Bionic Commando has helped me to realize that as an adult with shit to do I don’t have time for a game like this. It seems, that with Capcom, every time they modernize and join 21st century game design in one respect, they screw up in four others.
This particular game was developed by Grin, and while they are to blame for many of the problems with Bionic Commando, the failures are reminiscent to other recent Capcom products.
Let me take this time to decide w
hat about this game I hate more.
The mind-punchingly stupid design that will kill you if you swing a bit off course in a game that is about swinging is pretty bad. No joke, try to play this game like Spiderman, I DARE YOU! If you want to travel distances you have two choices, meticulously plan out your route until you reach the waypoint or trial-and-error. Recipe for success in an action game, right?
If you think that sounds terrible, listen to the dialogue and voice acting… or stare at the 2000s era Axel Rose on steroids that they thought would be appealing to a western audience (unfortunately, they are probably right). Everything Axel says is said with a level of sarcastic "I don’t like authority" overkill that I wanted to rip my ears off.
There is something I like about this game: the controls and the difficulty curve in mastering the controls, or at least the swinging controls. They remind me of early Tony Hawk games. It could be easier or even improved, but I do LIKE them.
Bionic Commando has illustrated the gap between a remake and a reboot. In a remake the purpose is to recapture the magic for the generation that enjoyed the original, while a reboot is an attempt to remake the magic for a new audience. In BC’s case we are dealing with a reboot.
Capcom’s biggest issue is not fully modernizing their games. They are taking a few cues from their peers, but they won’t just jump in with a game that is fully featured from the ground up. And god fucking forbid Capcom be willing to offer something ground breaking themselves… they made those Resident Evil games, so why even try?
What this game lacks is a clear sense of what it wants to do with MY time. It knows it wants you to swing, but what that swinging is supposed to accomplish and why is buried under layers of failure and misunderstanding of the audience. The game just does not treat me like an adult, which is fine. If Grin is happy making a game for adolescent E-tards, fine, but as an adult I’m not going to have to call this one a pass.
The Online Game Is Not Rated
I became pretty frustrated with the single player game and decided that I should try out the multiplayer mode. Multiplayer is adequate, it reminds me of a third person Halo crossed with Spiderman. However, Xbox Live’s greatest weakness was on display during the first weekend of BC’s release. I recorded that experience, and will play it for you now:
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