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Sotha

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Bought BS1 and 2 off steam summer sales. Completed them just yesterday.

 

I've got a bit mixed feelings about them. The location was brilliant and the maps were gorgeous. The plot had nice twists and it was conveyed nicely with the audiologs. The gameplay, unfortunately, was a bit repetitive for me at least. Next room. Wipe out splicers. Next room. Wipe out splicers. Next room. Wipe out Big Daddy. Next room push button. Next room...

 

Also on BS2 endgame, I got irritated that I walked 2 steps and I got a radio message. Then I took another 2 steps and I got another radio message and the contents of both messages were something like "boohoo, you ruined everything *grumble grumble*." It got a bit over the top at the end.

 

Also somehow, I didn't much care about the characters. They were a bit too superficial.

 

 

The people 'helping' the character were just voices telling what to do. (Even without the "would you kindly.")

Sinclair gets killed and thanks me for it -> Yeah yeah, gimme the key already. That guy helped the main character all the way, but still the character was too uninteresting for me to care.

 

 

Somehow in DXHR the characters were more 'lifelike' that one grew attached to them. I wonder, psychologically, what makes the difference. How do you get the player to care whether NPC dies or not? The answer to this question would benefit TDM mappers as well.

 

The locations were so filled with corpses that you get desensitized after the first level. Death somehow lost it's.. ..well, impact factor. It would have been interesting the the vita-chambers would have worked for everyone, explaining the respawning enemies and giving the player an interesting decision whether to destroy them or leave them. Just like the first-aid stations.

 

Also I think the plasmid mappings changed every now and then and I was confused which key which plasmid was under. In a tight combat situation that was a bit awkward, so in the end I used only a few plasmids. The fact that I survived even on hard difficulty suggests the game was maybe a bit too easy. BS1 was more difficult. Both games had maybe too much hand-holding, too. They were so straight forward, that I started wondering what kind of person would get stuck: the hand-holding wasn't really required.

 

The soundtrack deserves an own paragraph, it was so great. I was even considering replaying the games only to enjoy the soundtrack, but the games weren't THAT fun to make me do that kind of investment. It was easier to just listen it on youtube. The soundtrack was so great, I think, the game did not do justice to it. It is the soundtrack for an excellent game. These were just good.

 

I wish we had such a composer and orchestra doing audio for TDM.

If you haven't listened, they are here:

 

Ear candy!

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Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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I found that Bioshock gave me an initial rush due to the original and beautifully realised world they had going, but after a while, it lost its magic because the game underneath felt really flat (compared to SS2, which was the other way round - generic story, initially questionable-appearing mechanics, but great depth). There is a strange feeling I could not identify on my first playthrough, but (spoilers for BS1)

 

it is interesting that the game spends a lot of time building for a Manchurian Candidate-esque plot twist through its ''gamified'' handholding and linearity, but after you are over that, it pushes you right back on those rails even worse than before. There is a later objective where you have to turn yourself into a Big Daddy by welding a diving suit on your own body and, I am not kidding, deepthroating a rusty drill to modify your voicebox (!), and all that to go through a door (!) and embark on an escort mission (!). Then there is a boss fight. I mean, I am not 100% sure that was not an intentional double-twist to demonstrate that yes, gamers will in fact do anything they are told to collect their plot tokens and advance with the story. :blink:

 

I think the game would have gained tremendously if, after that turn, you could have revisited all the earlier levels from different angles, opening up new areas and uncovering new secrets, all in a less linear fashion with more personal choice (the supposed Big Theme of the game, and its claim to the coveted 'Citizen Kane' status).

 

Also, I find the game impossible to replay. I have tried twice, and got bored with it on the second/first level, respectively.

 

So, no idea why this is considered such a great series (didn't play the other two games, but they are apparently more of the same).

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Come the time of peril, did the ground gape, and did the dead rest unquiet 'gainst us. Our bands of iron and hammers of stone prevailed not, and some did doubt the Builder's plan. But the seals held strong, and the few did triumph, and the doubters were lain into the foundations of the new sanctum. -- Collected letters of the Smith-in-Exile, Civitas Approved

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(spoilerified text)

 

Hey, I had the same. You dressed up the thing I could not describe quite well... You find a rusty big injection needle containing some weird fluid on the dirty floor and an unknown voice on the radio tells you to inject it. You just do it.

