Would you kindly talk about Bioshock? (**Spilers!**)

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Delbin
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Would you kindly talk about Bioshock? (**Spilers!**)

Postby Delbin » Fri Aug 24, 2007 9:52 am UTC

It seemed appropriate to break from the Bioshock demo thread and have a thread for the full version.

The experience has been wonderful. I realized that when I said to myself "Ohshit three splicers whatcanIdo, whatcanIdo?" the developers won. They managed to integrate the weapons, plasmids, and the environment so seamlessly that few situations are obvious.

The initial levels were frustrating since ammunition was so sparse. I've always been a packrat in first-person shooters where I would use the weaker weapons mainly and only use the high-powered weapons if I really needed. Well, pistol ammo is just as rare as any other, so it took me a while to adjust. Eventually I got enough wrench plasmas to use it almost exclusively for splicers and use ammunition for big daddys.

Spoilers:
Have y'all be saving the little sisters or consuming them? I've been saving them and I'm missing out on 40-120 adam every three or four sisters. I'm getting all the plasmids I want, but I'm running around with barely more than the default health. I'm hoping there's some delayed gratification soon.

I think I'm about halfway through. I a bit past encountering Andrew Ryan. Has anyone figured out why he makes you kill him? The scene was shocking and gruesome, but overall it just didn't make sense. Although I have to applaud the developers for making me reel after seeing 10 hours of disfigured corpses.


I'm whiting out spoilers for the moment, but I don't think we should worry after a few days.

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Postby evilbeanfiend » Fri Aug 24, 2007 10:49 am UTC

re: last spoiler

according to pc gamer there is a bonus later on that ultimately means the saving/consuming choice balances out, no idea what it it tho
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Postby ifeedlions » Fri Aug 24, 2007 11:08 am UTC

Okay, my thoughts on the Andrew Ryan fight scene:

The killing Andrew Ryan part is his way of half-heartedly trying to break the mind control, while maintaining control over his personal situation. There's only one Bathysphere on-board here that can go top-side, and that's under Fontaine's control at this point. He's going to die, no matter what, so it might as well be trying to make you somewhat human again.

Also, the use of, "Would you kindly..." tipped me off early on, for personal reasons... I did a paper in college about how, "Would you please," is the world's most dangerous phrase. It also didn't seem right when you were meeting "Atlas" at the submarine bay, when you saw him from a distance, he looked like just another splicer, so I stopped right there, listened to all my tapes and the only mention of an "Atlas" at all is the "Death to Ryan, long live Atlas!" battlecry on an early Diane McClintock tape. Atlas is an unperson, okay, I can buy that... but how do you hide a family when you're an insurgent? His personal story from the beginning was sketchy enough to warrant an Anti-personnel round to the back of the neck.
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Postby ArchangelShrike » Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:44 am UTC


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Postby Gadren » Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:49 am UTC

I want so very much to play this, and am willing to buy it, but only when I don't have to worry about rootkits and draconian security measures.

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Postby ifeedlions » Sat Aug 25, 2007 6:40 am UTC

Well, I play on the fabled "360," so rootkits and such aren't really of much concern to me... I tend to believe that my games belong on consoles, and my work/porn belongs on my desktop.
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Postby Amnesiasoft » Sat Aug 25, 2007 11:46 pm UTC

I just finished the game, and I absolutely loved everything up until the final boss fight against Fontaine, it was just too easy. The Chemical Thrower and Grenade Launcher are your best friends, and since I rarely even touched those weapons, I had plenty of ammo ready. And the ending was rather lackluster, but I guess that's because all the loose ends were tied up before you kill Fontaine.
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Postby Rippy » Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:47 pm UTC

I'm planning on buying it when I can find it on the used games shelf at Microplay, as I do with most games. I just can't justify 60, 70 dollars for one game.

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Postby Pathway » Mon Aug 27, 2007 2:20 am UTC

The "rootkit" is NOT a rootkit. Read the Slashdot commentary.
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Postby IronPirate » Mon Aug 27, 2007 6:06 am UTC

Great game. I just beat it now.

