Rearming an old franchise
Bionic Commando: Rearmed is one of those special titles that can invoke nostalgia in the old gamer, and still manage to entice the newbie with it’s addictive gameplay, colourful style and catchy music. Capcom have recovered a brilliant relic of old school, hardcore game design, and have managed to re imbue it with up-to-date visuals. This combination creates a package which will glue you to your TV for extended periods of time, as you will yourself to the end of another action-packed level.
The gameplay in Rearmed is simple enough; you jump through levels with your Bionic arm, springing from platform to platform, with some shooting mixed in for good measure. It doesn’t get any deeper than that, but it doesn’t have to. The basics of the game are so fun that delving into other layers simply isn’t needed. Give a player a Bionic arm and a rocket launcher, and he’ll be a happy chap. That said, it can get a little bit frustrating at times. The game requires you to nail jumps with god-like accuracy, and even on the easiest difficulty you will die. Lots. However, though it is supremely difficult, it still manages to retain a sense of absolute exhilaration, as you fly through a level, capping enemies in the face and feeling pretty much like the biggest bad-ass this side of Master Chief. Perhaps the biggest disappointment with the game is that Capcom have decided to get rid of the Nazi’s from the original and replace them with a simple evil Corporation. This doesn’t impact how you play the game, but it does feel that it’s been neutered somewhat, which is upsetting. However, the gameplay is still fresh, and most importantly, incredibly fun.
It all feels very 8-Bit, but in a wonderfully modern way.
The biggest change to Rearmed is undoubtedly the graphics. They’re new, colourful, and refreshing and manage to bring a new-gen feel to what almost a two decade old game. There are bright explosions splashing across the screen, mixed in with a heavy dose of primary coloured backgrounds. It feels like you’re fighting a war in the mind of a 5 year old, as you jump from deep reds to bright greens. The graphics feel clean and new, and while they may not be as complicated as something from Gears or Halo, they certainly do the job nicely.
The audio in Rearmed is simply brilliant. The songs are catchy, the effects are spot on, and yet it still feels like you’re playing the original. It all feels very 8-Bit, but in a wonderfully modern way. It is maybe a little bit disappointing that the story is mostly text based, but understandable as Capcom undeniably wanted to keep ties with the original. The sound is simply the best you could hope for out of an Arcade game, as it retains it’s old school ties with a fresh new outlook.
Rearmed is simply brilliant game. It’s old school, hardcore and breathtaking. The gameplay keeps it’s sense of fun, while the graphics and audio have been updated in such away that it still feels like the old game, except made for a next-gen system. If you have any appreciation for one of the best titles of yesteryear, or simply feel like a fun romp through a cartoony world, then this is for you.
The Bad: No Nazis; Insanely difficult; No voices