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Thread: Your reviews here! (SPOILERS)

  1. #1
    Moderator
    Registered: Jun 2001
    Location: The Doldrums

    Your reviews here! (SPOILERS)

    WARNING! THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS THREAD SO KEEP CLEAR UNTIL YOU'VE FINISHED THE GAME.

    I thought that since people have already gotten hold of the full game, we'd kick off our reviews thread. This thread is for your reviews, not any website's or magazine's (we have a thread for that here in General Discussion). Give us your personal reviews of your experience of BioShock, and a score if you want.

    Please be sensible and treat the thread well, keep to posting coherent and collected thoughts as opposed to single-word posts or random musings. I'd like to think that 2K and Irrational would appreciate being easily able to see feedback on their game from the forum members. Do not post a new thread for your review, post it in this thread.

    I have marked this thread to contain spoilers, so feel free to mention spoilers, and do not complain if you wander in here and read something you didn't want to. I want people to be able to express exactly what they would like to about the game.

  2. #2
    This game was QUITE good.

    Things I liked

    -Variety of weapons
    -Moral Struggle
    -Make your own ways to kill people
    -new concept (never seen this done before)
    -AI is smart(if you set them on fire, they look for water to put themselves out, quite cool if you want to zap the water)

    Things I didnt like
    -little to no penalty for dying
    -physics get a little iffy everyonce ina while
    -game glitches if too many things happen at once



    overall its a fantastic game!

    TELEKENISIS OWNS

  3. #3

    9.5-10/10

    Was a great game. Great AI as expected from previews, great fun with plasmids and weapons. Although there were somethings that went wrong, but nothing major, and heck nothings perfect. I call this one of the best singleplayer games for the Xbox360 and uses it's power to the max. Great graphics and sound. This game is just plain amazing. The moral concept in the game was also very good and I can't help being a good guy in all the games with moral concepts(Bioshock, Fable, etc.) Gj Irrational Games and 2K great like System Shock(haha classic) - Chris C. (Got it 2mins after target opened lol 8:02 am) 9.5-10/10 (the -.5 if the minor bugs bothered anyone :]) 's up

  4. #4
    I thought the game was fantastic until Ryan was dead. Fontaine was a terribly uninteresting antagonist and in conjunction with the generic guard the sister mission I thought the latter part of the game was very forgettable.

    Also, I would have liked more variety in the big daddys instead of just the bouncers and rosies. Otherwise, though, it was a really great game.

  5. #5

    About Atlas..

    I loved the game, and I thought the whole Fontaine/Atlas twist was ok--but the fact that Atlas never really existed the whole time really lets me down. He was such a great character, so believable; and usually I'd give props to the devs for "tricking" me so well, but I honestly think that Atlas never existing, seems a bit....unfulfilling. All those stories he told, everything he said, it all meant absolutely nothing! It seems like a waste of a really good character.
    I do like the whole, "Would you kindly..." bit; I thought it was well done. And I think that even if Atlas was real, he should in some way have ended up trying to kill you near the end anyway, (perhaps persuaded to do so by Ryan, promising him freedom or his family or something. It needs tweaking, of course).
    Still can't swallow the fact that he never really existed, though. Such a great character! Could have made some great backround story with him as well; a young, rebellious political figure. I don't know; just my two cents.

  6. #6
    I actually just finished the game about an hour and a half ago, after playing it for 6+ hours straight for nearly a week. When it comes to shooters and the System Shock/Thief/etc. games I'm pretty methodical in my playing and I didn't want to rush through the experience, after waiting so long.

    Here's my opinion though:

    Bioshock...at it's peak during the Fort Frolic level...would have gotten probably a 9/10 in my book.

    Bioshock...at the end, after pretty much everything was seen and done...get's a 5/10 or maybe 6/10 overall.


    Why the change in ratings?

    Well, for starters, Bioshock would never get a 10/10 in my book because it relies too heavily on the System Shock formula - which isn't a bad thing at all - but then changes things to "dumb the gameplay down for the masses" instead of keeping the more unique parts of SS.

    For example, in SS2 the inventory space played a big part in how things were transported and how you approached situations. Same with weapons that broke - some casual FPS gamers hated this idea but it added to the suspense of the game. As another example we have those regeneration booths. While you COULD avoid them on purpose, there's no incentive not to. Once you start using them in every stage the game becomes extremely easy.


    So anyways, we already have established that Bioshock is NOT in the same league as SS2. But even so, is it still a great game?

    Well, again, that depends.

    Graphically, it looks great. On the XBox. On the PC, however, unless you have a monster of a system (which apparently I didn't...even though I purchased a brand new video card and a GB of RAM specifically for this), expect to be ...not disappointed in the visuals (the game still looks nice even at low res)...but wishing mid-range computers could play with MOST of the effects on.

    I purchased the PC version because I don't have a HDTV yet to hook my 360 up to and a little part of me wanted to play it on the PC because I had fond memories of SS2 back in '00.

    And we all know about the ridiculous install issues on the PC version (ONLINE activation for a 1P OFFLINE game? Is it Half-Life 2 all over again!?!)


