BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite (SPOILERS)

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ratsoalbion
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BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite (SPOILERS)

Post by ratsoalbion » February 21st, 2013, 12:58 pm

I can't believe we didn't already have a thread!

Don't forget that we're recording the BioShock Issue of the podcast Friday evening (22nd Feb 8pm GMT).
Please get your thoughts in about the 2007 original in time for inclusion.

Feel free to use this thread for talk of the sequel and dlc as well, not to mention the forthcoming Infinite.

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Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by DomsBeard » February 21st, 2013, 1:59 pm

My post is going to be the worst so I'll get it out of the way first.

I bought a 360 based on this trailer,



I must've watched it a 100 times and was intrigued by Rapture and the little sister/big daddy relationship.

Playing the game though I wasn't enjoying it very much. The pipe hacking game was infuriating and I found the die/re spawn mechanic awful, I would've much preferred a save point system.

I think looking back I may have wimped out a bit early though. I saved every little sister which made the game harder (I hear there is a pay off if you save them though) and ended up getting frustrated and leaving it for years.

I'm going to buy this again tomorrow and play it through to the end. I know the ending so I'll listen to the show and I imagine like the Half Life 2 Episodes shows it'll inspire me to give it another chance.

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Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by The Sonic Mole » February 21st, 2013, 2:18 pm

I loved the first Bioshock.

If you were to ask me what my defining moments of this gen are, then the opening sequence to Bioshock would most certainly be one of them. That descent into Rapture for the first time will live long in my memory, it was spine-tingling at the time. Ah, Rapture. Surely the star of the show. I can't think of many, if any, more visually arresting game environments. Nor any more full of mystery and intrigue. Unravelling the weird and wonderful story behind the strange, underwater world I had been plunged into was sheer joy.

The game's cast were also a memorable bunch; with the manic splicers and their insane jabbering, and of course the Big Daddies, noble and terrifying. Most memorable for me, however is Sander Cohen. One of video gaming's finest nutters.

If I were to pick holes I would say that mechanically the game is a little loose to control - at least compared to the best first-person shooters. And that final boss - an anticlimax after the heights of the game that preceeded it. These are minor gripes though. Bioshock does so many things right, and as an excercise in immersion and story telling it is a high water mark.

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Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by James » February 21st, 2013, 2:21 pm

DomsBeard wrote:The pipe hacking game was infuriating and I found the die/re spawn mechanic awful, I would've much preferred a save point system.
Can't help with the hacking, though there are tonics to make that easier. As for respawns via the Vita Chambers: disable them. It's possible to save pretty much anywhere and with them disabled you'll just have to load the most recent save if you die (make sure you save often). The Vita Chambers do make the game easier, but I too prefer the game without them.

Definitely give it another shot, if only so you'll know for certain whether or not the game's for you. :)

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Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by Leg of Time » February 21st, 2013, 2:26 pm

Bioshock:

My favourite game this gen.

The first time I swam to the lighthouse and descended to Rapture was a magnificent moment in gaming. The city is visually and conceptually impressive and is one of the main reasons I love this game.

The atmosphere of Rapture is excellent, the mix of sound effects (creaking of metal, rushing of water), map design and lighting really bring Rapture to life and makes it a believable world. The audio recordings also give more depth to the city and its inhabitants.

The characters are very interesting! Even though the majority of interactions are through radio the characters are still well realised and when you do meet characters in person (Sander Cohen especially) it's a well designed 'moment' in the game.

The interactions between the little sisters and big daddies are also very interesting, in a creepy/dark way. While the LS are a very binary morality choice they're characterised very well so make the choice meaningful.

So overall excellent atmosphere, characters, music, story and interactions. Only let down by the end section (escort & boss).

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Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by Bakers_12 » February 21st, 2013, 3:02 pm

First of the negative. I found the Gunplay to be a bit woolly when compared to other FPS that where out at the same time and before this was out, though I did explain this away in my head buy thinking it was because the guns in the game where out dated firearms.

Secondly I found that I constantly use a set number of plasmids as the game pushed me to use them to gain entry to areas or to use against certain enemies. This made me end up not using a lot of the plasmids.

Lastly the end boss.

As for the positives there are so many! We have heard so much about the art style, sound, level design and that twist that I want to point out things I found that I have not seen praised as much.

Because the twist was such a major part of the story as a whole I feel the rest of it is some times lost in its shadow.
I think the story works on many levels, at first it seams to be just a story of a man discovering Rapture and what happened there but as the game goes on the themes of freedom and what it means to be human underpin the narrative.