 

 

 

A deep feeling the game tells the player to do something you wouldn't want to and you just have to obey to progress. That suit part could have easily been an interesting player choice. (Stay human or turn into big daddy (for 25% damage resistance!! whoo!). In the end-cinematic the girls hold a human hand and they imply the player character had a normal life with family, so I suppose the Big-Daddy-ification wasn't permanent, like they kept saying in the radio messages.

 

Bioshock games were full of this kind of inconsistensies that made the plot transform from initial "realistic-suspense-interesting" into "yeah-right."

 

Bioshock 2 had it's own share of these. At least my mind started rebelling at the plausibiliy of certain things and it does great harm to the immersion. Probably this plausibility issue was one of the things that made the game characters so detached from me.

 

Reality was transformed to maintain the plot line, instead of plot line transforming reality. At least I find reality-breaching problematic because after that the plot is just a hammer that beats the player into achieving the objectives, nothing more.

 

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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Bioshock was a HUGE disappointment. The early glimpses of it looked amazing but the fast pace and action focus ruined it for me. It's only superficially similar to System Shock 2 and not a spiritual successor at all (IMO).

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BS2 has one of the most profound story of all times in videogaming, the bound between you and Eleonor is amazing.

Minerva's Den DLC too is heartbreaking in the ending (the ONLY color TV in Rapture isn't a design fluke, there's pure love in disgraced Rapture too!) and a good homage to informatics: Turing, subject SIGMA (-> "+") , the deterministic vision of computation, etc...

Edited by lowenz

Task is not so much to see what no one has yet seen but to think what nobody has yet thought about that which everybody see. - E.S.

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I found that Bioshock gave me an initial rush due to the original and beautifully realised world they had going, but after a while, it lost its magic because the game underneath felt really flat

Bioshock was a HUGE disappointment.

I can only agree. A game that starts with a high amount of athmosphere, tension and immersion, and turned out to be just another COD-like railgun-shooter.

 

And the ending was imho absolutely silly.

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So, no idea why this is considered such a great series (didn't play the other two games, but they are apparently more of the same).

Philosophical, psychological, scientific contest?

 

It's a game not about the shooting but about the context and how the story make you discover, explore, live the context.

And after all, it's a FPS with a good RPG twist, like System Shock series (the precursor of Bioshock)

Edited by lowenz

Task is not so much to see what no one has yet seen but to think what nobody has yet thought about that which everybody see. - E.S.

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Bioshock has none of the RPG elements of System Shock 2, you can't pick perks or build your character at all. You don't even have an inventory iirc. The only similarities in that regard are the weapon modifications, and even then they're not really required to progress. Infinite is also a very linear, rather mediocre shooter with a nonsensical and pretentious clusterfuck of a story. It's mostly saved because of its impeccable art direction and amazing setting.

Edited by skacky
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Tonics are the perks! Nobody remembers tonics :D

Yes, inventory is very limited, it's a design (FPS component > RPG component) choice.

 

Infinite is linear for the gameplay, not for the story/plot!

Take a look here! http://bioshockmysteries.com/

 

It's really a stimulus for the mind, like Jules Verne's tales back in the days!

Edited by lowenz

Task is not so much to see what no one has yet seen but to think what nobody has yet thought about that which everybody see. - E.S.

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  • 10 months later...

 

yes, gamers will in fact do anything they are told to collect their plot tokens and advance with the story. :blink:

 

 

 

 

Do you feel like a hero yet?

 

 

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I have only played BS 1 and 3. Loved 'em both for their unique settings. Especially part 3 kept surprising me with new ideas and the story was excellent, too. I always felt like a chiled discovering a new world with its grotesque beliefs etc. Awesome! Still got to play the DLCs. Biker said they were excellent, too.

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I've read a few people that thought BS2 was the best.

 

I need to play at least the first one for the record, I feel, but I'm hopelessly behind in games I want to play, and people's reactions haven't drawn me to it. But I do want to explore their worlds anyway.

 

Contrast to SS2 and DX though where my friends basically insisted I play them ASAP.

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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I'm among those who think BS2 was the best, because I thought it rather toned down the in-your-face plot elements and big twist that were going to be unsatisfactory anyway, while improving on the straight FPS gameplay. And, although the communism vs. capitalism theme was uncalled for, I liked the rather simpler backstory about family ties much more than the objectivist bullshit of the first one.

