Bionicle tries to be unique, but fails to deliver what fans would like.
Mata Nui the world where every living thing is a robot. The legend of the bionicle has been told many times through out Mata Nui, yet the islanders soon discover that the legend did come true. In Mata Nui lives Makuta the master of darkness that wants to turn the island into a dark world. He has created many robotic creatures to destroy the islanders. But the islanders trust in the 6 Toa, the protectors and warriors of Mata Nui. Each Toa has their own specialty: water, rock, ground, air, fire and snow. Yet mysteries say about a 7th Toa that has the power of light and that should destroy Makuta forever. After Makuta discovered these secrets he sends all of his troops to attack every village on the island. So the Toa must fight against the powers of the darkness and find this 7th Toa of light.
In Bionicle you get to control all of the different Toa’s. Each of them will be play in a specific order, that makes things feel a bit linear. Yet despite the fact that they are different from each other most of their missions contain pretty much the same gameplay. The other problem is that each Toa has only 1 mission to do. Each character has a staff that shoots a blast of elemental energy to shoot at enemies. The game will actually help you by targeting on the enemies without pressing any button to make sure you do not miss the shot. Yet you cannot go wild and shoot crazy because you a have an energy meter and it goes down with every blast you make. By holding the B button that makes a shield, you can also recharge your energy with it. The shield is very useful, since it protects you from enemy fire but it also absorbs that energy and refills your energy meter. Yet the game can get very tricky without having control of the camera to target and use the shield in perfect timing.
Tahu (Toa fire) pretty much must solve a few puzzles of platforming and battle all of the dark enemies along the way. There is quite a lot of jumping by trying to avoid falling in the lava. There are also a lot of enemies at the same time that can get you a bit crazy with the camera issues. At the end you will meet up with around 3 or 4 Bohroks to battle with. After that is Kopaka’s (Toa of Ice) turn. With him you will snowboard through mountains chasing the bohroks (dark enemy) to destroy them and save the village. They will be one part where a big snowball is chasing you. Similar to Sonic Adventure, you must continue going front before the snowball reaches you. With the bohrok you must get very close to him and use your shield to make him go to the air and while he is in the air you can start shooting at it as much as you can until you save the village. But they are obstacles along the way that will try to make you go far from the bohrok.
With Gali (Toa of water) you will be fighting lots of enemies along the way and solving puzzles like the Toa of Fire. The only difference is that Gali will spend most of her time swimming through the water by entering on secret holes underneath. You must also rescue the matorans (villagers) that are scattered through the area. With them you operate machines that bring you to the next part of the level. In the end you will have once again a confrontation with the bohroks for the last time. Next is Pohatu (Toa of earth and ground) in which you will not be doing any typical platforming or battles with enemies. Instead he will be riding in a mine cart activating the locks to open a door. Yet the track is full of obstacles like towers, and statues that move their hands. Also your energy will be decreasing so you have to refill it with the green objects you find.
Then you play as Onua (Toa of rock) that travels underground in the mines area. In here you will be once again beating up all the enemies around the area and jumping through platforms. The only difference is that he must push near by rocks to locks and open doors. You will also have a boss fight against a dark enemy that can be defeated by pushing the rocks into vents that will shoot back to the enemy until the machine falls into him and dies. Then you pass through the jungles with Lewa (Toa of Air and grass). Lewa is pretty much the most interesting one in terms of gameplay. 1st you must grind through tree limbs and rescue the trapped matorans. After that you get the ability to glide for a limited time, so you will be continuously gliding from platform to platform. Later you get a boss fight against another dark enemy in which you have to destroy the parts of the floor he is standing in so he can fall in the green liquid.
After that comes Tahu once again, only this time he will be chasing a dark enemy through lava surfing. But this won’t be simple surfing as you must reach the village 1st then the dark monster. There will be many obstacles in the way that will try to stop you like falling spikes and squishing machines. The problem is that the way you are surfing through feels very slow, and the monster does not fall in the traps, only you. So you have to constantly shoot at him so he can lower his speed. The last is with the Toa of Light against the evil Makuta and his minions, this one will not be spoil, but this is just battle after battle no more adventure exploring. As you can see Bionicle is very short package. Even with the varied gameplay on each character, not all characters are fun to play with. The camera is a big problem for targeting enemies. The boss fights are pretty simplistic and mostly uninspired. The combat system feels plain dull and the platforming is not really hard at all.
Bionicle does a fair job in the visuals department with the nicely different worlds to explore. Most of this beauty can be seen in the jungle and the water village. Yet they are not many characters to see around the environments. The characters are a great port of the toys, yet the animations make the robots look elastic instead of metal. The special effects are pretty decent with the mix colors but no big explosions or any magnificent power to see. The camera is also a problem since you cannot take control of it. The camera annoys mostly trying to target enemies. The framerates can go very slow when having many enemies at the same screen.
The music is pretty decent with some orchestrated scores that fit in nicely with each world. But the really good scores happen when there is big action against a boss. The problem is that the music is in a very low volume. The voiceovers sound pretty much the same they did on the movie “Bionicle: Mask of Light”, which is a great idea that will appeal fans. The sound effects are very repetitive and the quality feels a bit low, but they fit in with the experience you are getting.
Bionicle offers a very short experience that can be beat in around 2 hours or less depending the way you play the game. They are quite some interesting goodies like short cut-scenes and information about Mata Nui and all of the characters that appear in the game. There is no multiplayer or co-op that could have been nice with at least a few minigames. Bionicle is certainly not the best game out there, but fans of Bionicle should find some interest by playing with all of the Toa characters. But if you have no interest on Bionicle then is recommended to ignore this title.
In my opinion Bionicle is quite a very hard game to recommend to the videogame audience. The gameplay is too simplistic and the battles are not quite intense as they should be. The game himself is a very short package too. Is overall a decent game for the fans, everyone else should look elsewhere.