Bionic Commando fans have been jumping for joy since hearing a new BC game was on its way. Then they discovered the game had jumping in it and their jumping ceased.... its complicated.

Holy Beans there’s jumping in this game!
So the cats out of the bag, the franchise known as the platformer without a jump button has finally added the ability to leap around without grappling. I know that most of you may be thinking this could be a good thing. I mean, pretty much every platformer has a jump button. In fact some games, like the recent Final Fantasy MMO haven’t included a jump button and have received major backlash from the gaming community.

You may also feel like nostalgia is the only reason anyone would care if there was jumping and not for a valid gameplay purpose. As a kid, the thing I loved most about Bionic Commando was that it wasn’t just another Mario clone. Having to use a new mechanic in order to play a side-scroller other than running and jumping was such a refreshing concept for my young and fertile mind. Adding a jump button in order try to make the game more accessible makes the game lose that unique feel that made it so special. Ultimately, the main issue here is that the game is in-between being a nostalgic throw back and a contemporary update, leaving it in the unplayable middle.

Stop your whining and tell us what its like
Alright, enough of my whiny banter. Let’s get down to the nitty gritty. Rad Spencer is back to take down that latest group of bad guys (whose leader is kind of a Fidel Castro lookalike) with only a few weapons and your bionic arm (plus the ability to jump). The story unfolds with comic book like panels popping up on the screen and dialog is a lot of fun. Once you gain control of Rad, you’ll of course want to try out the jump button right away (unless you’re going to the no jumping achievement). Jump isn’t the only control you’ll need to get yourself accustomed to. The swing and grapple mechanics have changed since the last series reboot, and in my opinion, its for the worse. They are at times slow, and they don’t feel quite as precise as the last time, making difficult platforming sections extremely frustrating.

You’re equipped with your standard gun and although there are tons of upgrades and other weapons to make use of, I pretty much stuck with it through the whole game since it has unlimited ammo. The standard enemies are easy, and other weapons don’t really feel necessary. There are upgrades you can pick to do things like super-uppercut a guy in the face or make your health regenerate. A lot of the upgrades are hidden throughout the game, but I didn’t really feel a need for them playing on the regular difficulty. Combining that with the fact that the level design is fairly boring and the controls aren’t that great means exploring levels for upgrades went to the bottom of my priority list.

Is there anything good about this game?
There is some good to be found here. The best part of the last Bionic Commando game was the boss battles and I was really looking forward to see what Rearmed 2 had in store for me. For the most part, the boss battles are good, with a few of them really shining above the rest. One issue however is that you can scan bosses for weak points, so for quite a few of the bosses it went down like this: SCAN, FIND WEAK SPOT, GRAPPLE WEAK SPOT, FIRE ON IT WHILE EXPOSED, REPEAT. Not very engaging to say the least. As I stated before, there are some great battles to be had though. Another positive note is that you can play co-up which was does make the game a bit more fun, as it usually does with any game. There are also challenge rooms to complete, and once you get a handle on the responsiveness of the sluggish controls, these can be fun too.

Bionic Command: Rearmed 2 is definitely more frustrating than it is fun, and that never adds up to a winning formula. The way the story is presented is pretty neat, but everything in-between is too much of a chore. However, if you really feel that you need to know what Rad Spencer has been up to, go ahead and jump.

  • Challenge levels are a lot of fun, although clunky controls can make them frustrating at times
  • Some of the boss battles are well designed and offer a good challenge
  • Graphics seem worse than the last game
  • Boring level design
  • Jumping doesn’t really add anything to the game other than lumping it in with every other side-scrolling platformer
  • Upgrade management system is cumbersome and ultimately I didn’t even feel any desire to scour each level for them
Quote: "Bionic Command: Rearmed 2 is definitely more frustrating than it is fun, and that never adds up to a winning formula."
Reviewed by Mike Baggley | 02.11.11

Similar Reviews: Bionic Commando: Rearmed (9.0)


Bionic Commando
Rearmed 2




US Release
February '11


PS3, X360

Players 1
Offline co-op 1-2
Online 2-16
5.1 surround
1200 MS Points
$14.99 US PSN