Question of the Day, Feb. 16, 2010

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Question of the Day, Feb. 16, 2010


BioShock bucked recent shooter trends by focusing solely on a single-player experience, but its sequel decided to add multiplayer. Some view the decision as selling out, while others are happy for the chance to break out of the game's linear boundaries. What do you think?


I think it was. On its own, the single player does not truly justify £30 (or £40 for the console players). I completed it in just over 6hrs and had 27/50 achievements, of which some of those 50 achievements are for the multiplayer.
In this day-and-age multiplayer is a very common part of an FPS game, whether it's the main focus (e.g. Left 4 Dead) or just an optional bit of fun (e.g. Far Cry 2). BioShock 2 will have sold primarily due to the single player and I doubt many people bought it for its multiplayer component, but the inclusion of the multiplayer helps make your purchase feel "worth it".

I suspect most people will have felt disappointed with the length of BioShock 2, as it is a relatively short game and the multiplayer helps you get extra value out of it.

Why would it not be? If they think they can do it well, let them.

Any -more- of a game that's optional to the main storyline is always a good thing. What with so much content being DLC, it's good that they included it.

Also, is this feature going to be a daily/weekly/monthly thing?

I would have said yes, but my friend was a big time fan of the first and he feels that the story mode is lacking. This leads me to believe they spent more time on the multiplayer than they should have.

I was kinda let down in the first one with the lack of ability to frag my friends in Rapture, though the multiplayer in 2 is good, it feels a little tacked on.

this is probably only because the first one was pure single player though.

I feel the single player was sufficient. The thing that set Bioshock apart from the mass of generic FPSs was the setting, the ambience and the story behind Rapture and human hubris as well as good-intentioned ambition embedded within its walls.

I cannot in good conscience fault the makers of it for putting in a multiplayer (it increases sales), but I feel it was a wrong move gamewise. The time used for that part of the Bioshock 2 would have been better served by polishing the single-player mode. As it stands, it's a good game, but it could have been better. I guess I just can't see what the addition of multiplayer brings to the table.

I thought it was a good idea since its a bit of a side-track for those that just wanna shoot-em-up in a Bioshock environment without dealing with objectives or anything.

the single player was still a great and awesome experience just like the 1st one if they want to put in a multiplayer section just for the hell of it then i see no wrong in it.

it be better if more companies do the same rather then just make a measly 6 hour campaign copy paste treatment and slap multiplayer features to sell for 60$...

I haven't been able to connect to a multiplayer game yet, so I'm not sure. The single player campaign was good, if a tiny bit underwhelming

This leads me to believe they spent more time on the multiplayer than they should have.

A different team did the multi, it didn't affect the single-player.

OT: Therefore, yes, why not?

I would have said yes, but my friend was a big time fan of the first and he feels that the story mode is lacking. This leads me to believe they spent more time on the multiplayer than they should have.

Considering two completely different studios worked on the different components, I'd have to disagree. Especially since the two play completely different from each other. Most of the plasmids and tonics behave differently, you don't dual-wield in the same manner, and even hacking is completely different. It is an experience that is clearly crafted by two completely different developers that happened to work well together in keeping that valuable aesthetic.

I would have been happier with the single player if it wasn't for the length and the fact that they screwed the pooch on where enemies respawn and at what rate they do. It completely ruined the pace of the game for me. I'd clear a room out of splicers and start exploring, and next thing I knew more of them were showing up. Days before I had started a new game in the first Bioshock in order to get caught up, and even the largest of environments didn't work this way. Once you cleared a room out it was empty until you returned, and even then foes didn't always come back. It allowed players to explore the environment at their own pace, taking in every detail. In Bioshock 2 that pace is completely ruined, making one feel rushed to get it done.

This is only made worse when trying to prepare to hold off splicers during ADAM gathering. Respawning foes may start to trigger some of your carefully laid traps before you are ready, putting them to waste. Then there's the simple fact that even some of the smaller rooms don't spawn splicers at the doorways. They'll spawn them within the room, which means the only spots that are worth dropping traps down on are in the immediate vicinity of the corpse. SOME rooms work logically, where you can cover each doorway and pretty much go a whole ADAM gathering event without seeing a single splicer. Those moments are awesome. However, when you're in a relatively small room and suddenly you are fending off tons of foes, only to find after that all of your traps by the actual entrances to the room are untouched, it makes all that planning worthless.

And THEN causes trouble when the traps you CANNOT retrieve get stepped on or crossed by a Big Daddy, who then comes after you.

It's one small thing that becomes a huge oversight and hurts the entire experience.