The ending is really rather abrupt.
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Postby hyperion » Mon Aug 27, 2007 6:45 am UTC

Every three little sisters you save nets you a reward of 200 ADAM, which balances it out really. If you harvest three, you get 3x160=480 ADAM but if you rescue them you get 3x80+200=440 ADAM. The reward is in a teddy bear by the Gatherer's Garden machines. And if you save all of them,
Tenenbaum gives you a tonic or plasmid that you would otherwise be unable to get.
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Postby peter » Mon Aug 27, 2007 11:41 am UTC

^ Or you get an achievement, if you're playing the superior version.


What weapons do you guys use, mainly?

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Postby Amnesiasoft » Mon Aug 27, 2007 1:36 pm UTC

Mostly the Machine Gun (standard ammo), and Shotgun (standard and exploding).

Though it is kind of fun to use most of my proximity mines and make a Big Daddy run into them and get himself blown to smithereens.

And I don't see how the Xbox 360 version is superior to the PC version in any way. The PC version can run at higher resolutions than the 360 and it is certainly easier to control with a mouse and keyboard than with the gamepad. And you may not use the argument "it has a rootkit!" It doesn't. And if you wish to continue this conversation, PM me, I'd rather not hijack this thread.

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Postby bbctol » Mon Aug 27, 2007 2:17 pm UTC

Random post that has nothing to do with gameplay!

Anyway, I just noticed that the entire idea of "Rapture" is incredibly and explicitly Randian. I can't believe I failed to notice this before. In fact, the guy's name, Andrew Ryan, is probably a nod...

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Postby hyperion » Mon Aug 27, 2007 3:09 pm UTC

peter wrote:^ Or you get an achievement, if you're playing the superior version.


What weapons do you guys use, mainly?

I am playing the superior version, I just thought the achievement was fairly obvious from the get-go.

I used the shotgun mostly, but when I was low on ammo I'd switch to the machine gun. For big daddy's I used the grenade launcher and trap bolts.
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Postby Delbin » Tue Aug 28, 2007 4:58 am UTC

I end up using the wrench in most situations. It's difficult to get a good lock on a strafing splicer with the machine gun or pistol, but it's a guaranteed kill to run to it and smack it around a bit. I like to use the shotgun if I do use something ranged.

I find the trap bolts indispensable for big daddies. All it takes is 4 or 5 on normal to get rid of most of its health. From there it's just a clip of shotgun ammo and he's down. It's not hard at all to lure a daddy through the trap. They're tall, so you just crouch under the bolts if need be. The ammo is also rather cheap through the u-invent machine.

I had trouble utilizing proximity mines effectively for big daddies. Does anyone know if they work well when clustered? I try to spread them out and they all explode at the same time anyway.

I went through the game saving the girls and it didn't seem worth the trouble in the long run. The plasmid to control the big daddy wasn't too helpful to me since it ended up being too easy to hit the daddy (even with the wrench) causing him to attack me when the plasmid wore off. Although it was fun to send a big daddy after another to distract it as I circled around and beat it to death with the wrench. I liked the final armor plasmid you get, but by that point I had enough ammunition and health for it to not make much difference.

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Postby Amnesiasoft » Tue Aug 28, 2007 5:09 am UTC

Delbin wrote:I had trouble utilizing proximity mines effectively for big daddies. Does anyone know if they work well when clustered? I try to spread them out and they all explode at the same time anyway.


Work just fine, easiest way to take out the Rosies too.

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Postby dopplex » Tue Aug 28, 2007 5:13 am UTC

HYPERiON wrote:Every three little sisters you save nets you a reward of 200 ADAM, which balances it out really. If you harvest three, you get 3x160=480 ADAM but if you rescue them you get 3x80+200=440 ADAM. The reward is in a teddy bear by the Gatherer's Garden machines. And if you save all of them,
Tenenbaum gives you a tonic or plasmid that you would otherwise be unable to get.


I was disappointed in the balance of that.


