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Cranky Opinions: Bioshock/Demo

It's time for more user opinions on the newly released Bioshock demo/full game from various gaming forums around the net.

Pros
- Amazing music/sound quality

- Great graphics (though Gears of War is marginally better)

- The demo runs really well (I was running it with everything maxed on the highest available widescreen resolution and got great framerate with no slowdown). I wasn't even using the new BioShock drivers which supposedly increase performance significantly.

- Thank god they give you the option to turn of that fucking quest arrow and item shimmer

- Controls great

- The fact that hacking was included in the demo and that it's actually very useful is great. Hacking drones to kill others was great.

- The different ways you can kill enemies make up for the less-than-stellar combat mechanics.

Cons
- Extremely linear, from one area to the next, nothing else to it.

- Everything was just one scripted sequence after another, there was nothing dynamic about it. It seemed like every room already had a pre-planned event. So not only was it just one room after another with no exploration, but most rooms themselves were "linear" in the sense that one scripted event is going to happen with one outcome. There were two situations where the doors were locked and I couldn't advance until I killed all the enemies in the room. Another annoying scripted sequence was when you encounter your first little sister and big daddy. Atlas tells you that you should put away your weapon (to avoid inciting the Big Daddies), instead of actually giving you the option to put away your weapon or choose to keep it drawn (thus posing a threat to the little sister and angering the big daddy) the game puts your weapon away for you and makes you watch a scene and won't let you progress until it's over.

- The game is "moron" proof, pretty much the exact opposite of say, King's Field. In one scripted event, a plane crashes into a tunnel and water is leaking in quickly. I waited around to see if I would drown only to see that the water magically stops at my knees. Stuff like this doesn't help with the whole "immersion" factor. More games should take a lesson from the first scene in Another World.
Lol, me too I did exactly the same thing. I found the demo absolutely stunning, the atmosphere was just amazing. Walking around at the start without a weapon hearing all the strange noises - creepy as heck.

I'm not sure about the performance though - There seems to be a lag between moving the mouse and actually moving. Not sure whether this is cos of my hardware of if it's a general thing but I did find it a little annoying, it kind of spoils the immersiveness.
It has been said over and over again that the first couple of levels are linear and that it opens up later on.Plus the demo was a patch work of differenr areas to give you some weapons and plasmids.
Graphics / Sound: Enough praise was given so I wont waste time with more. One thing that hasn't been mentioned, the post processing (bloom and whatnot) are actually really well, adding to the atmosphere (imho)

Controls: Choppy on higher settings, making precision aim difficult. But with lowering settings it gets pretty playable. I agree that no lean is sad, I wanted to lean on soooo many occasions. The game just begs for a slow and cautious approach...

Gameplay: So-so. Feels kind of like a standard shooter (though the ending trailer makes it look more interesting, we'll see). Though I was reeeaaally pleased to have ironsights in the game; I love this feature and it certainely adds to the atmosphere! Now if we only had lean with IS...

Misc: I am quite disappointed in the interactivity... uber linearity aside, I really hate the fact you don't have any inventory and all items are auto-used. Doesn't seem like there will even be any variety besides heal/recover eve items either. Big disappointment there.
Honestly I'm a bit torn atm. It looks fantastic(funny distortion effect on windows aside) and the sound is ok. But judging from the demo only it's a shooter. I'd love to get more room for enjoying Rapture without the constant splicer spawns. And I so miss logs(or the 1960 equivalent) or newspapers I can read.
Its really not possible. They left out all the controls you need in order to use stealth properly. leaning, silent moving, Hiding.. the enemies seem to know exactly where you are even if they cant see you anymore.

Apparently the Irrational guys had only one play style in mind for BS. Which is unfortunate... I dont like run and gun games very much, and If I wanted to play one I could just play Gears, which has a much nicer combat system.

The lack of an inventory and any way to manage items really deals a very harsh blow to the gameplay. There are so many items lying around the world, But you can only use them then and there. You cant take anything with you and decide when you are going to use it. You either use it or leave it behind.

Theres no such thing as research in this game.. We already knew that, But i didnt realize how much I would miss it. Theres nothing to learn.. No new facts to be found out or benefits to be gained.

The Graphics are fairly nice for a game, but graphics dont impress me. I work on CGI for a living and as such, I dont get all googly eyed over graphics. If i wanted to look at something pretty, Id do a render in Vray. So really, Im just interested in the game as exactly that: A game. And this game isnt all that great.

My thoughts are that its an amazingly presented mediocre game with some nicely thought out magic spells, but no depth. It is certainly not a worthy succesor to System Shock 2. Its kinda sad to see that they couldnt even do better then a decade old game. They should have *refined* ss2, not chopped everything out. If this is the *spiritual* successor to SS2, then its is, literally, only because of the ghosts you see in game. And lets not forget, thats what they said it was.
The only criticism I can make in this reguard is that the gameplay is certainly a lot more, standard. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy games that don't push the boundries of gameplay in radically new directions (like HL2) but SS2 really was something a bit different when it first came out and I just think it's a bit of a shame that with BioShock they've taken the more traditional FPS route. Whether that was down to platform issues I have no idea. Though of course they've always said BioShock would be an FPS.
I have to say, it's mostly hype, as I suspected. Old FPS stuff in a new wrapping - graphics. Many features are taken from System Shock, like the cameras and audio-diaries you find lying around. The demo even had one of those ghost encounters. It feels pretty much like SS2 with a modern engine minus the RPG elements.

Plasmids are simply additional magic-like weapons, eve acts as mana. When it comes to hacking cameras and bots, you have to either play fucking stupid pipe dream (arrgh minigames) or pay some dollars which you can find lying around the place (what a stupid solution).

So yeah, great graphics, great atmosphere and interesting story....BUT the gameplay is far from revolutionary. Just your run of the mill FPS.

And of course, not forgetting the consumers shafted by Shader Model 3:

My textures are f*cked up. I only see fire and some small sprites and last but not least I don't have a visible mouse cursor eather. Radion X800 card here. Ugh.
Are there going to be a patch or update for shader models 2 cuz i really want to play this game
Non sm3.0 cards cant play?

1 comments

System Shock 2 FTW , 24 August, 2007

The 6th one down pretty much sums it up for me. This was supposed to be the successor to SS2, but it's turned out it's worse than Deus Ex: Invisible War.

Everything's so basic.

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