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I make games, talk about them, draw comics and post sketches.

tirsdag den 1. april 2014

True Play - Bioshock (2007)

Heft. This word fits Bioshock so well. To me, it describes the entire arsenal of the game, the feeling I get controlling the player character, the weight of impact of weapons, and the word even sounds Bioshock-y. You know? Stuff from the 1960's had heft: Rusty, burdening. In other shooting games? Idunno... everything is a little light.

I saw the 2006 E3 presentation as what I was supposed to play the next year. In many ways Bioshock became what that video showed, while in many others, it was completely changed. According to this post mortem, for the better. According to me? Well, I never got to play the original, but it sure aligned better to what I wanted.

When I finished Bioshock back in 2007, I was so disappointed. It wasn't the meticulously detailed, free-roaming, thoughtful-choice-based shooting game I had expected. The many battles had made me tired and especially the final levels of the game were just drawn out. The moral choices were pedestrian, and the it seemed to stink of squandered potential. Oh my god, how I wish I could play the game I saw in the E3 video and which Alyssa Finley describe in the post-mortem, as having been seen as confusing by testers. She regrets they didn't realised Bioshock should have been a straight-forward shooting game earlier. I mourn that they ever realised it.

Replaying Bioshock today though, knowing what it is and no longer expecting what it isn't, I can say, it truly is a wonderful, and in many cases, thoughtful, murder game. I say murder with a wry voice, because of course I don't see it as training anybody to murder. For a first-person shooting game, dispatching opponents is just a very effective way to put interesting mechanics to fun use. There really are a lot of fun situations to put all the mechanics to use and feel creative for mixing up my arsenal and enjoying the ammo-conservation-encouraging game play. The moral choice of whether I murder little girls or not, was and still is severely boring. The choices where I have to decide how I'm going to navigate my continued play time, as in: Which part of my poor-man's-kitchen-like arsenal (ingredients always running low) do I use to keep alive now? Should I murder the Big Daddy now for an early upgrade, or let it roam a little longer? Those choices are fantastic.

These wonderful choices are made more amusing by the previously mentioned heft of Bioshock. Some how, the revolver in the game actually looks and sounds in such a way, that it manages to have a weight of carrying six bullets. And when I jump from the appearance of a sudden splicer, and empty the entire magazine, missing thrice, I really feel the weight of which bullet it was that took the life out of my opponent.

Bioshock is still a world that feels dynamic due to the heft of every weapon and the shortage of murder-ingredients. I like it.

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