Bioshock is overrated

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#1 Posted by drekula2 (2968 posts) -

I've long wrestled with this idea. I was 14 when it came out, with it's impressive visuals, an actual attempt at a story and lavish praise, I accepted it as one of the best shooters of all time. I've gone back and replayed it recently and I'm not sure if I really like it. Or, if I even liked it back then. Today, I do have to give credit for Rapture being a consistent, believable overworld (and I loved the plasmids), but the GAME just wasn't really fun (or as insightful as it tried to be).

Reasons why I (personally) feel Bioshock is overrated:

1. Overwhelming. It's claustrophobic, maze-like and overstimulating. This is more of a degree of personal preference, but the world didn't make me feel insane after a while; it just made me feel annoyed after a while.

2. The combat. Instantly regenerating without a real death penalty makes the game too easy and let's you win by sheer persistence. Big Daddies were really durable, but not threatening as a result; making the battles with them tedious.

3. The story. Yes, it's better than the majority of videogame stories (because they suck), but if it ever tried to be a movie or novel, it would be average at best and laughable at worst

4. The political themes. I was impressed by games taking on political and social themes, but as I got older, I realized that the game just threw provocative imagery at the screen without a real message. It talks about genetic modification but doesn't pursue it any further than that. The only opponent Ken Levine took on was Ayn Rand (who I definitely wouldn't consider a worthy one, or one who needed to be refuted). 99% of us already knew she was a looney.

5. Fetch quests. Yes, the game was story driven, but most the things you actually DID were just fetch quest. Collect X, Y and Z. Then walk to point A, B and C. And shoot lots of enemies along the way. Much like Arkham City and Red Dead, what you actually did in the game just felt like filler in between story points rather than part of the actual adventure.

#2 Posted by wiifan001 (18490 posts) -

The only fetch quests I didn't like was the one at the end collecting the big daddy armor parts.

it was the combat and the constantly respawning enemies that I didn't enjoy. Toward the end, I would take more than 30 rounds of machine gun ammo to bring down one enemy that wasn't even a Big Daddy. The weapons felt dead weak toward the end following up with when you die and respawn, you continue the path and BAM! those enemies respawn over and over.

If you happen to die in a room where Vista Chamber is and there's enemies around to conserve your ammo and health packs just beat them down with a wrench but that's not enjoyable yet sometimes necessary to get to where the next Vista Chamber would be for the enemies later down the path.

Did not like the combat in the 2nd half of the game, that and the final fetch quest of the game was when I forced myself to finish the game and thus, why I think Bioshock is overrated

#3 Edited by Randolph (10542 posts) -

Are you familiar with the phrase "one trick pony"?

#4 Edited by marcheegsr (2998 posts) -

Bioshock 1 >>>>>>>>>>>>> Bioshock 2 and Infinite. In terms of story and overall lasting appeal.

#5 Edited by Jacanuk (5624 posts) -

@Randolph said:

Are you familiar with the term "one trick pony"?

I think that pretty much sums Ken Levine ´s career so far.

Only really outstanding game was bioshock 1, after that its just went downhill.

#6 Posted by Justin_G (202 posts) -

why is this even relevant? isn't this a really old game, that would obviously be showing it's age right now? couldn't you have just... stop playing the game, if you didn't like it?

#7 Posted by TheManofTin (375 posts) -

I can certainly agree with you on some points; however, it's hard for me to truly give my clear, final opinion since it's been so long since I've played Bioshock. The lack of death penalty was probably the most tremendous flaw of the game. It killed a lot of the immersion and the element of terror that the game tried to convey with its imagery and atmosphere. Powerful enemies, low ammunition, low health just all seem pointless with no real consequence. The final boss was a complete joke and the entire ending of the game just did not satisfy me. The game definitely had its moments and I can see the praise, but the build up kept on dying throughout the game before ever reaching a true climax. Combat was a bit of a grind as well, and I felt as if my first and only playthrough was clumsy. I left Bioshock with this odd sense of satisfaction mixed with a dash of disappointment and confusion. It's pretty much why I never really even felt inclined to purchase Bioshock 2, as it just looks like more of the same.

#8 Edited by HipHopBeats (2722 posts) -

Some may say Bioshock copied System Shock, but Bioshock 1 was ahead of its time and aged very well since release. I disagree about Bioshock being overwhelming. If anything, it was a breath of fresh air to have freedom to explore and carve your own path so to speak.