    So anyways, let's get to the main issue I have with Bioshock...what made me go from really liking it halfway through to feeling "bleh" at the end?

    In short, I felt like the game had a lot of work put into the graphics and cinematic aspects...but the story and gameplay were severely neglected. In a sense, THE OPPOSITE of System Shock 2.

    And I understand why this may be so, sort of.

    When SS2 came out in '99, it was greeted by unanimous critical praise. It won Game of the Year from MANY highly respected gaming and mainstream news publications (Computer Games Strategy Plus, rest in peace)...but it's one big flaw was that it wasn't as pretty as the Unreal Tournaments or Quake IIIs of the time. So within a month or so, the game stopped selling. Which is why we'll probably never ever see another System Shock game ever.

    But why did the Bioshock team go to the extreme to avoid the same fate SS2 had? Well, frankly, because in today's marketplace, you don't get a lot of press unless you have amazing graphics.


    Now you may be asking yourself, "Why do you think Bioshock was all style and no substance? The story was good, the levels were interesting, and the enemies were unique!"

    Because people, I've already played Bioshock...when it was called System Shock!!!


    Basically, this is what Bioshock is: A mysterious and silent main character is quickly caught up in the setting of an environment in complete shambles. You don't know what happened at first but you know things got real bad. Along the way you use genetic modification to increase physical/mental attributes in an open-ended and fairly customizable fashion. The enemies you encounter are twisted versions of things that were at one time peaceful and are beyond saving. It's just you. But not really, because you have a guide you only hear through audio guiding you to point a then b then c and you follow in hopes that you can escape. During the course of the gameplay a dramatic change in the bad guy occurs and you find out that your enemy isn't really who you imagined at all. At the very end you fight in a fairly easy battle and then watch a very short ending sequence.

    In case you aren't aware, that's also EXACTLY the same overview of System Shock 2, a game that came out in 1999.


    Now I'm not saying I expected Bioshock to be perfect and not have any flaws at all. That's totally unreasonable, especially considering that System Shock 2 will probably never be matched in originality simply because it was one of those games that did so many things right way back when. It's harder to stand out nowadays.

    But in my opinion, there's NO EXCUSE for the cliche twists and anticlimactic ending and serious gameplay issues (regeneration booths make the game pathetically simple). I wanted to experience the System Shock gameplay style in this 50s/60s era underwater setting, but I didn't want System Shock 2 with dumbed down gameplay, new textures and new accents.


    So that's why after the brilliant Fort Frolic level (only because that artist guy was so messed up and sadistic...very creepy), everything went downhill. It became very formulaic and didn't increase the tension or excitement, only lessened it.

    Here's a few other weird/nagging issues that bothered me:

    -Big Daddys were super simple to kill once you learned about the Regeneration Booths. Even if you aren't using them though, placing explosive items in the path of Big Daddys and then destroying the items instead of shooting the Big Daddy directly could easily kill them. So while they are supposed to be the toughest guys in the game, they really aren't tough at all.

    -Big Daddys and Little Sisters were never really explained (unless I missed some crucial log that connected everything). Why were so many Little Sisters made? Obviously they were being made BEFORE everything went to hell in Rapture so were most people down there unable to conceive children? And why did the little girls all look the same? I don't get it. I really don't. Even the random log talking about how there are only little sisters and not little brothers answered nothing. And here's another thing: If this Adam collection thing was such a under the table thing, why were POSTERS made about sucking blood out of corpses? Did Rapture go nutzo and then some printing press people said, "Hey, now's the time to make posters about our city dying!"???

    -Rapture's origins are never REALLY explained. Yes, you know that Rapture was made BECAUSE the artists and scientists and rich people of the world wanted to have their own city. But HOW did it get made? And I don't care how SMART these people are...how DID a WHOLE city get made UNDERWATER in a decade or so? Did they make all the buildings ABOVE ground, put 'em on ships and then drop them in the ocean? If so, didn't anyone NOTICE all these buildings getting made and being shipped out to an unknown place in the ocean? Also, how long would it take to make just ONE of those buildings, let alone dozens of them? I don't get it at all.

    -"Adam" the so called addictive curse of Rapture's people is not anything special at all. I don't get it...a bunch of super smart and wealthy people decide on day, "Hey, I always wanted to shoot fireballs out of my palms!" and then became addicts? i don't think so. And once people STARTED noticing the residents becoming crazy, wouldn't that prompt people to STOP using it? Shouldn't there have been "pockets" of survivors everywhere?

    -What's with all the security/guns/Big Daddys and other violent stuff in a city built to be a Utopia? That makes no sense. I remember a log specifically where a guy says, "These aren't soldiers in Rapture, these people are artists". So as NON-VIOLENT folk by and large, wouldn't you think they'd be weirded out by all this potentially bad-news-situation stuff at every corner?

    - Where's the light coming from? Obviously Rapture is far enough down so that it is close to lava flows so it's gotta be pretty damn deep. So when you look out the Windows, what are the odds of seeing ANY light at all? Also, why are there lights all over the outside of these buildings? How does that work? Why isn't the whole encased in a "bubble" or something?


