Sunday, 1 November 2009

Return to Bioshock

One year ago I bought Bioshock, played it on my old laptop and did not like it at all, it seemed to me it was a hell of a overhyped game. However my PC did not handle Shaders 3.0 at the time, I had to get recompiled Shaders for the game somewhere, so some of my bad impressions of the game could have been related to that.

I have now a state of the art laptop, and I was able to play this game will all settings maxed. Unfortunately, my impressions did not change:

  • I'm sorry, but this game has lower than average graphics, even for a 2007 game. Except for the settings (which are OK, but also not mind blowing), objects and NPCs rendering are really not very good. Some years ago, games like Half Life 2 or Doom 3 had much better graphics

  • Gameplay very much look like a child console game. For example a lot of glowing colors and oversized objects in the game. And unfortunately even if you disable all these kind of unnecessary features in the game options. Or the fact that you have to loot every object and NPC in the game, or random places, to find items. This all feels so unnatural. To take a very old example, for the first Half Life, Health stations were always put in logical places. Here this is completely "random", and you only have to look everywhere like in a flash puzzle game to get what you want. Not to mention the absurd mini games that are used to hack sentries or vending machines. Why?

  • I also have to mention the combats and NPCs behavior which are really ridiculously bad and uninteresting

  • Story: Because they were not able to tell the story in a natural way, they recorded hours of recordings to tell the story by dead NPCs. Even in Doom 3 I did not like that very much, but the Doom 3 universe was very simple. Here they had to create a very specific universe, and it seemed that they could not really make the player experience it. So they had to resort to these recordings. You don't play the game, you don't experience the universe, you are fed the story by some kinds of audiobooks... So why not reading a Ayn Rand book instead?

  • Level design: not very interesting. Even at the beginning of the game, when I arrived in Rapture, there was no wow effect at all (except for the short cinematic part when you are in the bathysphere, but remember that it's only a cinematic). Small rooms everywhere, very much all looking the same to me

I will very soon remove this game from my computer, because I really don't enjoy playing it i any way. But why did some people loved this game so much?

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