I thought it made the "good" path far too easy of a decision - you hardly had to give up any ADAM at all. It would have been better balanced if you didn't get any extra ADAM from the gifts, but actually had to play severely ADAM constrained if you decided to rescue all of the Little Sisters.

Overall, though, this is one of the best story-oriented games I've played in ages. Possibly the best linear story game ever done, given the combination of the graphics (The first HD game I've played that really gave me a reason why HD games could be better than SD) storytelling and acting.

The Ryan-death scene is one of the most effective cut-scenes I've ever seen in a game. it's entirely set up by the fact that in every single other cut-scene in the game, you still retain control over your character's viewpoint and actions. The game leads you to assume a certain degree of control over your character throughout, and then removes it from you. It's not often you see game developers actually using the existence or nonexistence of interactivity to tell the story, and I was impressed.

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Postby dopplex » Tue Aug 28, 2007 5:16 am UTC

bbctol wrote:Random post that has nothing to do with gameplay!

Anyway, I just noticed that the entire idea of "Rapture" is incredibly and explicitly Randian. I can't believe I failed to notice this before. In fact, the guy's name, Andrew Ryan, is probably a nod...


Also the character called "Atlas"...

There's a post somewhere of an interview that talked about many of the influences on the game. Ayn Rand was explicitly mentioned by Ken Levine.

Andrew Ryan is phonetically very similar to Ayn Rand. Ryan sounds like Ayn (Which I believe is pronounced Eye-n) and Rand sounds like the first syllable of Andrew.

Ayn Rand is also a partial anagram of Andrew Ryan. And Ryan = Ayn Rand.

I find it interesting that I didn't really feel like the game commented to a huge extent on the effectiveness of Rand's philosophy. Perhaps a bit when it came to the ineffectiveness of the free market at managing the side-effects of plasmids. It was much more about choice - though I do think that aspect could have been a bit stronger.


Although in retrospect, I think perhaps the dystopian society of the Slicers was meant to reflect a world where every being acted purely in their own self-interest and was actually controlled by that self interest. If that was meant to be the commentary though, it was a bit blunt and shallow.

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Postby Delbin » Tue Aug 28, 2007 5:24 am UTC

I was very impressed at how subtle they were in exploring the implications free market capitalism. (I hope all of you have been listening to the recorders.) My favorite quote was "If you don't like people using plasmids, make a better product."

Edit:
I don't see it as commentary on any real-world libertarian or free-market situation. The fall of rapture came more from two very strong-willed men having ultimate power rather than the lack of government involvement.

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Postby ifeedlions » Tue Aug 28, 2007 10:18 am UTC

To respond to the Weapons question, I used the crossbow from the moment I got it, (upgraded as soon as possible for Ammo collection) with Incendiaries for Splicers and Trap Bolts for Rosies (Yes, they work if you shoot the Rosie instead of a wall... and it does way more damage that way.)

My backup/short range weapon was the fully upgraded revolver with Anti-Personnel rounds.

I was never the spray and pray type, and I don't like having to shoot twice in survival games, which is essentially how I played this one. If they don't stand still, Lightning Bolt 'em, and then take the head clean off.
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Postby Saucyragu » Wed Aug 29, 2007 12:53 pm UTC

Alright, I want to go buy this after seeing some of the screenshots and good reviews, but I have a question. Will it make me nauseous? I can play World of Warcraft fine, but Halo has always made me sickl...would someone else that has problems with 1st person shooters fill me in?

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Postby SecondTalon » Wed Aug 29, 2007 12:57 pm UTC

Get the demo and find out. Also, might want to increase your refresh rate... that may help.

But.. it probably won't help.
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Postby Bog » Wed Aug 29, 2007 2:27 pm UTC

I just couldn't resist. (spoily link)

http://www.imaginetix.co.uk/Images/bioshock_sandwich.png

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Postby DrStalker » Thu Aug 30, 2007 10:49 am UTC

I'm about halfway through now.


I'm a little disappointed in how easy the Big Daddys are to kill. The first few involved all sort of planning and tactics, now I just use target dummy to distract them and kill them with the shotgun. I almost never get touched and it doesn't even need AP ammo (although that makes it quicker)

Target dummy, empty shotgun into them, new target dummy reload and repeat.