    I could go on an on but as you can see, there are a lots of problems in the core logic of the game and in this particular game's case, it's an issue because the hype was great and they had YEARS to work on all this. Like Half-Life 2, I can't help but feel like Bioshock never had any intention of living up to its potential and because gamers are notorious for having short memories, regardless of how underwhelming a big name title may be, it'll probably receive an enormous amount of praise, awards and sales simply because it got a majority of certain things it promised right...even if it still needs significant work in other areas.

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2006
    Location: Hamilton, New Zealand
    Quote Originally Posted by GamerX View Post
    -Why were POSTERS made about sucking blood out of corpses? Did Rapture go nutzo and then some printing press people said, "Hey, now's the time to make posters about our city dying!"???
    Those posters only exist in the Little Sister training areas don't they?

    -Rapture's origins are never REALLY explained. Yes, you know that Rapture was made BECAUSE the artists and scientists and rich people of the world wanted to have their own city. But HOW did it get made? And I don't care how SMART these people are...how DID a WHOLE city get made UNDERWATER in a decade or so? Did they make all the buildings ABOVE ground, put 'em on ships and then drop them in the ocean? If so, didn't anyone NOTICE all these buildings getting made and being shipped out to an unknown place in the ocean? Also, how long would it take to make just ONE of those buildings, let alone dozens of them? I don't get it at all.
    I think your just supposed to suspend your believe for this one. The fact you can shot fire/ice etc from your fingertips doesn't bother you though?

    -"Adam" the so called addictive curse of Rapture's people is not anything special at all. I don't get it...a bunch of super smart and wealthy people decide on day, "Hey, I always wanted to shoot fireballs out of my palms!" and then became addicts? i don't think so. And once people STARTED noticing the residents becoming crazy, wouldn't that prompt people to STOP using it? Shouldn't there have been "pockets" of survivors everywhere?
    Fontaine used the poorhouses to create an army of splicers to take over the city with. In response civilians starting arming themselves with plasmids and guns to protect themselves. I'm sure there is a dairy somewhere that outlines this.

    -What's with all the security/guns/Big Daddys and other violent stuff in a city built to be a Utopia? That makes no sense. I remember a log specifically where a guy says, "These aren't soldiers in Rapture, these people are artists". So as NON-VIOLENT folk by and large, wouldn't you think they'd be weirded out by all this potentially bad-news-situation stuff at every corner?
    For starters people are people so there would always be a need for some protection (cameras and bots). Also the weapons are made to look like they are 'crafted from everyday items' (from the artbook). The people crafted these weapons once the shit hit the fan.

    - Where's the light coming from? Obviously Rapture is far enough down so that it is close to lava flows so it's gotta be pretty damn deep. So when you look out the Windows, what are the odds of seeing ANY light at all? Also, why are there lights all over the outside of these buildings? How does that work? Why isn't the whole encased in a "bubble" or something?
    If you watch the making of DVD they say that originally they wondered about making it as realistic as possible. They were going to have the city encased in domes etc but it worked better from an artistic and thematic point of view to just have a city simply sitting at the bottom of the ocean. It is supposed to look both fantastic, ridiculous and doomed, I guess you could even say it is a metaphor for the whole mindset of the civilization.

    I agree that the game has its problems but just wanted to point out some things that you missed which answer some of you questions.

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2006
    Location: Vienna, Austria
    Quote Originally Posted by GamerX View Post
    I actually just finished the game about an hour and a half ago, after playing it for 6+ hours straight for nearly a week. When it comes to shooters and the System Shock/Thief/etc. games I'm pretty methodical in my playing and I didn't want to rush through the experience, after waiting so long.
    for being so thorough you certainly missed or misunderstood pretty much of the story and explanations. your points about story similarities are valid, although I somehow expected that, seeing BS as a spiritual successor and all.
    gameplay was topnotch (for a shooter), I would not start discussing BS for what it is NOT, rather than what it IS. and in that (in shooting or plasmiding) it excells and shines. And there's enough incentive to replay since totally different gameplay emerges thru the choices you make (in Harvest/Rescue, sometimes even in NPC interaction (see Cohen)).

    Now would you all kindly play BIOSHOCK again ?

  9. #9
    Cuddly little misanthropic hate machine
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Location: 4 doors down, bad side of town

    here's a tl;dr for ya!

    the game looks gorgeous. dynamic shadows leave a bit to be desired, but the lighting is just about top-notch. lighting, of course, is very important, and irrational knows this- they cut their teeth on the dark engine, where the interplay of light and shadow was all-important. but don't expect this to be very stealthy- not that stealth was that important in SS2, but whatever. the water effects? well, i remember hearing that they hired one guy- one guy- whose sole job was to do water effects. they had another guy whose sole job was to code those effects in. you know what? give both those motherfuckers a medal. best water you will ever see in a game up to this point. the design of the game is appropriately 50s-ish, an art deco orgy of rounded edges and stylized designs.

