BioShock is overrated.
Now, before you reach for my head to uncomfortably detach it from my body, let me explain.
BioShock isn’t a bad game. Not by any standard. It’s just not the second coming of first-person shooters reviewers all over the world are proclaiming it to be. And not to take anything away from Andrew Clark’s extremely well written review (the best I’ve read on Avault), but BioShock doesn’t deserve anything higher than a 75 percent.
Everything about this game has received incredibly high praise. The environments, the combat, the story…. everyone loves BioShock enough it wouldn’t be surprising to hear they sleep with it.
So I must’ve played a different game.
The environments were startling when I first booted it up. However, once I got deeper and deeper, I realized I was playing through rooms with the same two color palettes: Neon light and black.
In fact, it was impossible for me to navigate through an area without checking the map every 10 minutes to see where I was. Everything in a level looks almost exactly identical. It looked like a hurricane had torn through every square inch of Rapture…. and then some delinquent followed up the hurricane by throwing s*** all over the place. Water pouring onto the tiles? Check. Blood splatters? Check. Crates? Check. Crazed sociopaths looking to gut you with fish hooks? Check.
Just about every room has a “splicer.” All of these splicers, despite the designations of “thuggish,” “lead,” “boring” et al, look the same. Of course, not like it really matters since 99 percent of BioShock takes place in the dark and you can’t see s*** anyways.
Other enemies you’ll encounter include security turrets (flying and stationary), bosses with unrealistic amounts of health and the enemies everyone craps in their cereal over, Big Daddies.
The Big Daddy was incredibly formidable the first time I laid eyes upon one. However, that formidable presence was quickly diminished once I realized he wouldn’t attack me unless I provoked him. Yawn.
There’s something about being able to stand next to an enemy swapping ammo types for several minutes that blows the tension of the situation out the window. Which brings me to my next point….
What the hell is with all of the micromanagement? Not only are we stuck digging through FPS clichés like ammo boxes and crates, but we’re bombarded with so much garbage we can pick up, the game turns into nothing more than a glorified fetch quest.
Anything you could possibly imagine having to pick up in an FPS is present, along with dozens of other unnecessary objects. Health packs were proved obsolete in 2001 by Halo; health should recharge over time. Eve hypos recharge your plasmid juice, which should also recharge over time. There are also three different types of ammo for almost every weapon, and a ton of other crap that didn’t belong in the game.
What’s the point of great atmosphere, if the game is going to force you into menus every 30 seconds? BioShock kills its own pacing.
Of course, none of this matters, because even on the hardest difficulty, the game is a cake walk. But, you figure as soon as you pass up a room full of useless crap, you’ll run into a hard part where that stuff might be necessary and you’ll have to repeat the process.
Sadly, nothing in BioShock is worth repeating.