Posts Tagged ‘BioShock’

BioShock: The Collection Is A Thing, But More Importantly, Sea-Life Facts!

BioShock: The Collection is the deeply uninspiring name for a bundle of all the previous BioShock games that for some reason 2K are still refusing to acknowledge. It’s now been rated by bodies around the world, including the ESRB, and yet 2K still remain schtum. Which is weird. Anyway, it’ll contain all three games, and in case you’ve forgotten, “Cutscenes also depict intense acts of violence,” and the c-word makes appearances. All games should be announced by the ESRB! It’ll potentially have had a little brush up and tidy, to look prettier on the young people’s modern consoles, but that’s not yet confirmed. Right, I’ve somehow included all the news about this above the jump, so join me for some fascinating sea-life facts below. BioShock is set in the sea, and that’s my excuse.

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What Is A ‘Bioshock Collection’ And Do You Want It?

And now on Vague, Possibly-Nothing News Hour, it’s the apparent leak of something called The BioShock Collection, which appears to comprise BioShock 1, BioShock 2 and BioShock: Infinite Art Budget. Which isn’t super-interesting in itself, given we’ve all been able to pick up said bundle or the components thereof for absurdly low prices in various Steam sales. What is twisting my Plasmids, man, is that the leak claims this pack is coming out for Xbone and PS4 in addition to PC. Which might meant that we’re in for a – oh lord, save me from the buzzwords – next-gen spit’n’polish of the series.

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RPS Discusses: Do Expansion Packs Still Matter?

Expansion packs were once a core part of playing PC games, but they can often feel less essential in a world of constant updates and microtransactions. Original game Alec, expansions Adam and Graham, and brief DLC Alice gathered to discuss their favourite game expansions and why they still think the model works.

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The 10 Best Games Based On Books

Books! They’re like films without pictures, or games that are all cutscene. Old people and hipsters really like them, teenagers think they’re like totally lame, and quite frankly we should all read more of them. There are countless games inspired by books – most especially Tolkien, Lovecraft and early Dungeons & Dragon fiction – but surprisingly few games based directly on books. Even fewer good ones.

Perhaps one of the reasons for that is that a game can, in theory, cleave closer to what a book does than a film can – with their length and their word counts, their dozens of characters and in some cases even their own in-game books, they can to some degree do the job of a novel. They don’t need to be based on books – and often they can do so much more, thanks to the great promise of non-linearity. Of course, the real reason for the dearth is that novels are so rarely the massive business a movie is these days. You might get a forlorn Hunger Games tie-in here and there, but suited people in gleaming office blocks just aren’t going to commission an adaptation of the latest Magnus Mills tale, more’s the pity.

I suspect that, over time, we’ll see the non-corporate side of games development increasingly homage the written word, but for now, these ten games (and seven honourable mentions) are, as far as I’m concerned, the best, and most landmark, results of page-to-pixel adaptation to date.

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What I Want From The Next BioShock

Ken Levine has moved onto other projects, and Irrational essentially no longer exists, but publishers 2K have declared that the BioShock series will continue nonetheless. Good, I’m glad: the games so far have had downs as well as ups to say the least, but they have, to a one, attempted to do things that other big-budget shooters do not. It’d be a terrible shame if that was lost and the floor ceded to yet more military-inspired prepostero-realism. I’m also fascinated to see what a BioShock game that wasn’t led by someone who has, for better or worse, become something of a figurehead for game stories and high concepts would look like. Would they become more free to explore their own worlds, less hampered by the need to meet expectations of Big Ideas and Ultimate Answers?

There are things I’d like the next game to try. There are things I desperately pray it doesn’t do. These are just a few of each. Would you kindly take a look? (Contains some spoilers for BioShock 1 & Infinite).

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Best Steam Summer Sale Deals: Day 5

The two great structures float towards each other, hissing streams of unfathomable gas into the air. Seattle's is hot to the touch, coloured green and with the smell of burning ink. The E-Angel's is purple, now pink, then yellow, shifting without warning. Taste and smell change too, each extraordinarily vile and delicious simultaneously, bending your bind. It is a being of pure hype and now it faces off against the greatest money making bio-electric organism ever conceived.

