Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Bioshocked OR Lightning Really Does Strike Twice

Last week as I was collecting money from my ho's and one of them came up short I had to smack her around a little.  Turns out she wasn't actually one of mine and her real pimp came over and we both pulled out our pimp knives to settle this little dispute and wouldn't you know it we both had the exact same knife.  It's funny how things work out like that.  We started talking and it turns out we also shared a love of Cheddar cheese, big breasts, lion-related maulings, and Bioshock.  After a couple hours we went over to his place where I promptly killed him and stole his stash of heroin and his collection of 1970's porn.  I guess it really is hard out there for a pimp.

The point of the story is my love for Bioshock and its aptly titled sequel Bioshock 2.  I know I'm a little behind the times for Bioshock 2 and really behind with the original Bioshock, but in my defence... shut up.  After a hardcore couple months playing Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 (again, way to go with the creative sequel title guys) I needed a break from killing hordes of zombies.  OK really all my friends got bored of playing so until they're ready to play again I needed to pleasure myself.  With video games.  But not on my penis.  Well, OK, sometimes on my penis.  So I played my way through Assassin's Creed 2 (Sequels R Us) and in May I started playing Bioshock expecting a nice little linear FPS.  You know something light to pass the time.  Instead I get hit with the kind of abject terror and and general insanity that kept me on the edge of my seat while playing Dead Space.  And it was great, but having to sleep with the lights on all the time is really hell on the electrical bill.

Right from the very first second Bioshock sets a dark, horrific atmosphere what with a plane crash and all.  Then when you find Rapture you're hit with one of the terrifying splicers right away.  And the splicers were indeed terrifying.  Maybe not as terrifying as reanimated and mutated corpses stalking you on a giant spaceship or a bad case of herpes, but terrifying nonetheless.  A large part of the atmosphere comes from you being trapped basically alone in this city with only psychopaths who possess crazy abilities like teleportation.  That sense of isolation even though it's "just" a video game prays on you and after a while normal sounds in your house -the fridge turning on, creaking floorboards, a gust of wind, that scraping on your cellar door as the homeless people you keep imprisoned there try to escape- all start to make you jump.  The Little Sisters wer also creepy as hell.  The Big Daddies were frightening, but there's something about genetically altered ten year old girls with glowing yellow eyes who harvest dead bodies for genetic material that just makes you shift a little uncomfortably in your seat.  Even more addictingly disturbing is the moral choice you have to make whether to rescue these little girls or harvest (ie. kill) them, both decisions yielding their own rewards.

One of the bonuses of waiting so long to play these games is you get the chance to play the sequel right away.  So it was about mid-June that I borrowed Bioshock 2 from my brother in law.  I didn't really expect much because, really, what more can you do with the game except maybe add more areas to explore.  I was wrong -to a degree.  While Bioshock 2 is essentially just an extension of the first game there are some cool innovations.  First of all you get to play as a Big Daddy, a half-man, half-machine enforcer watching over the Little Sisters.  The first thing you notice is that you get to use both your hands at the same time so you can fire off your plasmids (powers gained from forcefully injecting yourself with random needles full of DNA altering material) and your conventional projectile weapons at the same time.  This may not seem too huge a deal, and I didn't realize how awesome it was until I went back and played the first game again and was so frustrated with the time it took to switch between your plasmids and weapons.  The second innovation is how you interact with the Little Sisters to gain Adam.  In the first game you just rescued or harvested them, but in the sequel you have to protect them from hordes of splicers while they tried to get the Adam for themselves.  Then of course there's the Big Sisters which are just even more insane.  Another cool change was the mini-game that you used to hack electronic equipment.  Although at first I missed the strangely addictive liquid hacking from the first game I quickly grew to enjoy the moving needle hack featured in Bioshock 2

The best thing about video games these days isn't the superior graphics and sound, but the quality of the stories and the depth of the characters.  A lot of games I'm playing these days have better writing and better plots than most of the crap coming out of Hollywood these days.  And that's really the great thing about Bioshock and Bioshock 2.  I mean they were both linear first person shooters that both had superior graphics, but it was the strength of the writing that really made them succeed both with the game playing public and the pimping community alike.  I mean they both teach important life lessons like always, ALWAYS inject yourself with random needles you find lying around on the street and ten year old girls are all evil and if you open them up you'll find a prize inside.  If you haven't already played these two games I highly recommend them.  I give Bioshock and Bioshock 2 each a 9/10 = Two Genetically Altered Heads Shooting Fire and Electricity at Each Other  


Post a Comment