Gaming Confessions & Blasphemy

ccesarano wrote:

I dunno man, I was pretty into the world when I saw the shadow of the woman talking to the baby carriage, shot her in the back of the head, and then saw she had a gun in that carriage.

How did you shoot her? THAT'S THE FIRST GUN IN THE GAME! You must have used magic!

I hereby declare ccesarano a witch, and motion for an imminent burning. Bring yer kids and marshmallows!

beanman101283 wrote:

I enjoyed the story in BioShock 1 and 2 but found the gunplay and plasmids pretty unsatisfying to use. It's a fairly subjective thing, but I never had much fun with the actual gameplay, so while I found lots to like in the narrative, 20 hours of unsatisfying shooting really made it a slog to get through.

I thought the first Bioshock had some real issues with becoming a slog (particularly after the big reveal, at which point the game started feeling somewhat redundant), but I thought Bioshock 2 was pretty fantastic throughout. The voice acting and story were better in general, and the whole mechanic of protecting the Little Sister while they harvested really added a fun twist for me. I'd set up all my traps and stuff, hypnotize people, get some security bots, and make a party of it. Also:

Spoiler:

Lamb was a much better antagonist than Ryan, and I though that, as you got nearer the end and closer to Eleanor, she was phenomenal. Eleanor announces she'd rather be with you (her Big Daddy) rather than Lamb (her real mother), and from that point on there's this amazingly genuine bitterness and spite in Lamb's voice, like you can hear the regrets.

I thought Bioshock made a great world, but I think Bioshock 2 was one of the singly best games of this generation.

MilkmanDanimal wrote:

I thought the first Bioshock had some real issues with becoming a slog (particularly after the big reveal, at which point the game started feeling somewhat redundant), but I thought Bioshock 2 was pretty fantastic throughout. The voice acting and story were better in general, and the whole mechanic of protecting the Little Sister while they harvested really added a fun twist for me. I'd set up all my traps and stuff, hypnotize people, get some security bots, and make a party of it.

I did appreciate the ability to equip both plasmids and firearms in 2, and I also liked that the segments of protecting the Little Sisters did a much a better job of encouraging experimentation and improvisation with the plasmids and weapons. They still felt the same though, so it remained as unsatisfying as the first game. And as I said, I enjoyed the story in 2.

I thought Bioshock 1 was terribly, terribly boring. It felt like System Shock for the modern gamer crowd, and it lacked the creepiness, pacing, and writing. I never finished it.

TheHipGamer wrote:

I thought Bioshock 1 was terribly, terribly boring. It felt like System Shock for the modern gamer crowd, and it lacked the creepiness, pacing, and writing. I never finished it.

Same here. I followed the development with all of the references to System Shock and got way too over-hyped for it. I was sorely disappointed that it turned out to be a shooter (and not a very good one in my opinion) with rpg elements instead of the opposite. Also, for some reason I just couldn't suspend my disbelief enough with all of the technology in the game. Audio logs, vending machines and turrets felt so out of place for the setting - which was brilliant.

That said, I'm also not looking forward to Bioshock: Infinite all that much. It looks like more of the same in many ways. It may not be a 'pass' but I'm pretty sure it will be a 'wait' for me. (Probably a long wait for a great Steam holiday sale. Jeebus knows my pile is big enough!)

Rallick wrote:
ccesarano wrote:

I dunno man, I was pretty into the world when I saw the shadow of the woman talking to the baby carriage, shot her in the back of the head, and then saw she had a gun in that carriage.

How did you shoot her? THAT'S THE FIRST GUN IN THE GAME! You must have used magic!

I hereby declare ccesarano a witch, and motion for an imminent burning. Bring yer kids and marshmallows!

Really? It's been long enough I couldn't remember. I remember it was after an elevator up...yeah I suppose you're right.

Which means that must have been one of the last people I killed with a wrench.

The Intellivision is my favorite game system.

ccesarano wrote:

Which means that must have been one of the last people I killed with a wrench.

