Bionic Commando is an action-platform video game developed by Grin and published by Capcom. The game is a reboot of the eponymous series, and was released in May 2009 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The PC version was released two months later.
"Let me tell you about the man I met when I was still young... Ten years ago, our country faced the greatest threat it had ever known. The FSA was attacked by the Imperials, a military group of fascists who respected nothing... not even the laws of life and death. A soldier was sent in and managed to stop them. He saved us all. He saved me... but people forget. At first, the public was grateful. Then they grew distrustful. Before long, they turned on people like him - mechanically enhanced soldiers. Bionic commandos. They called him dangerous, crazy... not fully human. Bionics became a public menace. Eventually the politicians pulled the plug. Bionic soldiers were "purged", stripped of their bionic parts like they were machines. Some of them died. Others ran. And the man that saved my life... He ended up on Death Row for the murders of men I had sent him to kill. Sentenced to death. And ready for the end. This is where our story begins." - Joseph Gibson, aka Super Joe.
The game is set 10 years after the events of the original Bionic Commando, and follows Nathan "RAD" Spencer, a government operative working in Ascension City, and Joseph Gibson aka "Super Joe", an operative for the Tactical Arms and Security Committee (T.A.S.C.) which trains bionics like Spencer. After being betrayed by his own government and falsely imprisoned, the Great Bionic Purge begins. However, before he can be executed, an experimental weapon explodes in Ascension City, leaving the city in ruins and killing its populace. The terrorist group known as BioReign claims responsibility. Gibson offers Spencer freedom in exchange for assisting the FSA with the threat against the city. Spencer is resistant at first, especially after his betrayal and imprisonment, but he eventually agrees to help after Joe reveals he has knowledge of Spencer's missing wife, Emily.
Why It Sucks
- Poorly written and convoluted story.
- One of the stupidest plot twists in the history of games; it turns out Spencer's wife didn't disappear, but is actually a part of the bionic arm. That's right: his bionic arm is his wife.
- Before Super Joe reveals the above, we discover he's the leader of BioReign, and the main antagonist.
- Spencer is completely unlikable due to his sneering voice and harsh attitude towards those he speaks with.
- Dull and repetitive combat.
- Every weapon in the game, even the rocket launcher or shotgun, feels weak due to minimal visual feedback and poor sound effects.
- The environments are covered in radiation that kills Spencer the instant he's too close to it, which prohibits exploration and makes every level a linear, straight line.
- The only way to actually find which areas are covered in radiation is by dying after you've already swung into it.
- The game's tutorial teaches you abilities that you won't be able to use until later in the campaign, which limits creativity.
- The console versions suffer from long loading times.
- Copious amounts of product placement; more specifically, Pepsi machines and Nvidia billboards are everywhere.
- Poor voice-acting, despite having some all-star cast members (Spencer and Gibson are voiced by Faith No More singer Mike Patton and Steven Blum, respectively).
- Tacked-on multiplayer mode.
- Pleasant visuals.
- Good soundtrack.
- Swinging around with the arm can be fun.
Bionic Commando received mixed reviews and was a commercial failure, selling only 27,000 units during its first month of release. By comparison, Terminator Salvation, which received worse reviews, sold 43,000 copies in the same period.