I loved the fact that all the splicers looked human, I think it would have been a very easy and lazy decision to mutate the splicers into forms that no longer resembled the human form. It was so much more affecting to see a lady in a 40's party dress running at you with an iron bar then if it was something inhuman

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Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by Scrustle » February 21st, 2013, 3:09 pm

Bioshock was a great game. Although the graphics have aged quite a bit, the aesthetic of it is so great. Really strong and unique. They created something very special with Rapture. You don't often see Art Deco in games, and Bioshock added its own twist on it too. It was beautiful, but also dark, claustrophobic, and frightening. Rapture felt like a real place. Somewhere where greatness once existed but had fallen in to chaos, as the story also leads us to believe.

That's another stand out point of the game; the story. While I don't think the actual presentation of the narrative was all that great (radio/audio logs), the characters and events were brilliant. Again, the richness of the world is plain to see through the characters themselves. They're not just antagonists or there to guide you through a level, they have their own back stories that actually lend themselves to the plot. They have their own ideologies and agendas, which they use to shape the world around them, of which you are a part. Everyone who you meet represents a part of the twisted world of Rapture, and how idealism can mutate in to something sinister. And of course, there's the twist. One of the most powerful moments in gaming, and although I didn't realise at the time, a cunning commentary on the nature of the interaction between players and a game.

The gameplay was a mixed bag. The shooting mechanics were okay, but could have been a lot tighter. The Plasmids though, were really fun. They were so inventive in their different uses and are what define Bioshock's gameplay style. What other game can you shoot a swarm of bees out of your forearm? It made for some really varied, dynamic, and interesting battles. Some fights were better than others though. Going up against groups of very different Splicers in different environments was really interesting. No two fights were the same and they were always hectic and chaotic, but not so much that you didn't feel like it was fair. You just needed to work out the right approach to any given situation. Fights with the Big Daddies were less impressive though. Usually when you fought one there was never any other enemy around, so all you had to do was keep you distance and whittle down their health until they fell over. When you first come across them they are imposing and threatening, but as soon as you work out how easy they are to take down they lose that. Speaking of imposing but easily defeated enemies, the final boss was much the same. When I was first playing it I was impressed by how bombastic it was, but in terms of the method for defeating him and how difficult that was, it left a lot to be desired. It was kind of anticlimactic when I beat him. The hacking mini-game was also pretty dull. It seemed so arbitrary and removed from anything else in the game, and felt like it was shoehorned in because they didn't know how to create a hacking mechanic. But overall it was fun. Not the best, but pretty good. The prologue sequence made up for the final boss too.

The sequel was a bit "meh". It wasn't really bad, just more of the same, but with a less interesting story. It kind of felt like it wasn't really a Bioshock game, it was just a rip-off. It tried to copy the same style and themes, but they just fell flat. It attempted to imitate the same kind of philosophical and idealistic aspects of the first, but they were never well realised. I never really understood what message they were trying to send, if any. And in my opinion, I felt like the story kind of broke the canon of the first game too. There was nothing that flat out contradicted the first, I just felt like if these things happened within Rapture then I should have been aware of them in the first game, or at least had some kind of hint towards them. But overall it wasn't technically a "bad" game, it just felt like a lacklustre expansion which missed the point of the original.

I'm only moderately interested in Infinite. It looks like it'll be fantastic to play. I really like the bright art style and the, yet again, great aesthetic which manages to look distinct from the previous games, but also somehow reminiscent of them too. But I'm not that convinced on the story. Maybe it'll be good, but I haven't found a reason to be interested yet. I think that since the original game was so long ago now that I've just lost interest in the franchise. Maybe I've just moved on. There's a good chance that I'll still pick up the game at some point though, but I just don't feel very compelled to do so.

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Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by Bakers_12 » February 21st, 2013, 3:16 pm

Scrustle wrote:The sequel was a bit "meh". It wasn't really bad, just more of the same, but with a less interesting story. .
I agree with you on thi, but to play Devils advecot what story could stand up agienst the first game? I can't think of one!

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Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by SnakeyDave » February 21st, 2013, 3:49 pm

Bioshock is the game that I am the most conflicted about this generation. On the one hand it's beautiful and has some truly compelling moments but it's so full of issues that it severely impacts my enjoyment of it. My main problem with it is that Rapture doesn't feel remotely like a real place, to me. Your pathway through each level feels contrived and circuitous, and the macro structure of level after level feels artificial especially as this place is meant to convince as a city.

It would be cheap to say Bioshock is style over substance, but this thought kept poking through especially by the time you hit the mid stretch of the campaign. The big daddy and little sister relationship for example. Together they make a striking image, but their relationship only makes sense in a world that's completely dead. What were they doing before Rapture went to hell? Same for the plasmids, I know they're a gameplay contrivance, but why would there be vending machines with them, with adverts that celebrate their violent potential, in a utopia?

