I think the original Bioshock is the most overrated game of the generation (discounting games in genres I hate; I would struggle to give most RPGs more than a 3 but I can generally appreciate a good FPS), a sub-par FPS with tedious combat and too much backtracking. The setting and atmosphere were nice for a while, but the competely empty world soon left it feeling flat.
I never bothered playing 2, but for reasons unknown I felt compelled to try this, albeit many months after it came out. And what it is is everything I had hoped Bioshock would be. The world is so perfectly created, so vibrant and alive. I spent the opening hour with no weapons, not really doing anything, just wandering the streets, eavesdropping on conversations, looking out at the distant things on the horizon, taking it all in. All the feel and atmosphere the first game promised in its opening minutes, but soon lost when it became quickly apparent it was a series of empty corridors.
The art style is lovely, some sort of strange halfway between realistic and all-out cartoon, but it works. The combat is much improved, the bulk of the enemies no longer run straight at you on sight, and the bigger enemies can no longer be despatched in three seconds as soon as you unlock a grenade launcher like the big daddies. Some of the battles in the big open spaces were great fun, actually requiring some thought and planning, and incorporating the sky-rails into the fights makes it feel very different. Aside from a couple of ludicrous difficulty spikes, notably the one right at the end, the combat was all enjoyable.
It might also be the first game ever with a fixed companion that I didn't wish dead. She's not intrusive, never gets in the way, the ammo and health supplies she gives are a handy touch, and she's an interesting character, the conversations between the two of them keep the pace flowing and stop the game dragging during those stretches when the streets are a bit empty.
The spectacle of the whole thing just needs to be witnessed. The looking out onto the distance and seeing huge things towering over the world, things you later get to go to, watching as things start to blow up and fall over in something you'd more expect to see in a Battlefield tech demo.
It's one of those games that does everything it sets out to do very well, but manages to be so much more than the sum of its parts, it just feels right, everything clicks together and creates, without wishing to sound like an MS exec, a mesmerising experience.
#9797775, By Zomoniac Recently Completed Games
Zomoniac 6,945 posts
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