The first title in this 2D HD remake of the 80s game was a game I desperately wanted to enjoy. Alas, it’s old-school reluctance to move with the times ultimately made it a relationship that was doomed from the start.
I am of course referring to the lack of a jump button. Nathan Spencer solely relied on the use of the grappling hook on his bionic arm to swing around the levels and climb up platforms. True to the original it may have been but it was also frustrating, unforgiving and clunky.
Thankfully the new developers, Fatshark AB (taking over from GRIN) have eased off the retro-grog a little and thrown a jump button into the game. Before the hardcore amongst you start whining about ‘bloody kids not knowing they’re born’ and all that, relax, it’s still a tough bastard of a game that is heavily reliant on the grappling mechanics.
You are now regularly required to make precise running jumps onto narrow platforms and often combine these jumps with well-timed, but late, grapple swings. The grapple fires upwards and diagonally at a 45 degree angle by default, but it doesn’t reach far, meaning precision is everything. Vertical and horizontal grapples are still in, the former being useful for quickly climbing up platforms.
When holding on underneath a platform you can shoot, or climb up onto it, or lower yourself down on a cable and then swing until you have enough momentum to make your next jump. Most of these sections, require the starting point of these jumps to be exact, otherwise you will fall to your death. Usually a quicksandy one, unless you manage to find another grappling point and pull yourself out in time.