I finally beat: Bioshock
Well, I may have finished it after all my friends, but I have finally beat Bioshock. It is definitely game of the year material. It certainly has flaws, but for every flaw it does two things right.Before I complained that combat was too easy. It also became monotonous. Then I realized I was falling into the same trap so many people fell into with Assassin’s Creed. I was trying to beat the game quickly and efficiently, rather than have fun. I tried using other guns and plasmids, but found that the wrench was just,…faster. Combined with the Wrench-based plasmids, the wrench is easily the most powerful weapon in the game. With camera research, most enemies went down in 2-3 hits. This, of course, gets really boring. But every time I switched to another weapon I found myself thinking it was taking too long. The other options were there, but I couldn’t use them because I needed to finally beat the game. I couldn’t spend time setting people on fire and waiting for them to run to water in order to shock them with electricity.
What helped me push through this, however, was the excellent story. Part way through the game, I was thinking to myself: “I don’t have much reason to be doing any of this. The story doesn’t quite motivate me enough. The base gameplay isn’t fun enough to just play.” Needless to say, perhaps the developers read my mind. At about this point they provided motivation. On top of that, they mixed up the gameplay a bit.
Level design from an artistic standpoint was excellent. As for map layouts, they are fairly well done. The enemy designs are interesting, if the AI of crazy, mutated civilians is somewhat lacking. The story is sparse, but well presented with interesting characters. The controls felt a bit over-sensitive for a console shooter, but were probably just right on the PC.
The ending itself is a bit weak. Not “bad,” but for such a long build-up, it is fairly short. The credits don’t even roll when you finish the game. You just get a quick cinematic, and you are back out to the main menu. It is a shame the ending was not as strong as some of the mid-game plot points. The mid-game has a couple of GREAT scenes. Not only is the plot itself interesting, but they are well directed and voice acted. Asking for multiple “holy shit. that was amazing” moments is asking a lot. It is hard to have a single great scene in any medium (books, TV, movies, games). Bioshock has a couple; the ending just isn’t one of them. “Good.” Not great or excellent, but good.
In a year that saw the release of dozen of Game of the Year candidates, we also saw every third game released be a First Person Shooter. Bioshock won the GotY award more than the most. That feels like a lot of hype. It does not/could not live up to it. It is still an excellent game and one of, if not the best, game of the year.
People who should play this game:
- Anyone who can handle the two thumbstick controls of an FPS
- fans of 1940’s architecture
- fans of dystopia/utopia.
- if you like to hit people with a wrench
People who should not play this game:
- Anyone who cannot learn the two thumbsticks.
- People who scare easy from things that creep in the darkness, and don’t like being scared
- Those who only like to shoot Nazis, Aliens, or Nazi Aliens.