BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite (SPOILERS)

This is where you can deliberate anything relating to videogames - past, present and future.
User avatar
ratsoalbion
Admin
Posts: 6967
Joined: August 28th, 2012, 7:41 am
Location: Brighton, England
Contact:

Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by ratsoalbion » February 22nd, 2013, 11:35 am

RoboticMonk3y wrote:Can I pre-emptively call in a three word review of "would you kindly..."? :D
Too late! :P

User avatar
delb2k
Member
Posts: 208
Joined: September 3rd, 2012, 9:35 pm

Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by delb2k » February 22nd, 2013, 11:37 am

Again I will do what I normally do and tackle them separately as they both have distinctive traits.

What the original Bioshock created was a world incredibly realised in both its tone and its consistency. Rapture felt more than simply a carefully crafted environment, it felt like a place that had been both lived in and then destroyed by a failed idealism.

I see what people are saying about the idealism and the theme of utopia but then would some see utopia as enforcing their own will?everyone would be better off if they did what I told them to and some will always be greedy. The idealism of Rapture will always be undone because it assumes that everyone will always have an ambition for the common good, but most of us do not. Individual ambition was always going the undoing of the experiment.

I liked the way the stages were built, removing the ideology of a linear route and instead letting the player loose in an area where scripting mixed with emergence created some truly fantastic scenarios. The battles with the big daddies were always a highlight. Painfully planned and staked out for maximum success these were skirmishes that required your full attention. By the end of each one I felt exhausted but triumphant.

This was helped by a battle mechanic that felt really good to play around with , the mixture of plasmids and standard firearms creating a really fun mix throughout my adventure and causing a lot of on the fly decision making. I did get to the stage where I relied on some tried and tested methods but I always felt the game gave you more options than just point and pull the trigger.

This may sound odd but I only think the story is OK, it has a fantastic and very well delivered twist but a large part of me felt the latter half of the game suffered once the reveal had been done, becoming a standard trope of find the bad guy and exact your revenge. Worse, the bad guy was a very boring final boss battle. That is part of the reason I have only played it once.

As for bioshock 2, I really enjoyed this. The shifting of the dynamic, from being stalker to protector, creates a set of hugely different circumstances and requirements that I relished. The planning and pitch battles between myself and the splicers when the little sister was collecting were frantic and intoxicating every time. Setting up various traps, selecting the right weapons and making your stand were the aspects that stuck in my mind about this experience. The story was interesting and for me kept me more involved over the whole game than the first one did with a final stand that felt suitably epic.

Plus the quality of the world did not dip an inch, and everywhere felt as much a part of rapture as the first game, something that I bet is much harder than it appears.

In many ways I think I really enjoyed the second one more than the first. I cannot really imagine going back to the first, but could easily imagine myself replaying the second.

User avatar
delb2k
Member
Posts: 208
Joined: September 3rd, 2012, 9:35 pm

Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by delb2k » February 22nd, 2013, 11:48 am

From snakeydave

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.

Sorry mate my ipad is a bit rubbish and quoting but I was interested by this. Part of the reason I liked the games is because it felt like a place, the more open levels allowed me to explore more. Was it the fact you had to take on the big daddies and they were always in specific locations therefore you always had to go to in order to progress making it feel more linear?

User avatar
Bakers_12
Member
Posts: 466
Joined: September 10th, 2012, 9:08 am
Location: Dartford
Contact:

Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by Bakers_12 » February 22nd, 2013, 11:58 am

delb2k wrote:I see what people are saying about the idealism and the theme of utopia but then would some see utopia as enforcing their own will?everyone would be better off if they did what I told them to and some will always be greedy. The idealism of Rapture will always be undone because it assumes that everyone will always have an ambition for the common good, but most of us do not. Individual ambition was always going the undoing of the experiment.
Also Ryan's idea of Rapture as a place where people are free of controlling ideologies becomes the thing he hates. The downfall of Rapture and his death stems from his blindly following his ideals.

User avatar
RoboticMonk3y
Member
Posts: 843
Joined: September 2nd, 2012, 1:25 pm
Location: Bristol

Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by RoboticMonk3y » February 22nd, 2013, 12:18 pm

ratsoalbion wrote:
RoboticMonk3y wrote:Can I pre-emptively call in a three word review of "would you kindly..."? :D
Too late! :P
ha! :)
in which case, I'll rather bitterly go for
System Shock Clone.