As a result, I, someone that never enjoys competitive multiplayer as much as a single-player campaign, and in fact never really plays competitively in preference to playing co-operatively, finds the multiplayer in Bioshock 2 to be the real meat of the game. I have had more fun playing games like ADAM Grab and Last Splicer Standing than I have had in the entire single-player experience of Bioshock 2.

Which, for me, is saying a lot.

So yes, the multiplayer was a good inclusion, because otherwise it just wouldn't be worth the money.

I think the multiplayer, although nice, didnt really need to be there.

Games dont HAVE to be more than one-player. Sometimes, it is what we want...

I think some games are better off just singleplayer (Dead Space 2). So I will say no, multiplayer wasn't the right thing to put it Bioshock 2.

Bioshock2, the game fails on so many levels compared to the first one. Just didn't feel like they tried. MP just felt horribly tacked on and last minute. So no mp needed. should have focused more on varied environments, dynamically changing volumetric water, RANDOM big sister encounters, and perhaps the ability to back track.

I can't think of a single reason why including multiplayer could be a bad thing, so I had to vote "yes".


This leads me to believe they spent more time on the multiplayer than they should have.

A different team did the multi, it didn't affect the single-player.

OT: Therefore, yes, why not?

Ah, see, didn't know this. Also, you did gather this wasn't exactly my opinion, more or less what I've heard form friends? I never enjoyed the first Bioshock. Thought it to be bland.

I haven't yet had the chance to play Bioshock 2 but if the single-player is anywhere near as good as the first one then I don't see the problem with multiplayer. As long as not too much effort is put into multiplayer then it isn't a problem.

I haven't played BioShock 2 yet, and while I do think the single-player campaign would have been enough, I don't think they were hurting anything adding multiplayer. The multiplayer was made by a different team than the team doing the single-player campaign, and I've heard a lot of good things about it from gaming journalists and my friends in real life. I'm not going to judge it until I play it for myself, but I personally think that it can only add to the experience, even though the game would have been complete without it. Just call it "the side dish that nicely complements the main course."

I don't think it needed a multiplayer and that the single player experience could carry the game on it's own. However the multiplayer is a nice addition to the game for a little more fun.

Was it right to do? I don't know. I would have prefered them to have worked on the single player more. I enjoyed Bioshock without multiplayer. Bioshock 2 didn't realy need it. However if I get bored of the single player the multiplayer's unpredictability will keep me coming back (if the single player doesn't)

I'm all for multiplayer in any game. If it is a compelling single palyer experience with multiplayer just tacked-on, I'm fine with it. At least you've got something. I don't think adding extra anything to a game can damage it, unless it somehow detracts from its quality.

I said yes, and now thinking about it I have come to the conclusion that it was a bad idea. Sure it's nice to have a multiplayer experience to go with your singleplayer, but I can't help wondering how much better the singleplayer experience would have been if they had devoted those resources to polishing it up and maybe hiring more/better writers.

Depends on how it turned out. I hear Bioshock 2 turned out well. I'm know when it gets here in the mail. HOPEFULLY TODAY...

Still haven't played multiplayer get back to you in about 2 days. :P Just got Bioshock 2 yesterday.

Being that Single player was done by a diffrent team of people why the hell not have it?

I was surprised at how fast my roommate beat the damn thing, and I was rather disappointed as well. The story sucked me in, and I wasn't even playing it.

OT: I clicked yes. If they have a good multiplayer mode, more power to them.

Hmmm... I think the problem here is the word "adding". Anything developers can "add" is a good thing. Yeah, sure it's selling out to the bullet point, but from what I hear it's kinda fun, so this is "bonus".

I also think the singleplayer would have trouble standing up on it's own this time around because you always need to add something with a sequal and the singleplayer doesn't add enough to qualify the cash.

All this said, I havn't played the Bioshock 2 multiplayer, despite being really excited about it. The reason? Too many problems with Games For Windows Live. I could probably get it working eventually, but considering the AvP game was an early demo, and I clicked and played, as opposed to spending over an hour resolving the problems for Bioshock 2, it's just not worth the effort.

In summary... not a bad thing to add it. No matter how good or bad it is, provided it didn't drain resources from the singleplayer experience.

-- Just an added thing to say that the plasmid/weapon gameplay would be great for gameplay, but I wonder if the atmosphere is ruined by deathmatching around Rapture, a place with such solomn atmosphere.

While it could have stand on it's own as a single player game, the re-play value would be a tad short without a mutiplayer mode. As where the problem with the first game.

Words can not descripe how happy I am that they got another studio to do the multiplayer. It could not gone any better.

