“SteamPunk Week: Bioshock” by Mr Riddler

Riddle Me This: Blake, Peter, Paul and Carl enter a Steamroom. Peter has brought his ipod. Paul and Carl have brought books to read. Blake has taken a thermos flask. A piercing cry is heard in the room. One man is found dead form a stab wound to the chest. When the police arrive, all they find is the 3 living men, the dead body, an ipod, two books and an empty thermos. No weapon is found and no one else has entered or left the room. What happened?

The murderer was Blake. He obviously carried a sharpened icicle in the thermos and allowed it to melt into his victim.

What I Expected:
To be honest, this isn’t the first time that I’ve tried to play through Bioshock, as you can imagine. Bioshock was one of those games that everyone told me was amazing, but instead I was playing through Fallout. Finally someone brought me around and I got into playing Bioshock and didn’t really give it much of a chance. I played maybe 2 hours before getting bored and sweeping under the TV stand. I don’t know what it was that pulled me away form it. Something about it just seemed boring to me. Well now it’s Steampunk week and I need a Steampunk style game to review and Bioshock was #1 to pull up on the wikipedia list of Steampunk games. It didn’t help that I was acutally borrowing the game from Silenced and didn’t have it just laying around anymore to play, but I’ve coxed her into letting me borrow it again for this review. Projected outlook on the game, dim.

What We Got:
Allow me to start off by saying that Bioshock has one of the most amazing openings to a game that I’ve ever seen. You sit in the chair of an airplane and watch your hands smoke, take a drink, look at a picture in your wallet then BAM plane crash and you’re swimming your way up to the surface of the water and escaping the burning wreckage. Yes it’s the same beginning as Cast Away but I still love the way that it plays out in this game. it just caught me so off guard the same way that it does the main character of the game and I feel it really helps with immersion into the game. Almost instantly, you feel a bond to the nameless, faceless character that you now control. Well this character of yours swims to a giant building in the middle of the ocean, wanders in, and takes a bathysphere into Rapture, this underwater SteamPunk/ WaterPunk  world made for the wealthy elite. Sounds good right? Well apparently it was as plastic surgery crazy as Pamela Anderson and it’s ruined the faces and minds of the people of Rapture. Also there’s something about gene splicing to give you psychokinesis and turn children into brain eating zombie girls that create more gene splicing materials and are protected by giant guys in old school diver suits with drills called Big Daddies… I don’t really understand how that works but you know what I’ll accept it. The Horror elements of this game are really great with the insane ugly people that are trying to rip you open and take the Adam that’s in your brain that they can use to… I don’t know… get more ugly. They’re a great at mindf***ing you as well. I recall one part where you walk up and see a woman talking to a baby carriage talking to it like a mother but saying incredibly insane thing about killing it’s father and going to take it to the market to sell it. It’s Ok though because she was actually cradling and talking to a GUN. Oddly enough, what should be the scariest part of the game, the Big Daddies, are probably the least scary part of the game. They’re big, yes. They’re powerful, yes. They’re deadly, yes. But they’re also very boring. The little girl, called a little sister, sits back and cheers him on as he slightly walks around, shooting at you, throwing things and charging. In some ways, I was reminded of when I was playing Sonic the hedgehog 2. It’ll always be me versus a large, fat guy who is using technology that is obviously far to great for my feeble hedgehog brain to comprehend. None the less, I’ll just run circles around him. wait for an opening hit him once, rinse and repeat. and that’s all you do when you fight a Big Daddy. Run in circles and fire. Then he’s dead, Then you get the option to kill a little girl or remove the gene splicing brain thing that’s turned her into a monster. What’s the point of this? On the one hand you’ll gain more Adam from killing her, on the other hand you keep a clean conscience as a player…. I’m in Arkham Asylum for a reason, folks.
As far as why this has given me such a headache to play, I think I have it figured out. With the exception of the Gene Spliced super powers, which I have to say are kinda neat but are mostly things we’ve seen in other games portrayed in new ways, Bioshock is played through the same way as all other FPS games. I think I may have just become tired of them. Not to say that Bioshock is generic. It does an exceptional job of creating a creepy, madhouse, atmosphere that I like to see in games and it’s characters are cute and iconic enough to hold up a franchise like we’ve seen Bioshock do over the years. Just the game play is a format so familiar that you’ll know how to do everything without having to go through the tutorial. Is this really a problem? Probably not, it could just be me nit picking and being bitchy about something in a game that everyone else likes. However, I would like to see them come up with some ingenuity. I guess it also doesn’t help that I’ve been playing Other M along side this game and I’ve just developed a chip in my shoulder for copy-paste versions of other games. (Metroid Other M coming next week.)

Conclusion:
I’ve had a few complaints but most are forgivable. The atmosphere can make up for most of them. The moral choice system, if you can really call it that, holds no ground so you can be as sadistic as you want if you’re into that or you can white knight it up. In the end, I enjoyed the game a lot. Maybe I’ll finish the second game too to finish off SteamPunk Week… There’s a thought.

If you don’t think the game is Steampunk enough for you then just hold out for the 3rd one. They’re getting out the water and taking to the airship Skies. Here’s the Trailer:
http://www.youtube.com/v/f1Wp6mQ6fyc?fs=1&hl=en_US&color1=0x234900&color2=0x4e9e00


Overall Rating:

Buy It. This game, despite me being a whiny bitch, is good. it’s fun and creepy and the steampunk levels are designed beautifully. As long as you’re over 17 (Yes the game is Rated M for good reason) and pay close attention to what people say to follow this story, it’s a game that anyone will really be able to understand.

 

Feel Free to leave me a comment down below and let me know what you think, if you enjoyed the review or what you want me to review next. I’ll pay attention. After all, you are my only reader.

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