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Default Bioshock 2 - First Reviews

February 7th, 2010, 06:24
Originally Posted by Anderson View Post
I also wasn't a fan of the constant flow of undead/psychotic creatures. That is not a flaw in the game, just a preference of mine (I tend not to like dark, creepy, horror-themed films or games).
I dont mind horror and have played many such games in the past including silent hill2 which was one of my favorites. The thing about bioshock is somthing more for me.

I remember one of the first battles. Husband and wife were having an interesting discussion. They looked mostly normal. I thought this looks interesting and approached them wanting to know more about them. But the instant they see me they turn from normal to psychotic. Did I do somthing wrong that made them aggressive?

I loaded earlier save thinking I had somhow provocated them. Perhaps there was other way to deal with them besides killing. But I released thats just how the game plays. I was very annoyed from that.

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. - Maya Angelou
"Those who dont read history are destined to repeat it." Edmund Burke
Last edited by zakhal; February 7th, 2010 at 06:35.
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February 7th, 2010, 08:08
The best thing about Bioshock, in my opinion, was the premise and setting. The atmosphere is amazing.

The writing was pretentious and did nothing to form any adult conclusions. It's easy to ask interesting questions, but when you don't answer any of them - you don't do anything, really. Like, say, making a game based on the theme "do you believe in God?" - would make for a great beginning, but you have to do something interesting or new with it. If you don't - people might still think great things, but that the story itself did anything is like the Emperor's New Clothes. To me, it's easy to see why Levine didn't make it in Hollywood as a writer. He's got the ideas and he knows how to copy others (it felt like half the dialogue in Bioshock was from Miller's Crossing) and every single character was painfully one-sided - but he's yet to tell a complete and coherent tale with meat on it. Great for shooters, though - certainly more than most get.

Taking innocent little girls and making you feel guilty about harvesting them, is NOT profound. Anyone really needs to think about that in terms of reality? No. We're playing a game and harvesting is a strategic/roleplaying choice - but it does nothing to ask or answer any questions. In fact, I'd say the game was pathetically black and white for something supposed to deal with morals and grey areas. I mean, your entire moral "choice" consists of saving or harvesting innocent super-cute big-eyed little girls!!!??? Wow, let me think about what's right or wrong here…

That said, the story had nothing if not potential and up and until the "primary twist" - I was thoroughly engaged. It was truly a letdown to have it turn into what it did, and the less said about the end-sequence the better.

It was really novel to introduce the ideas of Rand - and it fit perfectly with the whole notion of a city under the sea made by the elite. But introducing gene-altering drugs to everyone would have crippled any closed society - so there's really nothing told by the destruction. But still, interesting questions that deserved much deeper exploration than the Hollywood twist and the ridiculous actions of certain characters. The way the protagonist was fit into the grand plan was exceedingly far-fetched and unbelievable to me. But whatever. In fact, I'd LOVE to hear what would have happened WITHOUT the drugs. I mean, everything that went wrong based on the tape-recordings seemed more or less unrelated to the drug itself.

The gameplay was run-of-the-mill shooting, and the upgrade mechanics were dumbed down from System Shock 2 to the point where you could upgrade everything, and effectively nullify the power of choice.

Possibly the worst sin is making the levels separate theme-parks with almost no sensation of cohesion. No backtracking and no idea of a seamless city ruined much of the game for me.

Oh, and don't get me started on Vita-chambers and bright golden arrows and highlights of quest objects - or the obscene fetch filler quests in a SHOOTER.

It's a hollow shade of its legacy - but I'll admit the setting and premise lingers for me still. When I first went into that tower in the water - I was literally awe struck with expectations. But I wasn't rewarded like I hoped - but it WAS a fun ride, if only they hadn't called it "shock" in any way. Much like I expected Mass Effect to be an evolution from KOTOR - I was expecting Bioshock to be an evolution from System Shock 2. I was warned in previews - but I guess I wasn't paying enough attention.

