Bionic Commando

Game review by
Brett Molina, Common Sense Media
Bionic Commando Game Poster Image
Violent action with complicated Spider-Man-like mechanics.

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

You control Nathan, a commando who has been bionically enhanced, in a fight against terrorists.


Nathan attacks enemies with weapons such as handguns, shotguns, grenades, and grenade launchers. Nathan can also toss cars or heavy debris, wiping out multiple foes. Blood often spews from enemies after they've been shot. You can shoot someone in the head resulting in decapitation.


Characters curse often, using words such as "f--k" and "s--t."


Downtown environments boast ads from multiple real-world companies, including Nvidia and Pepsi.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is a violent action game based on the 80s-era Nintendo Entertainment System game of the same name. Lead character Nathan Spencer uses a variety of weapons to kill enemies, including shotguns, machine guns, and grenade launchers. Human enemies often spew blood after death and decapitation is shown. Nathan can also toss cars or debris at foes. There is a lot of profanity in the game which is playable online.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 13-year-old Written bychrrr October 10, 2009
Teen, 13 years old Written bycerealkiller189 March 23, 2012

Not as good as I expected it to be.

Yeah,I got this game from Amazon thinking it was worth a play but guess what?The exact opposite.It could have been much,much better.The Nintendo version was jus... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bygolder October 28, 2009

What's it about?

More than 20 years later, BIONIC COMMANDO marks its return to video game relevance with a fresh look but an adventure that swings between fun and frustration. Players control Nathan \"R.A.D\" Spencer, a former government hero arrested for crimes he didn't commit. On the day of his execution, an explosion rocks Ascension City, and Nathan is freed in exchange for helping the government get rid of the terrorists.

Nathan uses a standard arsenal consisting of handguns, shotguns, and grenade launchers. But his secret weapon is the bionic arm fused to his body. It serves as Nathan's primary mode of transport. Players grip objects such as highway signs or buildings to swing, and must release at the proper time for the maximum speed and distance. Nathan can string swings together like Spider-Man and quickly navigate the various environments. He can also use his arm to pummel enemies, toss cars and debris at groups of foes, or grab an enemy and zip toward them to deliver a powerful kick. When players complete the single-player campaign, they can dive into a multiplayer mode that includes straightforward game types such as Deathmatch and Capture the Flag.

Is it any good?

Swings are perhaps the trickiest moves to execute in Bionic Commando and require some practice to master the timing. The arm is more entertaining when it comes to combat. Nathan has a variety of methods with which to attack foes, from using firearms to hurling cars and giant rock slabs. Nothing is more satisfying than taking out five enemies at once with a car toss.

However, the campaign overall is both brief and boring. The missions only consist of two goals: attack enemies and move to the next location. Developer don't take full advantage of the swinging abilities, which could have been used in challenges such as chasing an enemy or racing away from a location. Attacks are easy to learn, making it very easy to wipe out foes. When players do die, checkpoints are set pretty far apart, forcing players to replay sections often. The campaign is also pretty short, finished in roughly 5 to 6 hours. It's unfortunate to witness an extraordinary hero immersed in such a bland adventure.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how this game compares to the original one on the NES.  What makes this version better or worse than its predecessor?

Game details

  • Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Windows
  • Price: $59.99
  • Available online? Available online
  • Developer: Capcom
  • Release date: May 19, 2009
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • ESRB rating: M for Violence, Blood and Gore, Strong Language
  • Last updated: August 25, 2016

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