|System: Xbox 360, PS3|
|Release: February 1, 2011|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
But there are some also some noticeable issues present here. While it may seem trivial, the distinct lack of Shinkiro's gorgeous character stills is painful, but what's really a bummer is that there's very little of the tongue-in-cheek that made the original Rearmed's goofy dialogue work so well. Spencer has a couple of good lines, and there's a particularly funny scene where a henchman mistakes him for a co-worker named Randall, but other than that, the story here is mostly played straight, which sadly leaves it somewhat lacking in personality.
Similarly, the level design, with its heavier emphasis on turning on elevators, deactivating traps, opening gated areas, and the like, feels a bit more uneven than the constant challenge of precision swinging seen in original. The event of losing all your lives and having to start the level over can lead to some tedious replaying sections. I guess you might say that Rearmed 2 suffers slightly from a more diluted distribution of swing-based platforming, and though there's still plenty of precise swinging to be had, it can be hard at times to shake the feeling that you're forced to perform a fair amount of chores in order to get from point A to point B. This isn't to say that the game is bad. It's still quite good, even with minor tarnishes in its outer veneer. However, even with its improvements, Rearmed 2 may strike you as perhaps a little less "pure" than its more old-school predecessor.
While Rearmed 2 is in most ways technically a better game, it just doesn't quite seem to have the same heart as the original—something that seems to be in part because Fatshark isn't Grin (though they did hire some key personnel who worked on the first Rearmed back for the sequel). The constituent gameplay elements are all present, and the game is fun enough, but this one seems to have lost a little bit of Rearmed's spark somewhere in the development process. It's hard to say whether it's because of the tonal difference, or a lack of improvements upon the original formula (Rearmed 2 seems pretty content to just tow the line, mostly). It could also be that Rearmed was just such a tough act to follow that the sequel just couldn't be as good. Fans of the series will still find plenty to like here, but just be aware that this second helping isn't going to taste quite as fresh as the first.
CCC Freelance Writer