Bionic Commando: Rearmed

Interview: Nazis and the 18+ certificate

You expect some games to get an 18 rating. Secretly, you might even want them to. But we expect the likes of Grand Theft Auto, Manhunt and Mortal Kombat to get a mature tag. But Bionic Commando: Rearmed? Eh?

Ever since we reported that the remake of the 8-bit classic had been slapped with an 18 certificate, we've been wondering whether an intern had been given too much power at the BBFC.

Fortunately, we were already speaking to GRIN creative director Simon Viklund about the game, so we asked him his thoughts on the certification, amongst other things...

Bionic Commando: Rearmed is arguably generating more interest than the brand new Bionic Commando title. Why do you think that is?

Simon Viklund: I think that might be because unmistakable retro visuals of BCR clearly convey to the nostalgic old-school gamers exactly what the game is about, giving them the courage to show their love for the project.

I'm glad they do - it's what keeping me at the office working day and night shifts to make this title all it can be!

The concept of 3DBC (which is what we internally call the 3D retail game to separate it from BCR and the original NES game) is obviously harder for people to wrap their heads around - they look at movies and screenshots from the game and make assumptions that it's gonna behave like this game or that game.

However, once people get to play it themselves and try out the swing mechanic in a 3D space I'm sure they will grasp the greatness of that game too.

Just as BCR isn't just another remake, 3DBC isn't just another third-person action game.

What was the hardest decision you had to make on the project?

Viklund: That was to determine what was really bad in the original and how these things should be amended.

Well, the truth is it wasn't really that hard to determine - because I always had a very clear idea of what I thought was good and bad about the original game - but it was hard to take the ultimate decision to cut or replace these elements because I didn't know how the Bionic Commando fans out there would react.

It was kind of nerve-wrecking to release that announcement trailer back in January and wait for people's responses. I'm glad that the decisions I made seem to have been well received.

Both Xbox Live and WiiWare have been very successful. In your opinion, what's the attraction of the retro and simpler games that these services offer?

Viklund: I think part of what's so appealing about these "trifle games" is that they are available at the push of a button, they are cheap to buy and they are "quick fixes" - small games that you learn quickly and complete (and/or grow tired of?) quickly.

Instant gratification, so to speak - which of course appeals to its own audience just as hard-to-get-into and time-consuming RPG games do.

Another appealing aspect of these games is of course that they, because they are low-budget and therefore economically low-risk, can take leaps of faith concept-wise that bigger projects would never dare to take.

Apart from WiiWare (where the games naturally inherit unique flavour from the Wii hardware it is controlled with), this is hardly a new breed of games or even an increase in number of such games - it's just a new distribution channel for them.

A lot of these "trifle" games are going to prove that the concept they are built upon can be successful and this in turn will make the AAA titles' producers more willing to follow down that same path.

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