Bioshock: Patched At Last

It's audio-stutter-fix-time, Mr Bubbles

I would love to go and replay Bioshock right now. No really, I would. But I’m too busy washing my hair/doing my Adam returns/experiencing new narratives that don’t involve painstakingly collecting conveniently abandoned cassette recorders that I’ve heard once already.

But if I did have the time, I would totally play Bioshock with its long-delayed patch. It’s with us at last, and it includes the new Sonic Boom (which we knew about already, thanks to careless .bik file whispers in the original game), Vending Expert, Machine Buster and EVE saver Plasmids. Well, it’s nice that they’re free, but they don’t exactly enable the sort of environmental shenanigans we’d have hoped for. I’ve yet to give any of them a roadtest (I’M WASHING MY HAIR), but in name at least, they all smack of chances to play with added convenience, not ingenuity. Shame.

It is telling that the early rumours we heard of Bioshock DLC suggested it would be paid content, as with former 2K stablemate Oblivion’s bonuses – can its ultimate pricelessness be attributed to the months of waiting (as 2K-née-Irrational claim), the relative blandness of the new content, the unsuitability of such a heavily story-based game to receive such new content in the first place, or to the game’s creators now having moved on too far to care? Or, indeed, to all of the above.

Grab the patch from here, anyway. Oh, and the prosaically-named has a bunch of comparison shots of the long-promised widescreen fix also included with the patch, which rather seem to put the lie to Irrational’s claims that 16:9 was done proper-like in the initial release.


  1. Piratepete says:

    yeah great, very close to finishing the game, downloaded the patch which promptly didn’t work on my Vista machine. Threw up a load of errors during the patching process and now Bioshock won’t load up.

    Yes it was the right patch.

    I should have been suspicious when it thought bioshock.exe was in another directory to where it actually was.

    Very poor 2K very poor

    now I can’t moan on thier forums because i haven’t received the account activation forums email. Not happy at squandering this evenings gaming faffing about with Biobobbins

  2. Piratepete says:

    oh and i can’t spell ‘their’ either at this time of night. meh

  3. Janek says:

    Pete, “Bioshocking” would’ve been a better derogatory term.

    Anyway yeah. The “Meh” tag is about right for me.

  4. The Unshaven says:

    Some fun schenanigans: I had to reinstall Bioshock this morning (fortunately after managing to uninstall) because I installed the wrong patch. US_Germany_English is apparently not the same this as WorldWide, and since the article I initially encountered only linked to one, it was very unclear that there would be a problem. The warning message that came up just said, “This patch only works with the censored retail version,” and since I bought the only one available here… I just thought that was it.

    No dice. Sure enough, it turns out that Worldwide is for the Uncensored version.

    Also, as I discovered when I reinstalled the game… the auto-downloader works for the patch! But doesn’t actually install it, or tell you where it’s been hidden, which is a little schizophrenic for me.

    At the end of the day I got it working, though, so that’s positive. And since I haven’t actually played much through the game yet (at the start of the Medical Wing level 2 bit) due to PhD deadlines, it’ll add some fun things for me.

    Yay for turning off the Vitachambers! Viva Systemshock 2!

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  6. malkav11 says:

    It’s a nice extra for people who hadn’t played it yet. Me, I’m very done and never had any technical problems worth mentioning, so the addition of a couple more plasmids (when I really only used half or less of what I had in the first place) isn’t really enough to go have an almost identical experience again.

    Sure was fun once, though.

  7. Jeremy says:

    Can I be honest and totally unpopular for just a second?



    I’m secretly, and most definitely waiting in vain for a Co-op patch to be released for Bioshock. Sure, I’m kidding myself. It’s never going to happen, but in the sweet and totally misguided realm of my imagination – where game developers have like – an infinite amount of time and money to throw at my every gaming whim, – they are secretly patching the game to make the best co-op – specialist based – first person RPS game ever…)

    I admit it.

    Yes. I’m one of those sad, sad lonely people that REALLY enjoyed the Co-op functionality of System Shock 2. The people most game developers loathe because we beg plead and inevitably whinge about missing a game element which ultimately ends up as a lot of money and time thrown away at something that few people will enjoy.