I see both games as significant steps down, but taking as isolated games they're both pretty damn good. I don't really blame them for going the money-route, but I'll do my best to remember the brilliance that came before.
Last edited by DArtagnan; February 7th, 2010 at 09:40.
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February 7th, 2010, 10:39
The problem with the decision "killing vs. saving the girl" is that gameplaywise, there are no consequences. Do I get more Adam now, or less Adam plus some other reward (ammo, IIRC) later? That's not enough to make cruel decisions attractive. If being cruel would lead to a true gameplay advantage, now that would have been interesting. "Good"players could still catch up later, perhaps by getting the reward after the big plot twist (don't wish to spoil), but would have a harder time for a larger proportion of the game.
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February 8th, 2010, 08:40
It was fun but ultimately silly. Nothing took me out of the game more than an absurd golden Atlas as the main Foozle. So they completely ran out of Objectivism references and had to take the dust-cover image and slap him in a classic Boss fight? Philosophical my hiney.


(Can't take the ammo and adam kiosks seriously either, at least SS2 had the thin justification that they were "replicators")
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February 8th, 2010, 08:56
Originally Posted by Grandor Dragon View Post
The problem with the decision "killing vs. saving the girl" is that gameplaywise, there are no consequences. Do I get more Adam now, or less Adam plus some other reward (ammo, IIRC) later? That's not enough to make cruel decisions attractive. If being cruel would lead to a true gameplay advantage, now that would have been interesting. "Good"players could still catch up later, perhaps by getting the reward after the big plot twist (don't wish to spoil), but would have a harder time for a larger proportion of the game.
Except then your choice wouldn't be based on what's right and what's wrong but on "what do I get out of it", thus removing any morality aspect of the choice.

"Chess in particular had always annoyed him. It was the dumb way the pawns went off and slaughtered their fellow pawns while the kings lounged about doing nothing that always got to him; if only the pawns united, maybe talked the rooks around, the whole board could've been a republic in a dozen moves." - Commander Vimes in Thud! by Terry Pratchett
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February 8th, 2010, 09:27
It is still a choice based on what's right (saving a girl) or wrong (killing it). What I am saying is that, if you want to be good, the choice is so obvious (actually it's stupid) that you need more incentive to do evil, so that doing good feels like a sacrifice.
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February 8th, 2010, 09:30
Originally Posted by Grandor Dragon View Post
The problem with the decision "killing vs. saving the girl" is that gameplaywise, there are no consequences. Do I get more Adam now, or less Adam plus some other reward (ammo, IIRC) later? That's not enough to make cruel decisions attractive.
Perhaps you weren't aware, but your decision also changes the ending.
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February 8th, 2010, 09:47
Originally Posted by fatBastard() View Post
Except then your choice wouldn't be based on what's right and what's wrong but on "what do I get out of it", thus removing any morality aspect of the choice.
There's no morality aspect to the choice as it is, though.

Kill innocent little girls or save them. You'll be rewarded either way.

What kind of person needs to consider morality to make that choice?
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February 8th, 2010, 13:12
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Perhaps you weren't aware, but your decision also changes the ending.

I know that. But still it boils down to the question of whether you *want* to be evil or good. I do not think that this is very interesting. Apart from psychopaths, people do immoral things to get some reward that you wouldn't get if you were good.

Some games do it right. For example you may steal a lot and get great equipment now, and only face consequences further down the road (or sometimes not at all). Others avoid good and evil choices altogether and make choices more gray.

Bioshock (and some other titles) are more superficial. Whether you are good or bad, the game is equally easy/hard at all times. I am sure most players only choose to be evil because they want to see what it's like in the game. Fallout 3's Megaton nuke quest is another example of such shallowness.

Choices become more interesting if you make the evil path more tempting. Make the reward for kiling the girl much greater, or the one for saving the girl much smaller. Give players who blow up Megaton not only an apartment, but also some piece of unique armor, or a permanent stats raise.

I am happy that at least DArtagnan understands
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February 8th, 2010, 13:37
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
There's no morality aspect to the choice as it is, though.

Kill innocent little girls or save them. You'll be rewarded either way.

What kind of person needs to consider morality to make that choice?
But that is exactly what morality is about, isn't it? Knowing right from wrong, no matter what you stand to gain/lose. Otherwise we're talking about a calculated risk/decision where the pros vs. the cons are weighed against each other.

I'm not saying that such an approach can't be interesting but it has nothing to do with morality.

