Review by Dosu1524
"Would you kindly ignore the hype?"
So there I was in the local used electronics shop looking for a new game, and my brother pulls out Bioshock. This is a game I've heard so much about, endless hype and praise and love, and my brother went through it before and told me it was pretty good. And being that I am a fan of the System Shock series, I decided to pick it up and give it a go. What I found was a system shock game alright, minus everything that had made those 2 games remarkable, fun or good.
Ok I'll start off with something positive about this game. The graphics are beautiful. The setting is perfect, the atmosphere is perfect. It's some of the best visual's I've ever seen and all that junk. The reason it gets a 9 out of 10, however, is because of the enemies. Other then the big daddies and the rosies, none of the enemies are interesting looking, or unique in any way shape or form. Yeah some of them have cool/annoying abilities, but you can hardly even see them. They might as well just be silhouettes.
Everybody loves this story and this plot twist, but you know what? I thought it was pretty stupid. All they did was rehashed the System Shock 2 plot twist (which worked much better in SS2 btw) and put on some kind of implausible and idiotic meaning to the "would you kindly" which makes absolutely no sense, and I'll explain that now.
You see, in this game Atlas asks you to do things for him and always says "would you kindly". Now, this is the circumstance: you are stranded in an underwater dystopia, with no clue on what to do, where to go, or who to trust. Suddenly, a man starts talking to you via radio (or something, I forgot) and asks you to listen to him because he will help you. Now, under these circumstances, would you not listen to him? Now forget the fact that "Would you kindly" is mind control for a minute, even if you did have a choice, would you disobey him? No. One of the first things he asks of you is "Would you kindly pick up that wrench". Think about it, if you had a choice would you be like "No, I'm not going to pick up something to defend myself, screw you." . My point here is that, in this game, whenever he says "would you kindly" it's usually to something that, even if you did have a choice, you pretty much had a really bad alternative. The only scene this works at is the cutscene where they reveal the meaning of would you kindly where you obey the old guy and end up killing him because he tells you to.
That is the only scene that made sense at. If this had been a movie or a book or something my mind would've been blown, but being that this is a linear game where you don't many choices to make, I was underwhelmed.
Something about this game just seems very sluggish to me, it feels like your character looks about at a much slower rate then I've ever seen in an FPS before. Not that this is such a huge problem, just something that annoyed me a bit. The weapons are generic, but the plasmid things are pretty damn cool. Too bad 90% of them are completely useless in every respect other then finding new interesting ways to kill your enemies. But it's just a waste of your precious Adam so why even bother? This game plays just like a system shock game, minus all the RPG elements. This game is the most flimsy excuse for an RPG I've ever seen. In System Shock 2, you needed all the upgrades you could get, you hoarded all the necessary items for upcoming areas, you had to constantly repair your weapons. None of this here in Bioshock (although I will admit I don't remember if you needed to repair your weapons or not, maybe you did, but I forgot).
Oh also, that camera stuff was idiotic on so many levels
I will say that this game isn't hard, just annoying. You see, in this game, you can never die no matter what you do. When you die you are automatically ported back to a life booth, usually not too far off from where you last died. So, the difficulties: Normal and easy are laughably easy. Where as hard mode is more annoying then an episode of The Nanny.
The enemies are much stronger, and big daddies are unbearable on this difficulty. If you're not very careful on this difficulty you fight, die, res, fight, die, res and repeat until it dies. And by the time you kill it it's very likely the little sister will get away. Fighting on hard is pretty much like trying to knock down a brick house by ramming it with your shoulder. So why complain about this? Why even play on hard if I'm not good enough? Because normal and easy are no challenge at all, and in my opinion extremely boring.
Let me side track for a minute and tell you about a little game called "Prey". This game plays a little like Half-Life, and Duke Nukem. This game came out in 2006, and it introduced the "never dying" mechanic that Bioshock uses. When Prey came out, it received a majority of 6 and 7's as the score given to it, most of the reviewers siting this never dying mechanic as a flaw that made the game too easy. Now when Bioshock came out, same mechanic, same reviewers, no problems. Bioshock receives 8's 9's and 10's as the majority of scores. It wins several awards and many people consider it to be one of the best games of the year. This is what I like to call, hypocrisy at its finest.
This is a thing I complain about all the time, game companies make you pay about $60 (usually about $10 - 30 for me, gamestop sucks, shop locally) each for a 10 - 20 hour experience. That is not worth the money in my opinion. If you want me to buy a game, I better get at least 20 or more hours out of it, or a high replay value. This game, goes on for about 10 or so hours. There are multiple endings I know but there still isn't a whole lot of choices to be made other then save or devour little girls.
This game pretty much is the pinnacle of mediocrity, there's nothing remarkable about the gameplay, it doesn't really introduce anything new or creative in terms of gameplay, in fact it doesn't do anything as well as System Shock, or System Shock 2. The only reason to play this game is for pure atmospheric value. But even the System Shock games do that better and they're much much older.
Bioshock has a great atmosphere, but you're never afraid. You can't die so why would you be? But even if you could, the atmosphere isn't chilling enough to make you fear. System Shock 2, does. SS2 has terribly dated graphics, but it's gameplay is still miles better then in Bioshock, and the atmosphere still superior.
Just play System Shock 2, skip this one
Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 01/11/10
Game Release: BioShock (US, 08/21/07)
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