Bionic Commando was a huge hit for Capcom in the 80’s. The game was very popular and was even rebooted recently exposing the game to a whole new generation of gamers.
Story & Presentation
The story in Bionic Commando feels like it could have been ripped out of a 1980’s action movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. The game sees you playing the role of Ladd Spencer (most of us just called him Spencer) who has a bionic arm and he is in general one tough SOB. Well the game is set during a conflict between two nations the Federation who are the good guys and the Empire who are evil.
One day the Federation find out about a secret weapon that the Empire are working on called Albatros. They send in an agent to find out about it, but he is captured. Now it is up to you Ladd Spencer to save him and find out what the Empire are really up to. The game is pretty cinematic and the story moves along as you progress through the game which is really cool. Many other NES games give you an intro and that is all you get until you beat the game. So it’s always nice when a game moves along the story as you are playing.
This is a very good looking game. When it was released in 1988 many gamers drooled over its graphics. The reason for this was that the characters in Bionic Commando were much larger than many other NES games which did make the game stand out. Ladd Spencer really did look like this rough and tough guy and because he was so well designed you really connect with him.
Bionic Commando does something very interesting and what at the time in 1988 was a very brave decision. At the end of the day this is a platform game, but Capcom decided this was going to be a platform game where the player cannot jump. The reason they did this was because in order to get from one platform to the next you are required to use Spencer’s bionic arm like a grappling hook. Now thankfully controlling Spencer when he moves from platform to platform is a joy and after a short while you really do not even notice you cannot jump.
There is good variety to the game play. For example one moment you will be swinging from platform to platform, then you will need to hack the enemies computer network and then you will need to pump a bunch of bad guys guts full of lead. The game is very challenging and it does start you off with a one hit kills you system, but you can get more hit points as you progress through the game. Bionic Commando is full of action and as the story moves along with the action it is a game that pretty much hooks you right until you beat it.
Capcom just made hit after hit on the NES in the 80’s and 90’s and there are many gamers who will argue that Bionic Commando is the very best of what they put out of the NES. While I would not go that far. I will say this is one amazing platform action game that is certainly worth checking out.