I played through the first Bioshock useing little else but the wrench. I really only used my gun on Big Daddies and bosses.

My brother had a bunch of mods to the wrench that made it bad ass, but I just didn't want to wait that long before it was awesome. I was much happier lighting people on fire and sending bees after them, then striking them with lightning as they headed for water.

And occasionally I fired my gun at people.

kexx wrote:

I loved waking up at the bottom of the ocean, under the plane crash. I remember walking into the lighthouse, and I was really into it when I heard over the radio two people freaking the hell out that "someone" had found them, and was getting in, using the bathysphere. I loved it! Then I arrive, and witness how a spider splicer viciously murders someone! I too was terrified to leave the sphere. I thought I was in for such a ride.

Then I got my first plasmid just like that. No story or explanation or blurb, or burp about it. Just...here, go zap stuff, we altered your genetic code, hit them when they´re in the water. I mean...really? That´s all I´m getting?

I thought, OK, cool. Fine. I´ll be patient. I don´t need every little bit of info right away, I´m sure the reveal will be awesome. Up to where I´m at, not only has it not been revealed, it´s been dismissed completely. Just...take it as part of our universe, that´s it. You have cool powers. This is our "gamey" gimmick. Explanation? Justification of its existence? Umm....look behind you! 60´s decor!

Extremely disappointing...so far. I´m determined to play it through. I feel my judgement wouldn´t be fair otherwise. I owe the game that.

Also, playing this on m+k is SO wonky. I don´t know how it is with a controller, but switching between guns and powers, and previous guns and previous powers, and next guns and next powers, and all of that again, but for ammo? Damn...too much of a mess. I´m getting a rhythm to it. Big Daddies, at least Rosies, are no longer an issue, but still, I´ve died in this game more times than in Super Meat Boy.

Audio logs are pretty crap in just about every game and BioShock was no different (not great in Dishonored, Doom 3, etc). Am I really supposed to believe people carried around enormous tape recorders to preserve random little thoughts? Better yet let me stand still and strain to listen to them instead of continuing to play!

I guess it's a small step up from picking up diary pages that somehow people randomly scatter everywhere. But still not ideal.

kazooka wrote:

I also found my asking why I was mowing my way through these corridors long before I met Ryan. In fact, having no good answer to that question, I quit playing and moved on to something else.

This perfectly describes what I'm going through right now. I just can't bring myself to care enough to go on. I will try though, to be fair, but I'm not 100% I'll finish it. Damn YouTube makes everything easier.

kexx wrote:
kazooka wrote:

I also found my asking why I was mowing my way through these corridors long before I met Ryan. In fact, having no good answer to that question, I quit playing and moved on to something else.

This perfectly describes what I'm going through right now. I just can't bring myself to care enough to go on. I will try though, to be fair, but I'm not 100% I'll finish it. Damn YouTube makes everything easier.

WOULD YOU KINDLY finish the game and find out? (Or at least Google it; there's a reason.)

I loved Bioshock. I loved the 60's ambiance; the Ayn Rand-ian society they created - and how it totally collapsed under it's own weight - is one of the best settings for a game I've ever experienced. I even loved the audio-logs; they were well-voiced and brought a lot of back-story about pre-collapse Rapture (they even explain the existence of the plasmids).

It's a cohesive world that does make a certain sense if you're willing to dig a bit. You guys are just bad people. =P

Bioshock isn't really a long game, you can power through it fairly well.

All this discussion really makes me wish Shock2 would get out of legal limbo and get a re-release so more people can play it. Granted it'll have some clunkyness but still very playable. Alongside Thief1/2 it would only require a few light gameplay mods to make it something that could be released today.

I guess this is a good moment for another confession:

I never played System Shock 2. I never even heard of it until Bioshock came around. I feel like one of those youngsters who raves about The Hobbit film without ever having read the book.

Nicholaas wrote:

I never played System Shock 2. I never even heard of it until Bioshock came around. I feel like one of those youngsters who raves about The Hobbit film without ever having read the book.

