Bionic Commando Rearmed 2

It’s not every day that you get to see an awesome, suave redhead reviewing a game featuring an awesome, suave redhead. Unfortunately, this isn’t one of those days – which is why you’re stuck with me.

By the start of Bionic Commando Rearmed 2, four years have passed since Rad Spencer put an end to the schemes of one Generalissimo Killt in Bionic Commando Rearmed. In that four years, the world has become aware of the devastating potential of using bionically-enhanced soldiers in armed conflicts and, more importantly, Rad Spencer has grown a moustache. I should maybe also mention that Fidel Castro General Sabio has established a massive army on the island of Papagaya, where Rad and four similarly appendaged associates are sent in a bid to sort him out.

Probably the most controversial addition to the sequel is an ability that, while most other game characters have been able to do it for years, Rad Spencer couldn’t do in the original Bionic Commando nor could he do it in the 2008 remake – Rad Spencer couldn’t jump, which was one of the core gameplay mechanics in the 1988 iteration. While this may make some hardcore fans slightly annoyed, I should quickly point out that the game can still be completed without jumping – there’s even an achievement for it!

Having tried overcoming several obstacles with and without jumping, I can safely say that while both styles of play are pretty damned fun, the former is a noticeably less challenging way to play. It opens the game up to people who may have previously been put off, yet still caters for the hardcore audience.  I have to say that it would have been nice if the player was able to disable jumping completely, though, even if just for the sake of that lone achievement and bragging rights.

The ability to jump isn’t Rad’s only upgrade –  he’s had a few tweaks and also now comes equipped with ‘Bionic Vision’. In Rearmed, Rad wasn’t in complete control of his arm. He wasn’t able to extend or retract his arm at will and he couldn’t begin swinging while hanging motionless without the aid of a shotgun, the recoil from which would start up a swing. Now, however, Rad can extend and retract his arm and swing and stop as he pleases. It may not sound like a big deal, but combine that with his newfound jumping legs and suddenly Rad is one seriously agile character. Combine that with the new upgrades Rad can equip – be it a grenade launcher or a powerful uppercut attack – with his increased rate of fire and he’s a force to be reckoned with.

His new Bionic Vision is a nice addition, though I can’t say I’ve really needed it. Put simply, it’s a way for the player to scan their immediate surroundings for points of interest, non-interest or weak points on bosses but as I said, I haven’t really used it as most obstacles and bosses have been pretty straightforward. If you get well and truly stuck, it can help by highlighting the aforementioned points of interest – another way in which the developer has really tried to open up the game to a wider audience.

With all these new tweaks and abilities, it’s good then that you have loads of new places to explore with them. Compared to Rearmed, the levels are much larger and there are also more of them. There’s loads of variation too, so you’re never in the same area too often. The first four levels alone, for example, see you in as many different environments and it really helps keep things fresh.

One last thing I’d like to touch upon is the co-operative multiplayer. Rearmed had co-operative multiplayer but it was entirely offline and many people weren’t happy with this. Naturally, GRIN replied by stating that online co-op was only brought up late into the development so wasn’t really feasible – which is fair enough. Thing is, if it was in such high demand almost two years ago, why is it still not here? It really strikes me as a missed opportunity.

In short, Bionic Commando Rearmed 2 is a fantastic game that improves on the formula that Rearmed brought back, in enough ways that the whole experience feels more exciting and engaging. If you were a fan of Rearmed, or were put off by its difficulty, it’s definitely worth getting your hands – bionic or otherwise – on it.







2 responses to “Bionic Commando Rearmed 2”

  1. Darach avatar

    Now we both have our homework set for us; you have to grow a moustache and style your hair like you’re standing in a wind-tunnel, and I have to finish the first Rearmed. Should be fun.

  2. Mark P avatar

    Next stop: moustache. Population: me!

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