Crispy Gamer

The Five Things You Need to Know About Bionic Commando

The 10-Cent Tour: This is Capcom's attempt to reinvent the 20-year-old series of NES, Game Boy and arcade games of the same name.

1. Careful not to confuse this game with Bionic Commando Rearmed, the downloadable side-scrolling homage to/do-over of the 1988 8-bit NES game. Rearmed should be available via Xbox Live and PSN in July '08, so if you love yourself some Bionic Commando, aren't you so very lucky to be alive in the year 2008, kind sir?

2. Plot-wise, the game picks up around 10 years after the events of the original NES game. Once again, players get to wield the bionic arm of Nathan "Rad" Spencer, a government operative who's betrayed by -- you guessed it -- his nefarious commander, Super Joe. On the day of Spencer's execution, a nuclear bomb goes off, destroying much of the city. With terrorists on the loose and the city in ruins, Super Joe has only one option: to pardon Spencer, give him back his bionic arm, and let him clean up the scorched city streets.

3. The bionic arm not only allows Spencer to navigate the game's various environs by zip-lining about the city ? la Activision's Spider-Man 2 (Commando generously auto-targets the next anchor point for your line), but the arm can also be used as a weapon. See that enemy in the distance? Target him, spool out your zip line, then haul him in for an up-close-and-personal beat-down. Ooof!

4. Falling for You Dept.: Overestimate the length of your zip line? No problem ? unless there's a pond down below. While Spencer can fall hundreds of feet to the ground and sustain nary a scratch, should he inadvertently fall into a body of water, no matter how shallow, he'll drown lickety-split. Bionic-arm/zip-line him out of the drink, and be quick about it, unless you want to see the Game Over screen. And you call yourself "Rad"?

5. The controls are intuitive enough. Within seconds of picking up the Xbox 360 controller, I was doing a whole bunch of cool things ? which is unlike my real life, where I usually have to wait several weeks, or sometimes even months, before I do anything remotely cool.

The Crispy Forecast: Mildly sunny, with some clouds. Bionic Commando's pedigree coupled with its Spider-Man 2-meets-Crackdown gameplay mechanics make this game worth watching.

This game is slated to be published by Capcom for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC in October 2008. This feature is based on both a publisher-driven demo of the game and hands-on play at a recent event.