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Thread: Summary of June 06 PCZone (UK) article

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2000
    Location: sup

    Summary of June 06 PCZone (UK) article

    It's not verbatim, it's a written summary so it's not breaking any rules.

    The game begins with no real introduction or backstory. You come-to underwater, in the middle of the ocean. Swimming to the surface, you find you have been in some sort of plane crash - the surface of the water is on fire, and luggage and debris floats around you. In the distance is a lighthouse-like structure floating in the middle of the ocean, inside which is an art-deco entrance to Rapture, a mini-submarine that takes you to the sea bed.

    Bioshock is set in Rapture, an underwater city and failed utopia. Built by an ex-Soviet in 1946 for the world's cultural elite, it was to be a society where the best people can do their best work, unconstrained by government, religion and "bullshit notions of altruism". Rapture is a utopian, extravagant city, not made of steel and steam but wood and marble. Of course, this doesn't last for long. A stem-cell generating sea-slug dubbed 'Adam' is discovered, and with its abilities to alter the human form it quickly becomes a currency and valued commodity. This upsets the delicate balance of power and econonmy in the city, leading to conflict and power struggles with people using Adam to alter their biology for the more violent, physical struggle that ensues. You arrive in the early 60's to find the place ruined, much like SS2. Levine states "The focus is to create a world that we draw the player into as deeply as possible, even deeper than in System Shock 2".

    As there was no conventional weaponry in Rapture, its inhabitants had to improvise and cobble them together with household items such as tomato tins, model airplane engines and office chairs. All weapons are modifiable, and Levine says "the weapons system alone is more complex and deeper than in any other FPS."

    The most common enemy are the Aggressors - people who've had to mutate just to survive. Although they are now aggressive they are still aware of who they were and what they have become. Any enemy can use any weapon found in the game, and can have abilities such as climbing walls and ceilings.

    Gatherers are children who obtain Adam by recycling it from dead bodies. They are protected by massive mutated pet-like beasts, Protectors. These go about their business in Rapture, and wont bother you unless you bother them. It is possible to befriend Gatherers and share some of their Adam, but the only way to get all of the valuable Adam is take on their tough Protector and actually kill the child. Levine says he intends this to add to the real moral choices within the game. As the game progresses you get to learn the story of the Gatherers and how they have been exploited.

    The skill system is similar to SS2, with abilities, 'plasmids', purchasable using Adam at plasmid stations around Rapture. Once these abilities are installed, they cannot be changed until you reach another plasmid station. Abilities can affect strength, agility, etc., or even the AI, turning Aggressors to your side and fighting other enemies.

    The AI is important, says Levine. It is intended to be a world where there's an active ecology, each character and enemy having their own motivations and behaviours, and interacting with each other and the player. The player will be able to interact with and impact this ecology, affecting it in planned and unplanned ways. Unlike SS2, the world and areas are open-ended, and the gameplay much more emergent.

    Using a 'heavily modified' Unreal Engine 3, the screenshots look very promising. Huge creatures, variously clad in old-fashioned divesuits and mechanical apparatus, tower menacingly above the player. A tiny, shoeless Gatherer in a pink dress is seen running away through a garden-like area covered in foliage. The intact city is elegant art-deco, clad in wood with exposed metalwork and detailed furnishings. Streets are lined with bright, retro-styled neon signage. In SS2 style, 'Gene Traitor' has been scrawled in blood on the wall of an extravagant bathroom, now flooded.

  2. #2
    New Member
    Registered: Nov 2005
    Location: Birmingham, UK

    Using a 'heavily modified' Unreal Engine 3
    I thought it used unreal engine 2.5. I asked at the PCZone forums and they said that Take Two told them it was unreal engine 3:

    http://www.computerandvideogames.com...?p=32048#32048

    So has this changed? Does anyone know any more details on the engine. Maybe Take Two got it wrong?

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2000
    Location: sup
    Yeah, I thought it was the Unreal 2 engine too. I noticed this as I posted it, but couldn't be bothered verifying.

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Black Squadron
    The screenshots don't look very 'Unreal 3'.

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by David
    The screenshots don't look very 'Unreal 3'.
    Neither does Unreal 3 itself. Most Unreal games get overhyped cheated graphics and when the games themselves actually come out they don't look nearly as good as the previews and tech demos

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Black Squadron
    I've posted a scan of the cover, which features a fairly unobscured screenshot from Bioshock over at our Bioshock website

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Wow.

    I can't wait to see those water-effects in real-time. I sure hope they exhibit some videos at E3.

  8. #8
    Previously Important
    Registered: Nov 1999
    Location: Caer Weasel, Uelekevu
    I think that water in the background is a prop or part of a composite made for this screenshot, unfortunately. For one thing, the level of detail would most likely be reversed if it was a full-on screenie -- the figure's texturing and anti-aliasing (or lack thereof) give it away.

    If I'm wrong, I'll be tremendously impressed, but you just have to look at the difference between the floor tiles and the wall / windows in the background.