User avatar
ratsoalbion
Admin
Posts: 6967
Joined: August 28th, 2012, 7:41 am
Location: Brighton, England
Contact:

Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by ratsoalbion » February 22nd, 2013, 12:26 pm

It's not a clone it's a sequel. Or a successor. By the same person.

User avatar
RoboticMonk3y
Member
Posts: 843
Joined: September 2nd, 2012, 1:25 pm
Location: Bristol

Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by RoboticMonk3y » February 22nd, 2013, 12:37 pm

ratsoalbion wrote:It's not a clone it's a sequel. Or a successor. By the same person.
It was a total flame bait comment, damn you being all rational and polite about it!
god! all this games writing making you all serious! :D

User avatar
ratsoalbion
Admin
Posts: 6967
Joined: August 28th, 2012, 7:41 am
Location: Brighton, England
Contact:

Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by ratsoalbion » February 22nd, 2013, 12:38 pm

RoboticMonk3y wrote:
ratsoalbion wrote:It's not a clone it's a sequel. Or a successor. By the same person.
It was a total flame bait comment, damn you being all rational and polite about it!
god! all this games writing making you all serious! :D
:P

User avatar
James
Moderator
Posts: 1595
Joined: August 28th, 2012, 3:42 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Contact:

Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by James » February 22nd, 2013, 12:43 pm

Wow! A lot of good stuff on here. I particularly wanted to address SnakeyDave's post as I think it runs counter to the usual response that greets BioShock, and I love that.
SnakeyDave wrote: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.
Rapture always felt real to me, as much as an underwater art-deco city could. The sometimes maze-like routes through each of the levels lent me a feeling of being lost, and threw the level design into stark contrast to the constrained corridors and pathways often on offer in first person shooters - a contrivance usually denoted by the myriad obstacles arbitrarily blocking alternative routes. I do agree about the level-to-level transitions though; in spite of the bathysphere stations linking many of the levels, they could have been more cleverly linked together. This is something we've seen in Arkham Asylum, for example.
SnakeyDave wrote: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?
This leads directly into your next point, but I always felt that the term 'utopia' had to be carefully used in respect of Rapture. Andrew Ryan's idea of a utopian society is a hyper-capitalist world where dog-eats-dog and the smartest and most adept survive. He is supremely confident that he can control such a society, and so allows Rapture to grow into the violent, oppressive city that it is. For example, the role of police in Rapture is an almost war-like secret police who abduct, bride and threaten the citizens of Rapture.

The Big Daddies and Little Sisters were introduced once Rapture had already started on the path to tearing itself apart. I think they'd have been exactly the same beforehand. I quite like the idea that Ryan would have (albeit begrudgingly) let those who could take down a Big Daddy have the Adam they procured from doing so. It would fit his world view of what a utopia is. The same for the vending machines - those were put in for all citizens to use before the collapse of Rapture. Anyone who could afford the plasmids, tonics, guns and bullets was welcome to them. It's important that everything (including the discovery of Adam, Eve, and Plasmids) be commoditised, otherwise Andrew Ryan would be transgressing the very core of his objectivist tenet.
SnakeyDave wrote: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.
I'll come right out and say that I don't understand how the game's structure and mechanics would/could better reflect the collapse of Rapture - the world itself, in appearance and hostility shows a collapsed city, but I'd love to hear more of your thoughts on this.

Your view of Rapture as a "beautiful and damned haunted house" is perfect. And I think that is Andrew Ryan's view of a utopia - even when he sees Rapture collapsing, he is more concerned with remaining as king of a sinking castle than saving it.

Finally, you probably have guessed my response to your question from what I wrote above, but BioShock is absolutely about all of the themes that you mention. Randian Objectivism is founded on the notion of rational perception of the world and being rewarded for our life's endeavours, without the burden of social morality or responsibility. A natural extension of the individual as creator of their own destiny amongst a collection of the world's most brilliant minds is that scientific endeavour would run rampant and be exploited in any and every way possible. It is up to the individual to decide how far to allow/employ those scientific advances to change them, and genetic manipulation is one specific example of that which BioShock (as the name suggests) focusses on. Isolationism is at the core of objectivism, and extremism is the natural result when morality is absent in a power struggle at all levels of Rapture's infrastructure.

