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Bioshock Review

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  • Bioshock Review

    Our latest review from Ryan Stepalavich has been published.


  • #2
    Excellent review. I am going thru the game for a third time, and am about half-way thru on hard.


    • #3
      I tried to go through a second time, but I lost interest by about the third level.
      “To discriminate against a thoroughly upright citizen because he belongs to some particular church, or because, like Abraham Lincoln, he has not avowed his allegiance to any church, is an outrage against that liberty of conscience which is one of the foundations of American life.”


      • #4
        Well, it probably helps that i'm playing thru on the 360, and trying to get all the achievements. I will admit that this will be my last time playing thru, but i still really liked the game, and have to say, I got my moneys worth.

        The game is no way as inovative as some might say, but i really enjoyed it.


        • #5
          If you liked BioShock...

          Abstract: If you like BioShock, run (don't walk) to your favorite game vendor and buy Deus Ex and System Shock 2.

          Don't forget to mention System Shock 2... The spiritual predecessor to BioShock. It is *very* similar to BS (unfortunate set of initials ;-) (NOT a bad thing), but way less visually impressive (i.e. pretty bad), but you cease to notice that about 5 minutes into the game.

          It is set in the future aboard a starship in which you awake, surrounded by mysterious, mutated beings (splicers). Instead of being genetically based, it is based on cybernetic enhancements. The "currency" of the enhancements is cyber-modules (ADAM). It is a more "advanced" game in that there is also a skill system and an inventory to manage. There is the skill of psionics (plasmids) which require psi-hypos. You can also drink alcohol for a slight health gain with slight psi cost. I found the skill system quite enjoyable... but as I think now, I realize that the skill system is the equivalent of the gene tonics. But the skill system divides weapons into groups: ballistic, energy and heavy, so it was more expensive overall. You can hack the security system, turrets, security crates and vending machines. The vending machines used nanites for currency. There is an enemy who taunts you, and a voice that gave PSAs over the PA. You could upgrade weapons and there are multiple ammo types. There is a research system which gave you info about enemies' weaknesses. But it also gave you a deeper description which was cool.

          There is a *much* wider variety of enemies, which I very much prefer. It also has a co-op mode. I just played through it with a friend in FL (I'm in MA, 1000 miles away) using Skype to communicate and it was one of the absolute funnest gaming experiences I've ever had.

          There were two features that were pretty widely frowned upon:
          1) Weapon degradation. Weapons would fail over time and become unusable. A nice idea, but it happened way too quickly. You could count on find weapons in better conditions, but for your modded ones, you really needed to take a maintenance skill and use maintenance tools.
          2) People didn't like the fact that levels were never cleaned out, like in BS.

          Overall, I'd say the game play was >90% identical, but more steam lined and (I hope) more appealing to a wider audience and better sales. It *wasn't* dumbed down at all (like Deus Ex 2 was... My greatest gaming disappointment ever). BS and SS's similarity is more than OK since SS2 is my 2nd favorite game after Deus Ex 1. DX has skills, cyber enhancement, the freedom to overcome foes in a variety of ways and an extensive dialog tree; but it had, IMO, a far deeper plot and a less linear path through the game. I once did something I was sure would end the game, but there was a plot fork for it. Sorry, Ken. DX's graphics pretty much sucked, too, and it also didn't matter at all. And it was a huge game. I've played through DX 3 or 4 times and each time I've found large chunks of the world that I'd missed earlier. Not simple "sekrit areas" but sections of towns, new buildings and even and entire "sub-level."

          So if you like BS, get DX and SS2 and hope that game companies decide to support games like this in the future. Even games like the original Half Life don't compare. HL was, despite it's advances, 99% the same story as DooM: Research Lab opens portal to a bad place. Bad guys teleport in, some humans are turned into zombies. You fight your way across the Research Complex, go through the portal to the bad place, kill a big boss, fade to black and goto end credits. I guess the 1% difference was fighting your "own side," the gubmint. I loved it.

          While great graphics cannot make a game, they can make a good game better. But hopefully, the graphics wars will top out and more time can be given to plot and game play. I love physics and other interactions with the world. More simulation of real world things: I'd love to toss bleach at a foe (causing chemical burns) and then some ammonia, which would mix with the bleach and make mustard gas. Or plug a found wire into a socket, toss the other end into some water that I dumped out of a "bubblah" (as they call a water cooler up heah in Bahston) and zap mine enemies. With a properly simulated world, this would not be special case at all, but would simply emerge from the game knowing how each of these items works. Using "hollywood" physics would be more fun that real physics.

          And now, I think it's time for some more BioShock. Thanks, Ken!



          • #6
            Well, i just beat the game for a third time, and on hard, and i got 1000/1000 achievement points. Now i think i can try something else.


            • #7
              Some humurous pics for y'all:

              That's one heck of a needle. . .


              • #8
                I thought the review was almost completely tops.

                However, the failure too mention certain aspects keeps it from being completely accurate. But hell, that's what PC Gamer is for.


                • #9
                  So what is that place-the world of Bioshock? Looks like some kind of alternate reality.

                  "Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a ugly brawl."
                  --Frederick II, King of Prussia


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MonsterZero View Post
                    So what is that place-the world of Bioshock? Looks like some kind of alternate reality.
                    Bioshock takes place in 1960, in an underwater city called Rapture.

                    Just beat it for the fourth time, great game, i love it!


                    • #11
                      Generally a good review, not necessarily accurate in identifying it as a tribute to Ayn Rand. Can be seen as a debunking of Ayn Rand since the founder of Rapture was clearly following her principals but much of the depth revealed in the game could be seen as anti objectivism.

                      If you are twisted enough like me to actually be interested in this, this is an interesting analysis

                      Boston Strong!


                      • #12
                        I have to say I prefer Zero Punctuation's review:



                        • #13
                          That was great, and everything he said was spot on. But, i still love the game, enough to beat it four times, three times on hard, which gets easier everytime you play thru.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jayedub7423 View Post
                            That was great, and everything he said was spot on. But, i still love the game, enough to beat it four times, three times on hard, which gets easier everytime you play thru.
                            It was one of his most friendly reviews of a game. He's basically one of these guys who only lists the negatives he sees and for Bioshock he actually said some very positive stuff even if he did get it out of the road in the first 30 seconds.


                            • #15
                              I watched a few of his other reviews, like for Halo 3 and Manhunt, they are great. I've got that site booked and will be checking it out often.


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