BioShock? Innovative? You're Just Obeying the Hype

15

Comments

+ Add a Comment
avatar

Sovereign

I think "innovative" is somewhat of a subjective term. Personally I can see where those who believe BioShock is "same old" are coming from. Yet I enjoyed it. Why? Because it might have been the "same old stuff" but it was wrapped in a new packaging. Because BioShock presents its material (as re-hashed as it may be) in a different way, both cosmetically and from the storyline perspective, it is "innovative" to some people, while others regard it as merely a re-make of something that's already been done a thousand times.

avatar

ivyannie (not verified)

For as much as I saw you playing it, I would have thought it must have warranted better than this very eloquent "meh."

avatar

willsmith

It's worth mentioning that Dave played the game on easy, so the combat wasn't particularly challenging for him.

While many of Dave's points are valid, and I enjoy new innovation as much as the next guy, a game doesn't need to be innovative to be great, just like a film or book doesn't need to add fancy pants new features to be great. Half-Life wasn't particularly innovative, but I don't think anyone would describe it as anything less than great.

Arguably, there haven't been any major technical innovations in film since Jurassic Park (when CGI came into its own). But there have definitely been great and memorable movies that have come out in that time.

There haven't been any innovations in books since the 60s, but I don't think any of us would say that there haven't been any good books since Ken Kesey wrote One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

And, there are many cases I can cite where innovative new features and gameplay mechanics have sucked terribly--anyone remember not being able to leave without their buddy Superfly? What about lens flare? Does anyone still think lens flare was a good idea?

Telling a great story in an entertaining, engaging way is a good thing. We have too much of a tendency with videogames to focus on making objects shinier, or making lighting more realistic at the expense of quality storytelling and good gameplay. With the exception of the tedious Pipe Dream minigame, I think that BioShock delivers both fun gameplay and an amazing story.

Also, calling Bullet Time in Max Payne an "innovation" is really lame. That would be like me calling Wing Commander's space-based dogfights innovative, when in reality they were straight ripoffs from Star Wars. Bullet Time in Max Payne was fun, but it's still a ripoff of the Matrix.

avatar

TheMurph

Get it right, Will. I played the game on Medium. As we speak, I'm replaying it on hard. But regardless of the combat difficulty, I'm referring to the game's very mechanics in my post -- the mechanics that stay constant no matter what difficulty you put the game on. The plasmids are still plasmids, you still fight a very small list of the same enemies throughout the entire game, Pipe Dream is still there, the quests are still FedEx, and the camera game is still stolen from Dead Rising.

BioShock is a great game. I will not dispute that. I'm not saying it isn't a great game. But it is not innovative, and it should not be heralded as "the game by which all future games should be measured." That's just pointless, because it's not doing anything different than most every other FPS that's ever been fun.

And by your example, The Matrix ripped off Bjork's "Army of Me" video, which used Bullet Time far before Neo ever swallowed a pill. Max Payne was innovative because it popularized bullet time in a video game format -- it was the initiator for a sea of followers, for it was the first to truly use Bullet Time as a means to bring a cinematic quality to video gaming.

avatar

willsmith

As we discussed ad nauseum in the office yesterday, the difficulty level does make a difference, as on hard there are different sub-types of splicers with different vulnerabilities. While they look similar and share the same model, they behave differently, with different attacks and different weaknesses. On hard, if you don't tune your attacks to those weaknesses, then you'll run out of ammo and EVE quickly.

As I understand it, the Bjork video did do bullet time, but only in a very specific, fairly static environment. The Wachowski's innovation was the tech they created that allowed bullet time to work in a very dynamic action environment.

avatar

Talcum X

Unfortunately, I don't get the pleasure of even knowing much of anything on the game more that static images and writeups. My 9800 Pro isn't up to the task to play such new titles(Only SM2.0 compatible). And lacking funds to upgrade to the best AGP card that can(not to mention a complete overhaul), well, guess I'm stuck with static images and writeups.

I just wish the game (demo) would make such hardware requirement checks prior to taking the time to install itself just to find out it wont work. It runs, just when you get to the main menu, well, ya got no pointer on the screen. My mouse isn't SM3.0 compatible, but the image on the screen looks loverly. Go figure.

