Bear in mind that I don't dislike
the game I just don't care for it in the way that everyone else does.
I was playing through earlier today as I am waiting till after the exams to get GTA:IV and I'm cycling through games in an attempt to wrangle my boredom. During this session I realised why I'm not as filled with praise as everyone else is.
I feel that it tries to be too many things at once:
- Open sandbox world
- Linear story gameplay
Each of these individual things would be fine but I feel that they aren't implicated well with each other.
When I finished the game the first time round I saved at a point of no return. meaning I couldn't go back and fully explore the city without starting over. But I had no drive to do so. The wide-open sandbox 'city' gameplay is almost non-existent. When I'm asked to go back to an area that I have already passed it doesn't seem like visiting a similar place for a different reason in a full and varied city. It just feels like backtracking. before the game was released we were treated to interviews and the such that described the city, and I got the impression that the AI were going to be bloody genius. But the most impressive thing I saw in this regard was clearly a scripted scene (where you backtrack through a tunnel to find a splicer has built a new turret).
As for the RPG equipping various items genre I feel that once a player has settled on a desired configuration they have no real reason to change it. Unless of course they are an achievement whore and need all the help that can get to hack everything in site. Many of the equip-able plasmids are clearly more or less effective than one another giving the player no real reason to switch between the two when the space could be used for an entire different type of plasmid.
I used the hologram plasmid to distract splicers and the such and it renders a plethora of other plasmids rather pointless with it equipped.
The FPS and Linear story elements I have no qualms with. Those on their own I think would still have made a stellar game (HL series). But the attempt to meld them with the other two elements just doesn't impress me. Its not that I find it bad. Its still a brilliant game, I think think it tries to be more than it needs to be and is.
These are my own opinions and rationalisations and I know Bioshock is so last year but it only just dawned on me why I describe it with an apathetic 'Meh'.
Also I think it didn't live up to the hype.