Bioshock Box Art Rift

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While I was examining my games’ shelf, I glanced at the back of the box of Bioshock, and I felt like giving it a little riff.  Now, I am currently playing through the game for the first time, and I am enjoying it, so think of this as a prelude to the actual review, which may take a while due to the stockpile of reviews that I have.

After glancing my eyes from the Bouncer Big Daddy, which were not very common during my first 12 hours with the game, I flipped over the case and gazed upon solid gold.  “The Genetically Enhanced Shooter” the box exclaims.  I am curious how a couple gigabytes of code could be genetically enhanced, but genetics do play a very large role in this, so I guess it is just dumb, not criminally inaccurate.  “BioShock is a shooter unlike any you’ve ever played, loaded with weapons and tactics never seen.”  Oh boy, first of all, why is it called BioShock?  That just sounds dumb, if there was a hyphen between the two, then it would be okay, but I just dislike words with 2 separated capital letters.  With the only exception being things like GlaDOS, but the DOS is a reference to DOS, which is what people used to communicate to computers before graphic interfaces.  Shifting back, “Unlike any you’ve ever played,” Not true, you use the left stick to move, and the right stick to aim, which can be applied to nearly every shooter created for consoles in the past decade.  And you have a health bar, fire guns, it has water in it, and so on.  Joking aside, being unique does not make something good, and reinventing everything just leaves everyone confused.  There is a reason that A or B are used to jump in most games, because that is what people are used to.  Although this game Jumps with Y, which just caused many a reload due to how I never used Y to jump before.  “Loaded with Tactics and weapons never seen before.”  Now, while there are numerous conventional weapons, revolver, shotgun, machine gun, grenade launcher, and so forth.  I cannot recall a game where you could throw a ball at an enemy and cause them to become your friend for a minute or so.  And with the liquid Nitrogen gun and hornets that come out of your hand, it is unique enough to slide past with that.

After some standard sentences, we get back to gold with the saying that, “No encounter ever plays out the same, and no two gamers will play the game the same way.”  The first bit is true, but I must apply an asterisk to that.  While the game does have different select models for enemies, and some differing monologues, there are going to be several encounters where you sneak up on somebody, and shoot them in the back with 00 Buck.  Being different in every encounter implies that the game lacks any focus and is unpredictable, and people like to stay with things that they can comprehend.  Also, this game is pretty damn easy to get into for any “gamer” since the developers never intended to use this game to introduce many people into games, nor did they ever foreshadowed the word gamer being used as a derogatory term.  “No two gamers will play the game the same way.”  How can you guarantee that?  Two people can play the game while powering through it, absorbing anything they trip over, because they set the game on easy.  Or that two people won’t end up playing on Hard while sneaking around, carefully gathering every bullet and first aid kit they run across.

Moving onto the captioned images, here is the brilliant writing that was inscribed: “Explore an incredible and unique art deco world hidden deep under the ocean.”  While yes, I did explore a good section of the city of Rapture by entering bathrooms and photographing the turrets, but one should never call their own work “unique”.  Uniqueness is something temporary, the first military shooter was unique for its time, same with the idea of video games in general, but after people take bits and pieces of every game they ever encounter, you cannot say that any idea that ever festered was completely unique.

 ”Turn everything into a weapon: the environment, your body, fire and water, and even your worst enemies.”  While the environmental weapon idea is used by spilled oil and water, it implies that you can use the actual city to your advantage.  This game is also first person, so how would you use yourself as a weapon?  Other than the electrical burst that you can have fire out of your body whenever you get hit in the face with a wrench.  And if that is what they are referencing, then that is like calling Batman: Arkham Asylum a Psychological Horror Experience, because of the scarecrow sections.  Same with the mentioning of worst enemies, which I assume are referencing the Big Daddies, who you can turn into followers for a bit, but they are passive unless you hit them, so they might mean the turrets and cameras.  But while you can indeed hack those, and the RPG turrets are my worst threat, but then why are they being so vague with that?

“Hack devices and systems, upgrade your weapons and craft new ammo variants.”  Hacking in a video game is not really a selling point, especially when you consider how many people, not myself, disliked the hacking in general, because it is a timed puzzle game.  Upgrading weapons tells us nothing about the game, and the upgrades seem pretty token to me, so why even mention them, when nearly every FPS this generation has had them?  And the new ammo variants?  That would be fine, except for how it was not introduced until 10 hours in.

Well… That was a thing! The actual review will be up tomorrow.

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