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Intercept avatar 10:54 PM on 11.14.2010  (server time)
Game Design Choices: BioShock

This blog is going to be about various game design choices, mostly small ones, that make a game better or worse. This may become a recurring thing.

About a month ago, I played and completed BioShock for the first time. So I'm only late with this blog because I was late to play the game. Inexcusable, I know. Let's get started.

Minor Spoilers May Follow:


Toasting Yourself: Everyone knows that if you shock the water enemies are standing in, they will take more damage than usual. If you are also standing in the water, you take damage too. This doesn't really make sense when you think about it. Your body can handle the electricity coursing through it, but as soon as you release it you become vulnerable to it.

Climax to Resolution: This is more of a narrative complaint. Simply put, there is way too much time between the climax and the resolution. None of the story that is between these two points is very important, and could have been included some other way. I'm not saying there shouldn't have been anything in between, but it shouldn't have been somewhat arbitrary errands to make the game longer.

Final Boss Fight: Why are you being swarmed by various enemies during this boss fight? The boss is supposed to be a god-like super human. He shouldn't even feel the need for help. This also distracts you from paying attention to him. It would create more of a feeling of incredible strength and insurmountable odds if it was a one-on-one fight with a stronger opponent.

Security Research: It really just makes no sense that you can't research security after you've hacked it. Ironically enough, it only makes sense as a game design choice, and that's what makes it a bad one.

A Tempting Muse: Sander Cohen. I know I'm not the only one who killed him the first chance you get. The main reason this is a bad design choice is because I only killed him then because of things the game designers did. First, you have no reason to believe he is ever leaving Fort Frolic. Second, he seems to be going back to his room, which will then lock and you will never be able to kill him. Finally, Sander himself says something that makes it seem like maybe you should kill him now. The worst part however, is that what you get from killing him isn't very good, useful, or memorable.

Your First Big Daddy: This is very minor, but in my opinion the first big daddy you fight should have been a Rosie instead of a Bouncer. My only reasoning for this is at that point in the game, you're better equipped for that fight.

Your First Pyro: Also very minor, but it is very easy to not notice the oil around where you first get the Incinerate tonic.

I don't really have any small positive things to point out, mostly because the game does so many big things well and a lot of the small things are too obvious to be worth pointing out. I wish I would have written this sooner, as I would have had more to say. Oh well, this is really just a trial run.

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