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| What's the big effin deal with BioShock? (1 comments )|
by: sparkileptic ()
Posted 57 months ago ( edited 57 months ago ) in category DEFAULT
Released as an exclusive for the XBOX 360 and PC last year, Bioshock was received as the game of the year and was hailed as an iconic experience that only occurs once every 10 years or so. Some reviewers called it legendary, surpassing all of their expectations, while others were quick to award it with the coveted "Best Game Ever Created" title. Having gone through ample praises and reviews, I wondered if it really is the experience that I was expecting.
Bioshock is a First-Person Shooter (FPS) based on a fictitious world where rebels of all fields were given a so-called utopia to unleash all of their talents without being controlled or limited. It is a theoretical, if not extreme, look at the world in a post anarchist state that tends to poke at the fact that given enough freedom, people would turn themselves inside out with insanity. The basis of the game is attractive, and combined with such a dystopian background, I was quick to install the game and sink with my obsessive need for an original story.The events of the game slowly unravel with the help of random voice recordings and eerie ghostly illusions that are scattered around the city and which help you in understanding the world that these people have created for themselves as well as the madness that has taken over them. From surgeons who went rampant with their surgical equipment to genetically altered little girls who harvest on dead bodies, Bioshock never falls short on imaginative characters and you will be facing enough disturbed incarnations throughout your 20 hour journey to make you play the game on multiple short intervals rather on extended ones. During the game, you will be accompanied by different characters that lead you through its many parts by means of a radio transmitter that you carry with you. These characters play a pivotal role in the storyline and are always in contact with you. How they know what you are doing and where you are is not explained in the game and the designers seemed to have considered that the player will adopt it as a suspension of disbelief. I for one did not.
The game is ultimately a shooter and it does not attempt to prove otherwise, however too many were the times when I felt that the action was at times exaggerated and forced in order to justify itself as one, something that is very typical in most current shooters. During the brief moments where you are not destroying everything around you, the game offers you many role playing aspects that allow you to customize your protagonist in as many possible methods as your gaming needs desire, including the ability to create and modify your own plasmids, the upgrades in the game, to suit your own playing style. This of course comes at a moral price: Harvest the little sisters for their much needed "Adam", the ingredient needed for your upgrades, or salvage them in return for a smaller amount of it? The game does possess multiple endings, but they are only dependant on whether you harvest or not.
Though tired and overused, some twists within the game stood out as a surprising element at times when the game started feeling trigger happy. One such moment was Dr. Steinman whom you encounter in the midst of one of his "creations" and upon spotting you screams out how ugly you are before attacking you. Enemy splicers also create interesting diversions in the psycho babble that they have with one another and the ambient that they create while they lurk in the shadows is definitely breath taking. Graphically the game is a step forward and the water effect is a testament of the engine that was used, as almost everything around you is interactive, except for some light bulbs that seem to be the only source of light, and hence are not programmed to be broken which ends up being a further proof of focus on aesthetics rather on choice. Some glitches in the characters also occur as a result of their ragdoll physics, but they are not many and are easily excusable.
My main qualm with the game was that it seemed to have borrowed a lot under the pretext of ingenuity. One of its main sell points was that it is based in a neo version of the 50's that went horribly wrong and many gamers flooded to the idea thinking that Bioshock broke boundaries by doing that. These same gamers must have missed out on the Fallout series. The upgrade system resembles that of Fallout's and the 50's music, mood and dystopian outlook of the city all stink of a rip off. Being based under water is not enough of a reason to release it of blame. Stating that the plane crash was very reminiscent of Lost might be exaggerated, but it is true.
Bioshock is a good game, at best, that would only be enjoyed by the gun toting geek who is seeking an alternative from the norm. I highly doubt that any true gamer would embrace it the way the media has and I certainly would not label it as the best game ever. It is a fun game that looks good. Let's not go overboard with the praises.
|1 User Comment(s) • 1 root comment(s)|
| m0thr4 (1) Oct 20, 2008 - 03:56 am|
|Finally! A sane voice amidst the ridiculous hype! Loved this and your review of Metal Gear Solid 4. Keep 'em coming!|
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