I Just Saved You At Least $20

Gamestop is offering a lot of new games for $20. I personally donít think any of the newer games are AAA titles. (Star Wars: The Force Unleashed comes close, but you know our thoughts on that title). Bionic Commando made the list.

Let me begin by saying Bionic Commando is my Forced Unleashed for 2009. Only this title Iíll probably not play through. Right now, itís my reigning champion for most wasted potential in a game this year.

18404_normal Iíll start with the gripes because itís all I have.

The Swing MechanicóItís stupid. Attaching and beginning the swing is easy enough. However, when do you think would be the best time to let go and swing to the next item? No, itís not at the end of the swing. Itís just right after the bottom of your arc. Yes, there is an indicator of when to let go, but it appears and disappears so fastÖI donít want to be frustrated playing games. Just the tutorial was an adventure in frustration. Think the platform jumping of The Force Unleashed with the repetition of Mirrorís Edge. (Ooo, two frustrations added together. Yay!)

The Shooting MechanicóPew. Pew. Literally. The only indication you have for hitting an enemy is that they twitch and the red bar above their head depletes. Think standing seizures. Think shooting with a BB gun. Itís what it sounds like.

The graphicsóItís hard to explain. It looks pretty, but there are times where it appears that the 3D world has been pressed flatóespecially in some cutscenes.

The Level DesignóThis game screams to be open world. Nope. Itís linear and youíre held in place by almost invisible ďradiationĒ. Thereís nothing more fun than swinging up a building and realizing that their must be something up on top. Hey, they game is letting me get up there. It makes sense, right? Nope. Radiation. Itís like getting to the end of the maze and there was no cheese.

The Dialogueóyou said the ďFĒ-word in the intro. Youíre big and bad now. Almost every time he falls he poops from his mouth. I heard it a lot.

The Arm MechanicóOf all the gripes, this is the least. When it works, itís awesome. Only there are times where thereís nothing to do with it. There are parts of levels where youíre just platforming, swinging to your next group of enemies. An open world street-brawler with special arm moves would have been killer. I guess Iíll go play Prototype.

I put in an honest five hours. Granted one of those hours was in the tutorial. I think I now know why itís averaging $20 out there when it just came out in May for $60. Biggest and quickest price drop of any game this generation? Maybe so.

Take your $20 and get Bionic Commando Rearmed.

This didnít get a full review because I didnít finish it. I played five hours with the PS3 version. Disagree with me? Let me know in the comments.


  1. I came this close to getting this when it first hit the shelves. I’m a huge fan of the original but after hearing some initial feedback from this game, I held off.

    I’m glad I held off completely. I’ll definitely give Rearmed a try and save myself some money.

  2. I’m very late to the party, but here are my thoughts :
    Yes, the game could have been a lot better. But :
    -the swinging is logical. If you let go at the end of the arc, you’re unlikely to move forward. Yes, the tutorial is hard, but that’s the price to pay to have an innovative game mechanic. Once you master it, it really is exhilarating.
    -shooting mechanic. Pew pew. True, but mostly with the first gun. Bigger weapons available later are much more satisfying. Anyway, fighting with the arm is the real deal.
    -graphics. Mixed bag as well.
    -level design : more so than the fact that it is linear, it’s the very limited amount of time you have before dying that unnerves me. I get that levels have to be small, but don’t make me die instantly for one tiny wrong swing

    I was never in it for the story or the graphics, but I was pleasantly surprised by the arm gameplay. It is certainly wasted potential, but not outright bad as can be read on the net. Worth the small amount required nowadays. Disappointing that they won’t get to develop a sequel to address the issues of this one.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.