Three Awesome Games. I recommend you play them all…HIGHLY recommend.
- BioShock 2
- BioShock Infinite
I decided to buy them all together and play them in succession, and God damn it, I had one of the most awesome gaming experiences ever.
I’m going to try and stay away from any SPOILERS until the end, so feel free to read this post until you see the big, red, SPOILER ALERT. First, some definitions for those who haven’t played any of these games:
BioShock 1 & 2
- Plasmids – In the first two BioShock games, you can inject Plasmids, which basically give you superpowers. In BioShock Infinite, they change the name to Salts, which do the exact same thing, the only difference is .
- Adam – Adam is a slug secretion that allows you to change your DNA. It’s like money for superpower upgrades. You collect Adam and then spend it to get abilities like lighting your enemies on fire.
- Eve – Get it? Adam and Eve? Adam is the stuff you use to get superpowers, and Eve is the stuff you use to use your powers. Think of it as gas for superpowers. Run out of Eve = Run out of gas = no more superpowers.
- Gene Tonics – One time plasmids that you don’t need Eve for. For example, you can buy a Gene Tonic that electrocutes anyone who touches you. You don’t need Eve for it, it always works and doesn’t run out.
- Splicers – People who have used too much Adam, and now have become mentally unstable. They’re the bad guys who try and kill you.
- Big Daddies – Big guys that gaurd Little Sisters.
- Little Sisters – Girls who collect Adam from dead corpses. In order to get Adam for upgrades, you need to beat a Big Daddy and collect the Adadm from a Little Sister.
- Vigors – Exactly like Plasmids. Drink them once and you’re set. No Adam needed!
- Salts – Exactly like EVE.
- Tear (pronounced tay-er, like a tear in a piece of paper) – There’s some crazy shit goin on in BioShock Infinite. A tear is pretty much a tear in space and time, which can be opened by….certain people, allowing parts of other dimensions, such as weapons and medical supplies, to enter the present world and be used.
What I liked overall:
The stories of each game were fucking awesome. The settings were unique and kicked ass. Art Deco get at me.
Each game had a twist of 2 of some kind that maybe you saw coming, but probably didn’t. BAM moments? Yes indeed.
I guess to sum up what I liked most about this game series was the fact that it was able to stay unique and fresh even when the basic concepts remained mostly the same. Each game was similar to it’s predecessor in that you were told to go here or fetch that item or pull that lever, and you did that by shooting people, getting upgrades, and using superpowers, which somehow never got old.
Things I didn’t like:
BioShock 1 & 2 each had a LOT of weapons and plasmids. That’s a good thing in most respects, but annoying when you have to cycle through all of them just to get to a certain one. For example, the Hack Gun, which can be used to hack enemy machines, is at the end of your weapon cycle. It sucks when you have to repeatedly press the RB button to cycle all the way to the end. And then of course there are the times where you accidentally hit RB too many times and pass by the weapon you wanted and thus you’re forced to cycle through everything again. Similarly, it sucks when you’re in the middle of a fight and need to change to say…a grenade launcher and you accidentally stop on a Hack Tool and accidentally shoot an enemy with a that. The Hack Tool, which is clearly not a Grenade Launcher, doesn’t do shit when it hits your enemy (maybe stuns them for a second), and so you get your ass beat for a bit.
Fortunately, BioShock Infinite solved this problem by totally revamping the way you cycle through weapons. In BioShock Infinite, you select 2 powers and weapons to equip. So you’re cycling between 2 of each, which makes things easier.
How would I rate them?
From best to worst, I’d go:
- BioShock 2 – My personal favorite
- BioShock Infinite – This was tough, I could easily put BioShock in this slot.
- BioShock – Again, so much to like about this one, and it really sets the mood for the whole series.
Time to get into the individual game reviews.
BioShock was so incredibly unique and awesome. Adam, EVE, Plasmids, Big Daddies, Little Sisters…..the thought process and story telling made for a great experience.
First was the art and architecture of the city of Rapture. Even the name Rapture is fucking awesome. Everything in the city is Art Deco (think Chrysler Building or Great Gatsby). Rapture was originally created by Andrew Ryan as a city where scientists could create outside of regulations put in place by governments. The result is the discovery of ADAM, a substance produced by slugs found on the bottom of the ocean. This ADAM can replace a person’s cells with Stem cells or something, which allows them to chance DNA to allow someone to become faster, able to heal quicker, or shoot fucking lightning out of their hands.