What are the best Steam Summer Sale deals? Each day for the duration of the sale, we’ll be offering our picks – based on price, what we like, and what we think more people should play. Read on for the five best deals from day 5 of the sale.

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UnShocked: Evolve Will Be A “Permanent” Franchise

Rumblings in the towers of Take-Two have gotten me wondering about the status of the BioShock franchise. GameSpot are reporting the publisher’s CEO and potential movie villain Strauss Zelnick calling the series “really important” to Take-Two at a recent conference. According to Zelnick, it’s so far sold a whopping 25 million units, 11 million of which were BioShock Infinite.

Zelnick has previously referred to this as one of Take-Two’s “permanent” franchises, alongside Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption, Civilization and Borderlands. But things have so far been quiet. No future full-releases have been publicly confirmed for the series – Zelnick notes he has no announcements to make of BioShock’s whereabouts. Likewise, Irrational Games are but a memory. Ken Levine is working on something about blocks or something.

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Shock: Levine’s New Game Is Open Worldish Sci-Fiish RPG

Sometime BioShock boss Ken Levine has opened the first tears to his new development dimension. He effectively closed his long-time studio Irrational last year in favour of working on smaller-scale projects, but still within the protective fortress of 2K. At the time he talked about making narrative-led games with more replayability, and while last night’s sudden flurry of updates is nothing like a reveal, he has a least given out a few big hints, together with a pledge for more open development than was the case on the spoiler-vulnerable BioShocks. What he’s got planned is a open worldish (“but not necessarily outdoors”) RPG, sci-fi, PC, probably first-person, chapter-like structure, brand new setting, add “ins” rather than add-ons, and a Passion System. Missus.

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Fullbright: Tacoma’s BioShock Similarities “Not Deliberate”

Gone Home developers Fullbright have shed a little more light on their so-far cryptic follow-up, Tacoma. The space station-set exploration title is due for release in 2016, but gave away little in its announcement trailer. In a forthcoming interview with RPS, Fullbright’s Steve Gaynor revealed that “you can tell from the teaser that it’s in micro-gravity; stuff is floating around. And some of the implications that has for the relationship that the player can have to the space that you’re exploring, that you couldn’t have in a terrestrial setting, is really exciting to us.”
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Bioshock Through The Looking Glass

The contemporary big-budget FPS has a few different strains: blood-n-guts military settings a la Call of Duty, open-world environments like Far Cry, and high-concept dystopias. Outside of open-world most of these styles were first codified in the 1990s, and FPS games then and now share an enormous amount: primarily a core mechanic of shooting many hundreds of enemies in the face over and over again, as well as crossover in areas like structure, goal-chaining, and narrative delivery. FPS games, in other words, have for a long time been constructed on resilient and proven principles. And many of them come from Looking Glass Studios.

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Rapturous: BioShock Not Dead, Will Continue At 2K Marin

With Irrational 20,000 leagues under and Ken Levine off doing his own, significantly smaller thing at 2K, you might think BioShock dead in the water. You would, however, be wrong. Following on from Levine’s original comment that he was leaving the series in 2K’s hands, Take-Two Big Daddy Strauss Zelnick has confirmed at a recent analyst conference that the oft-divisive series will carry on and once-thought-dead BioShock 2 developer 2K Marin will do the honors.

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Golly Gee: BioShock And Deus Ex Sure Look Nice In UE4

Sometimes you want to charge guns, swords, and words a-blazin into a game world and tame the land until Iron Maiden writes a song about you. Other times, you just want to heft your heavy eyelids, sip a light tea, and gently sail through friendly old places made new again. You’ve got a long day ahead of you, but you don’t have to venture out into the cruel sadlands of life just yet. Remember better days. Here, let me help with videos of the original BioShock and Deus Ex: Human Revolution re-realized in Unreal Engine 4. They’re quite a sight.

