Thursday, October 14, 2010

Video Game Assessment: BioShock (2007)

Okay, I'm seriously very sorry for doing this, but this is a game I've been wanting to review for a very long time and I only just remembered it existed while I was going through a pile of games I finished. I say that I'm sorry because I'm sure there are people out there who really like this game. There are probably even people (perhaps) reading this review who REALLY like BioShock. Well, I'm going to say something that's probably going to make me very unpopular to those people.

I hated this game.

I hated it with a severe passion I usually only reserve for Dark City, Finnegans Wake, and The Martian Chronicles.

I'm not even kidding. This is my least favorite video game OF ALL TIME. You may think I'm going way overboard with that statement or something... but I'm not. I cannot think of a single video game worse than this piece of absolute crap. I'd rather play anything instead. I'd rather play a freaking Barbie game, or one of those freaking Pet Vet games or whatever they're called where the vet goes and pets the animal a lot until it gets better, or whatever the hell those games have in them. How should I know what's in them? I don't play them for a reason and if I did play them I'd kind of know what to expect.

This game is a pile of turds. Why? Well, because of what it claimed to be and what it turned out to be, of course. I mean, if you tell me this'll be the game that innovates first-person shooters with many elements of horror for years to come, I'd understand what you're saying... then I'd play the game and slap you in the face for this affront to humanity.

Did I say "affront"? I meant blight.

Seriously, this game is terrible. And I'm sure all these people who are into "mainstream" games like the Halo crowd are probably slobbering all over this game calling it a masterpiece of horror, sci-fi, and video games themselves... but those people are idiots. They have no idea what's going on at the best of times, and even though I consider myself quite mad most of the time, I'm not mad enough to call a turd a piece of gold. I'm sorry, it's just not something I feel comfortable with. It goes against the basic rules of everything.

BioShock feels like a game that wants to be something better. It wants to be the older kinds of games with a great plot and some puzzle elements and a WHOLE LOT of horror... but what it comes off as is pretentious bullcrap.

I love great stories. Love great twists and turns. Look at my Silent Hill 2 review or my Deadly Premonition one if you don't believe me. Seriously. Those show that I love great stories, even when the game is ultra-hyped. Silent Hill 2 is often called the scariest game of all time, and you know something? Despite my insistence on hating most things well-loved by the populace, I love Silent Hill 2. I think it is the scariest video game of all time without a doubt in my mind. And saying that makes me hurt a little knowing that I agree with so many other reviewers out there... but it's true and I cannot deny the truth despite my obvious mental defects.

But this game... oh, this game... I can't even like it. Sure, I tried to like it. I played levels and had a little fun from time to time. I killed weird people stuck in the underwater city of Rapture, and I didn't feel anything. The scares WEREN'T SCARY! How can a horror game not be scary? How is that even possible? How can people like this game?

I'm so angry I could spit staples out of my teeth as hard and fast as my staple-gun. I don't think any game has ever made me this angry before... no, I know that no game has ever made me this angry. I can't believe how many people liked this game. I can't believe enough people liked it so that there was an even more terrible sequel made which I will never play even under threats of death and bodily destruction. I'd rather die painfully than play a game that hurts my pure visions of video games.

I played this game for about an hour on my first playthrough. It seemed a little tense from time to time and I didn't hate it. I thought it was all right. I thought that maybe I'd like the game even... but after a little time playing through the game, I found that instead of liking it more I was just bored. I knew what was coming before it came. I could kill everything without a blink of my eyes. I don't even like first-person horror games all that much because they make me nervous, but this game just made me sigh for the game to throw some kind of challenge at me... anything to keep me from falling asleep in front of my television.

I mean, there are some good ideas... like the plasmids and everything, but they're implemented so poorly. It's like a rip-off of the Fallout series or something with all the little cutesy 1950's era doodles. It just makes me angry. Nothing here feels original. Nothing here even feels good. It's like vomit in video game form and that... well, that just isn't right in any circle.

The big twist is stupid and happens way before the end of the game. I couldn't care less. I might not have seen it coming exactly, but I didn't care about these characters I never saw except when I listened to them talking over a radio at me and saw a little picture in the corner looking at me. How stupid is that? Show me a cutscene if you're going to try to be Half-Life... I mean, Half-Life did that whole playable cutscene thing perfectly, showing me the characters involved without feeling distant from everything. It made use of the special weapons (e.g. The Gravity Gun) and used them effectively. This game instead goes for the whole, "Yeah, go use this fire plasmid to melt some ice. Yay!"

Whoopdee-doo... A one-year-old child could figure that out. A dog could figure out that warmth is bad for ice. What the hell kind of game is this that treats me as if I have the intelligence of a one-year-old child dog thing? IT MAKES ME ANGRY!

And the worst part is the ending... well, that and the item collection to become a BIG DADDY, which has to be one of the most hyped up easy enemies ever. I mean, when I first saw the trailer I was all like, man those things are going to rock!And then they didn't. It was quite the let down. It was like somebody telling me they were going to give me a puppy, and then instead they ritually sacrificed the puppy there in front of me and gave me the poor thing's fur as a final gift. I don't want dead puppy fur, I want a living puppy that will make me giggle and be happy! BioShock, why did you have to give me a dead puppy's fur? (Yes, I'm going to go with this analogy as long as I can. Hopefully you're getting a fraction of the amount that I abhor this game.)

Why does this game exist? Why is it so popular? Has the mainstream become so hopeless that this is seen as GAME OF THE YEAR material? I can think of many better games of 2007 right off the top of my head: Assassin's Creed (which I didn't even like all that much), Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, The Orange Box, Lost Odyssey, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, Peggle, even Silent Hill: Origins, which was absolutely terrible mostly! I can't even think straight... This game is making me so angry...

I will admit one positive aspect of this game just to calm my absolute rage. It has outstanding visuals. The graphics are outstanding mostly, and the water effects are beautiful. Okay, that's about it... and you know what? I guarantee that almost everybody who loves this game love it for its "innovative weapons" and "cool graphics" and that's sad. Games should be measured by more than just what they look like and how you kill the enemies. But no... stories don't matter... characters don't matter. The only things that matter are graphics and gameplay and if that's all that matter than yes, this game is a fricking gem among an ocean of gems. ALL GAMES ARE PLAYABLE OR THEY WOULDN'T BE GAMES! GOOD GAMEPLAY IS LIKE SAYING A MOVIE SHOULD BE WATCHABLE! OKAY!? AND GRAPHICS SHOULD BE TOPNOTCH ON NEW CONSOLES, BUT THAT'S NOT ALWAYS THE CASE, ALL RIGHT!? AND IF IT ISN'T THEN THAT GAME THAT DOESN'T SHOULD HAVE SOMETHING EXTRA SPECIAL LIKE A REALLY GOOD STORY! Okay... take a deep breath...

My point is that games should have all these things... just because this game has some decent graphics and gameplay doesn't make it GAME OF THE YEAR. What made it GAME OF THE YEAR are douchebags who consider it art rather than seeing it as pretentious bullcrap that should be flushed down the nearest toilet.


  1. I agree to the fullest! Also, the discrepancy between the story and gameplay is unheard of. They shouldn't have tackled such an interesting topic as objectivism by implementing the lowest common denominator in games, shooting everything that moves. What a waste…

    1. Edit: in most games of today, that is

  2. Yeah, I have to agree. It was a generic shooter with a crappy plot that pretended to be "smart," which I found more insulting than fun. I'm pretty discouraged by how many people LOVE this game as opposed to finding it generic and disappointing like I do.