    aside from the big daddies, the enemy models aren't really anything special- after a while you stop looking at all their different costumes, though there are quite a variety: doctors, nurses, fishermen, dock workers, men in fancy suits, women in fancy dresses, men in overalls, women still wearing their new years' eve 1959 costumes. the big daddies could've used some more variety than "big daddy with a drill, big daddy with a rivet gun, big daddy with a harpoon (that acts more like a drill), big daddy with a rivet gun that's harder to kill" but they were still incredible to look at. the little sisters, those little girls who are causing quite a stir because it's possible to kill them, are the most human-looking things in the game, though they have big cartoonish eyes and faces. if you were expecting the photorealistic faces of half-life 2 this isn't it. regardless, they are well animated.

    the sound is great. there's plenty of haunting music vignettes throughout, and the enemies say all sorts of crazy shit (a mad doctor screaming "DON'T WORRY, I'M A PROFESSIONAL!" is one of my favourites.) the little sisters are suitably creepy, all genetically modified as they are. the vending machines are annoying in a wonderful way- i'll probably take the laugh of the circus of values clown to my grave. the voice acting is excellent, which is to be expected, though i did notice a few spots where audio logs and radio messages were kind of muted. thank god for subtitles- which is a big step up from SS2 and its utter lack of such.

    combat changes throughout the game as you become more heavily armed. when you first start out, if you've played condemned: criminal origins, you have an idea what to expect. you're not going to run into replica troops (FEAR) who flank you and fuck you up if you don't pay attention. but you're not going to run into dumbass zombies who just move straight for you. these enemies dodge and roll, especially the ones with guns. melee is very similar to condemned- let them get close, dodge their swing, then get in and slam them in the face with a wrench. ranged combat with guns is about what you'd expect, except they don't take 99 rounds to die. not at first, anyway. a single headshot with your .38 will often drop a splicer (but not always.) however, sometime towards the last 4th of the game, the enemies begin to get more and more difficult to kill. smacking them in the face with a wrench no longer becomes enough, and even shooting them doesn't do as much damage as it once did. the remedy to this is constant "research", which is performed through photographs (you recieve a camera early on, fed by film as ammo.) with it, you recieve damage bonuses, special tonics, et cetera.

    however, the difficulty ramps up rather quickly sometime halfway through the game- prior to then it's fairly a cakewalk, afterwards you're getting pissed off because it takes an entire drum of tommy gun ammo to put down a splicer. eventually, though, the combat begins to get interesting and varied- there are a number of different plasmids, each with different characteristics. there's the three basic elementals: lightning, fire, and ice; there's an ability that lets you shoot bees out of your arms (very useful on big daddies), and there's a few other plasmids that do various things from hypnotising a big daddy temporarily (which turns out to be very, very useful in a few places) to leaving a decoy for enemies to attack. many of your plasmids have upgrades that make them more powerful- by the time you get winter blast 3, an enemy will stay frozen for 10 seconds or more. and of course you should feel free to mix and match: set a splicer on fire, watch him run for the nearest pool of standing water to put him out, then zap the water and electrocute him. these plasmids serve other uses as well: zapping a camera or gun turret will disable them long enough to get close to them and hack them- but once you realize that using winter blast to freeze them actually makes hacking easier, you stop using electro bolt. in addition to the plasmids that you can use as weapons, there are several gene tonics that give you added effects- there's one that zaps your enemy if they hit you with a melee attack, and may have a chance of stunning them; there's one that turns you invisible if you stand still; there are several that make hacking easier; so on and so forth.

    the weapons, true to SS form, have different kinds of ammo. your .38 and thompson both have regular ammo, anti-personnel, and armour piercing. shotguns have 00 buck, electric buck, and explosive buck. the list goes on. all weapons have mods that are applied by finding a vending machine called "power to the people." each machine is good for one upgrade to any weapon you have- and all weapons have two upgrades available, that become readily visible once applied. for example, increasing the range your shotgun has involves adding little gas cylinders to the side that apparently push the shells out faster. in addition, your .38 and thompson both have ironsights that can be used for a slight zoom, as well as your crossbow for a longer zoom.

    one of my favourite tactics was to use my grenade launcher to plant proximity bombs (which stick to most surfaces) onto a corpse- using up like 6 of the things- then using my telekinesis plasmid to float the corpse in front of me then fling it at a big daddy for instant hilarity. telekinesis is also useful for using a big daddy corpse to beat another big daddy to death with, which is also hilarious. speaking of the big daddies, they're every bit as fearsome as you've heard. the melee ones (the ones with many little portholes in their diving suits) are actually MORE dangerous because they move VERY quickly and will close on you, often cornering you and ruining your shit.

    the environments are awesome. you'll see a hospital district, fisheries, a shopping mall (it crawls), residential areas, so on and so forth. my favourite would definitely have to be port neptune: it was the right mix of commercial and industrial districts. olympus heights, besides sounding like the name of a poor inner city neighborhood with a bad crime rate, looks good until you get into the apartments, which i felt were entirely too large and too few. this is a slight problem i had throughout the game- there was not much that made you feel like the game world was a lot bigger than what you were permitted to explore- no permanently locked doors, or anything of the like. SS2 had this problem as well.

