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Thread: Your reviews here! (SPOILERS)

  1. #26
    Registered: Jun 2000
    Location: Wellington, New Zealand
    Quote Originally Posted by GamerX View Post
    Here's my review of Bioshock, in video form on Youtube.
    Interesting review, overall pretty fair. However it seems clear that you missed some of the diaries because your ending questions about plot points being unanswered shows a few lacks.

    Ryan never planned for Adam - it was a curve ball he totally failed to appreciate or anticipate till very late in the game. Fontaine out maneuvered him here. Indeed he only becomes the dominant force in Adam production through his forceable takeover of Fontaine Futuristics - he fails to live up to his own ideals here and undertakes a police action. Sullivan has two or three logs commenting on it.

    Fontaine on the other hand used Tennebaum and Suchong to develop Adam, quickly appreciating the addictive nature of it and like any good drug pusher knew he could profit greatly from this. It provides him with a more direct method than the already running long game he has of creating civil unrest to destablise Rapture and let him take it over. He pushes the weaponisation of Adam even as he develops the weapon upgrade stations knowing that the biological powers will let him conduct a more effective campaign of civil disobedience than weaponry alone.

    Before he can openly start the civil war Ryan's police action forces him to hide and temporarily derails his plans with the takeover of his company by Ryan. This buys Rapture a few years as he readjusts his plans and starts using the Atlas pseudonym.

    Adam also lets Fontaine deal directly with his biggest stumbling block to taking over - the genetic locking system that keeps the city Security systems on Ryan's side. He uses Suchong and Tennebaum to develop Jack as a controllable pawn that will hand the city over to him. He culminates his plans by starting the civil war New Years eve 1959 and using his smuggling ring to prime Jack to arrive at the city to help him finish Ryan off.

    The whole pheremones business was Ryan trying to deal with the now massive army of splicers Fontaine has created and prevent them from organised resistance as he now tries to fight the ghost Atlas...

    As for the creation and timescale of Rapture they freely acknowledge that Rapture is an impractical at best, impossible really, thing in the making of documentary. They opted for the more fanciful approach as it better suited the story they wanted to tell. So you are right the city doesn't make practical sense in the timeline they give.

    Finally yes Bioshock is similar in many ways to System Shock 2 but the design goal was different. They have been banging on for the better part of a year before release that Bioshock was decidedly an FPS and *not* an FPS/RPG hybrid like System Shock 2. Consequently complaining that they stripped the the inventory management out of the game is perhaps being a little unfair. Irrational were pretty upfront about what their aim was.

  2. #27
    Registered: Oct 2004
    Location: Does it matter?
    (To be clear, I have the 360 version)

    My view on BioShock?

    It's fun.

    Honestly, that's the best thing I can say about it, and in reality is the highest compliment you should be able to pay a game. That it's fun. I played it, loved it, came onto here to see what the view of the title was and found that a disturbingly large number of people seemingly dislike the game. Why? Because they feel it doesn't live up to the legacy of System Shock, and as such, fails as a game period apparently. Well, guess what.

    I liked it better than System Shock 2. A lot better.

    Was BioShock perfect? Hell no. Even on Hard, I find it way too easy. These splicers walk around all the time looting corpses and boxes, trying to find items, food, money, ADAM, yet there's a ton of shit laying around EVERYWHERE. Health packs and EVE hypos scattered in plain sight, weapons and ammo crying to be picked up. This meant that you would almost always have a ton of ammo, making any encounter (even with Big Daddies) too easy. Hell, I didn't even use the Vita Chambers (I just reloaded every time I died) and it still wasn't tough.

    Then there's the customization problem. By the end of the game, you can have almost every plasmid and tonic (or all of them if you play your cards right) regardless of whether you harvested or saved the little sisters (which in the end, besides a few plasmids, makes little difference, almost insultingly so to the storyline).

    Then we'd got the final bit of the game with escorting the little sister and the Fontaine fight. I can finally say I've beaten the crap out of an giant, weak Emmy statue.

    Now after all that, you'd figure I'd hate the game right? Wrong. Because despite all that, it's FUN. The storyline is fantastic, the graphics and art direction amazing, the sound seemingly flawless, and the actual use of the weapons and plasmids enjoyable. It's a good length, with lots to see and do.

    Why do I like it better than SS2 though? Because as a game, to me, it failed in places. Even on the lowest difficulty, it made you work too hard to get anywhere. Hacking was terrible, it was more or less a guess game (unless you were a much higher level, but that required a lot of work for what was sometimes little payoff). Weapons broke after two shots and the actual shooting was boring as hell, meaning most of the time I personally relied on the wrench. And despite claims of it being a terrifying game, I rarely was ever scared by it. I was more scared of the constantly respawning enemies and my poor condition shotgun that was one blast away from needing to be repaired.

