GrE Replay

BioShock Replay: Neptune’s Bounty to Central Misting Control

Forgive the crummy formatting here – not sure why the paragraphs are all wonky (meaning, you get none unless you drop cap something). Anwyay, here’s today’s musings on BioShock.

Mostly, it’s been a lot of fetch questing with some inconsistent arrow pointing. I like the way BioShock keeps me on track with the floating pointer in the center top of the screen, but when it goes away, I’m lost. The map is somewhat useful, but mostly for finding which areas I haven’t searched, yet.

The story continues with “friend” Atlas shouting at me in his Irish brogue about saving his family, who I guess get exploded (it’s kind of quick and unclear). Then he’s out for revenge against Ryan, which makes sense. The final bit here is a brilliant bio-engineer who planted all the trees to keep the air breathable in Rapture. She dies (of course) and then you have to run all over the place to find a bunch of distilled water, chlorophyll, and enzymes, which exist as random drops or pickups hidden in various places. It’s alright, but mostly serves as a way to really up your game in managing all your plasmids and weapons.

I died. A lot. The respawn mechanic in this game is pretty good for players like me – you die, end up in a Vita-Chamber, and can go back tot eh fight where the enemies haven’t cycled back up their health. It’s nice to be able to die and pick up the fight with a Big Daddy until you whittle its health down enough to kill it.

The sense of place here is great, too. When you run through the underwater tunnels, you really get a sense that you’re, well, underwater. Looking out at the city through the transparent tunnel walls is stunning.

Now it’s time to hit the bathysphere and, as Atlas says, head to Ryan’s home. Wish me luck.

BioShock Replay: Beginning to Neptune’s Bounty

Neptune’s Bounty – Image from BioShock Fandom

The water still looks amazing, but the fire (especially in the crash sequence) looks dated. I still hate the way the hands look – not super realistic.

The gameplay, however, is as joyous as ever. The controls are solid and easy to remember, the plasmids and weapons are fun to experiment with.

The story? Still as interesting and intriguing as the first time. It’s been long enough I don’t remember the nuances. I’ve been running from battle to battle and only picking up the story audio diaries to listen to later, so I’m missing out on some of the subtleties, but I’m ok with it.

The Save/Harvest mechanic feels a little simplistic, but I’m willing to commit to saving every last little sister. The animation where she struggles a bit, like a child taking gross medicine, then thanking me for saving her, has the same emotional impact it did when my kids were 7 and 5.

I watched the Developer’s Commentary (basically an interview with Ken Levine and another team mate from BioShock and Infinite by Geoff Keighley of Mountain Dew ethics fame). You can find it just after the first Big Daddy fight. It’s fun listening to Levine talk about how little money he had and how unable he was to sell the idea of the game until Andrew Park at GameSpot came out and wrote up the demo. The age of journalists influencing game creation begins.

(no idea why these won’t do paragraph returns without drop caps – they USED to work just fine)

BioShock RePlay

Big Daddy in Rapture (Image from Microsoft Store)
I picked up the BioShock Collection on my PS4 for $15 a little while ago and now it’s time to play all these games again. I was 37 the last time I played the original title; now I’m 49. Let’s see how this series (which seemed so good in my memory) plays to me now, shall we?