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    Kool-aid!'s Bioshock (PC)

    [March 6, 2008 03:33:14 AM]

    I was able to dive a lot deeper into BioShock on my second play through. My play style has changed a bit since my last entry. I said that I really enjoyed exploring the world and even the bloody and ruined environments had interest. My attention to the environment has been greatly reduced. And that is for one reason only; this game has dangerous psychopathic killers running around. My curiosity has resulted in countless encounters with scary and strong enemies. The first ones where easy, but these guys have guns and bombs, and the ones who don't have a habit of sneaking up on me.

    The restaurant and main square where one thing. But the medical pavilion is something. There is blood every where. There are dead bodies everywhere. There are scary doctors and lots of mist. There are lights that turn off and crazies in my face when I turn around. And the sound is amazing. I'm enjoying this game in the dark at night with a pair of very good headphones. Every time I hear a sound I have to turn around in the game, and sometimes I turn around in my chair. It got to be that I would nervously wave my gun around at everything, always on edge. If I heard a sound, I'd back into a corner and try to see if something was coming after me. This game really has me scared. And I love it.

    I also ran into one of those little sisters. Now these 'little girls' have ADAM, which I need to make my character stronger to survive. Now I have a choice. I can either harvest the ADAM out of the little sister, which would kill her. Or I can rescue her. I read in an early version of the game, the only way to get ADAM was to harvest. So the choice was growing your character or making a moral choice. However, in the final build, you get ADAM either way. You just get less from rescuing the girl. So the choice was now if just a simulated morality which I had to make. On one hand, it's an innocent little girl of sorts. On the other hand, it's just an image generated by zeros and ones. I talked about making up a character to play earlier, and that came into play here. I already decided I was a basically good person who was being forced to do horrible things to survive. But this was too much. My character would save the little girls as soon as I would save myself. But what do all these choices have to do with a good video game?


    BioShock has so many interesting design elements; I hardly know where to start. First of all, the presentation of this game is out of this world. This really shows how polish can make an experience. The sound is eerie. The music is creepy. The voices are smart and insane. The world is wonderfully designed. The splicers look like monsters. All this comes together to make one really immersive experience. And I haven’t really talked about the gameplay yet. This game goes to show that if a designer puts time into their presentation, then the experience can go a tremendous distance.

    But that experience needs a driving force. The experience will never be, well, experienced if there is no reason to play. There needs to be something to keep the player playing, to keep the story unfolding, and to drive the reason and existence of this product. And that is the gameplay. Now BioShock's gameplay is an issue. It is fun, no question. The shooting is fun and the use of the plasmids is unique. I can say that the gameplay does enough. It keeps me interested, it is well designed and most importantly, it is fun. But I can't help but feel like it can be so much more.

    So many parts of the game seem like that can be deeper, like they were dumbed down to appeal to a large audience. I mentioned that there used to be no way to get ADAM besides harvesting. I think this should have stayed the case. No doubt, it would have made the game a lot harder. And furthermore, the more casual player would probably dismiss the choice as dumb and just harvest to get the ADAM without thinking about it. Maybe this would take away from the concept of the choice by making one choice 'stupid' from a gameplay perspective while the other is stupid from a story perspective. However, maybe the designer could have worked that into the story itself. Something about how most people will choice the easiest path regardless of how that affects other people. I don't know; maybe that kind of player wouldn't even pay attention to that kind of story nonsense. I guess it just comes down to why each player plays the game. Is it just for fun or is it for the story and experience? I know I'm the latter, but I like to have fun too.

    There are other parts that seem dumbed down too. There is no inventory management. You can pick up a lot of things in this game, but it is either consumed right away or handled by the computer as an 'invisible'inventory. You can save stuff, and you also can't make any decisions on what to leave or keep. It just seems like the kind of game that should have inventory, plus there are enough games that have one, it doesn't seem like a new thing. Also, all the character growth is just using the plasmids to gain new abilities. There are no stats, like strength. There are just 'get better at hacking' or 'get better at melee' plasmids you can choose from. On one hand, this seems like a little more realistic within the realm of the story and feel of the game, but on the other, it could have made the game a lot deeper to add these elements.

    This entry has been edited 2 times. It was last edited on Aug 12th, 2009 at 00:40:44.

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    [March 5, 2008 09:48:28 PM]
    BioShock is an engaging first person shooter. Unlike many shooters, Bioshock contains an amazing story featuring a ruined underwater art deco city call Rapture. The player controls a man who has fallen into the mist of this insane anarchy. The player has to find guns and other useful items to combat the crazed “splicers.” They also can modify their genes to become stronger and use spell like abilities. But the only way to get the resource they need to splice is through these little girls who wander the halls. Will the player try to rescue them, or use them for their own gain?

    Upon starting BioShock, I was immediately blown away by the presentation. From almost the very beginning, I found myself immersed in a wondrous art deco world. The first location of the game is a light house which serves as a gate to the city. This place had a wonderful design and was not at all in disarray. The entire place was fun to explore and although this was not a large area and there wasn’t really much to do, the area seemed a lot bigger just because of all there was to look at. Once I got into the city proper, I found the once beautiful place to be a frightening mess. There was blood on the walls, lights were out or flickering. Things were just generally destroyed. And this just made me want to look around even more.

    Everywhere I explored really remained me of the computer game, MYST. MYST did a great job of creating a wondrous fantasy world, and exploring that world was the key to the gameplay. BioShock has the same kind of world with a twist, everything is destroyed and now there are insane mutants trying to stalk and kill you. When I wasn’t fighting, I always stayed around to make sure I could explore everything. I know a lot of players who just try to rush through the levels as quickly as possible, and they are free to do that, I just feel like that’s not the right way to experience this game.

    I didn’t spend all my time exploring, there where killers about. For a while, the only weapon I could find was a wrench to whack people with and my first plasmid, electrobolt. Plasmids give the character special abilities. Some are passive, but electrobolt gives me the ability to shot a bolt of electricity from my fingertips. I was pleased to find that the world responded well to my electric attacks. In one part, I shocked a pool of water that an enemy was standing in to give him a deadly shock. Eventually, I found a gun. It’s just that it had only six bullets, so I made sure to make every shot count. For a lot of the game, ammo is very rare and I try to make it last. Eventually, it is easy to buy bullets from machines, but this ruins a great part of the game, which is resource conservation. Maybe I just won’t buy bullets to make the game a little harder.

    I have a habit with a lot of games of making stories up when the game casts the player as the main character. Games like first person shooters or shmups where you do not see the player because you look out of their eyes or they are hidden in a ship and they have no real story or story involvement. I usually just come up with my own back-story and maybe even imagine a little behind the scenes action within the game. In BioShock, for example, I took a minute after killing my first enemy to try and simulate coping with the shock of killing a person. I bring this up because this habit actually seems to come into play when I am playing BioShock. The game has a few moral choices which the player needs to make, and I find the experience more enjoyable if I get into character to make a choice. But what is also interesting is that I take the time to think about my player’s relation to the environment and I come to some interesting conclusions. For example, as a player I attack every enemy on site and try to kill them. Why do I do this? Because they try to kill me. But how does that make them make me any different then the enemies I fight. I feel like these feelings are a part of the game, but are only there for people like me who take the time to look. Is this a cleaver way of marketing the game to a wide audience?

    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Mar 5th, 2008 at 21:49:11.

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    Kool-aid!'s Bioshock (PC)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Wednesday 5 March, 2008

    GameLog closed on: Wednesday 12 August, 2009

    Kool-aid!'s opinion and rating for this game

    No comment, yet.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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