- This article is about the 2009 game. For the first game, see here and for the second game, see here.
Bionic Commando is a 2009 game in the Bionic Commando series. It is the direct sequel of the second game and its remake Bionic Commando Rearmed, released in 1988 for the NES and 2008 7th generation systems, respectively. The development team has gone on record saying they have looked through all the old games, including Mercs, for connections.
Unlike its prequels, the gameplay is shifted into a third-person shooter. It focuses primarily on your bionic arm and Tungsten pistol-which are available at the start-, hand grenades and different special weapons which are dropped via delivery pods while the game progresses. There is no reloading mechanic, instead, ammo is collected during the levels with ammo types being Pistol ammo (seen with an orange indicator), grenade ammo (seen with a blue indicator) and Special ammo (seen with a red indicator). While pistol and grenade ammo can be picked up from defeated enemies, Special ammo can only be found in certain locations around the levels. It gives a different amount of ammo, depending on the special weapon equipped.
Arm abilities are unlocked while the game progresses. Weapon and character upgrades use an achievement system. By completing challenges the player acquires upgraded ammo capacity, damage, health, etc.
The game features a variety of enemies, ranging from Grunts to BioMechs and Polycrafts. While most ground troops can be shot down, others are highly-resistant or immune to bullet-based weapons and can only be defeated by hitting their weak spots via the bionic arm or hit by grenades/ heavy weapons.
There are also various bosses such as the Buraq helicopter or the Mohole which can only be defeated in a certain way.
While level progression is linear, the levels are mostly open and allow you to approach enemies in various different ways and paths. Some sections require you to interact with terminals so you can progress further and cannot be passed by foot. Instead, you use a swinging mechanic via your bionic arm.
The events of the game take place ten years after the NES installment. According to Capcom's press release, this iteration follows Nathan Spencer, a government operative working in the fictional Ascension City and an Operative for the Tactical Arms and Security Committee (or T.A.S.C.) which specializes in training bionic commandos like Spencer. He is betrayed by his own government and falsely imprisoned for assignations he had no part of, as the great bionic purge begins. Before his execution, an experimental weapon detonates in Ascension City, unleashing an earthquake along with a radioactive shockwave that leaves the city destroyed and wiping out its populace, with the threat of an invasion from a terrorist force. Spencer is now freed to redeem his name along with the T.A.S.C.'s and is reunited with his bionic arm which they had taken away.
Super Joe, already a supporting character in the original NES version, also appears in the sequel. The character is now identified as Joseph Gibson, the Player 1 character from the arcade game Mercs. In Bionic Commando, Gibson is the former lead director of the T.A.S.C., who assists Spencer to clear his name and in turn help bionics become legal again.
- In the American localization, Nathan Spencer is voiced by Mike Patton; Super Joe is voiced by Steven Blum.