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February 15th, 2013, 14:17
The project was always - CLEARLY - meant as a spiritual successor to System Shock 2. You can watch some of the earlier Gamespot interviews - and you'll find that the original concepts were much closer to System Shock 2. But, as time went on - and the budget bloated - they had to dumb it down and make it appeal to a wider audience, with familiar shooter mechanics and forgiving gameplay.

That's not spelled out, obviously, as that would be very bad PR. But it doesn't take much reading between the lines to see how Bioshock happened.

So yes, Bioshock is a shooter more than it is anything else. I don't particularly care for shooters.

If you prefer straight-up shooting to something more cerebral or with a slower pace like System Shock 2 - then it makes sense that you would prefer Bioshock.

To each his own, as they say.

Note that I'm not saying you have to be dumb to play Bioshock - as that would be a stupid thing to say. All I'm saying is that the gameplay mechanics and the overall design is a dumbed down = simplified and more accessible version of System Shock 2. It's not "just a shooter" - as it's incredibly obvious where it gets its non-shooter elements from.

Levine failed to learn from Looking Glass. Well, he didn't - because he made the game a huge success, and LG went down because they were too innovative and their games weren't accessible enough as a result.

After I got over the massive disappointment of Bioshock being basically just an atmospheric shooter with a handful of half-assed RPG elements - I rather enjoyed it. Well, right until the "twist".
I will explain better why I pointed this out. It was just the use of the expression "dumbing down". I just think it is being used too much and usually misused (it's not the case here, because Bioshock, as you say, was meant as a spiritual successor to System Shock and, at some point in it's development lost the RPG elements and went to become a shooter - although a shooter with something more than the usual shooters). Again, I also don't like shooters, I don't like Bioshock and I was not contesting your comparison between both (I didn't even know that bit about Bioshock being supposed to not be a shooter at some point). But whenever I read something was "dumbed down" I get nervous - specially because I don't agree with the point of view that the older games were more "cerebral" just because the game mechanics were more complex. Well, they were more cerebral in the arithmetic, management and economics kind of way. Anyway, that's not my kind of cerebral. Deep storytelling was never the biggest thing in videogames, neither in the 80s, 90s, nor nowadays, but that's besides the point.
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