At last week’s Tokyo Game Show, Capcom showed bits of Bionic Commando Rearmed 2, its sequel to the successful 2008 downloadable title. While the first Rearmed stuck closely to the story of the classic NES grappling-hook romp Bionic Commando (complete with creepy Hitler clone), Rearmed 2 is free to expand beyond the old template.
Nonetheless, the Rearmed 2 demo at TGS played very much like its predecessor. The one difference of note is a controversial one: Nathan “Rad” Spencer now has the ability to jump. Purists needn’t panic—it’s more of a little hop than a full-fledged jump, and it’s only useful in conjunction with the hook. Don’t worry about the fundamental feel of the game being affected.
The real point of concern, if there is one, might be the grappler itself. Perhaps in part because of Bionic Commando Rearmed, the grappling hook has been enjoying something of a renaissance in gaming recently from AAA titles like Batman: Arkham Asylum and Just Cause 2 to indie games like Hook Champ. What those examples have in common is that they all feature a grappling hook that’s far more fluid than the one in the Rearmed games. The clunkiness of Spencer’s bionic arm was charming enough for nostalgic reasons in the 2008 remake, but it may be time for Capcom’s team to tweak those physics.
Local multiplayer co-op remains in Rearmed 2, but the sequel will not have side missions played from a top-down perspective—it looks to be a side-scroller from start to finish. Other changes are mild. For instance, the graphical style in the TGS demo levels looked a bit brighter and sharper than in the 2008 game. Look for Rearmed 2 on PSN and XBLA in the first half of 2011.