Bionic Commando – how's the multiplayer?

A few months ago wereportedon the state of Bionic Commando’s arm-swingin’ multiplayer modes, and our verdict was extremely mixed. Weak level design, overpowered weapons and a slightly confusing button configuration kept us from enjoying the otherwise brilliant sensation of flying through the air with nothing but a giant mechanical arm to save us.

Earlier this week we participated in – no, dominated a multiplayer showdown with outlets from across the country for the prize of prizes, a retro-gasmic Bionic Commando lunchbox:

Senior Editor Brett Elston and Associate Editor Chris “Antista” Antista finished second and first in the initial round, each walking away with their own opinion of the heavily tweaked Bionic build. So, what’s the multiplayer like now?

Brelston: Alright, so the first thing I took away from the new build was how much better suited the Vegetation Nation map was for swinging. The first map I tried (one tall building with some small surrounding areas) didn’t take advantage of the arm, everyone just kept running and shooting. The new map has what, three layers of stuff going on? Swinging is essential, gotta always be on the move.

Cantista: Indeed there are three layers, unless you count the terrarium's water hazard. Which I don't, as falling into it equals insta-kill. But I suppose that makes mastering the arm all the more essential, right?

Brelston: Yeah there were whole parts of the map, along the bottom, that were instant death. But no different than falling off the map in Halo 3. Though I seem to recall you had some specific grievances with the game?

Cantista: Sorry if I'm still bitter, but every time you fall in the water it subtracts from your score. Not grievances... but you called the arm essential, and that's true. As slow as you move on foot combined with how fast the levels are requires you get used to your metallic appendage, and trust that it can cling to the areas you want, or die a lot.

Brelston: Yes, even having played the game before there was still a bit of a learning curve with the arm. Where it can grab, where it can't. Pulling youself up higher also takes some work, as you have to grab the very, very edge to switch from dangling to standing on foot.

Cantista: I found that a little inconsistent. Especially since diving off high altitudes to narrowly avoid death is a great maneuver - as long as your arm decides to save you. I saw plenty of people, myself included, stuck underneath platforms because their arm chose a bad place to grapple. Which kinda leaves you open for attack.

Above: Entering Lunchbox mode

Brelston: I agree, there were a lot of sticky areas that the arm just shouldn't grab OR should let you ascend to the upper part of the platform easier. More than one unnecessary death due to confusion.