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March 17th, 2008, 08:40
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
How do you figure that Bioshock isn't even a hybrid??
What would make it a hybrid in your opinion? To me it seems the only RPG like elements are in the way you choose plasmids (and upgrades), but there isn't really any character development in that. There are no stats and you can switch plasmids at will. In effect it is more like choosing which weapon to carry for a particular mission (level or level section), and acquiring ever better weapons and munition which is a classic shooter mechanic. What of other RPG elements? Dialogue? Nope. Inventory management? Nope. Quests? Nope. Open environments and exploration? Not really. Choices? One (I don't know how it affects the endig, but as far as I got, it seems to merely mean that you get your Adam in Teddybears instead of sucking it out of little sister clones). What remains is a great shooter with minimal stealth elements, a great atmosphere, good story (and good stroytelling, love those audiologs), fairly (but so far I think not wildy) interesting combat. So the game shows the difference a good story, good art direction, and a few extra features can make; but i don't think the story alone makes it a hybrid, nor does the upgrade system.
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March 17th, 2008, 09:54
What of other RPG elements? Dialogue? Nope.
There is dialog, not a ton but it's there.


Quests? Nope.
Exactly how far into this game have you played?


Open environments and exploration? Not really
It most certainly does have open environments, but I didn't realize that was necessary to qualify it as a hybrid. It's not the least linear game I've ever played, but it's certainly not the most either.

What games are you comparing it to that makes you so sure it can't be called a hybrid? Perhaps you could give some examples.
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March 17th, 2008, 11:14
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
There is dialog, not a ton but it's there.
Hmm, yes, there is some. Up to the point I played at least, it was not a major gameplay element, and I don't get the feeling it will be.

Exactly how far into this game have you played?
I believe I just started chapter nine (fort Frolic) so about half way? I know that there are tasks, but they don't strike me as vastly different from the level goals in any other shooter. There certainly didn't seem to be host of quests to choose from so that it would qualify for a typical main-quest / side- quest structure.

It most certainly does have open environments, but I didn't realize that was necessary to qualify it as a hybrid. It's not the least linear game I've ever played, but it's certainly not the most either.
Well, from a gameplay perspective it is a "clear / traverse the level" experience to me, occasional backtracking doesn't change that. It is not a requirement, but e.g. DeusEx and System Schok seemed to allow more different ways to navigate the maps, and exploring seemed to be more important (this is of course subjective, but I remember scouting out the levels in Deus Ex for a long time before I actually took action - not so in Bioshock, I am basically drawn from confrontation to confrontation, encounter to encounter).
What games are you comparing it to that makes you so sure it can't be called a hybrid? Perhaps you could give some examples.
Deus Ex and System Shock are the principal RPG/shooter hybrids in my mind, (Outcast is an example for an action adventure / RPG hybrid to me. Spellforce the quintessential RTS/RPG hybrid).
The main point is, in both DeusEx and SS you got clear options for character progression, the mechanics supported specialization into different character builds (although to an extent allowing jack of all trades builds). And at least in DeusEx, dialogue had a little more weight. Ultimately it is only my opinion of course, but the experience I am having with Bioshock is much more like Half-Life 2 then like SS or DX. Mind you, I am not dissing the game at all, I like it for what it is, and definitely mean to finish it.
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March 17th, 2008, 17:19
Hmm, yes, there is some. Up to the point I played at least, it was not a major gameplay element, and I don't get the feeling it will be.
I don't think I could count the number of RPG's I've played where dialog wasn't a major gameplay element. Mind you I'm not calling Bioshock an RPG.

I believe I just started chapter nine (fort Frolic) so about half way? I know that there are tasks, but they don't strike me as vastly different from the level goals in any other shooter. There certainly didn't seem to be host of quests to choose from so that it would qualify for a typical main-quest / side- quest structure.

They don't strike me as vastly different from the way they're done in any type of game, regardless of genre.

Well, from a gameplay perspective it is a "clear / traverse the level" experience to me, occasional backtracking doesn't change that. It is not a requirement, but e.g. DeusEx and System Schok seemed to allow more different ways to navigate the maps, and exploring seemed to be more important (this is of course subjective, but I remember scouting out the levels in Deus Ex for a long time before I actually took action - not so in Bioshock, I am basically drawn from confrontation to confrontation, encounter to encounter).
I don't think DX or SS allowed more ways to navigate the maps, and I've played both games thoroughly. It was pretty much necessary to scout the levels in DX to succeed unless you were going in guns blazing, it was because of the way they were set up and the placement of enemies, it had nothing to do with how you would classify the game.

