Question of the Day, Feb. 16, 2010

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I would have prefered if they had removed multiplayer and used the disc-space saved to include a longer single game. Bioshock is a story and atmosphere driven game, and I felt the Multi-Player messed it up. Bioshock 2 isn't a better game becuase it now has multi-player. I don't personally know anyone who said they were really looking forward to Bioshock 2 because now it had MP. Everyone I know was looking for a continuation of the story and experience.

Contrary to popular belief, games don't need multiplayer to extend value. You can add challenges, difficulty settings to a game to increase replayability (is that a word). There are so many games out there that have multi-player that a few months later after release you can't even find a match for, everyone just goes back to playing Halo, CoD, etc. So where is all this value? Virtually no one plays the MP for The Darkness, Prey, etc.

Hell, imagine buying an older title and wanting to get all the achievements, but you can't because no one is playing that older title online. Not saying this is a huge deal or is the case with every game, but I know people who pride themselves on getting all the achievements / trophies for a game and they can't. Using Prey as an example, I kept trying the MP on it for around a month before I finally found 2 people who were on, and we all wanted the same thing, to try the MP and get the achievements. It was pretty damn boring because instead of actually playing against each other we all just took turns killing each other with the weapons because we were not sure when we would have this chance again.

Every game does not need multi-player. Half-Life isn't a better game with MP. Portal would not be a better game because of MP. Uncharted 2, God of War would not be better with MP. Just because you can add it does not mean you should...

/rant

Where is the option of "Bioshock was the biggest waste of 5 EUR since I bought Sonic 3D"?

Why isn't there an option for "None of the above - Bioshock 2 is an abomination"

Bioshock was one of my favorite games so i was extremely excited for the second one. I ended up pre-ordering just because of the multiplayer. If there was no multi added in I would have just got it through gamefly cause I never replayed the first one. So far ive enjoyed the multi, ive played it a lot more than the single player campaign which didnt really draw my attention like the first one did during the hour and a half I have played. So id have to say yes it was the right thing to cause replayability is the biggest factor in why I purchase games compared to renting and it seems to be the way most people think which is why they did include it. Still having trouble keeping my hands off ME2 and MAG though so bioshock will prob jus gather dust once Bad Company 2 arrives.

PvE and PvP are different games. They should be kept separate imho.

I don't understand why they would add multiplayer. I miss the days of games where single player was the sole component. Clive Barker's Undying is one of may favorite games to date and it only had single player.

Speaking from the point of a single player gaming enthusiast, I have to say multiplayer ruined the Halo franchise. Halo was good and Halo 2 was even better, but they made a fatal mistake in the third game. People were only buying Halo 3 for the multiplayer, and the developers pandered to that at the expense of a far less engaging campaign. I hate them for that.

Personally I am not a fan of the multiplayer. Granted it was created by a different team then the single player, I somewhat wish they would've used the second team to polish up the single player instead. I mean seriously, the hilarious bad AI in some sections and glitches make me cringe. For example on the first page someone complained about setting traps and such because the enemies spawn in the same room and don't come through entrances. I personally never had to deal with this problem because I learned early on that strapping on the chameleon gene tonic and just standing there, the enemies will run in circles screaming about the girl but never actually touch her. I'm not kidding they would run around the little sister and do nothing if you stay hidden, hell half the time they either despawn or get stuck in a random spawn point. Seriously go to the section where Gil is in the tank and use chameleon on that section, enemies will spawn in a hole in the wall above the entrance and will never leave there, I even got a big sister to spawn up there and all she did was sit there the whole time and never left it.
Also I feel that the single player was a bit easy...I got 45/50 achievements after a single play through (missing 9-iron because I didn't know it existed, and gathering all basic plasmids because I failed at math and thought I could by the last one but was short 10 ADAM). Heck I didn't even know there was an achievement to beat the game without dying and I managed to get it. Plus the drill tonics are absolutely overpowered when combined with drill mastery and elemental vampire.

Onto Multiplayer, I really don't think it has any lasting power, right now it is a fun little time sink but the problem is once everyone maxes out there level, every other person will be a carbon copy of each other. Everyone will wield a grenade launcher primary, machine gun secondary, have ignite/frost or aerodash for plasmids (depending on how much the velocity increase affect the grenade launcher); revive, deadly trap, and increased recovery or eve saver. I think multiplayer fans will flock back to more polished multiplayer games like tf2, MW2, or whatever their poison is. And the casual multiplayer fan will become disinterested at being constantly killed grenade launchers and move onto the next single player game.

