Bionic Commando Rearmed was well-received by critics and fans everywhere for remaining true to the source material while still updating it enough to feel like a new game. While it sold better than the flop that was Bionic Commando (2009), it was still quite a surprise when Capcom announced a sequel to what was basically a remake of an NES title. With an updated look and new abilities, Rearmed 2 ties in the gap between Rearmed and the 2009 3D game and does so with flying colors.
The game’s major feature includes the ability to jump, something that a lot of purists found blasphemous. Regardless of this, the level design has been done with jumping in mind, and while it does aid in maneuvering through some stages, the game still allows you the freedom of swinging with your arm and not relying on jumping, which actually makes the game that much more challenging. Situations that could easily be solved by hopping onto a ledge require some precise arm swinging, akin to the tougher, more intense segments from the first game. (The game rewards players who insist on doing it the hard way.) Jumping is only one of Spencer’s new abilities though, as he can now slowly slide down walls as well as jump off them, and borrows some moves from the 2009 title like the “Death from Above” where he slams onto the ground after falling from a certain height.
While the stage design itself is top-notch, the soundtrack isn’t quite as memorable as Rearmed’s. Passable, but they really could have done a much better job with remixing most of the original game’s tracks, though there are a few original ones that shine. Rearmed 2 has more than twice the stages of the original, and while it’s nice for the game to be much longer, a lot of the levels feel a lot like filler content without any real purpose other than adding more places to place hidden collectibles.
Ultimately, Rearmed 2 appeals the most to fans of platformer titles and people who were let down on Bionic Commando (2009). The game’s level design is top-notch, and it has oodles of collectibles and challenges that add to the game’s replayability. Free of the constraints of previous games, the team at Fatshark had a lot more freedom when it came to how to craft the game, and it really shows.