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Bionic Commando Has Multiplayer

And it's actually pretty fun. Read all about it!

This isn't actually the multiplayer.
I don't cotton to the idea that you need to shoehorn multiplayer into every single action game that lets you shoot a gun from the first or third person, out of this sense of obligation to always complement a strong story component with some rote deathmatch modes. Plenty of action games turn on mechanics or senses of atmosphere that don't lend themselves to a multiplayer environment. The Chronicles of Riddick is a good example of an amazing action game that got along just fine as a solo-only experience.

Bionic Commando (the new one, not the remake) seemed like that kind of game to me, relying as heavily as it does on its arm-swinging mechanic that makes you navigate the game's environments meticulously, looking for viable grapple points to latch onto as you swing from one ledge to the next. Keeping up with your grappling while you're swinging every which way seemed like it would get in the way of aiming at and shooting other players with any effectiveness.

Until I got my own hands on the multiplayer, anyway. As it turns out, Bionic Commando's grappling system does enough of the work for you that you can pretty much hold down the L trigger and vaguely point it in the direction of the thing you want to swing from, and the arm will do the rest. Playing like that over the course of about 90 minutes, I had enough "holy crap" moments, where I saved myself from a fall with the arm without even realizing I was doing it, to figure that, yeah, this works pretty well. The arm physics and control feel really natural, and there are some great animations to go along with the swinging, like flailing legs and an arms-wide swan dive maneuver when you leap off a high ledge.

Capcom only let me try the basic deathmatch mode, which plays out about like you'd expect. The demo level was set on top of a group of skyscrapers (so there were plenty of opportunities to go flailing into the abyss) and the weapon pickups were scattered around in set locations. One nice arm-related feature let me aim at and grapple onto a weapon or armor pickup from a few feet away, so I could grab some new guns without actually having to run all the way up to them.

Wait, is there flying in this game?
You can also use the arm against human players the same way you can in the single-player, by latching onto them, hopping up in the air, and then retracting the arm feet-first to deliver a boot upside the head. In the current version, this didn't do a lot of damage and usually wouldn't kill a dude if you hadn't worn him down a good bit with weapons already. The risk-versus-reward of actually managing to grapple a guy is high enough that I hope GRIN rebalances the attack and makes it an instant kill in the final version. (On the upside, the dude goes flying--but you don't currently get a kill when they hit the ground. I hope that changes.) There's another arm-related ability called kiting that wasn't in this build, which sounds like it will let you tether a guy and auto-aim at him to unload with your current weapon. Speaking of, the weapon lineup in here was pretty basic: starting pistol, shotgun, grenade launcher, sniper rifle.

The most interesting-sound parts of Bionic Commando's multiplayer were the ones that weren't working in this build. One is an experience system that looks similar to Call of Duty 4's. You get XP for each kill, with multipliers coming into play when you get more than one kill quickly, kill someone in the air, or kill them with a zip kick or melee attack. Capcom wouldn't say what these points are going to be good for. The adrenaline meter from the single-player game will also show up in the multiplayer and let you unleash some kind of snazzy attacks when you fill it up, but again, not in this build. Lastly, there will be at least one more mode, king of the hill, which will have everyone trying to

I'm still more excited about the single-player stuff in Bionic Commando, especially with Rearmed currently tearing up the charts, but it's good to see the multiplayer is more than an afterthought. Once the experience system and more maps and game modes are implemented, it might turn out to be a welcome way to extend the game's life once the story is done. Here's some new footage from the single- and multiplayer modes (thanks to GameTrailers, who also has a better HD version.)

  


Lastly, Capcom continued its delightful descent into madness with these instructional graphics, in case you can't figure out how to play the game. They speak for themselves.

Shoot!
Zip!
Swing!
Swing some more!
Death from above?










