|System: X360, PS3, PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: GRIN||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Capcom||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Aug. 13, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 12; 2-4 online||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The first thing players will notice upon firing up Rearmed is the game looks and sounds excellent. The title still has the charm of the original, but the explosions, level of detail, death animations, ambient sounds, and reworked score are second to none on the XBLA or PSN. In fact, I was so impressed with the presentation, I found it hard to believe the game only costs $10 and that the developers were dealing with limited polygons.
Another important upgrade to Rearmed is offline co-op play and multiplayer battles. Players can have a buddy over to help them get through the platformer. The A.I. will be increased in both number and tactics, and players will even have to face bosses that have been modified to emphasize greater teamwork. That means, though the story and levels remain the same, taking advantage of local co-op will give players a substantial reason to play through the game again.
Also, three party-like, multiplayer battle modes will have you and up to three other friends fragging each other offline in Deathmatch, Last Man Standing, and Dont Touch the Floor. The first two are self-explanatory, but Dont Touch the Floor is both unique and the most enjoyable mode of play. It makes your weapons cause zero damage, but that doesnt mean theyre ineffectual. On the contrary, by shooting your opponents you will force them backward off platforms. It is then incumbent upon them to grab the platforms with their mechanical arm before falling to their doom. Needless to say this will cause a lot of hooting, hollering, and shoulder punching.
Both co-op and multiplayer battles are offline only, which may be some cause for concern. However, its kind of nice that gamers are forced to play with real friends and not just virtual ones. Many shooters nowadays have abandoned local play, as if we dont want to play with our buddies in the living room, and this has been disconcerting to players from the old guard. Besides, this title is going to be wildly successful; I wouldnt doubt that an online multiplayer support update will be offered in the near future.
Finally, players will also be treated to Challenge Rooms that will test their ability to swing their commando. These rooms are simple gauntlets that challenge players timing and precision. The maze-like mini-levels are timed once the player breaks the initial tape, and the clock stops once the player reaches the goal. Scores and times are recorded for each room, and players will find hours of enjoyment outside of the main game simply trying to best their times and get better rankings.
Bionic Commando Rearmed is one of the best downloadable titles to date. The production value, quirky humor, outstanding platforming challenge, and low cost make this a game everyone should pick up. Look for Bionic Commando Rearmed to set the bar for future AAA downloadable content when it releases on August 13th for XBLA and August 14th on PSN.
CCC Editor / News Director