    But I DID enjoy it. Buggy and infuriating as System Shock 2 cooperatives were and are still now, it still changed my life (gaming wise) and helped me appreciate just exactly what good, gratifying and well put together games should be. Especially for the Co-op genre. I’ve played some decent user-made Co-op games made for Operation Flashpoint, but nothing comes close to the scope and breadth of what System Shock 2 did for the Co-op gaming community. Which mind you is still quite a sizeable faction of hardcore gamers who truly still believed in Irrational. Like kids who got the best present from Santa once, only to be walloped and chided by Santa on his return visits, but still ever hopeful and optimistic that Santa will come to his senses and will stop beating them with a pointy stick and possibly make with the goods “this year”.

    I tend to think that well designed Co-op games bring out the best in certain gamers. If they didn’t it would be a very quick curse word filled family road trip to the “Game Over” screen indeed. System Shock 2 is a stand out in that respect. I remember being totally dissapointed that Deus Ex’s multiplayer was a deathmatch style RPS. Imagine if you dare, what it would have been like if you could not only play a story based on JC Denton’s struggle against the Majestic 12 and the Illuminati, but also play the whole game again as JC Denton and his brother Paul Denton? Both free agents, who could team up, split up again and attack a problem from both sides and then team up again whenever they saw fit? In real time perhaps? Yes I know developmentally and the year it was made that would have been impossible… but still – imagine it. The possibilities are so numerous that they make my brain bleed with a special kind of gamer’s lust. Lust which really is quite unhealthy, but hey passion which is unrequited generally is.

    I know a lot of people were critical of the Co-Op features of System Shock 2, and even the Irrational Game developers themselves said that the time it spent developing Co-op feature could have been better spent on the single player game. As a gamer who played their troubled co-op, I believe they’re so so wrong. What they did was sublime and absolute genius.

    Nothing beats the frantic screaming at your sibling or some woefully incompetent internet buddy you picked off a hamachi gaming forum: to watch your back while you busied yourself hacking a turrent or security camera, only to be have a lonely moaning member of the many literally piping up and clobbering you out of existence all the while, begging you to kill THEM. Mind you, I’ve made many friends from such ventures, (none of which I’d ever trust to watch my back mind you, even if I was getting a beer out of the fridge…) but a like minded network of friends and gamers all the same and there was a certain special satisfaction as you all watched Shodan’s final cutscene with Goggles (with varying degrees of latency – so much so that you could hear Shodan echoing herself over the gaming comms like she was trapped in several different echo chambers), secretly knowing it was Goggles + 1, 2 or 3. One of whom was a temperamental “hack and fix bitch” with real skills other than being able to fix degraded weapons and cracking virgin crates and locked doors like a morally devoid techno-lothario.


    Good times, nay – exceptional times. Times which most probably will be NEVER be repeated in a First person RPS of a System Shock or Bioshock calibre by the gaming industry ever again – simply due to the complexity, and total economic non-viability of it all.

    At least not until people realise that there’s more than one way to skin a cat. And that’s to have a bunch of friends yelling and screaming and ocassionally lending a hand to help you to do it.

    So Irrational and gaming developers of similar vision and ilk, we’re not angry at you, not in the slightest we’re actually grateful and worship you for the slice gaming heaven you provided us, which we’ve capitalised on with engine, graphic, story and element upgrade mods, speed runs and melee only games which we’ve pored over during the many years since System Shock 2’s Co-op patch release. The ultimate present from gaming Santa.

    We may chide you occasionally, and you may smack us down with the requisite “Oh god don’t you co-op dorks ever shut the hell up?”.

    But secretly…

    Secretly we hope beyond reasonable hope that one day, one beautiful day –

    We’ll find that special present under the tree from you.

    A present you made just for us.


  8. Junior says:

    /me secretly agrees with Jeremy.

  9. MaW says:

    I’m just waiting for Steam to finish patching (although it claimed to have finished overnight, it’s now downloading something else and churning the drive a lot) so I can see if it works. Given that Bioshock has been unplayably stuttery and unpleasant since day one for me, the patch is an opportunity not to play it again but to play it at all.

