Hello, folks! Ben Judd, producer on Bionic Commando here. I’m fortunate the folks at the PlayStation.Blog have allowed me two golden opportunities to share some information with you here.
As some of you may already know, Bionic Commando will be released on May 19th for the PLAYSTATION 3. It’s one of the few big releases in May to feature a 20-plus-hour-long single-player campaign and several multiplayer modes. Oh yeah, it also has a really damn cool swing mechanic.
Speaking of the swing mechanic, it’s taken a VERY long time to make it into exactly what we wanted it to be. The game, for very obvious visual reasons, gets compared to Spider-man a lot. They both have a swing mechanic, but Bionic Commando plays very differently from Spider-man in that it uses a skill-based mechanic. Just as the name suggests, if you want to get better at the game, you need to increase your skill level.
There are a lot of games these that put you on auto-pilot straight to the end with very few deaths or real skill-based challenges. The thinking behind this strategy is that players nowadays don’t want to be frustrated and want to have their fun right away. Well, that’s good in theory, but some of the best and most memorable games I’ve played challenged you to overcome the obstacles set before you. There is a certain sense of gratification that only comes if you overcome a challenge yourself. And the harder the challenges, quite frankly, the more rewarding it feels to complete them. Now, I’m not a big fan of making a game artificially hard so that hard-core gamers have “bragging rights,” but there are some game mechanics that just aren’t going to be easy to pick up right away.
I remember the first time I tried to “roll a fireball” in Street Fighter II. It must have taken me 50 tries. But once I got it… boy, was it rewarding. I was able to hammer on a single “attack” button in other games but in the end, it was mastering the fireball in SFII that’s the memory I won’t forget.
So for Bionic Commando, we choose to stay true to the game’s roots. We went with a skill-based swing mechanic that will take most players about 5-10 minutes to pick up. But, once you do, you will definitely feel the control. It was a risky choice not to go with “auto-pilot” methodology when it came to the game controls; that is certainly the trend in recent games. But, if you’ve ever played the original game, I think you’ll see that it too required some serious practice before you really ever “mastered” the swing mechanic.
Speaking of which, I have some great news to announce here. Starting today, for a single week, as a promotion for the new Bionic Commando game, we will be lowering the price of Bionic Commando: Rearmed on PSN to $4.99! THAT is a great deal. I remember when Phantasy Star 4 came out when I was a kid… it was 100 bucks! Nowadays you get games with additional modes, costumes, levels, and sounds for 1/20th the price. Heck, that’s less than the price of lunch at a lot of major restaurants… (and it has less transfats too!). BC:R is a great game, but don’t just take my word for, check out these great scores from around the internet.
Even if you aren’t a huge fan of 2D games, you really can’t go wrong for five bucks, so give it a shot. Additionally, don’t forget that Bionic Commando and Bionic Commando: Rearmed have some cross-operable content that unlocks, such as the classic Spencer skin (red hair and cool shades) right from the start if you own both on PS3. There are a couple of other really nice unlockables that are only accessible if you obtain key items in Rearmed and own Bionic Commando, so this is definitely a deal that a true swinger won’t want to pass up…
OK. Enough of the used-car salesman pitching. Now for the bad news…
It was initially our goal to retro-program in trophies for BCR while we were working on them in the 3D version. Unfortunately, the clock ran out and we had to put all our resources on completing the 3D game. I know this comes as a disappointment to a lot of people and trust me, it’s incredibly disappointing to me as well, but rather than giving you a PR-coated response, I’d rather give it to you straight. It was a tough call but with limited resources and time, we had to cut this from the main production schedule in order to make the 3D game the best it could be. Again, personal apologies for not being able to come through with this one.
Thanks for your support and look forward to my final blog entry on 5/21.
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