Bionic Commando multiplayer unveiled

Game due out by April 2009.

Capcom has unveiled the 3D Bionic Commando's multiplayer features, promising a variety of gameplay modes.

Bionic Commando is a third-person shooter, but its hook is that your bionic arm allows you to grapple virtually anything in the environment and swing from it, moving swiftly and gracefully through crushed cities.

Multiplayer will distinguish itself on that basis. Core modes like deathmatch and capture-the-flag will feature, among others, and producer Ben Judd reckons the swing mechanic means it "feels unlike any multiplayer shooter you've ever played".

Swinging is so flamboyant that other players can't help but see you and follow you, taking advantage of you when you land. But your manoeuvrability also allows you to extricate yourself from threatening situations at speed, so grapple skill will inevitably count for as much as shooting prowess.

Bionic Commando's grapple-based combat elements will also feature in multiplayer, like the 360-degree spin attack that sweeps nearby enemies, and the zip-kick, which allows you to lock onto enemies and zip to them, booting them off rooftops to their doom. They will then have only split seconds to react and find a life-saving attach point.

Speaking to journalists at Captivate 08 in Las Vegas last week, Judd and his colleagues at Swedish outfit GRIN - the team developing the game - also virtually confirmed that there will be a competitive race mode for expert swing kings.

Judd also talked about the community elements Capcom is designing. "A lot of Japanese developers don't do this well," he pointed out, promising in-depth stat-tracking and group match-making on PC, 360 and PS3.

Bionic Commando is shaping up very promisingly, as you can see from our glowing hands-on report, and should be with us by the end of March 2009 - the end of Capcom's current fiscal year.

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