The main point is, in both DeusEx and SS you got clear options for character progression, the mechanics supported specialization into different character builds (although to an extent allowing jack of all trades builds). And at least in DeusEx, dialogue had a little more weight. Ultimately it is only my opinion of course, but the experience I am having with Bioshock is much more like Half-Life 2 then like SS or DX.
The original SS did not give you clear options for character progression or support specialization for character builds, perhaps you are refering to SS2? I couldn't imagine ever thinking of HL2 when playing Bioshock, but that's just me.
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March 18th, 2008, 15:06
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I don't think I could count the number of RPG's I've played where dialog wasn't a major gameplay element. Mind you I'm not calling Bioshock an RPG.
Really? I don't think I have played those, with exception of Diablo, which arguably isn't much of a RPG either.

They don't strike me as vastly different from the way they're done in any type of game, regardless of genre.
There is a difference between a game structured by quests and games structured by missions, I think. Bioshock's struck me as following the latter model (this is true of other hybrids though).

I don't think DX or SS allowed more ways to navigate the maps, and I've played both games thoroughly. It was pretty much necessary to scout the levels in DX to succeed unless you were going in guns blazing, it was because of the way they were set up and the placement of enemies, it had nothing to do with how you would classify the game.
Well, I think it does. I said its subjective, didn't I
The original SS did not give you clear options for character progression or support specialization for character builds, perhaps you are refering to SS2?
Yes, I was thinking of SS2 and DX
I couldn't imagine ever thinking of HL2 when playing Bioshock, but that's just me.
I played them back to back, maybe that amplified the feeling of similarity.

Well I suggest we leave the discussion at that point. To me there were just not enough options to interact with my character or the gameworld to make it a hybrid. I have no problem with your taking a different stance. In the end I think we agree that it was a good game, and certainly more than your run of the mill shooter, regardless of the label we put on it.
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March 19th, 2008, 02:21
I agree, no need to drag on a debate that no one really knows the answer to. One thing is for sure though, it garnered enough attention to receive extensive coverage at sites like RPG Codex, RPGDot, and here. Definitely not something that would happen if it was just a straight FPS.
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March 19th, 2008, 02:25
It was covered here on the basis of its lineage, in spite of being FPS. I could find Dhruin's comment to that effect somewhere if I dug enough. Now get back to the fighting, you two!

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March 19th, 2008, 03:03
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
It was covered here on the basis of its lineage, in spite of being FPS. I could find Dhruin's comment to that effect somewhere if I dug enough. Now get back to the fighting, you two!
I usually agree with you dteowner, but I can asure you Bioshock wasn't covered at all those sites just because of it's lineage. Besides, if that was the case then why are they already covering Bioshock 2?
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March 19th, 2008, 08:10
Bioshock is a shooter with extremely light RPG elements.

It doesn't qualify as a hybrid in my opinion.
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March 21st, 2008, 17:09
What I enjoyed with BioShock was the story. Few games of today dare to deal with the deep questions about society and human life, so there are few games nowadays that offer me enough to be worth my time. Even the games I used to enjoy in the past now feels soulless and empty. Perhaps I have read too much philosophy.
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March 21st, 2008, 22:32
Yes Bioshock was definitely strong in the story department. Has anyone heard anything about the story for Bioshock 2 yet?
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March 22nd, 2008, 10:17
Hmm, I'm not sure I follow that.

I mean, the premise was excellent, even brilliant. But story? There wasn't much of that and it turned out to be pretty hollow and pretentious. The audio tapes lying around were neat enough, but full of clichéd or derivative movie references (Miller's Crossing, for one) and the implausibility of it all was way too much to be taken seriously, and I'm talking within the context of the game. I think what the game did well, was mix traditional gaming elements with traditional movie elements. That made for a combination where it almost seemed as if you were participating in a movie, albeit a relatively unoriginal one (aside from the setting). The immersion was through the roof, and I have to give credit to the level designers for that. But I think people are confusing concepts when they're talking about the story. That, or we have vastly different perceptions of what a great story means, which is not unlikely, I'll admit.

