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One would think that jumping would be paramount to a series’ success: but not for Bionic Commando. The original could easily be considered one of the hardest games on the NES when you were a child. Think about it; you had been conditioned for months on end playing Mario, hopping away like nobody’s business, then BAM! comes Bionic Commando, and says “you pull yourself up or you get nothing at all!”

The XBLA/PSN remake Rearmed carried on that tradition, but finally, in the upcoming Rearmed 2 the ol’ cyborg gets his only wish – a new set of jumping legs.

Amazingly, the Rearmed 2 booth was only a hop, skip, and a jump away from the very front of the showfloor, so I just kind of happened to run across it – and let me tell you, it was a lot of fun. However, truth be told, the Rearmed 2 demo was very, very short. I’m talking five minutes – so I’ll barely have a leg to stand on here in terms of details.

The demo started off in an industrial complex that was very similar to the first level of just about every Bionic Commando game – it served as a training course to learn some (mostly old, but some new) tricks. As previously mentioned, hero Nathan Spencer can now jump, which adds an entirely new dimension to the game, as stupid as it may sound. The first game was spot on, but sometimes the inability to jump really made things frustrating – particularly with some of the challenge levels.

On the flipside, I can see a lot of hardcore gamers being upset with the change: jumping makes the game significantly easier – I didn’t come close to dying once in the demo, which was pretty commonplace in the original when attempting to grapple through terrain, and missing a pretty simple gap. I wasn’t too bothered by it, however, because I was having too much fun with the gameplay to care.

There’s also a new groundpound shockwave attack that is deployed by falling from a really high gap, then hitting down and the X-PS3/A-360 button. It’s a blast to just get as high as you can, then slam your opponents with the pretty satisfying move.

When I asked the exhibitors about details on the coop mode (which wasn’t playable on the showfloor), they weren’t really ready to talk about it yet – hopefully we’ll see the entire game playable this time around. Rearmed 2 should ship sometime later this year.

  1. Jump = I might actually like it. Hooray

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