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2005
    Location: Scotland
    I'd guess it's real.

    That is however based solely on the fact that another UE3 game has been quite hyped for it's fluid and rain - a fair bit of the preamble of Gears Of War has been about the rain and such.

    Probably specially mocked up for the shot, but still in game in engine (just over-produced compared to the general level of detail the game will have, rather than actually "fake"). Probably. We can hope.

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2000
    Location: sup
    Quote Originally Posted by Gingerbread Man
    I think that water in the background is a prop or part of a composite made for this screenshot, unfortunately. For one thing, the level of detail would most likely be reversed if it was a full-on screenie -- the figure's texturing and anti-aliasing (or lack thereof) give it away.

    If I'm wrong, I'll be tremendously impressed, but you just have to look at the difference between the floor tiles and the wall / windows in the background.
    Not to say that shot is legit, however... apparently they have one guy working on the water alone so...

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: melon labneh
    The water in the foreground seems legit, with (blocky and low-poly) bullet casings floating, but the falling water just can't be real. Its resolution is not even the same than the rest of the scene.

    The article itself doesn't bring really new information, but it sure makes me impatient to get a new computer and play the game.

  12. #12
    Irrational Games
    Registered: May 2006
    Location: Boston, MA
    Quote Originally Posted by Briareos H
    The water in the foreground seems legit <...> but the falling water just can't be real.
    I assure you that that the falling water is completely real. It even interacts correctly with the world and characters when they walk through it. That was an actual in-engine screenshot.

  13. #13
    BANNED
    Registered: May 1999
    Location: Daffy Duck
    The water would work if it were some kind of flat edge with an animated, transparent texture.

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2003
    Location: In His hands
    Quote Originally Posted by ckline
    I assure you that that the falling water is completely real. It even interacts correctly with the world and characters when they walk through it. That was an actual in-engine screenshot.
    *notices authoritativeness of statement*
    Hmm.....
    Quote Originally Posted by ckline's profile
    Lead Programmer, Irrational Games

    Awesome! Welcome to the forums!

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2000
    Location: sup
    Quote Originally Posted by ckline
    I assure you that that the falling water is completely real. It even interacts correctly with the world and characters when they walk through it. That was an actual in-engine screenshot.
    Wow. Thanks for the official line (if it is official).

  16. #16
    Previously Important
    Registered: Nov 1999
    Location: Caer Weasel, Uelekevu
    Quote Originally Posted by ckline
    I assure you that that the falling water is completely real. It even interacts correctly with the world and characters when they walk through it. That was an actual in-engine screenshot.
    Well, then I'm impressed.

    Although, not to be one of Those People you understand, but I hope the time and effort put into such water turns out to be a little more gameplay-productive than the ZOMG DYNAMIC LIGHT FLAMING BARRELS of DX:IW. Because that was hyped and impressive-sounding and ended up contributing nothing to anything other than sucking those last few frames-per-second out of things.

  17. #17
    Irrational Games
    Registered: Feb 2005
    Atmosphere can be almost as important as gameplay in this kind of game.

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2001
    Location: The Doldrums

    In-engine screenshot? Fuckin' Awesome.

  19. #19
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2004
    Location: Maritime Provinces (Canada)
    Quote Originally Posted by Gingerbread Man
    I hope the time and effort put into such water turns out to be a little more gameplay-productive
    Personally I'm hoping for potential scenarios where the dome gets cracked and having the water slowly leak-in and flood the surrounding areas, complete with floating objects. Sorta like the awakening on the Van Braun and the rush to the airlock.

  20. #20
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2005
    Location: Scotland
    Cripes, if done properly you should be able to *create* that kind of situation.

  21. #21
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2004
    Location: Maritime Provinces (Canada)
    That was along my way of thinking that the player's actions could submerge parts of rapture but it would have to be balanced accordingly since I doubt you would want the entire city submerged, the protectors look like they would be fine but unless the gatherers have gils it might pose a game design problem or else bilge pumps will have to be in key areas.

  22. #22
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2005
    Location: Scotland
    You're not thinking eco-system:

    You break the glass, someone/thing else comes and repairs it - water level drops slowly (depending on how high it got) because it's an underwater city - the designers probably forsaw that kind of problem. (Bildge pumps or whatever, I know jack about hydro-dynamic engineering). Not all that diving gear has to be for show though - nothing to logically stop them going outside and doing repairs.

    Probably predominantly re-inforced (or non-existant, depending on how deep under this gets) glass too, so most of it wont be breakable until way late in the weapons list anyway, and likely automated blast door type things so if you break the window you better be sure *you* can survive long enough (or get out - envisage all those slow doors in Half-Life), let alone the Rapturous Chorus.

    That and simply enough, everything might have gills.

  23. #23
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2001
    Location: The Doldrums
    Just noticed some falling water in this screenshot too, http://media.pc.ign.com/media/707/70...g_3574576.html on the left. There's a nice pic in the IGN article showing the flooded bathroom that shows the reflection capability of the water.

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