Your post was an excellent read, and got my brain firing on this muggy Friday afternoon. Thank you for that. Hopefully my response illuminated, if only even a little, why some people consider that BioShock does do several of the aspects you mentioned exceptionally well. Though that should not and does not, of course, mitigate any of your own thoughts on BioShock's shortcomings in those respects. I think it's wonderful that such a discussion can be had at the impetus of any video game. Art, indeed!

User avatar
SnakeyDave
Member
Posts: 47
Joined: September 10th, 2012, 12:45 pm

Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by SnakeyDave » February 22nd, 2013, 2:41 pm

ratsoalbion wrote:
Todinho wrote:
SnakeyDave wrote:
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.
I've never thought of it like that. It always seemed to me that on a certain level, Rapture was a great excuse for the designers to throw a hodge podge of cool and interesting ideas together. So you get almost megaman style people- art man, science man, corrupt man, etc- in their own individual level. If you play any one of these levels they're phenomenal, but when taken together it never feels like the game is about one thing, and it reinforced my feelings about rapture not convincing as a complete place. To be fair though, had I really took to the game, maybe I'd be calling it multilayered rather than unfocused.

The morality thing is rubbish, but going down your line of thought, it could have been a way to talk about how much freedom you have...extent of choice, bah, I have no clue. My problem with it: If you have to make the moral system centre of little girls to make it remotely engaging then there's something inherently flawed about that system. Funnily enough, strip the little sisters out of the game and it's a better exploration of moral choice. The big daddies don't pose any threat to the player, so choosing to kill them, for fun, for the resources they hold, is the immoral decision. Leaving them alone, the moral one. had the negative game's ending been framed been framed not in terms of- you monster, you killed little girls- but rather look at what your Greed made you do, it would've been far more impactful, for me at least.

Also, want to note, I like this game, love some of it. Don't want to seem like I'm unnecessarily bitching. It's just that some stuff about it bugs me.

User avatar
Bakers_12
Member
Posts: 466
Joined: September 10th, 2012, 9:08 am
Location: Dartford
Contact:

Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by Bakers_12 » February 22nd, 2013, 3:34 pm

[quote="SnakeyDave"][quote="ratsoalbion"][quote="Todinho"][quote="SnakeyDave"]



The morality thing is rubbish, but going down your line of thought, it could have been a way to talk about how much freedom you have...extent of choice, bah, I have no clue. My problem with it: If you have to make the moral system centre of little girls to make it remotely engaging then there's something inherently flawed about that system.
quote]

I kind of agree and disagree with you on the morality in the game. From a game play point of view it's a bit rubbish for me it was to binary to save/kill the little sisters for more Adam/new plasmids. What I found interesting about it was the question as to whether the little sisters are human anymore and whether by killing them to save your self is a valid option. This question that you are faced with early on in the game resonated with me through out the game, leading me to question whether the splisers are still "human" and eventually the player character in the final act.

god I sound pretentious

User avatar
SnakeyDave
Member
Posts: 47
Joined: September 10th, 2012, 12:45 pm

Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by SnakeyDave » February 22nd, 2013, 3:37 pm

I really like that response iwatttfodwwfa. Now my brains firing, or struggling to.

There are certainly reasons that can be made for the fact that guns, ammo, tonics, plasmids are in the vending machines, but there was a weird disconnect of seeing how far rapture had fallen yet these elements of infrastructure working, and selling the things that were destroying rapture as if that's what they were always designed for. Perhaps that was the point. But I think that the way it was presented could've perhaps better captured that sense of twisting of their original purpose. As for the big daddies, I genuinely think they thought "that looks cool" and justified it later. No real problem with that, but when already in a position where I felt that this place was a little unconvincing, these elements stick out.

You tie together those themes very well, but there's almost too much going on for me. Just to focus on two Rapture's fall can be seen as a result of the genetic modification, dependence on adam, impact of plasmids, etc as well as the result of the ideology of the city tearing itself apart. while both are compelling, during play they felt muddled, as if the designers had a lot of disparate ideas and never quite decided on how they interrelated. Perhaps this is down to perspective. if you really enjoy it, you go through the mental legwork to try and frame the game in a complete way. It felt a little unclear to me, but maybe that's because rapture never quite convinced.

Rapture is dead, but even with the beautiful art, i can never quite imagine what it was like when it was alive, or at its earliest stage of decay. I think it's this that ends up as a barrier to a lot of my enjoyment. It feels like such a designed place, that I find it hard to make the disparate levels, mechanics, and themes into something coherent, or complementary. I still sort of love it though, because it's so ambitious.