Of course, to each his own, but that's my take anyway.
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March 22nd, 2008, 10:25
Hollow and pretentious? Lol, compared to what? Most people agree the story was phenomenal for a video game ….nuff said.
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March 22nd, 2008, 16:03
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Hollow and pretentious? Lol, compared to what? Most people agree the story was phenomenal for a video game ….nuff said.
Ehm, so?

I wasn't trying to make an objective statement.

A ton of people think Bruckheimer movies are brilliant. What other people think is not the issue. Besides, you have no idea what MOST people thought - so don't even go there.

I don't care if it's a game, a movie, or a book. A good story is a good story, and just because most stories in games are utter crap, doesn't mean an average story is great.

The premise of setting everything underwater was inspired, and the idea of using Rand's concept of Objectivism was very interesting. Sadly, it was nothing but an amateur treatment and Levine could have done so much more with it.

Things didn't add up, and nothing significant was said and the ending was a joke. The whole notion of how you came to be there was totally implausible and silly.

I could go on, but what's the point. You like the story and I'm happy for you.

You've defended the game for a long time, and it's obvious you had an amazing experience with it. That's good, but you should realise that other people might not share your views and maybe it's OK that some of us don't think it was all that great. That's just how the world rolls.
Last edited by DArtagnan; March 22nd, 2008 at 16:47.
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March 22nd, 2008, 16:31
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Most people agree the story was phenomenal for a video game.
Most people agree Halo is a great video game. Popular concensus isn't necessarily (and often far from) an indicator of a fictional product's quality.

The story in BioShock was fairly pseudo-intellectual but also in its essence just a typical world dominion story. The storytelling mechanisms were out-dated, the gameplay was standard FPS with a few twists, the mini-games no more than a joke, the complete lack of realism and description of behavioral motivation made the world confusing and inconsistent. My only compliment to the game would be the setting and that brilliant piece of music when you saved a little sister.

But then again, that was just my experience. I'm glad you found something different.

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March 22nd, 2008, 21:34
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
You've defended the game for a long time, and it's obvious you had an amazing experience with it. That's good, but you should realise that other people might not share your views and maybe it's OK that some of us don't think it was all that great. That's just how the world rolls.

On the contrary DArtagnan, I have absolutely no problem at all with other peoples views, you're the one who seems determined to bring the game down for some reason. Just pointing out that you're in the minority, that's all.

Hey I didn't like KotOR for some reason.
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March 22nd, 2008, 21:40
Originally Posted by Asbjoern View Post
Most people agree Halo is a great video game. Popular concensus isn't necessarily (and often far from) an indicator of a fictional product's quality.

Huh? Bioshock was a fictional product?
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March 23rd, 2008, 09:14
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
On the contrary DArtagnan, I have absolutely no problem at all with other peoples views, you're the one who seems determined to bring the game down for some reason. Just pointing out that you're in the minority, that's all.

Hey I didn't like KotOR for some reason.
I'm in a minority, that's true. Not something I have a problem with, actually, but you wouldn't understand

About KotOR, I thought it was pretty amazing at the time. However, I'm the sort of person who can appreciate that tastes differ. I think that's another aspect of being part of the minority. Most people (as you would put it) don't react well when things they like aren't spoken of with fondness.

I think the key is whether you can make a good case for your views or not. That helps people to understand where you're coming from.

Which brings me to… Do you understand where I'm coming from with Bioshock? Do you see the problems I have with it? I'm curious if you've actually paid attention or you've simply dismissed all critique and lumped us detractors into a neat category for easy processing.
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March 23rd, 2008, 10:31
I can tell you I added it to the RPGDot database because it was initially revealed as a SS2 spiritual successor (remember back when it was about Nazis and genetic experiments?) and I expected some sort of skill / stat system and an inventory at least.

We continued covering it after it became clear the scope was more restricted mainly for historical reasons but also because it was an interesting topic of conversation.

I think it's a pretty darn good game in its own right but having seen that podcast where they describe how hard they worked with T2 with make it accessible for mainstream gamers, I'm disappointed with what might have been.

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March 23rd, 2008, 12:16
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Which brings me to… Do you understand where I'm coming from with Bioshock? Do you see the problems I have with it? I'm curious if you've actually paid attention or you've simply dismissed all critique and lumped us detractors into a neat category for easy processing.
No I do not see the problems you have with it, because they lie within you…not within the game. Just like the saying, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder". That is just the way you perceive the game.
Last edited by JDR13; March 23rd, 2008 at 12:28.
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