    the story is brilliant. the initial plot concept is as fantastic as it's unlikely: in 1946, an ex-soviet citizen named andrew ryan, who's basically ayn rand dressed up like charles foster kane (fucking look it up), angry with soviet communism but disillusioned by american taxation and religious collectivism, decides to build a secret underwater city beneath the surface of the atlantic, named rapture. he populates it with the best and brightest of society (as far as ryan is concerned) and fosters a free-market economy. there are no censors to silence the artist. there are no ethics to hinder scientific progress. the great are not constrained by the needs of the small. or at least, that's the idea. but, through poetic irony, that lack of so-called "petty morality" leads to a scientific discovery (a sea slug that is able to generate pure stem cells) being blown entirely out of proportion, upsetting the delicate balance of the economy, which is already seeing some disillusion as the poor are left behind to fend for themselves- there are plenty of stuffed shirts, but someone's got to clean the toilets. a financial and political struggle breaks out, and eventually degenerates into outright war. the lead character arrives about a year and a half after rapture has stopped functioning as a society, and the city is now populated by roaming splicers who have been driven mad by splicing in new genes into themselves for whatever purpouses they saw fit.

    the moral dillemma that's got everyone up in a stir is, of course, centered around those creepy little girls called little sisters. in order to survive you need to gather ADAM, the raw genetic material that's the source of this whole shitstorm, but the problem is that the only source of it left are the little sisters, who go around extracting it from spliced-up corpses scattered around the city. protected by the frankenstein-like big daddies by splicers who would steal all the ADAM from the kids (at the cost of the kid's life) you have to take down the big daddies before you can get to the little sisters. and the big daddies aren't exactly easy to take down, of course. you spend the ADAM at vending machines (which look rather like old-fashioned coke machines, actually) called gatherers' gardens, buying new slots for your plasmids and gene tonics (up to six each, you start with two, and you can swap out the ones you want to use at another vending machine called a gene bank), increasing your max health and EVE, buying more plasmids and tonics (and upgrading the ones you have), so on and so forth. when you finally get your hands on a little sister, you have two choices: you can harvest their ADAM, which they will not survive, or you can "exorcise" them, which nets half the ADAM but effectively frees the kid from their horrible genetic modification. if you choose to save them, the woman who takes care of the children (who you finally meet in person in a very film-noir-esque way, watching her walk back and forth in shadow behind a window as she smokes a cigarette and talks to you) will send out little sisters to reward you for every 3 children you save. this is actually a good deal, because you earn back most (but not all) of the ADAM you would've gotten if you'd harvested three kids, and there's usually some other bonuses- special plasmids/tonics, money, ammo, etc. i am proud to say that i rescued every single little sister i came across. it probably would have been a harder choice if they hadn't made the first one (part of a scripted story sequence, rather than actual gameplay) so pathetic that i felt bad for the kid.

    much of the story itself, true to its roots, is told through audio logs recorded on cassette tape. this is where i have a few problems with the plot. there is a noticeable lack of little "fluff" logs- logs from ordinary people with ordinary situations. they were all over SS1 and SS2, but it seems that 95% of the logs in this game are by the "important" people. there are few "under-stories" that made SS1 and 2 so special (though port neptune had one that i found quite heart-wrenching.) however, it seems that more emphasis has been applied through telling the story via characters' communication with YOU, the player, and less so through logs. in system shock 2, polito and later shodan contacted you from time to time to direct you to your next objective, but in this game the characters speak to you constantly. it cuts down on the "lonely" mood of the game. another thing that bothered me, though this is just a personal niggle, is that the audio logs become fewer and fewer as you get nearer to the end. in fact, the very last stage before the end boss, has no logs whatsoever. i can't help but think that a trail of audio logs would have helped sufficiently build up the tension and summed up everything the game has been about so far- not unlike delacroix' post-humous messages left to you at the end of system shock 2. i also think the final stage had entirely too much going on (and it doesn't help that it was a fucking ESCORT MISSION, whose idea was that?!) if the game had suddenly gotten weirdly silent, with no sign of splicers or angry big daddies, it would have been perfect. one other plot problem i had involved the first use of plasmids, in that there is no coercion to use it- the player just finds it, picks it up, and uses it, and that's that. why would you inject a big fucking needle full of crazy glowing crap into yourself? you're not even told to do so- in the context of later revelations in the story, that would have made SENSE.

    speaking of bad ideas...

