'Bionic Commando' Producer Explains Skill-Based Swing Mechanic


Posted May 14, 2009 - By Jake Gaskill

'Bionic Commando' Producer Explains Skill-Based Swing Mechanic

As you rabid Bionic Commando fans are keenly aware, the highly anticipated next-gen take on the classic title will be hitting shelves on May 19. (In the meantime, be sure to check out the in-depth preview by TheFeed's Brian Leahy in between multiplayer sessions of the demo.)

For anyone who has played the multiplayer demo, you are already pretty familiar with how the game plays and feels. But if you found that it took a bit of practice before you were comfortable with the game’s arm-swinging mechanic, don’t feel bad. That was intentional.

Over on the official PlayStation blog, BC producer Ben Judd explains his team’s decision to go with a skill-based swing mechanic:

“There are a lot of games these days that put you on auto-pilot straight to the end with very few deaths or real skill-based challenges. The thinking behind this strategy is that players nowadays don’t want to be frustrated and want to have their fun right away. Well, that’s good in theory, but some of the best and most memorable games I’ve played challenged you to overcome the obstacles set before you. There is a certain sense of gratification that only comes if you overcome a challenge yourself. And the harder the challenges, quite frankly, the more rewarding it feels to complete them.”

Judd goes on to say that it should take most players around 10 minutes to get a hold of the swing mechanic. But then what? It’s the same for the rest of the game? Wouldn’t it have better to gradually extend that learning curve throughout the entire game through power ups and add-ons so that the mechanic is constantly evolving, requiring the player’s skill to evolve as well?

I haven’t played the full game, so this may very well be part of it. Either way, it’s always nice to see developers favoring a logical and meaningful approach to game challenges as opposed to an “artificially” generated one. And if you're looking for a little retro action, Bionic Commando: Rearmed will be on sale on the PSN for $4.99 for the next week.

What are you impressions on the Bionic Commando swing mechanic based on what you’ve played so far?



'Bionic Commando' Producer Explains Skill-Based Swing Mechanic


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