**********
Every morning is the dawn of a new error.

avatar

Quark

Talcum, I was curious about your response so I did some checking. I know of no game demo that does all of system checking for you. Some of the primary released software does. Every site I visited said that this game had issues with older systems, usually providing some statement like this: "Not all PCs meet the minimum system requirements.". From GameSpot, the following was displayed:

Minimum System Requirements
- Windows XP
- 1GB System RAM
- 2.4GHz Intel Pentium 4 or equivalent processor
- 8GB free hard disk space
- DirectX 9.0c-compatible 128MB video card (Nvidia 6600/ ATI X1300 or better)
- Internet required for activation
Recommended System Requirements
- Windows XP or Windows Vista
- Intel Core 2 Duo or equivalent
- 2GB System RAM
- 8GB free hard disk space
- DirectX 9.0c or DirectX 10 compatible video card with 512MB of RAM
- Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi series sound card
- Internet required for activation

I have found that in most instances that say Minimum requirements, the Recommended is usually the best guideline.

FWIW

avatar

elburro

I don't think you understood what Bioshock is all about. So I will do you a favor and let you in on what the rest of us already know. Bioshock is not about the plasmids or about the weopons. (althogh using enrage on the splicers is a very enjoyable experience) Bioshock is all about the emotional response.
Seeing big daddy protecting little sister makes you question whether you want to mess with that relationship. Then once you take the plunge and big daddy is sprawled out on the floor and litle sister is crying out "Mr Bubble why won't you get up" you are thinking why did I do that. I have to say so far I cant' bring myself to harvest one of those girls.
Also seeing some of the evidence of previous violence is disturbing. Walking into a blood strewn room then finding a recording from one of the victims is something that can't be ignored. Finding the one of the doctor cutting up his patient while the nurse is saying "doctor stop cutting stop cutting doctor SECURITY SECURITY" made an impring on me.
A lot of developors have said thier game will affect you emotionally and none have them have had that effect on me. If fact before bioshock came out Ken Levine said that and I thought "unlikely" Well now that I have played i would like to say he was the first to actually come through on that promise. Kudos to you Ken

avatar

TheMurph

I played BioShock. I think the emotional moments and scripted cutscenes are pleasant -- hardly groundbreaking, but great at carrying out the context of the game. No argument there.

That said, who here actually spared killing a Big Daddy because you thought it was cute when they walked around together? Anyone? I'm willing to venture that answer is: 0%.

avatar

D Waterhouse

Just watched that "Zero Punctuation" review! LOL!!! In the bad ending you end up as a cross between Hitler and Skeletor "whose very piss is pure liquid malevolence"!!!! Wow.

avatar

D Waterhouse

Deus Ex is still my favorite game of all time. Max Payne is usually number 2 or 3. BioShock is a great game no doubt, and maybe even on par with Half-Life 2. (I personally put it with FEAR--by no means an insult as FEAR rocked). But you're right Dave, that doesn't mean its innovative. It's just a great execution of common FPS elements and great visuals. But the story is nothing compared to the depth and scale of Deus Ex or Max Payne.

avatar

Quark

I loved the visuals and the special effects (water sheen) but for the most part I thought the game was average for a FPS. The story line was good but I kept feeling that I was just playing the same level over and over with variations. Good overall but after playing something like Far Cry and with expectations of Crysis, I just can't seem to be too overwhelmed with this game. FWIW!

avatar

Hitachi

Does that make me a fanboy for still liking bioshock? >.< i noticed these things as well! BUT, i was so caught up in the story i didn't have time to stop and complain about all of it :0

avatar

TheMurph

Nope! I love BioShock. But it's not the pinnacle of first-person shooters; it just has a great story.

avatar

oihorse

You've pretty much written the story of almost every game released in the past 5 years. I can hardly play any solo adventure games anymore because it's just rehashed ideas with a new skin.

At least with Co-op games you have the variety of playing with a friend and not quite knowing what they're going to do. Even now, though, co-op games are getting down to the same formula.

MMO's? I can't find one that has a single new idea (other than spiffy graphics) that hasn't already been played to death in the MUDS of the early 1990's.

The industry is screaming for some innovation, but I guess as long as it's still making billions off the same old crap we'll keep getting the same old crap.

Horse

Log in to MaximumPC directly or log in using Facebook

Forgot your username or password?
Click here for help.

Login with Facebook
Log in using Facebook to share comments and articles easily with your Facebook feed.