It's thematically confused as well. Is it about Randian Objectivism, moral choice, genetic manipulation, isolationism, extremism in general, or something else, or all of them? it never really makes it clear and never explores any of them in any real way. The audio diaries paint a vivid image of a collapse of an city built on great ideas, but the game's structure and mechanics only suggest the collapse. It's hard to imagine Rapture as anything more than a beautiful and damned haunted house. It's a game that should be celebrated for its ambition and I love that it has ideas, but for me, they never fully cohere together.

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Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by Bulletzen » February 21st, 2013, 3:59 pm

I'm a huge fan of the series, so much so that I made a video of what I thought about the first game. It features my thoughts on the game, characters and story as well as featuring interviews from the developers mixed with concept art. For anyone that may be interested in Bioshock or what I thought about it, you can see the video here -


It's a cheap plug I know, but what the Hell! We're all lovers of videogames and I think people who enjoy Cane & Rinse may enjoy it too. Cane & Rinse & Digital Gonzo were inspirations for the making of it. Anyway I'll be very interested to hear what the team thought of the game. Despite it flaws, It remains to be one of my favorite games of this generation. The ideas and themes that it tackles shames 99% of all other videogames out there.

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Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by Alex79uk » February 21st, 2013, 4:35 pm

I was really looking forward to the first Bioshock, so it was a day one purchase on the 360 for me. I instantly loved the game. I thought the art-deco style was brilliant, and not anything I'd seen done in a video game before. The story pulled me in, and I really enjoyed the first half of the game. As I played on I felt it was starting to drag a bit, but I played on. Then the game became a bit of a grind for me, it seemed like some of the game design had taken a real step back in time with all the backtracking the player was forced to do. I gave up on it for a while and finished off some other games. I eventually came back to it a few months later and finished it off. The story really did redeem the game in the end though, I enjoyed the ending very much, and although I'd become a little weary of Rapture by the time I finished I was glad I played it.

With this in mind, and the mixed reviews I read, I didn't have any plans to get Bioshock 2 at all really. But then it popped up as a freebie on PS+ last months so I downloaded it and had a play. I loved it! Rapture pulled me straight back in there, and if anything I enjoyed the game more than the first. I don't think the second game really added anything to the original, it was pretty much more of the same, but it seemed tighter to me. More enjoyable anyway.

But again, I honestly don't feel particularly excited by Bioshock Infinite. I imagine I'll play it at some point when it drops in price, but I'm in no rush.

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Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by Todinho » February 22nd, 2013, 1:23 am

Bioshock is an interesting one,it was the first game of the "next generation" that I played and I remember being really blown away by the graphics at the time,the atmosphere however was what truly got me into the game with it's 1940's steampunk and horror mash-up,Rapture was able to leave the player both in wonder and terrified at the same time.The gameplay was also a win for me it had a great mix of RPG and FPS with combat getting quite tense and strategic at times with you having to use weapons,plasmids and hacking to stay alive for example I'll never forget the sense of achivement I got when I was able to bring down my first Big Daddy,using a combination of a turret,the eletric plasmid and a alot of bullets.
What truly makes this game special thou is it story,learning about the rise and fall of Rapture was the most fun part of the game for me,I loved how the game embraced the idea of a dystopian objectivist society and took every oportunity it could to show that to the player either by diaries,characters and even by the city itself.Add that with a commentary about player choice and one of the best villains in gaming history and you have a masterpiece that would be on my list of favorite games of all time if it didnt have 3 main problems that for me really holds it back from being flawless.
1-The ending part-If the game had ended at the confrontation with Ryan it would've been fine but instead we got a very anoying final bit(collecting the Big Daddy bits) with one very disapointing Last Boss which only made problem number 2 worst.
2-The game becomes to easy-Bioshock starts off really good with a great sense of tension however while you can get really powerfull by the end the enemies cant seem to catch up this makes the game very easy,something I would not normally complain but in a game where tension is key it just starts to fall apart at that point,I remember being very scared of the Big Daddy's at first but by the end I was killing them without much thought.
3-The morality system-Must I say anything?

But despite it's flaws it is still a very dear game to me and I cant recommend enough for anyone to pick up and play it.

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Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by Todinho » February 22nd, 2013, 1:38 am

SnakeyDave wrote:Bioshock is the game that I am the most conflicted about this generation. On the one hand it's beautiful and has some truly compelling moments but it's so full of issues that it severely impacts my enjoyment of it. My main problem with it is that Rapture doesn't feel remotely like a real place, to me. Your pathway through each level feels contrived and circuitous, and the macro structure of level after level feels artificial especially as this place is meant to convince as a city.