    Not that this means I’m enormously confident that it’s actually going to be playable now, because I’m not, and I think the only reason I care anymore is because the game cost me money.

  10. Funkula says:

    I realize this is nothing like what you’re talking about, but Serious Sam had the best co-op ever.


  11. Piratepete says:

    Ahh right so the UK version of the patch is not actually the UK version. Clear as mud. So a reinstallation is on the cards for me then.

    Annoyingly I was very close to finishing the game, tbh part of me isn’t entirely sure whether I want to waste the time doing so.

    What I don’t get is that on both patch versions it points to Bioshock.exe. being in the wrong location

  12. The Sombrero Kid says:

    this is pissing me off!
    when will people get this through their heads!

    The original game was widescreen it was developed for wide screen monitors, the team desided when the aspect ratio was not 16:9 to add screen content to the top and bottem of the screen thus providing the fairest experiance since the vertical FOV is less important than the horizontal.

    people moaned about it because they don’t understand or they think widescreen is better in some way and that they wanted extra content over square monitors god damn it or whatever thier stupid point of view was.

    Irrational responded by saying it’s correct the way it is anyone who wants a bigger FOV for widescreen is gonna get an artificicially wide FOV but we’ll shove it in the patch to shut you up.

    thus the pictures on videogamer are correct the borders on the top and bottom are the extra borders added for 4:3 users (which morfs the image on screen in a way it was not intended) and the new borders on the sides are added in the patch to let widescreen guys see more of the action.

    i realise i’m talking to myself here, i wish irrational had released it with 360 degree FOV and then told you all to just block out the parts of your screen you don’t want and then you can all get the FOV you want!

  13. Andrew says:

    Another big ‘meh’ for Bioshock from me these days too. Enjoyed my first play-through but replaying it with a patch? Nah.

    It’s just a silly little jolly-bobble for giggly baby-men.

  14. LSNDuck says:

    Jeremy, you are right indeed (as is Funkula). I have a good gaming friend, and we regularly play together. We both much prefer co-op gaming over DM or other competitive modes. We have battled through all three Sams on Serious, Lego Star Wars, Baldur’s Gate, and yet there are so few games out there that encourage co-operation. System Shock 2 is next on our list, but then the hopeless search for another game starts again.

    More please developers.

  15. Bob Arctor says:

    What’s wrong with a game that is great first time but you don’t really care to replay?

    I don’t mind. I’ve seen most of it, I had a great time, now I can play the many other games I have to play.

  16. Mr Wonderstuff says:

    Wish I had originally played this with the new FOV setting on my 360 (you realise how cramped it was before – the new setting seems more natural and not like you are looking through binoculars).

  17. kuddles says:

    The real depressing thing about this patch is how they had to conform to the pressure. A developer finally makes a game that takes advantage of widescreen monitors, and they got torn to shreds for doing it.

  18. Garth says:

    Jeremy hit the nail right on the head with regards to co-op. Why is it that we had it for so long, and then lost it? Quake, Rainbow Six (pretty much every version until it showed up on consoles, bizarrely), System Shock, Perfect Dark (original and Zero), and then, what Gears of War? Not only was that the most buggy co-op FPS I’ve ever played, it wasn’t even worth playing. Cover is one thing, but requiring it for every single fucking kill? Count me out.

    Somewhere along the way, it was decided that games needed massive budgets to make them have unplayably-ugly bloom or some shit, and that actual control and playability were a distant 3rd priority.

    I’d rather have an ugly game with great controls and co-op than a pretty game with mediocre controls and SP and deathmatch.

  19. malkav11 says:

    I love co-op, and in many games I’d be champing at the bit for its inclusion. Bioshock just doesn’t really seem like an appropriate game for it, though.

  20. Piratepete says:

    nope uninstalled – reinstalled, repatched same problem.

  21. Piratepete says:


    Finally got it to work, finished the game last night. Ending was ok but can you tell me if there are alternate endings because it…erm….wasn’t quite what I expected.

    Replay possibility? meh out of ten i think. maybe huh out of ten if there is another ending to see

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