"Chess in particular had always annoyed him. It was the dumb way the pawns went off and slaughtered their fellow pawns while the kings lounged about doing nothing that always got to him; if only the pawns united, maybe talked the rooks around, the whole board could've been a republic in a dozen moves." - Commander Vimes in Thud! by Terry Pratchett
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February 8th, 2010, 13:44
Originally Posted by Grandor Dragon View Post
I know that. But still it boils down to the question of whether you *want* to be evil or good. I do not think that this is very interesting. Apart from psychopaths, people do immoral things to get some reward that you wouldn't get if you were good.
Maybe by your definition of immoral, but not everyone thinks the same way, psychopaths aside .

I also don't think rewards are the sole reason people do things.
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February 8th, 2010, 13:46
Originally Posted by fatBastard() View Post
But that is exactly what morality is about, isn't it? Knowing right from wrong, no matter what you stand to gain/lose. Otherwise we're talking about a calculated risk/decision where the pros vs. the cons are weighed against each other.

I'm not saying that such an approach can't be interesting but it has nothing to do with morality.
I can't agree. Morality is not exclusively about black and white answers - and one of the most important things to realise is that you can be asked a question that you can't answer. That's when it becomes real and not the illusion of right/wrong yes/no black/white.

Morality can be an interesting subject. But in my opinion, it's not interesting to ask whether I think murdering little girls for no real reason is alright or not. It would be like making a game dealing with water and asking me if it's wet or not.

No, morality can be interesting to me - but I require a little more subtlety and some grey areas. Not that I expect game developers to ever challenge my moral standings - and I'd rather just have competent gameplay. Bioshock did nothing for me in those terms, and that's my primary issue.

The story was pretentious and ultimately hollow - but that's ok, it's not why I play games.
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February 8th, 2010, 18:06
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post

I also don't think rewards are the sole reason people do things.
Intersting, because if you consider a broad definition of reward, this is almost a truism. Anyway, what I am saying is that it would be nice to provide players with some kind of incentive to do bad deeds apart from "I want to kill children". Otherwise these "moral" choices are insubstantial.
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February 8th, 2010, 23:16
Originally Posted by Grandor Dragon View Post
Intersting, because if you consider a broad definition of reward, this is almost a truism. Anyway, what I am saying is that it would be nice to provide players with some kind of incentive to do bad deeds apart from "I want to kill children". Otherwise these "moral" choices are insubstantial.

I was thinking more in terms of simple material gain. Anyways, the incentive for that choice in Bioshock was to gain more ADAM sooner, not to simply kill children.

I understand what you're trying to say though, and I agree, the end result didn't make much of a difference either way.
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February 8th, 2010, 23:55
Not to mention that the ending was terribly broken,I killed just 2 little girls(the 1st one and the last one) and I got the bad-guy ending
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February 9th, 2010, 00:36
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I was thinking more in terms of simple material gain. Anyways, the incentive for that choice in Bioshock was to gain more ADAM sooner, not to simply kill children.

I understand what you're trying to say though, and I agree, the end result didn't make much of a difference either way.
Yeah, you get it sooner, but it's just a matter of a couple of minutes. Also, you get a bit more, but then the girls also give you some other items when you let them live.
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February 9th, 2010, 01:02
Originally Posted by Kostaz View Post
Not to mention that the ending was terribly broken,I killed just 2 little girls(the 1st one and the last one) and I got the bad-guy ending
Yep, you can't harvest more than 1 Little Sister and get the "good" ending.
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February 9th, 2010, 18:04
Originally Posted by Kostaz View Post
Not to mention that the ending was terribly broken,I killed just 2 little girls(the 1st one and the last one) and I got the bad-guy ending
ROFLMAO!

How many little girls can you kill in real life and still be considered good?
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February 9th, 2010, 18:23
Originally Posted by bkrueger View Post
ROFLMAO!

How many little girls can you kill in real life and still be considered good?
I thought I had redeemed myself by saving the other 19

After all if I had killed just one I would have gotten the good ending..
Last edited by Kostas; February 9th, 2010 at 18:57. Reason: there was a little if missing
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February 9th, 2010, 18:33
Yeah, that's one profound statement right there
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