Target dummy in general is very powerful; for very little Eve everyone ignores you and makes for easy targets; especially melee splicers that run up to it screaming "hit me with teh uber-wrench!"


Despite that I'm really enjoying the game, and it's great to see gameplay like this again; reminds me of the old days of System Shock and Deus Ex.

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Postby Alisto » Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:21 am UTC

spoilers wrote:
I just finished the game and got the 'evil' ending, which pissed me off. I harvested 2 Little Sisters in the beginning, did nothing with 2-3 of them, and saved the rest. I did watch the 'good' ending online, though, and I have to say... it's amazing. Short, but very touching.

That being said, I found the game got too easy towards the end. The only times I was in any danger at all was during two large segments where I was running very low on ammo, health packs, and eve hypos.

Overall, great game. Anything that can get me that involved in the story and the world gets kudos from me.
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Postby Nyarlathotep » Sat Sep 01, 2007 1:15 am UTC

So I got the demo today.

1. It almost murdered my desktop. I am so glad I decided not to try it on my lappy, c'ause my lappy would have just keeled over then and there.

2. Wow.

I got chills at the first veiw of Rapture, and this was with the graphics processing turned all the way down. Wow.

this game is SCARY. Shit comes outta nowhere and it's like GRAAAAAAHHH and I'm like "AH SHIT" and it's madness.

I died at the security system thing, becuase the robot was too hard to kill. Might try Easy next time.

Seriously though... my brother was standing next to me and I think he was more scared then I was. It went rather like this:

"Shit. SHIT. What's that noise? What... turn around turn AROUND oh GOD what the fuck HIT IT! HIT IT OH GOD oh god."
At a Big Daddy killing a Splicer: "RUN SHIT RUN AWAY"
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Him: "I DONT CARE ITS BIG AND OH GOD THE BLOOD, EVERYWHERE"

Yeahh, it's good. I wish I had a system that could actaully run it though.
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Postby Fudge » Mon Sep 03, 2007 8:21 am UTC

At first, I thought the game was incredibly scary with its immersiveness (I only played it at night with the room pitch black aside from the screen... I also made the game darker than it recommended >_>). After a while though, it grows on you. It's hard to be scared when you hear "Papa Loves Mambo" in the background. Some of the thing the splicers say are hilarious in a random sort of way too.

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Postby Ketzerei » Tue Sep 04, 2007 8:48 pm UTC

Just finished it. I was surprised how much it's exactly like System Shock 2 with a different setting. The audio logs, the health bars, the bulkheads, the hacking, the wacky vending machines; you can even research enemies, which I expected them to get rid of. There were a bunch of obvious concessions to the console style: the silly quest arrows, the "look here, stupid!" glow, and the somewhat over-streamlined interface (no inventory screen, no way to see what plasmids you have unless you're actually at a Gene Bank, much less character customization than SS2, et cetera). Still though, it was awesome in spite of these things. Too easy, though; I played on hard the first time through and reloaded when I died instead of going to the vita-chambers, and I still never had any trouble from the splicers or bots. The Elite Rosies that kill you in just over two shots were the only things that gave me any trouble, but some electric gel and a turret or two easily took care of them.

But anyway.

Not as scary as System Shock 2, I thought, but that may just be because I'm older now. There was never a point in Bioshock where I was so creeped out I had to stop playing, whereas I got these frequently in SS2 (and more recently in the ghost hotel level of Bloodlines).

The story was great fun, and I liked all the little philosophical ramblings - I was particularly struck by Steinmann, though I liked all of the characters.

Spoilers! wrote:I saw through Atlas pretty quickly; it just seemed too convenient, and they did the same thing in System Shock 2. I was completely convinced, though, at the submarine thing. Come on; his family was holed up in a submarine which can only be opened from the outside? How stupid would you have to be to try this? At that point I got into the mode of sort of resenting having to do what he said, but with the grudging acceptance that comes with having played a lot of video games in the past. But then they justified the player's having to do what he said in a very cool way, so all is forgiven.


