BioShock: A game review for non-gamers

October 3, 2007

This here is the companion post for Mark’s gamer review of BioShock, which you should probably read first. As indicated in the title, I will be giving my impressions of the game from the perspective of a person who didn’t play the game, but watched it. Which I did, all the way through. I got a great deal of cross-stitching done while he played.

I really did like this game. As a measure of how much, I told Mark he wasn’t allowed to play it when I wasn’t there, because that would make me miss something. My two main criteria for a game I’m willing to watch are that it be pretty and have a plot. The prettier it is, the less plausible the plot needs to be, though it’s looking like good art and good plot are starting to go together a lot now. Yay!

BioShock is a verypretty game. The designers really thought about creating a look and feel that would fit the backstory of Rapture, their underwater city, and they carried it through. It makes it worth it to explore all the levels of the game, just to see what you can see. (This is important when watching Mark play a game. He’s very thorough.) Lots of Art Deco-ish architectural elements, every poster you passed on a wall fit the style, the background music occasionally pumped in added to the same feel, and it all combined to give you a fairly good idea of what Rapture had been like before. Because it is, of course, a utopia that has gone horribly wrong.

As Mark mentioned, the tape recorders you find scattered around the game fill you in on the backstory, giving you an ever more clear picture of how Rapture fell. This was what made me prohibit Mark from playing without me. I got really good at spotting tape recorders and helping him figure out how to get to them. Anything to get more bits of story. They were like little bits of candy. You never knew which storyline you’d be getting a bit of when you first found the recorder, so you had to piece them together like a puzzle to follow each one, and it was fun watching them all converge toward the end.

But now, some quibbles:

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BioShock – A gamer’s perspective

September 30, 2007

We at Geek Buffet appreciate that each of us approaches our geekiness in our own individual way. In our efforts to embrace this diversity of perspective, this represents the first of two posts about the game BioShock. This one is a review of the game from the perspective of a gamer who has played it. The second will be from the perspective of a non-gamer who had the chance to see the game while I was playing through it.

As a gamer, I appreciate being able to read a review of a game that gives me enough information about a game to be able to help me decide if I want to play it or not. At the same time, I don’t want a review to spoil the game for me. I have endeavored to write a review of the kind I would like to read. I hope you’ll agree.

By way of brief introduction, BioShock is a first-person shooter. It starts out when the main character is in a plane crash in the middle of the ocean, and escaping from the wreckage, finds what looks like a lighthouse rising up out of the water. Inside is a submarine, which takes him to Rapture, an underwater city. The nature of Rapture, and the story of what happened to it, are central to the plot of the game.

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