The photos and gameplay vidoes we've seen of the muliplayer shows a "run-to-the-mill" kind of shooter. Personly, I have no problem with that.

So my answer is Yes, it was the right thing to do.

They should've used the second studio to work with the singleplayer studio as well. Because from all I've seen and heard, the singleplayer is lacking storywise and in length. Let's all be honest, what made BioShock amazing was the story, aside from that it was just good, nothing special.

So no, adding multiplayer was not a good idea.

Here's my take on it.

The same night I picked up Mass Effect 2 for my wife, I also picked up BioShock 2. I'm a big fan of the first game, for a variety of reasons I covered in my review. I've put in a few hours already and am eager to play through more of it, but there's an aspect of the game that strikes me as somewhat perplexing.

I don't mind the notion of playing through scenarios set in the tumultuous civil war of Rapture that broke out on New Year's in 1959. On the contrary, I think it'd be fascinating to see Rapture when it had more rational people in it than spliced-up foamy-mouth quasi-zombie Splicers. However, since this setting is being used for multi-player, it's unlikely much time would be spent looking at Rapture since if you get distracted you're likely to wind up face up on the ground with some kid from Albuquerque teabagging you while the respawn timer counts down. I still might try it out, but the inclusion of multiplayer into a shooter that was strictly single player up until now just strikes me as odd.

I know the BioShock games are powered by the Unreal engine and it's developed for multi-player environments, and I have no objection to multi-player in and of itself. I used to play Counter Strike on a regular basis, and every once in a while I blow the dust off of Team Fortress 2 to make sure my skills haven't atrophied entirely. But the multi-player of BioShock 2, at least on a concept level, feels a little tacked on. I'm not entirely sold on the idea, and I'd rather get back to playing through the story.

I think that if you want to really capitalize on a multi-player environment with an established single-player franchise, the best move is likely to spend the time and resources developing a separate game that focuses entirely on that experience rather than tacking it onto a single-player game. I mean, Mass Effect doesn't have any arena or deathmatch play, but then again, if BioWare were to develop a multi-player environment for that universe, I'd pray to the gaming gods that it would be less like a multi-player shooter and more like an MMO.

Seriously. Think about it. A Mass Effect MMO.

There seems to be a pattern, it's like if a single-player game has multiplayer in the sequel, it WILL take some thunder away from the single-player campaign.

Well the single player was just like the first, except for the drill. But the multiplayer, I don't know, the way it's set up is stupid, the matchmaking takes forever to find a match. I don't know, it just feels as if something is missing.

Having not yet finished the game, I have to assume that the length of the game will be roughly the same as the first Bioshock. If this is the case, then I believe the single player experience is indeed worth the 55 bucks. I only played the first Bioshock last fall(Got it for a lot less than full price, naturally), and it showed me Bioshock 2 would be worth my time and hard-earned cash. Even if it wasn't, and to those who don't feel the single player experience is worth it, then I have some bad news: The multiplayer mode is not a value-add. It is terrible. Having played Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has shown me as good as a current-gen FPS can get (Apart from that holiest of grails, Team Fortress 2). Bioshock 2 takes some of the worst parts of Call of Duty(Level grinding for goodies, which seems even more irrelevant than in CODMewTwo), mixes in parts from it's own game that don't belong (Researching enemies? Seriously?) and has a control scheme not very well suited for multiplayer gaming. It seems especially contrite and tacked-on when you considered they actually tried to tie the multiplayer into the fiction! All in all, I believe Bioshock 2 would be much better received without its vestigial and dreadful multiplayer mode. If you want to play a multiplayer FPS there are much better options, and if you are a fan of Rapture you should avoid this like the plague. It only cheapens the immersive single-player campaign and the experience as a whole.

I thought it was a great thing. I mean yes, to multiplayer will never have the appeal of other games like MW or Halo but it is fun to play around with when your bored or waiting for your hot pockets to cook. I personally thought Bioshock 2 was a freaking awesome game and the multiplayer was just something added on that I got for free.

The online is pretty weak in my opinion. They should scratched out the multiplayer component and put more resources into the single-player. Maybe on the graphics; Bioshock 2 doesn't look as good as as the original, and when the original came out in 2007, that isn't a good sign.

Although in whole, I don't think Bioshock 2 was necessary at all. Of course, Bioshock was a successful new IP so a sequel was pretty much inevitable, but there really wasn't much you could build on from the original Bioshock (hence all the hubbub about it being "more of the same", "repetitive", "lacking the wonder of the original", etc) so I think making a sequel to it was unavoidably going to lead to a lesser product.

It upsets me, then, to hear that they have... what... three more games lined up? No thanks.

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