    the escort mission wasn't as painful as some i've seen, though i resent the fact that it's in there at all. another overused FPS trope is the "defend an area for X minutes" that appears about halfway through. again, this wasn't as bad as some i've seen, though i did resent it being there. having a hypnotized big daddy helped, though. additionally, the game lacks lean and walk functions. now, i've been fairly quiet on this, but i do find myself wishing that i could lean around corners- it's not exactly easy taking down a big daddy when you have to keep coming out of cover just to take potshots at him! walking would also have been great- in fact, the 360 version, because of its controller, makes it possible to walk at 5 different speeds, but not so in the PC version. just one walking speed would have been fine, and would have greatly improved the mood at times. irrational, like many PC game developers, seem to think that console gamers are retards, and so there is a lot of hand-holding as well: important quest-related items glow bright yellow (this includes certain logs that point you where you need to go), a compass arrow that points you to your next destination, et cetera, and the fact that there is a huge bug in the game where a few of these won't turn off even if you turn them off in the menu. there's also the hint system, which is downright insulting- it's not so much a hint as it's a built-in 30kb text file from gamefaqs, telling you exactly where you need to go, what you need to do, and if necessary, the passcode to get there. fortunately, the hint system can be ignored and toggled off. and lastly, there's the vita chambers. these little gizmos automatically resurrect you- no penalty- when you die. now, this is analogous to SS1's resurrection stations and SS2's quantum bioreconstruction machines, only that unlike those two games you do not have to find the damn things to activate them first and there are more than one per level. this completely takes the challenge out of combat. while i am not affected because i have never ever used SS2's QBRM (which costs money to use, btw- if you didn't have it you were fucked) and so i naturally reload when i die, i can see why some people would have a problem with it. it should not be risk-free, i agree.

    in the end, though, how does the game rank?

    the game is, as of this writing, as stable as some of the women i know. it sometimes took me 45 minutes to get the game to stop crashing long enough to play for a couple of hours. it apparently does not support shader model 2.0- so if you have a slightly older video card, say anything prior to like a geforce 6600, you're fucked, at least until the fanpatch is finished. the game is the centerpiece of DRMgate 2007, what with securom's copy protection and the limited "activations" you can have (in other words, the game essentially phones home once installed- and if you have it installed on more than 5 computers (used to be 2) it won't activate. this can cause problems when some people have hardware failures. word from irrational is that they're phasing activation out eventually, so hopefully this will be moot.)

    but is it still a great game?

    hell fucking yes.

    game of the year 2007. hands down. it's not 100% system shock 2, and anyone who thinks it was going to be hasn't been paying attention to gaming lately. where SS1 was "stop and think", SS2 was "think on your feet", bioshock was "think faster, fucker!" no, it's not too overly scripted like some games, and it's got its fair share of creepy "wtf has happened here oh dear jesus christ" moments (along with "oh shit wtf i am going to die ;_;" moments from time to time) but it's definitely a faster-paced version of system shock 2. there's been a lot of complaints about the game being "simplified for console users", but i only partially agree. we're likely never going to see a game like SS1 again (though some games come close.) the least we could do is turn around and give to the casual gamer a taste of what we've been playing for years. and that's what bioshock is. no, it's not the next system shock; and i don't think it would be that much of an improvement anyway. yes, an inventory would be nice. yes, leaning would be nice. yes, walking would be nice. yes, some menu you could use to look over your currently equipped tonics and plasmids at any time (rather than having to do it at a gene bank) would be nice. yes, fewer enemies would be nice (fucking spider splicers in fort frolic are everywhere, and don't get me started on the asstanks who swarmed apollo square!) yes, some form of increased difficulty or vita-chamber-related penalty would be nice. but still...

    bioshock isn't ever going to be system shock 1. there will never ever be another system shock 1. but bioshock is a way of giving something to the casual/console gamer that they've never experienced before. it's a way of saying, "here, try this, and if you like that, then try this catalog of games going back 15 years that are even more immersive and compelling."

    ultimate verdict: recommended.

  10. #10
    Knows his stuff
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Quote Originally Posted by GamerX View Post
    Bioshock...at it's peak during the Fort Frolic level...would have gotten probably a 9/10 in my book.

    Bioshock...at the end, after pretty much everything was seen and done...get's a 5/10 or maybe 6/10 overall.
    I know what you mean. Up till the point where you confront Ryan it felt like a 9.6/10 game to me but by the end it felt more like 7/10.

    What went wrong after Ryan:
    -the splicers got too tough. I could no longer throw dead bodies at em and watch them collapse or set em on fire and be done with them. I was playing on medium so I still had plenty of cash to buy healthkits for so the game never got difficult per se, but all the fun in killing splicers was gone.

    -the Little Sister escort mission. I hate escort missions.

    -the ending. I liked when you were running around turning yourself into a Big Daddy and the way Fontaine was talking it made me think I was sacrificing my humanity to kill him. There was something wonderfully tragic about that but during the final cutscene I seemed to be human after all. Not sure about this since it seemed a bit vague and I got the "bad" ending anyway.

    But yeah, I'll give it another playthrough next week, try to get the good ending. It's 8/10 ish at the moment tho.

  11. #11
    Cuddly little misanthropic hate machine
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Location: 4 doors down, bad side of town
    say what you people will about the endings, they're not as bad as system shock 2's "nah!"

  12. #12
    A quick review:

    Things I liked:
    -art design
    -looks great, and runs great
    -most gameplay elements
    -sounds, music, voice acting
    -most of the story

    Things I didn't like:
    mostly minor things, like:
    -lean/walk
    -I found character movement to be weird anyway
    -small bugs (like why can't I turn of item shimmer and stuff)
    -graphical weirdness, and nonsense (neon glow of enemies, water flowing down on windscreen, windows in rapture)
    -an inventory would've been great
    -vita chamber thing
    -the last boss was lame (in design)
    -no diving
    -etc, etc

    I don't know what to think of this game. The art direction and the whole idea is pure awesome, yet there are a lot of minor annoyances, and missed opportunities. I expected something like SS2 here, and I didn't really get it, so while this game is great on its own, and I would recommend it, I think it could've been a lot better.

