Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Bioshock Demo

So the Bioshock demo hit live yesterday and after a very long download I played it through a few times last night. The game is pretty damn good, atmospheric, flexible and great looking. The opening sequence had me sat waiting for the cut scene to move on until I realised that it wasn't a cut scene but the game waiting for me to actually move! The clue came when a helpful "use right stick to move" message popped up. Once going there were several genuinely creepy moments and it had me jumping in a few places too, scary stuff indeed. There were however a couple of things that irked me straight away.

First of all was the magic re-spawn points the "Vita Chambers". All it says about them is that if you die you will be re-animated in the last chamber you passed. Now this is being sold as an RPG/Shooter and the story I am led to believe is an important part of the game. In that case why the hell do they drop this magic box on you without any kind of back story or explanation to it? How do they work? Why do they work for you and not the corpses of the splicers you kill? At least its not a save point in the toilet but a little bit more detail wouldn't go amiss.

Next thing, the plasmids. These are a major part of the game, yet the first time I encountered one was when I clicked on a pick up. I just picked up a syringe and injected myself without warning, then started freaking out as a voice on the radio told me "Steady now. Your genetic code is being re-written". Would have been nice to have got a bit of story in advance of that. Perhaps a dialogue persuading me that it was the only way I was going to get through this alive? Especially seeing as the narrator/guide later tells me that the plasmids are what turned everyone bat shit crazy.

Finally the radio. Its a nice way to get a guiding voice into the story to get you started on the game and help you out but... How the hell can the mysterious Atlas see what I am doing? How did he know what I was looking at? How did he know that I had just injected a plasmid? The only cameras I am away of are the security ones and there were none nearby at the time.

I hope this is just irks for the demo because if a story driven game like this has this many holes in the story already it doesn't bode well. That aside the game plays really well and is remaining on pre-order. Roll on the 24th.