The one problem is that the sea slugs can only produce a small amount of ADAM, one doctor, however, discovers that if you put the slug in a person’s stomach, it can produce 30 times the amount of ADAM for whatever reason. The catch 22 is that it only works for little girls.
So Andrew Ryan and the higher ups decide, “Well, let’s kidnap some girls and manipulate their minds in order to make them collect ADAM.” And so they do. The problem?
The people who use ADAM in the city of Rapture has started totally losing it, which is a side effect of using ADAM. They start killing the Little Sisters and stealing the ADAM, and so Andrew Ryan and the higher ups decide, “Well, let’s brainwash some guys, implant them and the little sisters with pheremones that attract them to one another, that way they can just murder the shit out of anyone who fucks with a Little Sister.”
And they do, and it works.
At this time, you, the protagonist have just crash landed near a lighthouse in the middle of the ocean that leads to Rapture, which is now a fucking MESS. Why Andrew Ryan still wants to run this place is a mystery to me, but there he is, among the shitty city, psychotic inhabitants, and murderous Big Daddies. Your first sight upon entering Rapture? Bloody murder.
The game throws a lot at you, and all of it is awesome, including some big twists and turns, which set the mood for other BioShock games to come.
Plasmids are fucking awesome.
My favorite installment flips the switch. In the first BioShock, you were a man thrust into a crazy environment, bent on beating up Big Daddies and collecting ADAM. This time, you ARE a Big Daddy. In fact, you’re the first Big Daddy, Delta, and you’re looking to get your dear Little Sister back, whom you haven’t seen since you were forced to put a bullet in your head ten years earlier.
It’s similar to BioShock in it’s gameplay, except now you can guard and adopt Little Sisters to collect ADAM, and Big Daddies aren’t the biggest or baddest of the bad guys anymore. Instead, Big Sisters are the ones you need to look for. They’re agile, quick, and laden with fire-blasting plasmids.
The plasmids available to you are similar to BioShock 1, with a a few awesome upgrades and changes. Different, however, are the weapons. Remember those huge drills that the Big Daddies always had from the first BioShock? Now it’s yours. It’s awesome.
In terms of story, the twists and turns aren’t nearly as big as the first BioShock, but the story is much more personal in that you’re trying to rescue someone you love from her batshit crazy mother, who now rules Rapture, and the writing does a good job building up the relationship between you and your former Little Sister, Eleanor.
In terms of plot, BioShock 2 is probably the simplest, but that might be why I like it most. Ah, what a great segway to the next game.
Contrary to the commercials, at no point is Elizabeth in danger of being hanged or killed. Not a spoiler, just sayin.
In terms of plot, BioShock Infinite is definitely the most…well…let’s call it intricate. It starts off with you posed as Booker Dewitt, a guys who’s seemingly been paid to go get a girl and bring her back to the people who are paying him. As someone who has completed the game, realizing how much this game changes totally blows my mind. The story is complex, maybe the most complex story of any game I’ve played, but if you can follow it, it’s pretty damn awesome. In fact, when I first completed the game, I was slightly disappointed by the story, but after analyzing it, I think it’s mind-blowingly awesome.
BioShock has gameplay that is set-up almost exactly like the gameplay of the previous BioShock games, with a few changes being the way that you cycle through weapons, which I spoke about earlier in this post. Other than that, basics are the same:
- Left Hand = Super-powers
- Right Hand = Guns
Oh and Rapture is gone. Instead of a city under the sea, you now find yourself high in the sky, in a city above the clouds. The year is also far earlier, 1914 as opposed to the late 1950’s that BioShock is set in.
There are a lot of things that make BioShock Infinite awesome.
1. The Skyhook.
Columbia, the city in the sky, is filled with rail lines, and early on, your character is given an object called a skyhook, which can be used to latch on to these lines and zoom you around the city. You can go fast, go slow, and jump off the rail lines, hurling your body at enemies as you land, subsequently knocking them off their feet and sending them falling to their deaths. Another use of the skyhook is an execution device, which violently tears through an enemy’s throat and dear God all that blood.
You’re paired up with the girl you need to save, Elizabeth, for a majority of the game. Usually I hate things like this. I remember the level in Goldeneye for N64 where you had to protect Natalia and the stupid bitch kept dying by running into gunfire. Well there’s none of that here. You don’t need to protect shit. Elizabeth can hold her own. On the contrary, she usually helps you out by providing money, salts, ammo, and witty banter. It makes the game feel like you’re playing it with someone else, you know, until you realize you’re just a loser playing it alone in your basement.
