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Default Bioshock - Review @ GameBanshee

September 25th, 2007, 19:32
Bioshock was definitely very easy. I played it on hard and only died at the beginning when I was getting the hang of the play style.

But to be honest, I really don't care. It was an amazing experience and I have quite often given up on games that were too hard even though I really wanted to continue because I was enjoying the game.

I am not going to mention any spoilers, but some of the things that "don't make sense" in regards to how easy it is, *do* make sense.

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September 25th, 2007, 19:34
Originally Posted by Brother None View Post
It was still a walk in the park. I don't even want to know how experienced FPS players go through this game, it must be one big laugh for 'em.
And THAT'S what I mean! I can't count the number of times I died in this game, it's ridiculous and it annoys the hell out of me. I've played some shooters, but I'm not an expert, Doom, some Quake, Far Cry, etc. you know the titles. But each time I died and had to go to the vita chamber, it DID make me feel bad about dying. So in that sense the mechanic worked.

THE GAME WAS NOT EASY, DAMN YOU!!!!!

I'm not a noob.
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September 25th, 2007, 19:46
Great game.

Let's talk about "challenging" or "difficult"/"easy".

What are you trying to accomplish? Completing the game or completing the game using the vita chambers as little as possible? If the former then the game is as easy as it gets, you simply cannot lose so there is no "challenge" and the game is very "easy." If the latter then the game is — for us hard-core rpg'ers not used to playing hectic shooters — challenging and difficult.

As for resources yes there are a lot but a lot are needed (for us non-hectic rpg'ers). I found myself often having to switch weapons a lot using up the last ammo on each; ammo was fairly scarce for me (until the last couple of areas) because I'm a bad shot and kept missing especially with the machine gun.

So really the issue is the vita chambers, if you don't care how many times you use them and just played without caring about dying then the game is trivially easy but for those of us who treated vita chambers as dying and something to be avoided the game was potentially very challenging.

Beyond that important difficult/easy issue the game was a ton of fun. The storyline and atmosphere as well as the gameplay itself was great stuff in my view.
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September 25th, 2007, 19:54
Resources weren't really an issue for me since (excluding Big-Daddies) I pretty much exclusively used the wrench and stealth Plasmids.

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September 25th, 2007, 20:20
Originally Posted by Brother None View Post
The save/harvest thing is pointless, and the fact that it has no actual consequences makes it appeal to emotion superficial at best.
Agree. That's one bit I totally didn't get. IMO they would've done better to stick with the original Little Sister design concept (the slug) instead of this half-hearted non-choice.
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September 25th, 2007, 20:37
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
Agree. That's one bit I totally didn't get. IMO they would've done better to stick with the original Little Sister design concept (the slug) instead of this half-hearted non-choice.
I guess it is a fair assumption that neither you nor Brother None have children.

And if you don't, you are exempt from having legitimate opinions on the subject. Sorry.

— Mike
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September 25th, 2007, 20:50
or maybe theyre able to see it for what it is, a 3d model
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September 25th, 2007, 20:58
Originally Posted by xSamhainx View Post
or maybe theyre able to see it for what it is, a 3d model
Sure, just like PlaneScape Torment isn't good writing … just a bunch of letters.

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September 25th, 2007, 21:11
Originally Posted by xSamhainx View Post
or maybe theyre able to see it for what it is, a 3d model
Ignorance is bliss. I've certainly experienced the transformation first hand. Once you have the little ones, quite a bit changes. Quite a bit. Unless, of course, you're, um…. how to say this nicely… "different".
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September 25th, 2007, 21:12
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
Sure, just like PlaneScape Torment isn't good writing … just a bunch of letters.
Best retort ever.

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September 25th, 2007, 21:28
Bow to
the queen(s) of filth, the queen(s) of putrescence. Boo! Boo! Rubbish! Filth!
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September 25th, 2007, 21:50
Bioshock started up darn nicely and really thought they had it nailed, but it soon started to become utterly pointless, boring and just deadly easy. Sadly a great idea and great art just becomes a mediocre shitbox game after playing it for a few hours.
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September 25th, 2007, 22:45
Are people seriously suggesting you need to have children to appreciate the moral choice in the game? Oh my.

The problem is that the choice is meaningless because when you save the girl you get effectively the same resources as if you don't, and you get effectively 99.9% the exact same gaming experience. It has nothing to do with empathy or lack of empathy, it has to do with a blatantly shallow black and white perception of morality. That little girl is there ONLY to manipulate the audience in the most unsubtle way imaginable, and I'm not surprised parents are the easiest to deceive into believing they made a meaningful choice. It has been done in movies for ages, and some people will always appreciate handholding and explicit morality tales over an approach dealing with a plausible reality.

I wouldn't have had a problem with this aspect if it hadn't been for the extreme underlining Irrational did at every chance of the sophisticated moral choices in the game. I personally don't care all that much about this kind of thing, because I don't need games to show me what morality is, but considering the level of hype it's quite disappointing that they couldn't come up with something more interesting than this.

For the choice to have ANY meaning at all, saving girls should have had a significant cost, since that's the core of the dilemma. I'm the kind of guy who plays the good path unvariably, but it would perhaps have made an impact if I felt I had to suffer for my "goodness". With the Adam and extra plasmids I got, I felt I was rewarded for taking the only route that was moral. That's hardly interesting storytelling, but maybe Levine didn't get that far during his stint in Hollywood.
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September 25th, 2007, 22:47
I despise shooters. I've never beat any and played a couple minutes of a couple of them. And, because of all the hype, I downloaded the demo of Bioshock. I have basically zero shooter experience, and I blew through the demo like a Greek god of Awesome. If this game was a Greek god it would be the god of easyness, sloth, and stupid. The score of this game should be a 4 out of 100, and that 4 being granted because of the fancy smancy graphics and the fact that it ran.