 

IMO the original game had a superb setting, excellent aesthetics and audio direction coupled with shallow game systems, clunky UI and a misplaced scope because of an annoying, assertive plot which didn't manage to bring anything to the experience. The sequel at least acknowledged its failings (although it only refined them without trying to change things around too much) and managed to make the shooting itself fun.

 

I haven't played Bioshock Infinite because the tutorial dragged on so much without managing to pique my interest that I gave up.

Edited by Briareos H
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Of course none of the games even touch the majesty of System Shock 1 and 2, I enjoyed Bioshock 1, 2, and Infinite. Few people agree with me on this, but my favorite in the series is the second game, while my least favorite is Bioshock Infinte. It's a solid game, I acknowledge that much, but it's too on-the-rails for me I suppose, and the same could be said for a few moments in the first two games. I loved Bioshock 1 and 2 because it was creepy and ambiguous, where the world was a mystery, hidden and waiting to be uncovered by the player while playing. In Bioshock Infinite, the setting was just sort of laid bare to the player. Trust me, I respect the size and scope, it's just the presentation and execution of it all. I didn't enjoy it as much as I would have wanted too.

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I didn't enjoy it as much as I would have wanted too.

It seems the big problem of Infinite.....with all of us.

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Task is not so much to see what no one has yet seen but to think what nobody has yet thought about that which everybody see. - E.S.

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It seems the big problem of Infinite.....with all of us.

I was always flabbergasted by the visuals and overall art direction as well as atmosphere and having to shoot some enemies through mostly linear levels was a price I was willing to pay. :)

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I was always flabbergasted by the visuals and overall art direction as well as atmosphere and having to shoot some enemies through mostly linear levels was a price I was willing to pay. :)

Well, I think that's what separates people who liked and didn't like the game.

I still think it's a good game regardless, and I didn't feel cheated out of my money, not in the slightest. It's just not my kind of game.

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I was always flabbergasted by the visuals and overall art direction as well as atmosphere and having to shoot some enemies through mostly linear levels was a price I was willing to pay. :)

Totally ruined the experience for me. I'd have been content with just watching a let's play.

You can call me Phi, Numbers, Digits, Ratio, 16, 1618, or whatever really, as long as it's not Phil.

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Well, I think all of the Bioshock games, as well as SS2, are solid games, but were quite over-hyped. The worlds while looking fantastic at first are either rather dead (SS2, BS) or very static in a theatre background kind of way (BSI). I never got the feeling that these were living worlds compared to say Black Mesa in HL! The layout of SS2 was a joke to supposedly be a spaceship and the underwater aspect of BS was never really used, no breaking glass, no flooding sections, no diving, swimming or being floated somewhere! The combat was repetitive especially in SS2 where you needed to use a wrench on hundreds of endless respawning enemies because you had little ammo and your guns would break after a few shots. What a ridiculuous setting! Also the so called plot-twist was guessable years ahead in SS2 and it wasn't much better that it was then repeated in a similar manner in BS too. I never played the first SS but I wouldn't be surprised if they did the same thing there already...

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I'd have been content with just watching a let's play.

That's how I experienced it (well, the first few levels anyway, up to the point where you find Elisabeth), and it did not encourage me to pick up the game. It felt like a very decontextualised shooting gallery where you didn't have enough interesting decisions to make - very linear and very constrained in the approaches you could take. More than that, it was the amount of shooting that destroyed any remaining interest. Infinite is a game that would have been much better off if it was an adventure game (a long-dead genre), or a much-much more focused, much-much more restrained social stealth game taking cues from Hitman, but applying them to its own setting. And it badly needed more environmental/AI interaction. Much more of that.

 

The much-praised message, as I understand it, was mostly ''racism is bad, jingoism is bad, and religious fundamentalism is the worst'', which, no offence, is neither particularly interesting nor particularly daring. It is going with the political flow and taking potshots at thoroughly discredited ideologies from a safe, popular vantage point - A Mind Forever Voyaging it ain't.

Come the time of peril, did the ground gape, and did the dead rest unquiet 'gainst us. Our bands of iron and hammers of stone prevailed not, and some did doubt the Builder's plan. But the seals held strong, and the few did triumph, and the doubters were lain into the foundations of the new sanctum. -- Collected letters of the Smith-in-Exile, Civitas Approved

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