If anything, Handymen battles were tedious while Big Daddies gave you a run for your money if you were unprepared. Memorable villains like Sander Cohen, upgrading weapons and tonics gave Bioshock 1 great replay value. Whereas Infinite, was a disappointment and even more of an on-rails, linear nightmare with its 2 gun carry limit, gear, no map, shields and dumbed down gameplay.

@marcheegsr said:

Bioshock 1 >>>>>>>>>>>>> Bioshock 2 and Infinite. In terms of story and overall lasting appeal.

Agreed. Although Infinite is the worst in series despite the artsy graphics and big boobed sidekick. Even Levine realizes this. That's why Burial At sea is returning to Rapture. Bioshock 1 is what got me interested in FPS so that game will always have a place in my gaming library.

#9 Posted by SaintJimmmy (2815 posts) -

Bioshock 1 I thought for the most part lived up to the hype It was a breath of fresh air for me at the time where most single player shooters were a snore around the time when It came out really had a great experience.

The rest of the series was meh.

2 was whatever it was kind since really decent

Infinite was in my mind the most overrated game to come out for awhile it was nothing special at all to me

#10 Posted by foxhound_fox (90820 posts) -

It always struck me as a shameless retread of System Shock 2. The only difference is it was steampunk instead of cyberpunk, and the villain was a human rather than a machine. Everything else about the game was pretty much either the same or simpler than it's spiritual predecessor.

It wasn't "bad" and it's sequel (2, I haven't played Infinite and have no desire) was a better, more unique game, but I'm not sure why it ever received so much praise to begin with.

#11 Posted by foxhound_fox (90820 posts) -
@HipHopBeats said:

Some may say Bioshock copied System Shock, but Bioshock 1 was ahead of its time and aged very well since release.

Have you played SS2 by chance?

#12 Posted by HipHopBeats (2722 posts) -

@foxhound_fox: No but I've seen a good chunk of the story about alien AI wanting to control humanity. I'm not a graphic whore but the game is a little dated for my tastes. I would rather have seen a System Shock 3 which would have been way more immersive than the dumbed down Bioshock Infinite.

#13 Posted by foxhound_fox (90820 posts) -

@HipHopBeats said:

@foxhound_fox: No but I've seen a good chunk of the story about alien AI wanting to control humanity. I'm not a graphic whore but the game is a little dated for my tastes. I would rather have seen a System Shock 3 which would have been way more immersive than the dumbed down Bioshock Infinite.

The fact you haven't played it illustrates why you don't understand people seeing the similarities. The gameplay in BioShock is exactly what was in SS2, with less variety and upgrade options. And the game's visuals aren't "dated" at all, you just need to lower your standards.

And if you can't there are graphics mods that improve them significantly.

#14 Posted by Heirren (18934 posts) -

I thought it stunk, and it was one of the reasons I bought the Xbox360. The gun controls are horrible.

#15 Edited by Shmiity (5321 posts) -

My critique of the original Bioshock has always been the in-game narrative. They do a great job with their worlds, environments, and their thematic content... But I just feel like the narrative reaches too far, gets too sci-fi-y, and just loses my interest. Infinite was more personal, so I connected with it more... but I feel like the shooting is stiff and the gameplay wasn't quite there. Also, rapture was more believable than Columbia.

Also, Ken Levine has used the same protagonist twist twice, so I critique him for it.

I like Bioshock- I don't love it.

#16 Posted by drekula2 (2968 posts) -

@Randolph said:

Are you familiar with the phrase "one trick pony"?

yeah i liked system shock 2. ken should just make a new shock series

@SaintJimmmy said:

Infinite was in my mind the most overrated game to come out for awhile it was nothing special at all to me

Red Dead Redemption still takes the cake.

@HipHopBeats said:

Some may say Bioshock copied System Shock, but Bioshock 1 was ahead of its time and aged very well since release. I disagree about Bioshock being overwhelming. If anything, it was a breath of fresh air to have freedom to explore and carve your own path so to speak.

If anything, Handymen battles were tedious while Big Daddies gave you a run for your money if you were unprepared. Memorable villains like Sander Cohen, upgrading weapons and tonics gave Bioshock 1 great replay value. Whereas Infinite, was a disappointment and even more of an on-rails, linear nightmare with its 2 gun carry limit, gear, no map, shields and dumbed down gameplay.