It would be cheap to say Bioshock is style over substance, but this thought kept poking through especially by the time you hit the mid stretch of the campaign. The big daddy and little sister relationship for example. Together they make a striking image, but their relationship only makes sense in a world that's completely dead. What were they doing before Rapture went to hell? Same for the plasmids, I know they're a gameplay contrivance, but why would there be vending machines with them, with adverts that celebrate their violent potential, in a utopia?

It's thematically confused as well. Is it about Randian Objectivism, moral choice, genetic manipulation, isolationism, extremism in general, or something else, or all of them? it never really makes it clear and never explores any of them in any real way. The audio diaries paint a vivid image of a collapse of an city built on great ideas, but the game's structure and mechanics only suggest the collapse. It's hard to imagine Rapture as anything more than a beautiful and damned haunted house. It's a game that should be celebrated for its ambition and I love that it has ideas, but for me, they never fully cohere together.
Interesting I've seen this criticism(thematically confused) many times against the game,I for one think that the whole point of the game was to give the player a reality check,it uses the objectivist doctrine to paralel with the players expectations of freedom in a game,it shows that neither a objectivst society nor true freedom in a game can exist,the aspects of science to me exist only to highlight that,the moral choice is bullshit and I have no idea why it is there.I dont know if I was able to express myself very well but that's basically what i think.

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Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by registradus » February 22nd, 2013, 3:08 am

I actually played Bioshock 2 before I played Bioshock 1. I only recently finished 2 and went back to play 1. I think I tried to play it years ago but got scared by the first splicer you encounter while you're still in the bathysphere. 2 is a lot more polished and the hacking is nowhere near as annoying. I hate the pipe version. I think the graphics still look great. Just so good to see someone trying to tell a story that isn't sci fi space marines or fantasy wizards and dragons.

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Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by kappisun » February 22nd, 2013, 7:25 am

Currently playing bioshock 2. As others have stated I don't think it has the impact of the first but gameplay is tighter. It is more of the same and not quite as inventive with its story and characters. Beginning of original bioshock is what truly dragged me back into gaming and what it had to offer. In summary: original one of outstanding games of this gen. Second a very enjoyable sequel

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BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by Ghost World » February 22nd, 2013, 8:38 am

Well this is the outcome of getting all excited about the release of Bioshock Infinite 6 months ago and the danger of forgetting what the hell you've pre ordered at 4am in the morning.

I should really send this back!
Image
Image

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Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by ratsoalbion » February 22nd, 2013, 10:33 am

:o :oops: :lol:

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Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by James » February 22nd, 2013, 11:13 am

That's incredible. You'll need to get working on the clothes if you want to go to the midnight launch as Booker DeWitt. ;)

As gaming tat goes, that does look pretty high quality. How's it feel sliding down the telegraph wires outside your house? :D

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Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by ratsoalbion » February 22nd, 2013, 11:25 am

Todinho wrote:
SnakeyDave wrote:Bioshock is the game that I am the most conflicted about this generation. On the one hand it's beautiful and has some truly compelling moments but it's so full of issues that it severely impacts my enjoyment of it. My main problem with it is that Rapture doesn't feel remotely like a real place, to me. Your pathway through each level feels contrived and circuitous, and the macro structure of level after level feels artificial especially as this place is meant to convince as a city.

It would be cheap to say Bioshock is style over substance, but this thought kept poking through especially by the time you hit the mid stretch of the campaign. The big daddy and little sister relationship for example. Together they make a striking image, but their relationship only makes sense in a world that's completely dead. What were they doing before Rapture went to hell? Same for the plasmids, I know they're a gameplay contrivance, but why would there be vending machines with them, with adverts that celebrate their violent potential, in a utopia?

It's thematically confused as well. Is it about Randian Objectivism, moral choice, genetic manipulation, isolationism, extremism in general, or something else, or all of them? it never really makes it clear and never explores any of them in any real way. The audio diaries paint a vivid image of a collapse of an city built on great ideas, but the game's structure and mechanics only suggest the collapse. It's hard to imagine Rapture as anything more than a beautiful and damned haunted house. It's a game that should be celebrated for its ambition and I love that it has ideas, but for me, they never fully cohere together.
Interesting I've seen this criticism(thematically confused) many times against the game,I for one think that the whole point of the game was to give the player a reality check,it uses the objectivist doctrine to paralel with the players expectations of freedom in a game,it shows that neither a objectivst society nor true freedom in a game can exist,the aspects of science to me exist only to highlight that,the moral choice is bullshit and I have no idea why it is there.I dont know if I was able to express myself very well but that's basically what i think.
You see it's fantastically smart posts like these that make me insecure about talking about the underlying themes and philosophies of games.
Ah well, I'll just read them out and pretend I understand what you guys are talking about.
:D

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Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by RoboticMonk3y » February 22nd, 2013, 11:26 am

Can I pre-emptively call in a three word review of "would you kindly..."? :D

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