This is kind of why I'm curious about "1999 mode" in Bioshock Infinite, although the gunplay looks much more like Quake3 deathmatches rather than the small scale high stakes skirmishes SS2 would present you with.

Nicholaas wrote:

I guess this is a good moment for another confession:

I never played System Shock 2. I never even heard of it until Bioshock came around. I feel like one of those youngsters who raves about The Hobbit film without ever having read the book.

That's a huge gap, and one that would be hard to bridge now. The fiction and world of System Shock (1, especially; 2 was a different game, although still very good) are basically the aspects of Bioshock that you like, only done far more immersively. I'm not sure if they'd stand up today, especially if you believe games don't "age well", but they were astounding and I still find them incredibly fun.

I think your position is like that of the youngster who declares Rawlings the world's greatest fantasy author, having never read Tolkein.

That's always in the back of my mind when I think about old 'great' games, they were great and novel in their day, but looking at them through the eyes of a gamer 13/18 years later, many of those novel aspects have been done to death, some aspects will seem primitive compare to modern games, and some will be either totally absent for good and bad reasons.

It's kind of my problem with remakes too, you often can't remake the old games now and expect them to resonate with modern audiences on a large scale, just give them a GOG treatment and then make something new. What 'essence' you take from the original is down to the developer.

How many confessions have we had, in the last 20 posts say?

I have never played any of the "Shock" games, not even Half Life. I think telling stories through audio logs is primitive and kind of stupid. At the very least, it's REALLY not my cup of tea. Enhancing the story with logs ala ME, Metroid, or Borderlands 2 is good. The broad strokes of a game's narrative should be pretty much front and center, IMO.

LarryC wrote:

I have never played any of the "Shock" games, not even Half Life. I think telling stories through audio logs is primitive and kind of stupid. At the very least, it's REALLY not my cup of tea. Enhancing the story with logs ala ME, Metroid, or Borderlands 2 is good. The broad strokes of a game's narrative should be pretty much front and center, IMO.

It is primitive (Shock1 was out in 1994) and as many have noted over the years, it's pretty immersion breaking if you think about people leaving random diary entries around the world, audio or not. It's one of those game tropes now that just gets overlooked because it's "the way it's done". Kind of weird you say you don't like audio logs, and then say you do like the way BL2 does it :|.

Overall though, yes, it's something that should be better right now in how game narrative is told. I think it's one of the big hard game writing problems for how you tell a reasonably complex plot in a way that makes sense for whatever context the role the player is playing has. Often the problem isn't so much what's going on at a given moment, but telling the backstory/backstories that lead up to that moment. I think a big issue with modern games is that develops so often want those broad strokes that the player has to know to be absolutely everything, and don't distinguish so well with what can be ignored and not shoved in the player's face while they're trying to play the game.

It takes a very skilled hand to not info-dump on a player at the start and give them the clues to fill-out that world, and usually the task is made harder by hiding what are functionally keys and orders (access codes, locations to go to next) within those diaries. I guess Left4Dead would be my best example of how to handle it, a very simple premise, zombies, and your goal is to get from A to B, but they add a pile of optional details into that world you can absorb.

SS2, BS1/2 and HL1/2 are short to medium length games, so if you wanted to just blast through them to see what the fuss is about it's not a huge investment of your time, and you can get the reasonably faithful Black Mesa mod for free to see HL1. It wouldn't surprise me if there's a few spare steam keys flying around too.

Dakuna wrote:

How many confessions have we had, in the last 20 posts say? :P

Discussion!

LarryC wrote:

I have never played any of the "Shock" games, not even Half Life. I think telling stories through audio logs is primitive and kind of stupid. At the very least, it's REALLY not my cup of tea. Enhancing the story with logs ala ME, Metroid, or Borderlands 2 is good. The broad strokes of a game's narrative should be pretty much front and center, IMO.

Audio logs are a contrivance to be sure, but it's one I very much enjoy. Having to sift through the aftermath and puzzle together what happened is a good way to drive me to explore the environments.

I don't know why you'd include Half-Life 1/2 with the 'Shock games though, they don't have any audio logs at all as far as I can recall.