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SOMA’s Grip On BioShock Comparisons, Indie Influences

SOMA didn’t scare the scuba suit off me, but I did find a creeping sort of potential in its soaked-to-the-bone corridors. Amnesia: The Dark Descent 2 this ain’t. Or at least, it’s not aiming to be. Currently, it still feels a lot like a slower-paced, less-monster-packed Amnesia in a different (though still very traditionally survival-horror-y) setting, but Frictional creative director Thomas Grip has big plans. I spoke with him about how he hopes to evolve the game, inevitable comparisons to the Big Daddy of gaming’s small undersea pond, BioShock, why simple monster AI is better than more sophisticated options, the mundanity of death, and how SOMA’s been pretty profoundly influenced by indie mega-hits like Dear Esther and Gone Home.

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Wot I Think – BioShock Infinite: Burial At Sea Ep 2

BioShock Infinite’s DLC, BioShock Infinite and BioShock 1 concludes with this second, longer, stealthier half of last November’s return to Rapture. It’s out now.

You’ll hear no politics from me, though by God it’s tempting to correlate Burial At Sea Part 2’s status as a swansong for two BioShock universes with the recent, shock closure of Irrational. Whatever else there is to both tales, at least this concluding DLC for BioShock Infinite reverses the sense of decline we’ve seen since the original BioShock. Despite a multitude of sins it does leapfrog both Infinite and its own, irritatingly slight if visually flabbergasting Part 1. It also includes the single most unpleasant – and frankly needless with it – moment I’ve ever experienced in a videogame.
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No, Says The Man In Hollywood: Axed BioShock Movie Art

BioShock could have made a wonderful movie. But realistically it would never been a wonderful movie, even if plans for a Gore Verbinski-helmed adaptation of the Irrational’s opus hadn’t been abandoned. It could only have been an overload of CGI that sacrificed depth and tone for a visual onslaught. I’m sure of that, and I’m glad the movie didn’t happen. But the real reason it didn’t is that backers Universal were spooked by the commercial limpness of the Watchmen adaptation, taking it as a sign that there wasn’t enough of an audience for an R-rated sci-fi movie at the kind of budget Verbsinki demanded; he then wouldn’t agree to a much a lower one. A later attempt at a cheaper movie by 28 Weeks Later director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo was nixed by Ken Levine, who told Eurogamer that “I didn’t really see the match there.”

The movie did at least make it to concept art stage, a few examples of which have recently emerged, and depict new areas of Rapture planned for the big screen.
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Rise & Shine: Games Drawn As Children’s Book Covers

I don't have kids, but I do have a house full of kid's books.

Consider this your daily dose of nice. Artist Joey Spiotto, aka Joebot, draws films and videogames as the covers of children’s books. His game work includes imagined covers for Half-Life 2 (above, in part), Skyrim, BioShock, Portal, Mass Effect and more.
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Bioshock Noir: Burial At Sea’s Opening Scenes

Bioshock has that one part, the stunning moment that locks the game in the memory forever. I’m talking, of course, about the opening plane crash and the first view of the lighthouse. The descent into Rapture, like the ascent into Columbia, employed tidy, efficient techniques to build a world that was eerie, allusive and oddly attractive. Alec wrote an entire post about that first sight of Rapture. The opening five minutes of Burial At Sea, Bioshock Infinite’s narrative DLC, contain a different side of Rapture, as Booker and Elizabeth walk the corridors before the Fall. Spoilers abound, obviously, with the plot’s initial direction outlined as the two take in some familiar sights.

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2K Marin’s Jordan ‘The Cradle’ Thomas Goes Indie

He might not have quite the profile of a Levine or Smith, but as a lead designer on Thief 3, particularly of The Cradle level, not to mention the similarly nerve-torturing Fort Frolic map in BioShock, Jordan Thomas is a name just as worth knowing. While being granted more overreaching control of a project resulted in 2K Marin’s smart, improved but too safe sequel BioShock 2, followed by a disappearance into the black hole which eventually morphed into The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, Thomas also took on some creative duties late in BioShock Infinite’s development. Now he’s moving away from franchises into creator-controlled, independent territory, and I am not-entirely-quietly confident that this will mean great things.
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Wot I Think – BioShock: Infinite

BioShock: Infinite is a new first-person shooter from Irrational, creators of BioShock, System Shock 2 and SWAT 4. It’s set on a flying city in 1912, where racism and religious fundamentalism dictate society. You’re up there, wielding guns and magic, to bring someone the girl and wipe away the debt. Here’s what I thought, spoiler-free.
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