User avatar
SnakeyDave
Member
Posts: 47
Joined: September 10th, 2012, 12:45 pm

Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by SnakeyDave » February 22nd, 2013, 3:41 pm

Bakers_12 wrote:
god I sound pretentious
I know the feeling.

User avatar
Alex79uk
Member
Posts: 5095
Joined: September 2nd, 2012, 10:36 am
Location: Redditch, UK.
Contact:

Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by Alex79uk » February 22nd, 2013, 8:02 pm

3 word review : Submerged utopian nightmare.

User avatar
Todinho
Member
Posts: 2127
Joined: September 24th, 2012, 12:27 pm

Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by Todinho » February 22nd, 2013, 9:01 pm

I kind of agree and disagree with you on the morality in the game. From a game play point of view it's a bit rubbish for me it was to binary to save/kill the little sisters for more Adam/new plasmids. What I found interesting about it was the question as to whether the little sisters are human anymore and whether by killing them to save your self is a valid option. This question that you are faced with early on in the game resonated with me through out the game, leading me to question whether the splisers are still "human" and eventually the player character in the final act.
Yeah I can kind of see that but it just didnt resonate with me at all,I gave no second thought on saving the them because you literally turned them humam again,it just didnt pose any moral dilema for me and at the same time my dad who was also playing the game at the time didnt gave much tought on harvesting every single little sister in the game for adam.the choices in Bioshock 2 IMO where better thought out.
Rapture is dead, but even with the beautiful art, i can never quite imagine what it was like when it was alive, or at its earliest stage of decay. I think it's this that ends up as a barrier to a lot of my enjoyment. It feels like such a designed place, that I find it hard to make the disparate levels, mechanics, and themes into something coherent, or complementary. I still sort of love it though, because it's so ambitious.
I can understand that,some games have really turned me off because the atmosphere just didnt click with me for some reason,I never really got into the original 3 mario games or Mario 64 because of that even thou I love super mario world.They are very different games but I think it may be something similar to what your saying.

User avatar
James
Moderator
Posts: 1595
Joined: August 28th, 2012, 3:42 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Contact:

Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by James » February 23rd, 2013, 10:44 am

I was pleasantly surprised to find myself on the BioShock show last night. I never doubt the quality of BioShock, but I'm now more desperate than ever to play it through again. :mrgreen:

User avatar
ratsoalbion
Admin
Posts: 6967
Joined: August 28th, 2012, 7:41 am
Location: Brighton, England
Contact:

Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by ratsoalbion » February 26th, 2013, 12:15 pm

A heads-up: BioShock is currently £4.49 from Xbox On Demand:
http://marketplace.xbox.com/en-US/Produ ... 02545407d8

User avatar
Scrustle
Member
Posts: 1869
Joined: November 18th, 2012, 5:02 pm

Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by Scrustle » February 26th, 2013, 1:19 pm

Thanks for that! I actually got rid of the game ages ago, but the podcast made me want to play it again. I'm downloading it now.

User avatar
Todinho
Member
Posts: 2127
Joined: September 24th, 2012, 12:27 pm

Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by Todinho » February 26th, 2013, 4:51 pm

Well after listening to the podcast I got an itch to play Bioshock1&2 again I dont have them anymore but I just pre-ordered Bioshock infinite from greenman gaming so they both come free =),I find it dificult but i hope infinite can surpass both games in every way

User avatar
Scrustle
Member
Posts: 1869
Joined: November 18th, 2012, 5:02 pm

Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by Scrustle » February 26th, 2013, 6:09 pm

So I just started playing Bioshock, and that intro still does a really good job of drawing you in. I forgot just how steeped in atmosphere this game is, and it actually looks a lot better than I remembered. Maybe it's because I have a slim 360 this time round and I'm running it off the hard drive. Interestingly, I noticed it actually looks quite a bit sharper and cleaner than a lot of more recent games. Just goes to show how much they have to cut corners with anti-aliasing and resolution to run modern games on these machines.

I also tried refusing to pick up the radio at the start. That's the actual first time Atlas says "would you kindly" where you actually have to respond yourself. He doesn't tell you to step out of the Bathysphere. Anyway, if you just stand there he asks you a second time, but in a different way, and he doesn't say "would you kindly" that time. If you still don't respond nothing happens. I was kind of disappointed by that. I tried again the next time he says it (when you have to pick up the wrench) but it still just does nothing.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 14 guests