BioShock early musings

I got BioShock late last week, and I’ve been playing it since Thursday night. I actually like it more than I did when me and the AGI crew previewed it a month ago.

My main concern about BioShock was that the experience would peak too early. But when a game is keeping you awake until 3 a.m., it’s got to be doing something right. This is one of those games where you only stop playing to shower and eat. Maybe talk to your wife.

I’m still picking away at it, but I’ve got some early thoughts before the official write-up.

- This game is still creepy. I thought it was a sick piece of work to begin with, but the characters you meet in this game are some of the most warped you’ll ever met in the virtual space. Andrew Ryan needs to die. Yesterday.

- If you’re a religious person, you probably won’t like the fact that the Splicers (the bad guys) sing stuff like, “Jesus loves me, yes I know … cause the Bible tells me so.” Then they swing at you with fury, while covered in blood. I’m still trying to figure that out — you’ll know when I know.

- I’m worried there’s too much stuff to account for in the way of plasmids and tonics. There are so many slots to put everything, it almost feels like I’m building an RPG character. Not sure I like that.

- The more things change, the more they stay the same — give me an FPS with a shotgun, and I’m a happy guy. Especially when it has cool little gears and a gas-powered knick-knack embedded into it. Finding a weapon upgrade station is a joy in itself.

- Sander Cohen. Freak.

- I’m hot and cold on how the game handles death. You never really “die” … you get revived in the nearest “vita-chamber,” almost like re-spawning in a multiplayer match. This even happens when you fight major characters, so you could essentially keep picking away at someone (dying repeatedly until you beat them, with no fear of permanent death or some kind of punishment. This happened in Prey.”

- (SPOILER THOUGHT) I’m starting to expect every 2K FPS to have that one emotionally wrenching “tragic scene.” Prey had one, The Darkness had one, and now BioShock’s got a couple of them. Being a family member/significant other/friend of the main character in a 2K shooter is like wearing the red shirt in a “Star Trek” episode — it means you’re going to die, and die badly.

- I hope I beat this game before I have to write about it. I want to see it to the end … and I hope the ending doesn’t suck.