Brad Shoemaker on Google+
31 Comments
Posted by Brad
This isn't actually the multiplayer.
I don't cotton to the idea that you need to shoehorn multiplayer into every single action game that lets you shoot a gun from the first or third person, out of this sense of obligation to always complement a strong story component with some rote deathmatch modes. Plenty of action games turn on mechanics or senses of atmosphere that don't lend themselves to a multiplayer environment. The Chronicles of Riddick is a good example of an amazing action game that got along just fine as a solo-only experience.

Bionic Commando (the new one, not the remake) seemed like that kind of game to me, relying as heavily as it does on its arm-swinging mechanic that makes you navigate the game's environments meticulously, looking for viable grapple points to latch onto as you swing from one ledge to the next. Keeping up with your grappling while you're swinging every which way seemed like it would get in the way of aiming at and shooting other players with any effectiveness.

Until I got my own hands on the multiplayer, anyway. As it turns out, Bionic Commando's grappling system does enough of the work for you that you can pretty much hold down the L trigger and vaguely point it in the direction of the thing you want to swing from, and the arm will do the rest. Playing like that over the course of about 90 minutes, I had enough "holy crap" moments, where I saved myself from a fall with the arm without even realizing I was doing it, to figure that, yeah, this works pretty well. The arm physics and control feel really natural, and there are some great animations to go along with the swinging, like flailing legs and an arms-wide swan dive maneuver when you leap off a high ledge.

Capcom only let me try the basic deathmatch mode, which plays out about like you'd expect. The demo level was set on top of a group of skyscrapers (so there were plenty of opportunities to go flailing into the abyss) and the weapon pickups were scattered around in set locations. One nice arm-related feature let me aim at and grapple onto a weapon or armor pickup from a few feet away, so I could grab some new guns without actually having to run all the way up to them.

Wait, is there flying in this game?
You can also use the arm against human players the same way you can in the single-player, by latching onto them, hopping up in the air, and then retracting the arm feet-first to deliver a boot upside the head. In the current version, this didn't do a lot of damage and usually wouldn't kill a dude if you hadn't worn him down a good bit with weapons already. The risk-versus-reward of actually managing to grapple a guy is high enough that I hope GRIN rebalances the attack and makes it an instant kill in the final version. (On the upside, the dude goes flying--but you don't currently get a kill when they hit the ground. I hope that changes.) There's another arm-related ability called kiting that wasn't in this build, which sounds like it will let you tether a guy and auto-aim at him to unload with your current weapon. Speaking of, the weapon lineup in here was pretty basic: starting pistol, shotgun, grenade launcher, sniper rifle.

The most interesting-sound parts of Bionic Commando's multiplayer were the ones that weren't working in this build. One is an experience system that looks similar to Call of Duty 4's. You get XP for each kill, with multipliers coming into play when you get more than one kill quickly, kill someone in the air, or kill them with a zip kick or melee attack. Capcom wouldn't say what these points are going to be good for. The adrenaline meter from the single-player game will also show up in the multiplayer and let you unleash some kind of snazzy attacks when you fill it up, but again, not in this build. Lastly, there will be at least one more mode, king of the hill, which will have everyone trying to

I'm still more excited about the single-player stuff in Bionic Commando, especially with Rearmed currently tearing up the charts, but it's good to see the multiplayer is more than an afterthought. Once the experience system and more maps and game modes are implemented, it might turn out to be a welcome way to extend the game's life once the story is done. Here's some new footage from the single- and multiplayer modes (thanks to GameTrailers, who also has a better HD version.)

  


Lastly, Capcom continued its delightful descent into madness with these instructional graphics, in case you can't figure out how to play the game. They speak for themselves.

Shoot!
Zip!
Swing!
Swing some more!
Death from above?










Posted by walter_sobchak

FYI: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=cotton%20to


southern/redneck slang : take kindly to, appreciate; usually used in the negative form, however
Posted by RedSox8933

i'm not even remotely excited/anticipated this game and i will not be picking it up

Posted by ThomasP

Most anticipated game along with Spore and Fallout 3.

