what sucked about it – in my humble, unpaid opinion – in the 3.5 hours I wasted on this game. In retrospect, I shoulda just watched 11 episodes of the Office again.
1. The Bionic Arm sucks. Not only does it suck to look at; aiming it, using it, grabbing shit and successfully LANDING anywhere near where you want to land suck harder than a Dyson infomercial. Once you finally get a hang of swinging, GRIN ever so encouragingly decides to place the 8-bit graphic collectibles so far out of reach for the beginner it simply doesn’t make sense. Acquiring the collectibles is a near-impossible feat in most cases which would be FINE except that…
2. When you die, you have to restart from the last checkpoint which in MOST CASES is far enough back you have to repeat 5 minutes of gameplay every…. single… time… you die. Again, this wouldn’t be bad if a) the arm wasn’t so arbitrarily SUCK and b) it didn’t take 23 times to finally get that stupid collectible… I focus so much on acquiring the collectibles now because…
3. You cannot restart a level (as in standard level selecting) from the main menu once you beat it. With the amount of challenges and collectibles this game doles out, this simply makes no sense at all. For a credible team like GRIN to overlook this entirely is now one of life’s greatest mysteries to me. So in other words… you have to complete all challenges and collect everything AS YOU PLAY. Eat it, GRIN this is the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen in a game. All of the above would be moot if I could take my frustration on the idiot enemies except that…
4. Ammo is too few and far between. In a game that should focus on swinging and platforming (to a point), the last thing I should be worried about is ammunition to take out the incredibly annoying uber-soldiers littered throughout the levels. I understand Bionic Commando is supposed to (by roots) be a difficult game, my problem lies in the fact that it is not creatively difficult… it’s annoying and cheap.
To GRIN’s credit, the game looks pretty, the story does look promising, the sound is great and fans of the series will see some familiar faces which might challenge them to plug through. I, on the other hand, gave up after reading from other sites’ reviews that the game only gets harder.
To be clear on how much I hated this game I rented it from Blockbuster. And I took it back 2 nights later to trade it for Resident Evil 5. As in it wasn’t worth the rental money to keep it for 5 more days. I hope Bionic Asshole hangs himself from a bridge with his robotic arm.