All in all, great game. I'd recommend it to anyone in the same way I do Planescape: Torment, Deus Ex, and System Shock 2.
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Postby SecondTalon » Tue Sep 04, 2007 9:16 pm UTC

Is.. it bad that I want to reply to the spoilers?

Spoilers wrote:
Ketzerei's Spoilers wrote:_
Well... yeah, it's kinda crappy that they reused the same plot device from SS2, but let's face it... eight people played SS2... alright, seriously, I can't find figures for SS2, but SS1 sold 170,000 copies. Sequels do worse as a rule, but even if we say that it did better at 250,000 copies... Bioshock sold 400,000 in the first week... so, point being, the people who played SS2 are by and large not the same people who are playing Bioshock. So it's new to them.
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Postby mosc » Wed Sep 05, 2007 5:11 pm UTC

Eh, I picked it up after reading this thread. So far I am not impressed at all. It's a mediocre shooter with some seriously whacked out horror junk thrown in. Maybe the other plasmids will make it more interesting (I only have lightning).

Probably I'm not liking it because I don't like the suspense and horror genres in general. If I had known it was such a "survival game" more than anything else, I probably wouldn't have picked it up.
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Postby Ketzerei » Wed Sep 05, 2007 6:43 pm UTC

Your problem is that you bought it expecting a shooter. It's far more RPG than it is a shooter, but it's really just a hodgepodge of awesome from several schools of gaming. They started calling it a shooter because the publisher was worrying that they wouldn't be able to sell it if they didn't stuff it into a specific genre. And they decided to make the Xbox 360 their lead platform, where the shooter demographic is about 90% of the userbase (note: percentage has no factual basis).
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Postby Phenriz » Wed Sep 05, 2007 7:28 pm UTC

just got a "workaround" for the activation last night, after i beat metroid prime 3 i'll be hitting this badboy up for some nostalgic goodness.
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Postby chaosspawn » Fri Sep 07, 2007 4:58 pm UTC

I found the beginning really creepy and dark, but now a few levels into the game, I've gotten rather used to it. May have to do with the fact that I've now got loads of fancy weapons. I must say the slicer that sings the bible song was hilarious.

I hate the revive system though. I insist on reloading when I'm resurrected, just feels a bit too much like cheating. I wish they really just had a game over screen.

Best weapon: the wrench, seriously nothing says "in yo face" like a good wrench. Also it's stupid powerful with the upgrade plasmids.

Best plasmid: telekensis, it's like the gravity gun, and that thing was awesome. Best moments: killing a splicer then grabbing the corpse, throwing it a someone else, and repeat until the group is dead. "That's telekensis, Kyle"
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Postby mosc » Fri Sep 07, 2007 5:18 pm UTC

Ketzerei wrote:Your problem is that you bought it expecting a shooter. It's far more RPG than it is a shooter, but it's really just a hodgepodge of awesome from several schools of gaming. They started calling it a shooter because the publisher was worrying that they wouldn't be able to sell it if they didn't stuff it into a specific genre. And they decided to make the Xbox 360 their lead platform, where the shooter demographic is about 90% of the userbase (note: percentage has no factual basis).


I'm really not digging the RPG elements in it either. Really, the game it reminds me the most of is PREY and that's not very high praise. PREY had a similar "no death" system as well as it's own quirky things (portals and spirit walk instead of plasmids) as well as a similar sense of horror. The "funny" in bioshock seems to have completely missed me. I'm most of the way through the game now and I just don't laugh at a thing. My usual expression is a blank random stare and then a sigh as I run out of the ammo I want for the 500th time (PREY had limited ammo too but nothing near this bad). I found prey's random radio transmissions much more compelling than the stupid story sequences in bioshock as well.

I would give prey like a 7.5 or 8.0 and bioshock about the same.
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Postby Wilibus » Fri Sep 07, 2007 6:20 pm UTC

I finally had a change to sit down with this game last night. I got it a week ago and have only 20 minutes here and there to sit down and play. This should be spoiler free, unless you consider what weapons and plasmids you get throughout the game spoilers.