Posted by CaleShepard

I completely agree with RedSox8933 ... I am more excited for Banjo Kazooie than for this

Posted by jlaudio7

*adds to wishlist* 

Posted by John

instructional graphics made me smile

Posted by pause422

Definitely looks better than I thought it was going to be, still will probably like rearmed more overall lol

Posted by Tarsier

omg this looks awesome

Posted by imayellowfellow

im hyped the swing system seems like itll accomplish the swinging mechanic ive never been satisfied with by those terrible spiderman games and the maps seem pretty awesome and big

Posted by CodeHero

I agree with Branthog I can't quite get into that game. The controls seem to be pretty terrible to me, and it's rather boring.

Posted by Southgrove

Go Go Bionic

Posted by GrindAxis

This game could be a good one, I still remain a bit sceptic.

Posted by Gregomasta

The game looks like a great deal of fun.  I never played the original bionic(but was aware of the interesting swing mechanic in it) yet I could tell how fun rearmed was going to be, swinging is fun and it looks to be more fun in 3d. 

Posted by zhinse

I'm actually very excited for this game just for the Multiplayer. I was suprised how fun Rearmed's multiplayer was and this will probably exactly like that but in 3-D ( even seems like they'll be using the same weapons. ) . It all depends on how good the swing is and if it will take as much finesse as the 2-D game . Now all they need is to program Co-Op into it.

Posted by SpaceInsomniac

"Lastly, there will be at least one more mode, king of the hill, which will have everyone trying to..."

Have everyone trying to what?

Posted by ElectricSlime

The Multiplayer looks pretty interesting and I am anticipating this game a little more now because of it. The Single player campaign looks to have some pretty intense fights as well. Not sure if this game is a sure buy though yet.

Posted by Captain_Insano

best instructional images ever. The one where the arm grabs the face with the little *smack* is old school batman-riffic

Posted by Schizoid

I totally forgot about this game, it looks awesome.

Posted by TheWesman

I might actually get this as soon as I find out if the single player story mode is decently long, because multiplayer doesn't interest me at all.

Posted by kainen

looks awesome B - although it kind of reminds me of spider man with the liberal  length and flexibility they give your arm in this.  I guess it can't help come off like spidey when you're so used to this game in a 2d field.

Only thing missing here is I just kind of miss the music design...i know it's not the most integral part of a game but i really pay attention to it.  REARMED has the most awesome soundtrack I've heard in a long time....i hope that they don't go away from that.....this video has a really flat, boring sounding stuff.   god i sound like such an audiophile geek.

Posted by Vaxadrin

TRYING TO WHAT?  OH GOD I MUST KNOW!!!

Posted by SlimDogg

Not looking as bad as i had expected . But i wont be getting this until a price drop.

Posted by Mawryk

I sense this game removing what little social life I have left upon release.  Adding their grapple mechanic to multiplayer should be refreshing/fun and the single player stuff is looking awesome.

Posted by Arrers

Best Diagrams Ever!

Posted by ProfessorEss

Just curious: The article mentions Bionic Commando: Rearmed "tearing up the charts". Is this in reference to sales?

I normally don't concern myself with sales but I've been very curious about how BC:R is performing as this is one of those rare titles that could (potentially) impact and improve the state of downloadable games.

I for one appreciate the time and money these cats spent doing BC:R right - and I'm really hoping it pays of financially for them in the end.

(Perhaps I should repost this (or at least search for this :P) in the BC:R forum as well)

Posted by Boiglenoight

I'll probably never play the multiplayer, but good to hear that it's not going to suck either.

Posted by mrsmiley

This will certainly be a rental for me. And a free rental since my wife works at the rental place haha.

Posted by Whisperkill

cant wait for this one

Posted by Light_Geiger

Rearmed was amazing, so this is a must buy for me!!! (Glad it's selling well about 130,000 copies in 1st week -from bionic commando page )

Grin is a developer to keep an eye on. Another game they developed to look out for is Wanted (based on the movie and graphic novel)