It has been 10 years since Nathan “Rad” Spencer defeated the Imperials alongside his battle buddy “Super Joe” Gibson. Since then however, many changes have occurred and Nathan Spencer, whom you assume the role as within the game, has been convicted of treason and sentenced to death for disobeying direct orders. While awaiting his execution in prison he is called back into the field to work under his former comrade, Gibson. You are tasked with helping him investigate what happened and why in “Ascension City” after a mass explosion that was caused by a Terrorist Group know only as “Bio-Reign”, occurred and destroyed the majority of the city and its population.
The gameplay in Bionic Commando is well below the quality expected from a Capcom title, or any title for that matter. The controls do take some getting used to, however are easy to remember. The game begins with a tutorial which teaches you the moves that you will need to begin with, and as you progress you learn other moves and skill sets.
The game itself is obviously setup to make full use of the grappling hook mechanism and it does that very well, as I had many moments in where I would dive off a building of epic scale and feel my stomach become quite literally, a tad bit nauseous as I plundered towards the ground, only to then grapple the side of a bridge and swing under it and thrust myself high into the air before coming down heavily on a group of opponents with an array of weaponry and manoeuvres.
That however, sadly, is as good as it gets. The game has so much potential however is let down due to how linear the gameplay becomes. I was constantly swinging from building to building towards an objective only to be killed by “radiation” which smothers most of the buildings within the game. Unfortunately, unless you take the most obvious route, it is all over. The game becomes quite mundane when you are being forced to swing through tiny areas when there are gigantic buildings all around which tantalise and tease, but you cannot utilise.
Learning moves is easy and as you progress deeper into the game, you unlock many different moves to use in the field. The game also includes a basic yet useful system which teaches you the techniques and enables you to use them swiftly and with ease. This is available on demand through the pause menu. It also becomes available during load screens which enables you to touch up on your technique before beginning each area and or mission.
The problem though, is the application of those moves that you have learnt. When applying your new skill sets they do not, in any way, feel “personal” as you apply them. It felt as if when I shot someone they took the hits and then quite simply, dropped dead. There were no physics or anything of that nature that made you feel like saying “that was a great kill” as a roll of a body or two was the most you could really see. It is unfortunate as the game has such great potential but is lacking in areas of gameplay which are critical in keeping you engrossed in the game.
Graphics wise, the game is great. The textures that are used are vibrant and appealing, making the game easy on the eye. When moving around in the game you witness the detail that was put into the city as it is very easy to differentiate between objects around the city, which in turn make it easy task for you to navigate.
The sound that is used throughout the game is not very noticeable. When you do notice it, it works well, however it seems that when there should be some form of music playing, there never is. It would have been good to see the use of more noticeable music being played throughout the game and especially at critical moments. This would have added to the atmosphere of the game and made it a bit exciting. For example, when moving into an area in which something of a large scale is going to take place, it would have helped to have the appropriate music in the background to give you that sense of anticipation of what is about to hit you.
Bionic Commando is like shooting tin ducks at a public fete with an air rifle. It was dull, unsatisfying and the rewards negligible. This may sound harsh, but besides the graphics, nothing really grabs you and pulls you in. An average game at best.
Graphically the game is a winner.
Gameplay is of a poor standard.
Storyline is very basic and does not capture you.
Music is not used to an effective degree.
The game becomes repetitive very fast.
AAG Score: 5.5/10
Reviewed and Written by Rhyz Morrison