    Frankly, overall, I found System Shock 2 a bit boring. I've never regretted playing it though, mostly because of the excellent plotline. No question it was great there. But as a gamer, I found I spent too much time stressing over very limited ammo, trying to sneak around everything in un-sneak friendly environments, and in the end putting too much work and frustration into getting to any fun points in it.

    So does me liking BioShock more than System Shock 2 make me just another stupid console gamer who'll never understand intelligent design? I dunno, seems to be the view of some around here (though not all). So far for me, personally, BioShock's the best game I've played this year. I found myself getting angry, happy, and sad at the plot. I found myself sitting and listening to the sounds of Rapture, and grinning and I sent splicers flying with my cyclone traps. And while playing it, I was always having a great time. And for me, when it comes to games, that's the most important thing there is.

  3. #28
    Registered: Mar 2006
    Location: Hamilton, New Zealand
    Quote Originally Posted by T-Smith View Post
    But as a gamer, I found I spent too much time stressing over very limited ammo, trying to sneak around everything in un-sneak friendly environments, and in the end putting too much work and frustration into getting to any fun points in it.
    You have to understand that is exactly what people found fun about SS2, that it was a challenge. It definitely had flaws (weapon degradation) but alot of people here like challenging games, just like some people like challeging films,music etc. People found it scary because you were always on the verge of no ammo, nanites, weapon breaking etc. in a very hostile environment. I was never scared in Bioshock because I felt invincible (in actual fact you are invincible!) Don't get me wrong though I enjoyed Bioshock alot and don't really have a problem with the more action orientated focus but it was just too damn easy. So I had fun for a while but the last few levels were a bit dull only the story pulled me through.
    I do think Bioshock was dumbed down for the console market but I don't think console players are dumb. There are plenty of tough and complex console games. Its the PC developers that make games for consoles that are dumb.

  4. #29
    Registered: Oct 2004
    Location: Does it matter?
    Quote Originally Posted by Angel Dust View Post
    You have to understand that is exactly what people found fun about SS2, that it was a challenge. It definitely had flaws (weapon degradation) but alot of people here like challenging games, just like some people like challeging films,music etc.
    And that certainly I don't have a problem understanding. I enjoy challenge myself (the looks on my friends faces as I try to ghost levels in Thief is priceless. "WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT!?"). But not when I feel it's too much for too little, or unrealistically so. I just always felt that System Shock 2 could never really decide what kid of game it wanted to be. Though I prefer BioShock over SS2, I'm not gonna beat people over the head with it and tell them they're wrong or stupid for thinking the other way around, because they aren't. It's just a sad fact that some people do try to do that.

  5. #30
    Registered: Mar 2006
    Location: Hamilton, New Zealand
    Yeah it does get a bit crazy round here but thats what happens when people get passionate about things. Personally I found SS1 & 2 immensely satisfying. They are the 2 best games I've ever played (Thief would be up there too). That said I still think Bioshock it a good game and will possibly become a great one once the modders get a hold of it. Most of the problems I have with are mostly niggles which I am sure will be tweaked.
    Edit: well there will be no modding now so the game is not going to get better. After my second playthrough (which I never finished) my view of the game has dropped considerably. It's now just OK.
    Last edited by Angel Dust; 26th Nov 2007 at 22:32.

  6. #31
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: First floor
    I liked the game a lot. Once I'd adopted the interface, I went along with it, and the rest of the game seemed playable well. Having no explicit inventory meant one burdon less to think about, even though it drops a bit of a realism and it perhaps reduces the transparency of what one is carrying. It happened often that I created ammo at U-Invent that I was actually carrying the max amount of.

    The design of the game is great. Getting the story through picking up the logs was a mechanism I'd get used to in System Shock (2), and it was enough to make poking into every nook and crany of Raptrure worthwhile, even though I sometimes found visiting certain places less than rewarding. There was a point when I wondered if I should really hack a safe, having had enough ammo already.

    My liking of the story actually picked up at the Ryan incident. I've been wondering, however, if his death was a full result of the player's conditioning and hypnosis, or did he actually commit a suicide, considering the place was set to self destruct anyway. I also found the whole would you kindly business slightly ironic, since in the game you do not really have any choice but to do what you are told. I wished that beyond Ryan there was some choice to be taken, considering the collecting of the suit sounded like a one-way ticket. But putting us into the big daddy's shoes (literarily and otherwise) was a nice move, even though, again, making us kill those big daddies, and then say, "look, this is what it is like to be one --- how do you like it now?" was again an irony. Or a sarcasm. And the level designers really made sure the sequence was tricky, putting those corpses always somewhere where there was more than one way for the splicers to attack.

