August 16, 2007


I've recently played the Xbox 360 demo for Bioshock. The game is nice in the since of visuals. I'm a huge fan of games developed with the Unreal Engine and this one doesn't disappoint. The graphics are simply awesome.

The location is interesting. You find your way to a city enthralled in chaos hidden deep in the ocean. The scene is 1950ish and the setting definitely takes you there. All along the way you get hints and info on what this place is and what has happened.

I won't be getting this game. For one it doesn't fit into my budget (time and money). More importantly though, for me, is the feeling I get from playing this game. It gives me an eerie and creepy feeling. It's not so much the amount of visual darkness they submerse you into. It's the sense of: Something here is wrong and I'm going to have to do something wrong to survive. I enjoy the visuals, but the aftertaste of this game is creepy so I won't miss not owning this title.

Don't get me wrong. I'm all about shoot-em-up games. But I like a better defined line between what is and what shouldn't be. I have no problem battling the digital hordes of Locusts in Gears of War because I feel that the sides are well defined and I don't feel bad about the side my character represents (this only applies to campaign mode, multi-player is a non-issue for me). In Rainbow Six: Vegas I know I'm fighting for what I feel is right as I take down terrorists trying to do harm to American soil. So overall I don't have particular problems with digital violence in games, after all it's just digital images following the code's instructions. I just don't want to feel creeped out by what's going on. end rant

I wouldn't say don't play Bioshock, I'm just not going to get it.

Until next time


Nathan said...

In other words, you don't want a game that has the potential to challenge you deep down to your moral fiber, one that might actually impact you as a human being. You don't want a game that could very well be important and influential enough to be considered true art. Now, I'm (probably) exaggerating a bit, but I feel that this is the next real step in gaming. I want games that give me real choices like "save or kill" with real pros and cons, rather than the simple "kill like this or kill like this." When we talk about the "maturity" of a game, we usually talk about how much violence, sexuality, and course language it contains. That's bullshit. You show me a game that can actually make me cry, and I'll show you a truly mature game. I understand that this sort of thing can make people uncomfortable, but that's not always a bad thing. And "safety," whether mental, moral, or any other kind, is not always good.

Jason said...

It definitely seems like that's what sets this apart... I mean let's face it, it's built on top of a game engine, which you can put any graphics and story on top of... big deal... there are a million of them and there will be a million more... so maybe the face that this game makes you think about things or makes you wiggle in your seat is exactly the reason you should play it?

Although (talking out other side of mouth) it is all entertainment so if it really makes you that uncomfortable maybe it's not worth the effort.

Les said...

If I didn't know you guys I'd think you were being too pushy with your game values on me. But I know you guys, so I have to say: good input.

On one note: I will not deny that this game is intriguing (I'm working still on playing the demo all the way through). I like the concept of "free" world in gaming. Choices that aren't influenced by the code, but rather many choices available to get where I need to go (cyclomatic complexity). For instance, it is a bit boring in a game like Gears of War where the only choices you get to make are: "Take the left path? or the Right path?" And neither path effects you other than the scenery is different. I just don't like the directions your choices can lead you in this game (for me, I don't think it's a bad game), the setting is too "gray area" for me. Since it's a game I know that the choices aren't hard, after all, "it's just a game" and as such I'll do what I have to in order to complete whatever task.

"Moral fiber": I consider myself a pretty grounded person, I don't need entertainment to help me define or confirm that. whether it is literature or movies or games, I just want to be entertained, and maybe think a little along the way, after all without a little brain workout it all gets a little boring.

Thanks for the input guys.

Nathan said...

Clearly my wording was over-dramatic, but it was intentionally so. (Incidentally, I don't believe that any of us know ourselves half as well as we think we do.) Honestly, the main thing for me is that, financial limitations aside, I really don't want someone to miss what many people are calling game-of-the-year material just because they were a little creeped out for a few minutes.

I had another point to make, but I can't figure out how to put it succinctly enough for a blog comment.