Plus her boobs.
3. There’s Racists and Religious Nutjobs, and you get to kill them
I don’t like racists. Even worse are religious freaks who try and saturate you with their gospel. Shut the fuck up. Well thanks to BioShock Infinite, you get to murder the shit out of these people. This game has a TON of racist shit going on, and no race is spared. Asians, Native Americans, African Americans…..their all touched on in this game. Even the poor get shit on. Through this, the white people, who are the real bad guys in this game, come out looking like real assholes, which makes it all that much better when you task a flock of crows with tearing out the eyes of some Ku Klux Klan member.
Plasmids, Adam, Eve. All of that shit can get confusing. You need Adam to buy Gene Tonics and Plasmids. You need Eve to use Plasmids. Well there’s not Adam in Columbia, just magic Vigors. They aren’t really explained, you just need to accept that they’re all magic, and you know what? Simple is better. All you need to use them are Salts. Running low on Salts? Just find Salts. Want a new kind of Vigor? Buy one or find one. Then drink it. Done. Easy. Simple. And you know what?
ALL OF THE VIGORS KICK ASS.
Unlike the previous BioShock games, you can combine Vigors with melee attacks to form deadly combos. I enjoyed launching enemies into the air and then electrocuting them or setting them on fire. Or launching myself at a group of enemies with the Ram attack (I forget what the vigor was called but it had a ram as the picture). With a certain melee combination, the Ram attack can punish whole groups of enemies. Fucking awesome.
One thing that was different about this game was that it was more of a weapons based shooter. I found myself firing the guns more than using my vigors. I’m not sure why, but I just felt as though I didn’t really need them. BioShock Infinite’s whole feel was different. Maybe it had something to do with the setting, replacing a dark, run down city with a bright, vibrant city in the sky. Unlike Rapture, where inhabitants were crazy and many areas were destroyed, the inhabitants of Columbia still enjoy basic daily routines. They have carnivals, go to the beach, and fire weapons at you when you steal their shit. For some reason, I prefer the dark, underwater hellhole.
Yeah, now we’re getting into spoilers. BioShock 1 and 2 don’t have much really in terms of spoilers. At least not anything I feel the need to touch upon, but BioShock Infinite does. It has a lot. A LOT.
When I think back to the beginning, the game starts with such an easy premise of “Hey, rescue this girl and we’ll wipe away your debts.”
Holy shit. By the end of the game, the plot has been revealed to be SO MUCH MORE. It warps from that simple idea a LOT. It turns out that this whole scenario is based on some Scientist Lady finding new dimensions. She talks to her other dimension version of herself (who happens to be a guy) and eventually pulls him in. A whole bunch of shit happens, and as it turns out, you’re actually from another dimension, and the guy you’ve been trying to kill happens to be another version of yourself. The girl who you’ve probably been thinking about banging this whole time? That’s your daughter you fucking sicko. SURPRISE.
So in the end, you have to die before you become a religious nutjob asshole who builds fucking cloud city. The problem with this ending is that it solves NOTHING AT ALL.
Yup, the whole game is pointless.
As Elizabeth (or Anna as she’s revealed to be) says, there are thousands, nay, an INFINITE number of dimensions, so killing one version of Booker Dewitt isn’t gonna do shit for those other dimensions. Other dimensions are gonna have a Comstock, just as other dimensions are gonna have a Booker Dewitt. The difference is that those dimensions aren’t interacting with each other like the two in this series are. So in other dimensions, Comstock will have a fine life and not be an asshole (eh, he probably will be). You see the only reason that Booker Dewitt in this story had such a fucked up time was because the Comstock featured in the game happened to be in the same dimension as the Scientist Lady who figured out other dimensions. It just so happened that this Comstock needed an heir, but his dick didn’t work, so he stole his biological daughter from another dimension, thanks to the Scientist Lady. When the Scientist Lady has second thoughts 15 years or so down the line, she brings Booker Dewitt into her dimensions and basically gets him to fix her mistake, which he does…..sort of… (Old Elizabeth does kind of blow up New York in one dimension).
In the end you go back and fix it all by murdering yourself before you become that religious asshole. Writing these paragraphs is just confusing me at this point though, so I’m going to stop. Chances are you haven’t solved shit by the end of this game. And this scene after the credits just adds more confusion: