Quick note (Bioshock spoiler warning)

4 09 2007

So, I know I promised some sort of in-depth write up about Bioshock and how it made me reflect on things we forgive in games. But unfortunately, that’s not going to happen, for a number of reasons. The smallest reason is because of time constraints I had the last couple days, what with school starting and the fact that I needed to finish the game. The bigger reason is that, now that I’ve finished the game, a large, large portion of those complaints are gone. Frankly, the game is fantastic in a number of ways, especially the writing and character development. Every character is so well crafted and three-dimensional. I also love how hilariously meta that game is. I mean, really, almost every game we play in this vain is one giant “Would you kindly?”

So, because this game is so phenomenal, my problems with it—since, as a cynic, I have to find a flaw in everything—stick out. Though, admittedly, they are nit-picky. I think my biggest problem with this game is the final boss fight with Fontaine. There’s just something…well, many things, completely off about it. I mean, for one, giant Adam-injecting crucifiction thingy? Where the hell did that come from? Not to mention the fact that he looks and fights as if designed as a combination of Urien and Gill. In fact, I think that’s my biggest problem with it over all: the way he looks. See, all the other characters you physically meet in the game—Steinman, Cohen, Ryan, even Fontaine before the last fight—are normal looking people. They are just men, men who are corrupted and turned mad by power—not only the power to play god, but the power to be god-like. Each character is great as a man. And even had Fontaine still had all those powers, but was just his normal, human form, the fight would have fit a lot better for me. The way it is now, however, it’s just really out of place.

Also, there’s little things. Like, if I have to hear one more guy sing “Jesus loves me/this I know,” I’m going to shoot him. Then, myself. Also, some of the time-line stuff is a little unclear. Like, Ryan didn’t know you were born till after they put you top side, I think? Also, where the hell did they keep you, before you got on that plane? How exactly was the baby made? Where did Fontaine end and Atlas begin? Some of that could have been a little more clear.

Again, all of this is nit-picking. I honestly can’t see any game beating this as Game of the Year. It’s not only a fun, exciting, lengthy game, but it’s an incredible piece of fiction—and I think that’s the most important part.

One last thing. I hate Xbox 360 achievements. Loathe them, most because a lot of things you get points for aren’t really things you achieve so much as actions or events that would have happened regardless of a “points” system. Like, for example, getting an achievement for finishing the first level of a game. What? Ok, yes, I guess conceivably you could not finish it, but then why did you pay $70? Therefore, I will be instituting a new blog post type, called Under-Achievements. Each time I play a new 360 game, I will go through the achievements list and point out all the things people don’t deserve a shred of credit for. I will begin with Bioshock, hopefully tomorrow. It is my first day of class, and I have to start doing my write-up for my PAX feature for the paper, but I will do my best.


kefka.gif — Persopolian




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