LT Panel
RT Panel
Just Visiting
Thursday | September 20, 2018
Popular Review Links:
Bionic Commando Rearmed 2 (XBOX 360)

Bionic Commando Rearmed 2 (XBOX 360)

Bionic Commando Rearmed 2 Review - XBOX 360

Bionic Commando Rearmed 2 (X360) Review

The year is 1993 and this young games reviewer has just been given his first ever games console, the Nintendo Entertainment System. Shortly after booting it up I found myself transfixed with what I saw on the screen, traversing through a fast moving world using nothing but guts, guile and an arm made of steel I instantly fell in love with the game, Bionic Commando. The title had a long spell in the sidelines as 2D platform games became out-dated in the world of 3D shoot-em-ups thanks to the next generation consoles released in the mid-late 90’s. However as with most things the desire for the old farts to relive their younger years saw the game remastered and re-released in 2008 titled Bionic Commando Rearmed. The retro jump into yesteryear garnered enough support to warrant a sequel and – let forget that attempt in 2009 – three years down the line Bionic Commando Rearmed 2 is upon us, does it have the spark that made its predecessors so popular?

Product image

Game Play
Rearmed 2 see’s everyone’s favourite 2.5D protagonist Nathan Spencer return to once again save the world from tyranny and destruction. This time standing in his way is the evil General Sabio who, despite not matching up to the Nazi dictatorship of the original Bionic Commando on the evil scale, is a pretty nasty guy who threatens to launch a missile strike on all things pure and good. Anyone who has played the game before will know what to expect and Rearmed 2 follows the same formula as its successors where we navigate our way through treacherous levels and wipe out legions of enemies using the trusty bionic arm whenever needed.

In his two year spell on the sidelines it appears that our hero has been training long and hard in the art of jumping, although it seems that the weight of his bionic arm prevents him clearing anything higher than knee height. We can’t see Nathan challenging the likes of Mario or Alex Kidd any time soon. Mercifully the levels have been designed in such a way that they can be maneuvered without having to dip into his repertoire of jumps, in fact completing the game without jumping even earns players an achievement. Previous versions saw Nathan fly through the maps at frightening pace as he used his grappling hook to traverse even the most hazardous of obstacles, that just doesn’t seem to be the case with Rearmed 2 as that ability has been removed and the inclusion of jumping means levels have been designed to be vastly different from the original Rearmed…slowing down the pace.

Another change made to our hero’s bionic arm is the swing mechanic. In previous versions Spencer would let go of a surface unless the analogue stick was in a certain position, now however players are required to press a button before his claw will let go. The developers say this is so that players can change the direction of the swing and in theory it is a good idea however it’s very rare that players will want to lose their rhythm, especially when scaling a particularly dangerous section of the level. Of course the game is more than just a gymnastic practice session and there are, as always, plenty of evil enemies to take out in our quest for peace.

Product image

The ways in which players can take on the enemy varies wildly from using plasma ray guns to old fashioned bazooka’s. That brings us to another change, the removal of one of the features that made the original Rearmed so much fun to play. This was that certain weapons were used to kill certain enemies. In Rearmed 2 that is no longer the case and weapons can be used to destroy pretty much anyone and anything, including parts of levels. It’s not necessarily a negative though as it gives us the opportunity to open up completely new areas and secret caverns filled with various goodies from power-ups to weapon upgrades.

The advantage of having a massive bionic arm are that players have the chance to use a number of different passive and active abilities ranging from health regeneration upgrades to drone operators and while it is a great idea some extra though could have gone into the menu system used to access our options. To change our ability we players are required to go into a sub-menu via the pause button, drawing them away from the action for a short time.

One snazzy new addition is the introduction of the "Bio Vision", a hints system which pauses the game and applies a green filter to the screen, highlighting any important items in red before offering a description of said item. This can be particularly useful in boss fights which are also made easier by the inclusion of the health regeneration item; which can be picked up very early in the game.

A local multiplayer mode has been included and in this mode we share the screen with a companion as each character tries to negotiate the level. It is easy to see why the developers decided not to go with a split screen approach however the option to choose full or split would have been appreciated as each option suits different play styles and quite often we found that our less experienced friends were holding us back as we traversed the level quicker than them.

Product image

Rearmed 2 has managed to keep the retro look of its predecessor whilst building on it slightly. The colours look very vivid and watching the various weapons in use can sometimes be a joy, especially given the fact that the game now has PhysX support which adds a very modern look to a classic title. Still, there are areas which could have been improved such as when we move quickly through the levels as visuals can sometimes become rather choppy and rough around the edges. For the most part though things run smoothly.

Product image


One of the biggest selling points of the previous title was the soundtrack and Rearmed 2 is no different as Simon Viklund returns with an eclectic mix ranging from old school rock to some rather tasty dubstep made up of various sound effects from the NES era. It all combines to add to the retro feel of the game. Sound effects in the game are similarly done and rarely seem out of place or overwhelming. The one gripe we do have is the dialogue which, unlike its predecessor with its quirky and humorous chat seems overdone and at some points plain stupid; "Whoa! Is that a long health bar, or are you just happy to see me?"

Product image

SummaryDespite some flaws Rearmed 2 stands up to most other titles in its genre and can offer hours of brainless fun and enjoyment. Some parts of the game will have players in stitches, yet those moments of joy are often followed by some frustration with level design and tweaks to the core gameplay. At 1200 Microsoft points it offers decent value and a day’s worth of enjoyment.

With so many tweaks it is not so much a sequel as a reimagining of the original concept.

Gameplay 76/100 Probably didn’t need most of the changes to the mechanic which have been made. Easy enough to pick up and play though.
Graphics 84/100

Brilliantly vivid colours help create a true retro feel to the game which, looks better than its predecessor.

Audio 85/100 A brilliant soundtrack by Simon Viklund keeps players pumped up and hungry for more though the dialogue could have been better.
Value 86/100 For only 1200 MS Points it’s worth purchasing, more so for fans of this genre.
(Not an Average)
79/100 Bionic Commando Rearmed 2 provides hours of harmless fun for any fans of the genre, however anyone new to the franchise should look to try the original first.

About Author

Stuart Davidson

It appears you have AdBlocking activated

Unfortunately AdBlockers interfere with the shopping cart process

To continue with the payment process can we ask you to

deactivate your AdBlocking plugin

or to whitelist this site. Then refresh the page

We thank you for your understanding

Hardwareheaven respect you right to employ plugins such as AdBlocker.
We would however ask you to consider whitelisting this site
We do not allow intrusive advertising and all our sponsors supply items
relevant to the content on the site.

Hardwareheaven Webmaster