(I'm pretty sure I have HL2/HL2:Episode 1 lying around ungifted if you want to give them a whirl. Or anyone else for that matter.)

I think the idea of audio logs is fine as long as it fits in with the setting. On the Von Braun in System Shock 2, it make perfect sense that a crew of a starship would record audio logs. (At least, that's a contrivance of storytelling that I am used to because of Star Trek.) In Deus Ex, it's also fitting that I can hack into computers and read personal emails. Makes sense.

The problem for me in Rapture though was everyone lugging around these huge devices to record their random thoughts, and then just leaving them scattered about. I get the need for them as storytelling device, it just didn't fit into that world for me.

There's audio logs, or at least audio log-like bits in Alan Wake. Won't give the details as blah blah blah spoilers blah all that, but the way they're done in that game is really pretty creative and help drive the story in some cool ways. Was a nice implementation of the mechanic.

Nicholaas wrote:
kexx wrote:
kazooka wrote:

I also found my asking why I was mowing my way through these corridors long before I met Ryan. In fact, having no good answer to that question, I quit playing and moved on to something else.

This perfectly describes what I'm going through right now. I just can't bring myself to care enough to go on. I will try though, to be fair, but I'm not 100% I'll finish it. Damn YouTube makes everything easier.

WOULD YOU KINDLY finish the game and find out? (Or at least Google it; there's a reason.)

The issue is that you have to make it to the reveal. Those of us who have completed the game can of course tell new players "well there's a reason, and you'll learn it later," but the game itself does a lousy job of hinting at that eventuality, and it's easy to basically conclude that the game is just badly written if you don't make it to the reveal.

Of course, it's understandable that the game is tight lipped, since the "twist" is so fundamental to Bioshock's success as a game. They don't want to tip their hand early.

I hate playing sub-par games because there is supposed to be some awesome moment I'm waiting for... sometime?

Make the game fun and interesting, already &mash; I'm sick of being strung along...

Add me to a the list of people that didn't care for BioShock

Confessions?
Only because people are talking about it : I haven't played Bioshock (although i have it on a shelf, never put it in; one day i'll play it).
And my other big confession: Besides my one release, I did not finish/complete any games in 2012.

I never finished System Shock 1; I came to it too late to deal with the graphics/UI issues. I've never beaten a Half Life game, and haven't played either Episode 1 or 2 of HL2.

trueheart78 wrote:

I hate playing sub-par games because there is supposed to be some awesome moment I'm waiting for... sometime?

Make the game fun and interesting, already &mash; I'm sick of being strung along...

Add me to a the list of people that didn't care for BioShock

There's plenty of "must play" games I haven't played because I don't like whatever type of game it is. If I'm really curious there's plenty of recorded playthroughs on youtube, or you could just go read a spoiler to 'get it'. That's what I did with SotC and a bunch of others, don't have a PS2, don't own the game to emulate it, got other stuff to play, no problem.

Most big awesome moments aren't really worth getting into a fuss about, it's not a vital (gaming) life experience that'll make you a lesser person if you haven't played it.

Scratched wrote:

Most big awesome moments aren't really worth getting into a fuss about, it's not a vital (gaming) life experience that'll make you a lesser person if you haven't played it.

...says the guy who hasn't played it.

But honestly, I think you miss out a little bit by just looking up the video of the big reveal rather than playing through it. In that same vein, I'll just throw out that blanket "gaming tastes are different" for every gamer. If a game isn't enjoyable for you, then you shouldn't have to force yourself to play it. Even when you *do* get to the big reveal/moment in a particular game, you're most likely not going to enjoy it because you're probably already soured on the experience.

Anyway, confession/blasphemy:

I am pretty sure I finished more games in 2012 than I have in the past five years combined

I am habitual game jumper--never really playing more than a couple hours of a game before moving on to something else. Thanks to GWJ and the pile threads, I was able to actually watch the credits roll on some pretty amazing games I always meant to "get back to". Hopefully I can continue the trend in 2013.