“Which version of Bionic Commando extends its bionic gripper to the ledge of victory, and which one falls short?”

Capcom Capcom
Grin 1 1
Action, Adventure
1.5 gb 0 mb
Action, Adventure
Release: 05/22/09 20 sec 20 sec Release: 05/22/09
Low high ESRB: M

Choose video resolution below. Head2Head – Bionic Commando


Length: 00:04:27

Which version of Bionic Commando pulls it way to the top?

Welcome back for another exciting Head2Head battle!  This week the Lens of Truth had an opportunity to play Bionic Commando. This Head2Head was made possible by the staff at Play N Trade (Lake Mary, FL) who let us borrow their store copies. Thanks Play N Trade! This is our third Head2Head with a game produced by GRIN. The last two GRIN Head2Head’s the PlayStation 3 won, out performing the Xbox 360 in multiple categories. So did GRIN finally get their Diesel engine working at full power on the Xbox 360 or could this be a three-peat? Stick around to see which game was bionically-enhanced and which game was built with spare parts.

The story: The first true sequel to the classic 1988 NES original, Bionic Commando, and time has not been kind to “Rad” Spencer. Ten years after his heroic defeat of the Imperials, he is betrayed by the government, and sentenced to death for crimes he didn’t commit. But then, terrorists detonate a massive experimental weapon in Ascension City, unleashing an intense earthquake that turns the city into rubble, wipes out the population, and results in the city’s air defense grid in the control of a massive terrorist force. There is only one option left, a behind-the-lines assault by a Bionic Commando. Bionic Commando was developed by GRIN, the same guys that brought you Wanted: Weapons of Fate, and Terminator Salvation. Our Head2Heads proved that the PS3 versions of both games were superior to the rival 360 versions, mainly due to missing effects and hideous screen tearing. So how did Bionic Commando hold up you ask? Well let’s just say that third times isn’t always the charm.


First and foremost let’s talk about screen tearing shall we? The Xbox 360 version had some pretty bad screen tearing, again. In my opinion it wasn’t as bad as Terminator Salvation but nonetheless the amount present is still unacceptable. On the other hand, the PlayStation 3 version didn’t show any signs of performance issues and there definitely wasn’t any indication of screen tearing. For the third time it’s quiet obvious which system GRID developed the game for. Okay, moving on to textures.

In my opinion both games looked almost identical. Unlike Terminator Salvation (where the Xbox had random and misused normal maps) this game looked very close. The only difference we noticed was the Xbox 360 had screen space ambient occlusion (SSAO) throughout the levels. This made contact shadows more pronounced on the Xbox 360 creating a more detailed environment. But the question remains if the SSAO was removed for the Xbox 360 version would the horrific screen tearing have been eliminated. Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing this so let’s bounce over to lighting.


At first glance it seemed like the Xbox 360 was bagged again in the porting process. When the game begins you start off inside an office building looking for your bionic arm. In certain areas on the PlayStation 3 version you walk by these windows where a nice volumetric light is shining though the blinds and onto the floor. Well if you haven’t guessed it yet the Xbox 360 didn’t seem to have it. At this point we weren’t surprised. We thought, “Here we go another Terminator disaster”, but to our astonishment it wasn’t. Although the lighting effects were missing in the office building when we got outside the effects were there. It’s really difficult trying to compare games when effects are inconsistent. With that said, I’m sure you’re not surprised that the PlayStation 3 got the win here. It wasn’t missing effects and was clearly more consistence with lighting.


Roll over to see the differences. Notice the PlayStation 3 version has more realistic lighting.

Roll over to see the differences. Notice vehicles seemed to have random colors upon entering the stage.

Roll over to see the differences. Textures are very close.

Roll over to see the differences.

Roll over to see the differences. Notice Xbox 360 seemed a little darker and featured SSAO.

Roll over to see the differences. Notice Xbox 360 has screen space ambient occlusion throughout the environments (look at the pipe).

For this Head2Head the PlayStation 3 wins, and if it wasn’t for the screen tearing  I think things would have been a bit different. It was definitely an improvement from the drastic Terminator Salvation Head2Head but by no means fixed (At least I didn’t puke on my brother’s face). I think GRIN needs to consider paying a littler more attention to the porting process and they really need to do something about the screen tearing issues they’re having with the Xbox 360. Overall this was a decent game and if you like the original Bionic Commando I really think you’d have fun with.

PS3 - Win Tie. While the PlayStation 3 had better looking lighting and cleaner looking effects, the Xbox 360 countered with having screen space ambient occlusion throughout the levels creating a more detailed environment.
Xbox 360 - Win

PS3 - Win PlayStation 3 wins by having a more solid frame rate and no screen tearing. The Xbox 360 version had screen tearing every time the camera moved and was just not limited to in-game. The screen tearing was also found in all the in-game cut scenes and pre-rendered cut scenes.
Xbox 360 - Win

PS3 - Win Tie. Both controllers button felt comfortable and easy to understand. Also the button layout for swinging and firing your weapon were mapped identical making the game very enjoyable while swinging and firing simultaneously.
Xbox 360 - Win

PS3 - Win Tie. The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 were very close when it comes to load times, around 20 seconds. Note the PS3 did have a mandatory install which was very fast, about 2 min to be exact and took up 1.5 gb of storage.
Xbox 360 - Win

PS3 - Win Bionic Commando looks very close between versions, but the screen tearing found on the Xbox 360 version killed a tie. Obviously GRIN has chosen the PlayStation 3 as their primary SKU as evident in the last three games they released- all where superior on the PlayStation 3.
PS3 - Win

Which version of Bionic Commando do you think is better?

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