A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
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 ...
Our editors recommend
Top advice and articles
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.