    8.5/10

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by dethtoll View Post
    say what you people will about the endings, they're not as bad as system shock 2's "nah!"
    SS2's ending was short, yes...but I felt like all plot points had been wrapped up even BEFORE you reached Shodan. And then, Shodan showing up on that space ship that escaped? Brilliant.

    Bioshock's ending looked exactly like the videos done for Civilization 4 (I'm serious, I bet 2K has like ONE animator on staff...felt cartoony...should have been real-time like the opening segment) and there were so many questions I don't think were answered by the end (as mentioned above). Really, the game needed one more level to wrap up many different story ideas.


    I did remember a FEW things that pissed me off after reading other peoples' posts like:

    - Escort Mission was HORRIBLE. I HATED IT. I thought Little Sisters were invulnerable? Nope, not when you have to use one they aren't! So screw you, protect that little girl or die.

    - Anyone remember the point in the game when you LOSE ALL YOUR FRIGGIN' AMMO? It was in the Fisheries just after you give the photos to that creepy guy and you have to hand over your weapons. Sure, you get your items back, but NOT YOUR DAMN AMMO! And I had tons of grenades, exploding buckshot, proximity mines, etc. I felt extremely cheated.

    After that moment, I never spent too much on any item because I was waiting for the game to rip me off again. VERY CHEAP.



    And for those of you who think I over-analyzed Bioshock too much in certain background information areas, let me stress again why: Because Bioshock had almost a DECADE since SS2 to get the story figured out and where SS2 was set in the future when certain crazy feats of science may be possible, Bioshock is set in the PAST 50 years ago when I'm sorry, even if certain things would look "cool" in that era, still need to make practical sense.



    I think I was too hard on the game in my rating though, after thinking about it. As a SS fan, I had super high expectations. The average gamer who has never played SS will probably love it. I, on the other hand, am not mad I played it, it just isn't an instant classic in my book. Probably a 7/10 or 8/10.

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2006
    Location: Hamilton, New Zealand
    Quote Originally Posted by GamerX View Post
    SS2's ending was short, yes...but I felt like all plot points had been wrapped up even BEFORE you reached Shodan. And then, Shodan showing up on that space ship that escaped? Brilliant.
    Personally I hated that part of the ending. Its just the same old horror film cliche not to mention that it screwed with one of my favourite subplots from the game.

    Really, the game needed one more level to wrap up many different story ideas.
    I agree with this but partly because I want another level
    But yeah in my other thread I talk about it would have been cool to have a submerged level you have to traverse when you become a Big Daddy. This would have been an excellent level for tying up off plot threads. Combat could have been kept to a minimum, kind of like a calm before the storm of the last action packed levels.

    - Escort Mission was HORRIBLE. I HATED IT. I thought Little Sisters were invulnerable? Nope, not when you have to use one they aren't! So screw you, protect that little girl or die.
    You did realize the girls you are escorting are rescued girls? So they no longer have the sea-slug in them to make them invulnerable.

    - Anyone remember the point in the game when you LOSE ALL YOUR FRIGGIN' AMMO? It was in the Fisheries just after you give the photos to that creepy guy and you have to hand over your weapons. Sure, you get your items back, but NOT YOUR DAMN AMMO! And I had tons of grenades, exploding buckshot, proximity mines, etc. I felt extremely cheated.
    Dont remember this but that sucks if its true. I probably didn't notice since I didn't have much ammo (played on hard with no vita-chamber use)

    And for those of you who think I over-analyzed Bioshock too much in certain background information areas, let me stress again why: Because Bioshock had almost a DECADE since SS2 to get the story figured out and where SS2 was set in the future when certain crazy feats of science may be possible, Bioshock is set in the PAST 50 years ago when I'm sorry, even if certain things would look "cool" in that era, still need to make practical sense.
    I thought they did quite well in that regard. Did you notice that the rocket-launching turrets look very similar to the tennis ball launcher? Obviously somebody made some slight modifications to the ball launcers! The rocket launcher and chemical launcher looked great too! They looked like they could fall apart at any moment and I loved how the weapon upgrades looked.
    Anyway yeah you should make it look pratical but don't go too far. It is supposed to be a fantastical world after all. I think they nailed it but it seems you don't which is a shame. Maybe you're a more pratical thinker?

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by jizzlobber View Post
    You did realize the girls you are escorting are rescued girls? So they no longer have the sea-slug in them to make them invulnerable.
    If they were already "back to normal" how come I had to collect all that crap to LOOK & SMELL like Big Daddy? They must just be retarded.

    Another example of things being sort of thought through and then the higher ups saying "Okay folks, we've gotta a sales deadline to meet! Hurry up and code dammit!"