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September 25th, 2007, 22:47
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
I guess it is a fair assumption that neither you nor Brother None have children.

And if you don't, you are exempt from having legitimate opinions on the subject. Sorry.
I guess it is a fair assumption that you've never designed a game.

And if you haven't then you're exempt from legitimate opinions on the subject.
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September 25th, 2007, 23:00
- The difficulty level forfolks like you that leaves 90% of gamers unable to get very far at all?
- The difficulty level for average gamers that has 25% of gamers still over-matched and 25% of people like you calling it wimpy?
- The difficulty level that will allow 90% of gamers to complete it and has people like you calling it 'made for babies'?
Even though I feel an illogical hostility towards my opinions emanating from you, I'll answer this one anyway.

It would be a game with the exact level of challenge the developer intended, without trying to appraise the market or giving too many options that end up confusing the player regarding how they should actually be playing.

If the developers want their game to be easy, and they balance it to be easy then that's no less ideal than if they make it hard. The problem with Bioshock, from my point of view (try to grasp that it's ok for me to have one), is that the level of difficulty works AGAINST the obvious design intentions. The game is about being alone against many, and it's about a high level of tension, and it's about being creative with your use of plasmids/weapons. That kind of gameplay is not supported very well by their implementation of difficulty, especially regarding Vita chambers. Many of the primary aspects would work better if the game required you to be careful, and actually presented a danger of you getting killed. It doesn't, and many things suffer for it.

But that's just my opinion, and it seems many people never even registered those issues, and I guess that's their luck. That doesn't mean they can't exist for the rest of us.
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September 25th, 2007, 23:08
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
I guess it is a fair assumption that neither you nor Brother None have children.

And if you don't, you are exempt from having legitimate opinions on the subject. Sorry.
I guess it is a fair assumption that you haven't had any schooling in rhetorics, because you don't have any right to decide who is exempt of having legitimate opinions.

Anyway, you kinda missed my point.

I never stated the Little Sister sequence doesn't work as a heart-wrenching visceral sequence, I stated that this sequence is meaningless and that makes the experience superficial. That doesn't say it can't be emotionally gripping, I freely admit it is quite effective a sequence and I had a hard time on the decision based purely on the visceral experience.

But that's the major flaw; it's just a visceral experience, nothing more, nothing less. You could say it's visually gripping, but in terms of verisimilitude of the game itself, in terms of gameplay consequence, it is completely meaningless. No amount of tear-jerking "Mr Bubbles, noooo!" is going to change the essential meaninglessness of the experience.
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September 25th, 2007, 23:31
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
But that's just my opinion, and it seems many people never even registered those issues, and I guess that's their luck. That doesn't mean they can't exist for the rest of us.
We all have our opinions about the game. I don't necessarily disagree that the game is easy - as I said I don't recall dying at any point. I guess where we disagree is the impact on the overall game. You seem to feel that the game is ruined because combat is central and therefore lacking a constant survival motive the game falls flat. That is shared by several. The developers have stated that their intent was for the narrative to come first and that they designed the game so that combat wouldn't stop the average gamer from completing the narrative.

— Mike
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September 25th, 2007, 23:34
You guys are missing the point and now confusing the original assertion. Not to speak for Mike, but I believe he was objecting to the specific statement below.

Originally Posted by Brother None View Post
The save/harvest thing is pointless, and the fact that it has no actual consequences makes it appeal to emotion superficial at best.
You may not have intended it this way, BN, but what you're saying there is that the "appeal to emotion" is "superficial at best". The issue I'm raising is that you and other presumably childless players are faulting the emotional impact of the little sister scenario based primarily on the in-game consequence or lack thereof. What I'm trying to say is that you would feel that scenario much, much differently if you had children of your own. Doesn't mean the choice is meaningful in a game mechanics way. But it does make a difference in the meaning on an emotional level.

Before I had kids of my own, I reacted to stories about children being abused or killed with sympathy. Now I feel it in the pit of my stomach so hard that I often change the channel or skip the page in the newspaper before the story's over.

Having children is for most, I think, a life changing experience you really can't fully appreciate until you've gone through it yourself.
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September 25th, 2007, 23:36
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
I guess it is a fair assumption that neither you nor Brother None have children.

And if you don't, you are exempt from having legitimate opinions on the subject. Sorry.
I thought the site policy was "no ad hominem" — yet you keep on doing it, not just on the politics and religion forum where things tend to get a bit heated, but also here. And you're a staff member. Are you sure this is the example you want to set?

Second, my lack of connection with the Little Sisters has nothing to do with my children or lack thereof (no, I ain't tellin'). There are games where "spooky children" were done in such a way that I did connect with them quite strongly; Jade Empire had one such pair, VtM:B had one, and Thief 3: Deadly Shadows had them, to name a few off the top of my head. The Little Sisters just failed to come alive for me. I can only surmise why — possibly because they were all identical (hair color aside), with identical voices and identical animations, and looked more like Claymation figures than "real" characters.

(The character models and animations were the weakest technical and artistic part of Bioshock, IMO — in fact, they were weak enough in comparison with the unbelievable work elsewhere in the game to jar me out of immersion on a number of occasions, e.g. when Sander Cohen failed to lip-sync is lines.)
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