    I hope that the accessiblity of the game will make enough of a buck for the authors to produce more, and hopefully even something for the more hard-core gamers.

  7. #32
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland
    My thoughts:

    I bought a new PC to play Bioshock on, and I've avoided this site between Bioshock being announced and me completing the game. I did the same thing for Thief 3.
    I very much enjoyed Bioshock, and I think I have a very picky taste for games, so that's saying a lot.
    But as a SS2 fan, I wasn't sold on the game's "originality" hype.

    Some things I'd like to note about the game:

    The Vita chambers. Ok, this is a boring subject on this forum. I thought these were a mixed blessing, and overall a Good Thing.

    The story line. This was very well done. Only complaint was that it followed the template defined by SS2 etc. But even with me expecting a certain format to the story, it managed to impress me.
    I was expecting some clever tie-in between BS and SS. I didn't notice any, but I may well have missed some. I did notice mention of symbiotic sea-slugs, was that a forward reference?
    edit: I forgot about the saturnine pagans. Not really a tie-in, more a nod to Thief.

    The gameplay. Not enough variety of enemies, and I felt BS suffered from the FPS curse of re-using enemies and upping the difficulty. I've no problem with seeing repetition of enemies throughout the game... but when a "common grunt" enemy goes from being a one-hit-kill to withstanding a full magazine of ammo whilst side-strafing at lightning speed, there's a big drain on satisfaction.
    Hacking was fun, but I felt the mini-game didn't fit the theme 100%. And with the easiness in destroying security units plus the high re-spawn rate, it almost wasn't worth it.

    The audio. This is perhaps the most disappointing area for me. The sound volumes didn't seem balanced. Inconsequential sounds (like an object being kicked aside by your foot) were way too loud; and spoken audio was way too quiet. I had to get in the habit of hitting M for map whenever listening to a diary, and even then I had to listen close.
    I also thought the enemy ad-libs were weak. Some were good at setting the scene (i.e. that the splicers are completely insane), but they overall just gave the impression that the designers had included enemy ad-lib'ing, but provided no direction on what the actual ad-lib'ing should be

    Finally... what was the deal with the occasional splicers who were accompanied by a security bot, both having some red radiation coming from them?
    Last edited by stoxy; 1st Dec 2007 at 06:24.

  8. #33
    You're not the only one who can hack bots.

  9. #34
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland
    That makes hacking security even less worthwhile!

  10. #35
    Registered: Jan 2000
    Location: sup
    Some interesting reviews in here, I'll add my own very short version:

    - beautiful in many ways
    - brilliantly immersive for first hour or so
    - logs capture a rather captivating backstory
    - pretty stable game, no crashes experienced
    - some lovely music and sound effects in places
    - some of the ideas contained within bioshock are truly brilliant (seeds of an amazing game left to grow on rocky ground)

    - repetitive combat (lots of weapons does not make the combat varied)
    - weak AI
    - overpowered weapons
    - tension bleeds as you proceed due to vita chambers
    - RPG/Upgrades system is shite
    - many plasmids I had no real clue what to do with
    - graphics could be a little bit twitchy at times, the load of textures following being dropped in a level for example
    - no sound occlusion
    - lack of touted "moral choice"
    - lack of innovative gameplay deserving of "shooter 2.0" moniker and bs hype
    - lack of flowthrough from backstory to drive/motivation for the remnants of Rapture
    - lack of interesting set pieces after the initial hour or so
    - lack of impact from any choices made (after you start killing little sisters, why, under any circumstances whatsoever, would they help you escape Fontaine after Ryan's office?)
    - everyone in rapture got obsessed with adam, that's why the "splicers" have one or two abilities and THAT'S IT, yeah... that's well thought out
    - trite "twist", both Ryan's mind control and Atlas=Fontaine
    - player character is effectively just a vehicle for plot delivery
    - game effectively grinds to a halt after Ryan's office, why would I want to keep playing?
    - boss fight like a 1990 fps
    - ridiculous black or white, saviour or demon endings

    Final Rating: 5/10

  11. #36
    For my review just take Scots review and add:

    - varied use of Plasmids make combat fun before it gets repetitive

    That's it!

    That makes hacking security even less worthwhile!
    No it doesn't.

  12. #37
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland
    Quote Originally Posted by Subjective Effect View Post
    For my review just take Scots review and add:

    - varied use of Plasmids make combat fun before it gets repetitive

    That's it!

    No it doesn't.

    Yes it does.

  13. #38
    Here's my review of Bioshock, in video form on Youtube.

    User was banned by Gingerbread Man on 27-5-2008

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