  16. #16
    Cuddly little misanthropic hate machine
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Location: 4 doors down, bad side of town
    welcome to video games.

  17. #17
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: The Grisly Grotto
    I'd just like to chime in and agree with the whole Atlas / Fontaine thing.
    Atlas was a charismatic, intelligent character.
    Fontaine was an unsophisticated thug in comparison.
    I found it hard to believe that someone like Fontaine could have come up with the character of Atlas, let alone do a good job of portraying that character convincingly.
    Fontaine needed to be more suave and debonaire. As a villain he just lost all credibility as soon as he spoke with his "real" voice.

    In contrast, the similar big twist in System Shock 2, where Polito is revealed to really be Shodan is a lot more shocking, as your new antagonist is a lot more menacing in that scenario.
    Let alone which, you're still pretty much working for her throughout the rest of the game.

    So, great story up until Ryan dies, then it goes a bit cliché. The actual gameplay and levels are still fine up until the boss fight (which is pretty damn awful), but due to the dip in story quality I'd have to say the game loses it's impetus.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Malf View Post
    In contrast, the similar big twist in System Shock 2, where Polito is revealed to really be Shodan is a lot more shocking, as your new antagonist is a lot more menacing in that scenario.
    Not to mention
    spoiler:
    the fake Polito's character clearly show's SHODAN in disguise. I think they really captured how she would impersonate someone to use you perfectly.

  19. #19
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2006
    Location: Hamilton, New Zealand
    Quote Originally Posted by GamerX View Post
    If they were already "back to normal" how come I had to collect all that crap to LOOK & SMELL like Big Daddy? They must just be retarded.
    They had been heavily brainwashed by Dr Suchong and co. That kind of stuff doesn't just wash off right away it probably takes time.

  20. #20
    Superb game, but felt the last few levels were "meh". I played on hard and rescued the LS.
    In the levels after Ryan I was always flush for ammo and adam (as I explore everywhere). There were just so many hard splicers in those levels and less objectives as well, it felt more like a traditional FPS somehow. they were still well designed levels I just think they could have had less bad guys and more exploration and objectives - I was getting bored of shooting by that point.

    The big daddy thing was a good idea but the escort part was crap. I was so busy trying to kill the splicers I could not:
    1) Listen to the audio from Fontaine
    2) Admire the museum graphics
    3) See the museum properly wearing the helmet

    So it felt like a wasted level partly! I did not want to be rushed through.

    And the boss fight - what the hell? I mean there is dumbing down for the masses and then this. Am I playing x-men or something? Ryans death was chilling, this was pure arcade. I can't see why they chose this - why not have a more intelligent finale? Where you can use you abilities to flood the final room and finish him, or have to do some other environmental task, or you can make several decisions as to his fate. Or even one last plot twist.
    There were numerous poster for a sports football pitch - I thought that was where the final fight may be. Never mind.

    Frolic, Arcadia, Medical, Fisheries, Intro level - all excellent. top notch. then i felt it lost uniqueness in design - felt like more formulaic FPS. (ie a reactor core zzzzzz, a boss fight zzzzzzzz, escort zzzzz). Dont get me wrong they were still good levels, just lost a little magic i felt.
    And that Sander Cohen chap - superb. absolutely great. I was relieved to have Ryan and Atlas shut up when he jammed the radio, nagging about this and that "quick get to the bathysphere station" - yeah yeah whatever.
    I shot him later but wish I had not. What a great character. he should have been in it to the end.

    Anyway just a few thoughts.

  21. #21
    Cuddly little misanthropic hate machine
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Location: 4 doors down, bad side of town
    i dunno, i thought olympus heights/apollo square were kind of rushed, mostly in the apartments. too huge. who needs a gym for a living room?

  22. #22
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2006
    Location: Vienna, Austria
    i liked some of the apartments (made for a interesting fight with splicers + BigDaddy lure + BigDaddy enrage) and the desolation of Olympic Heights.
    In the Apollo Square I liked the LS orphanage and only "some" parts of the BD factory. yeah, the follow mission is generic although I liked being able to play the BD part. I agree with others that you should have the choice to either become a BD completely (without the mental programming) or just escape the city or join Fontaine. would have put the choice back into the players hands. but although I liked Fontaines appearance as a reminder of Atlas, the arena-style battle is just too generic and old. I should have been able to destroy the room and take the battle to another part of the map where we could duke it out plasmid/environmental style while Fontaine would eat little sisters for adam

  23. #23
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2006
    Location: Hamilton, New Zealand
    Quote Originally Posted by mothra View Post
    I should have been able to destroy the room and take the battle to another part of the map where we could duke it out plasmid/environmental style while Fontaine would eat little sisters for adam
    That an interesting idea. Maybe have Fotaine look like a nice normal person but have him do montrous things compared to you who is a monster (BD) but are the good one.

  24. #24
    Here's my review of Bioshock, in video form on Youtube.


    http://youtube.com/watch?v=kn7ZJ2tZ8Vk

  25. #25
    Hahaha....ANOTHER reviewer thinks EXACTLY the same way I do about System Shock 2...I mean Bioshock!

    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/arti...ation-BioShock

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