Today we got the chance to play Grin’s upcoming Bionic Commando. We would like to thank Grin’s Gunnar Johansson for graciously giving us a peak at this title. They have three levels on display for us to play in: two within a nuked city and the other in a densly-wooded forest.
We start off in our destroyed city, buildings collapsing around us with smoke billowing out like liquid in every direction, enveloping the shattered streets. The scene is fairly eerie and reminiscent of 9/11 – further enhancing the gravity of the situation. Unfortunately, with the city being as torn up as it is, the quickest way around is to make use of your VERY cool bionic arm. Swinging from broken street lamp to broken street lamp is a very cool experience, if you can master the technique of using the arm.
It took us about thirty minutes to really get a grasp on the system, which involves pushing and holding the left trigger button on your Xbox 360 controller in order to shoot out the bionic arm and keep it attached to your target. Then, in mid-swing, you let go of the left trigger to release the arm, followed by shooting it out again to grasp your next pendulum point. While sounding easy, the strange human habbit exists to let go of the trigger at the apex of your swing, which will send all of your momentum straight up…then straight down again, not good. Ideally, you will let go of the trigger just at the bottom of your swing to fully make use of your built up kinetic energy. There is definitely a learning curve to making use of the bionic arm. However, once you get the hang of it – it is a thing of beauty to watch.
The bionic commando of the title has a variety of weapons at his disposal, including machine guns, grenades, shotguns, etc. However, the coolest weapon he has is the arm. By shooting it out to grasp bad guys you can hurl them great distances, zip-kick over to them, knocking them down, bringing them to you, and a whole lot more that the developers are planning to implement.
Enemy troops we fought in the E3 demonstrations version seemed intelligent enough to seek cover as well as press their attack at the right moments. Eventually, you can learn new moves aside from using the bionic arm. You can learn to uppercut large objects (even cars), jump up, and then punch them in the air towards the direction of your enemies. There is nothing quite as satisfying as killing your opponents by dropping a car on them.
Overall, Bionic Commando looks to have great promise and fun when you get the hang of it. While the game has no announced release date yet, we would guestimate it to be early next year.