DREKULA 2'S REPLY: I totally agree that Infinite had its shortcomings and I probably won't be replaying it anytime soon. But still, Infinite gave me an appeal to play it. Bioshock 1 repulsed me.
@Shmiity said:

My critique of the original Bioshock has always been the in-game narrative. They do a great job with their worlds, environments, and their thematic content... But I just feel like the narrative reaches too far, gets too sci-fi-y, and just loses my interest. Infinite was more personal, so I connected with it more... but I feel like the shooting is stiff and the gameplay wasn't quite there. Also, rapture was more believable than Columbia.

agree, as much as my mind says bioshock 1 had a better world, bioshock infinite invested me way more into its plot

#17 Posted by UpInFlames (13279 posts) -

I remember being so hyped about BioShock, I believed everything Levine was saying - dynamic combat, open-ended design, meaningful moral choices. But then I played it and realized absolutely everything about that game was painfully mediocre - the gunplay, the story, the level design. Even if you never played System Shock 2, BioShock still oozed mediocrity.

I never understood the praise this terribly mediocre game managed to get.

#18 Posted by Mozelleple112 (6701 posts) -

@Jacanuk said:

@Randolph said:

Are you familiar with the term "one trick pony"?

I think that pretty much sums Ken Levine ´s career so far.

Only really outstanding game was bioshock 1, after that its just went downhill.

Bioshock Infinite was easily as outstanding as Bioshock 1

#19 Posted by Jacanuk (5624 posts) -

@Mozelleple112 said:

@Jacanuk said:

@Randolph said:

Are you familiar with the term "one trick pony"?

I think that pretty much sums Ken Levine ´s career so far.

Only really outstanding game was bioshock 1, after that its just went downhill.

Bioshock Infinite was easily as outstanding as Bioshock 1

Not in my book.

Bioshock infinite was good but nothing there wasn't already done , only thing new was the rail system combat.

#20 Posted by firefox59 (4490 posts) -

After reading this thread there is so much to disagree with I can't possibly cover it all. Most of the criticism seems to be about things you guys don't realize about the game. Their are design choices that go into the game. The level design, the story, the gameplay. You are just some guys who is taking on genetic freaks and guys in giant suits. You aren't supposed to feel like you're Masterchief. The gameplay complaints are baseless. Anyone who says the story sucks needs to not post and go stop another nuke from going off in a COD game.

The game might be overrated (seeing as it's touted by many as one of the greatest of the generation) but nowhere near to the degree you guys are making it out to be.

#21 Edited by VintAge68 (436 posts) -

I too found Bioshock: Infinite quite burdensome, and the campaign about one third too long. One aspect I liked, though, were the collectibles and fun upgrades, which are quite what was driving me on during the campaign.

#22 Posted by Threesixtyci (4301 posts) -

I never liked the first one... I always found it's gameplay to be too clunky compared to other FPS' of the time. And I mean this from a keyboard and mouse perspective. I just can't play FPS' with a game pad, so I always go PC when it comes to FPS'.

I never played the second one.

I found Infinite to be very Entertaining, though.

#23 Posted by turtlethetaffer (17198 posts) -

I didn't find anything special about it at all.

#24 Posted by quatoe (5862 posts) -

I could never get into Bioshock, I attempted many times, even playing the second one. After that though I just did not enjoy them.

#25 Posted by valium88 (4455 posts) -

The reason I don't like Bioshock is because it has a Fallout ring to it but without the freedom. The first one I was bored to death, it felt like a constant vault that didn't have a door to the wasteland.

#26 Posted by misterbanks87 (2 posts) -

Me and my wife loved that game till the dumb ending, we broke down how much it didn't make sense.

#27 Posted by Justin_G (202 posts) -

whoa, lots of really useful opinions in here. Irrational Games is gonna take all this into consideration for next time. you guys are all so useful.

#28 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (18478 posts) -

Yep. I agree with every one of those Points ! You also forgot the ass backwards gameplay and inventory design, what the hell do I need 20 weapons for and why can't switch between them quickly and effeciently........ It was such a pain.

And the difficulty levels were 100% Artificial, there was no genuine change in the games core design that affects difficulty.

Just adding more fuel to the fire. Great game though. :)

#29 Edited by insanegame377 (392 posts) -

I feel that the Bioshock series is hugely overrated, in particular the first game. I enjoyed Infinite but it wasn't as great as people made out, and while the first game is also pretty good, it wouldn't have got any where near the amount of praise it did were it not for a certain plot twist.

#30 Edited by The_Last_Ride (74433 posts) -

it might have a good story, but the gameplay mechanics is something that just puts me off on the series, and stops me from getting those games. It just feels to generic when it comes to the gameplay imho