Once I actually got into this game I am totally loving it. I am playing on the 360 since my video card is shader model 2 and I have a wide screen monitor. I got tired of waiting for not only a wide screen patch but also a patch to make the lighting work.

The retro culture is awesome, I really like some of the visuals in the game. Also the carnage is beautiful. Some scenes actually creeped the hell out of me. The background vocals are eerie and definitely help set the mood of the game. The voice acting very good. If this game has a strong point, it is most definitely the art. And I am not referring to the graphics which are also of top notch quality.

I think I am about halfway through and this is only after 1 night of serious playing, which is kind of disappointing. Also combat is pretty easy. I have only died once and the resurrection system was fairly odd, but nothing to write home about. I thought it kind of fit with the retro sci-fi theme they were going for. Same thing with the weapons, the way they look after they have been upgraded is amazing, very retro sci-fi.

The wrench is pretty wicked when you have the right plasmids equipped, almost to the point where I don't even consider another weapon until I see a drill armed big daddy. And even then the grenade launcher makes short work of them.

As far as plasmids I am at loss between choosing my favourite. Freezing things and smashing them into small peices with the wrench is awesome. But catching grenades and tossing them back is also pretty fun with telekinesis.

Overall great game, lots of fun to play. Even on the hardest difficulty and choosing not to kill the little sisters the game isn't as challenging as I would like. But I definitely can easily get into the mindset of being a genetically altered unkillable super human engine of destruction, which is something I think the designers were going for.

I am hoping for some kind of suicide level of difficulty that gets unlocked somehow, but I am doubtful.

9/10, probably go up to a 9.5 if the if it was combat was harder, but given the game style I didn't really weigh to heavily on the shooter aspect. But I think my rating is a little biased. Every since I played the first fallout game I have had a soft spot for the retro sci-fi genre. Highly recommended to everyone either way.
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Ketzerei
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Postby Ketzerei » Fri Sep 07, 2007 6:38 pm UTC

Wilibus wrote:I am hoping for some kind of suicide level of difficulty that gets unlocked somehow, but I am doubtful.


There isn't one. And the game actually doesn't get any harder in the second half; in fact, if you're good with shooters, the crossbow makes it stupidly easy by having really cheap and easy-to-get ammo and being able to one-shot any splicer in the game with proper aim. Still, though, I didn't mind terribly much. And yes, anything with the Fallout vibe gets +50 awesome at the very least.
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Postby Alisto » Fri Sep 07, 2007 7:30 pm UTC

Ketzerei wrote:the crossbow makes it stupidly easy by having really cheap and easy-to-get ammo and being able to one-shot any splicer in the game with proper aim.


I didn't use the crossbow at all for awhile. That is until I remembered that you can zoom in (since it's a pretty useless feature with every other weapon). Incendiary bolts were my weapon of choice against Big Daddies.
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Postby Ketzerei » Fri Sep 07, 2007 8:03 pm UTC

I just got 'em in front of a turret or two and emptied a canister of electric gel. If they were in the water, they were dead after a clip of that and otherwise they were within a few electro-shells of going down.
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Postby VannA » Fri Sep 14, 2007 4:17 am UTC

when I got Wrench Jockey, I stopped using other weapons for anything except clusters of Splicers, or Big-Daddies.

As has been said, I played on Hard, and it was still too easy. I also think the Vita-Chambers are more than kind of broken, and are one of the few things that make no sense in the game.

Who puts you in them?

[spoiler] Why wouldn't they work for Ryan, if they work for you, based on your genetics? Or for Fontaine, once you key the city for him? [/quote]

The art was great, the shootery-ness is ok, I never played SS2, but the game feels like Deus-Ex, too me, in all the good ways.

They also highlighted the real issues in any self-contained capitalised/objectivist society.. They *require* growth in real wealth to work. Rapture was a too self-contained, with no room for growth. It was doomed to be stuck in a monopoly, and, of course, people like Fontaine, experienced mobsters and grifters, know how to play that game *better*.
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