I'm really curious as to how much time and resources went into the multiplayer, it really seems like something that was just thrown together, hell they reused maps from the first game, and several of the guns are completely useless. The game encourages you to use plasmid combos but considering the fact you can't cast switch plasmid and cast again quickly it really isn't helpful. Even then most combos won't instant kill a person. For example if I splash some one with geyser and then throw a bolt at them they will instantly die from the electrocution because they were wet. But if I try to use the winter blast + areo dash like the game recommends the person will merely take a bit more damage, it is never a 1 hit kill like it should be. Most of the times I have to winter blast, switch to areo, dash and then melee after to get a kill, but this puts me in terrible danger because the winter blast will most likely make the person notice me and the dash will put me point blank in front of them to just get blown away.
Telekinesis is pretty useless, granted you can throw a mine back at a big daddy for lots of damage, this is a pretty rare use of a plasmid. Simply throwing random items into players really doesn't do a ton of damage. Granted if you hit some one you get a minor stun effect. The problem is that the game enjoys picking up tiny cubes of concrete in a lot of areas which miss a lot. You occasionally find the lovely but incredibly rare red barrel and get a nice multi kill but even then carrying it around to find people to use it on will drain your EVE obscenely fast. With the same amount of EVE you could've done a ton more damage to players. Another downside to telekinesis is that you might get the clever idea to trigger a booby trapped vending machine and use telekinesis to pick up the trap bomb, hey it 1 shots players who activate it right? So in theory it should kill any player I throw it at right? Wrong, it does pretty much the same damage as a single grenade, hell even if you kill someone with it, it counts as a grenade launcher kill...
Houdini, is another lame plasmid, ooo you get to be invisible, shame you make a humongous red cloud when you enter and leave it which just leads to plasmids and grenades being fired in your general direction and 9 times out of ten you will get hit by the splash damage. You might as well be a TF2 spy with a deadringer that constantly rings. The effect is also fairly short and really isn't that useful for getting behind enemies or running away. I personally thought a great combo for grabbing a little sister would be houdini and areo dash. Sadly going invisible from a safe distance to grabbing the little sister your EVE will be gone and you'll have no way to dash out.
The Elephant Gun, Cross Bow, and Pistol these were weapons designed to take people out at a distance...but the zooming is so inaccurate and clunky. Why not make these the sniper type weapons they were intended to be? If you can't zoom and kill some one with them you might as well just grab a shotgun or machine gun because their effective distance is pretty much the same.
Another problem I had is general damage, in a lot of game if you manage to get behind 2 or 3 enemies you usually can mow them down and get a multikill, this really isn't the case here, since pretty much every other gun requires several shots to take down a single target, half of the time you can get a second target by finishing the ammo left in your current clip and switching to your second gun and using a plasmid, but by the 3rd guy you're pretty much out of luck your clips are empty and you have to reload, by then the 3rd guy (assuming he isn't brain dead) will blast you away. This just feels odd to me and it really doesn't reward a player for flanking enemies. Flanking also becomes a pain because everyone moves at a brisk pace with no need penalty for running/jumping while shooting, thus there is really no stopping point like in other games where a person has to aim and shoot thus allowing you a window of time to run up behind and gun/ melee them down.
Onto melee, despite there being a variety of melee weapon types they are pretty much the exact same thing and the types are just for appearance sake. Which is sort of a shame, I think they really could've made each melee weapon unique. For example the cane could've had a stun or aoe type of swing, whereas the kitchen knife could've been a quicker single target attack, the candle stick could've set a person on fire with each swing...etc. Another odd thing with the melee is that it takes several swings to down a person, in a lot of multiplayer games the melee is a fairly strong thing to use, usually giving an instant kill or severely hurting the other player. Instead the melee here is pretty much spamming it as fast as you can (which makes you look like some sort of crazed machine) to kill a person before they just blow you away with their gun.

The turrets are also pretty bad. I rarely see anyone get killed by them, especially since literally every other plasmid defeats a turret. Electricity? Check. Water? Check. Ice? Check. Fire? ...Check... Invisibility? Check. Hell you can pretty much walk up to a turret and as soon as you start hacking it, it stops attacking you. Why not make them more dangerous like in the single player and make them an actual challenge to fight over? Instead they just turn into easy ADAM points. On the same note the trapped vending machines are pretty laughable, as soon as a realized I could just run past one and live through the explosion I rarely died to them again.
I really think if the team focused more on making bioshock 2's multiplayer a unique experience they could've had a truly great game. Instead it comes off as a generic shooter that, as I stated, will most likely be forgotten soon. Why not focus on class types, or an upgrade system? They made a claim saying that is was like Modern Warefare 2's system, but it barely resembles it. I think they should've let players spend ADAM to upgrade plasmids or weapons. Or have stronger versions of plasmids and weapons be opened through the trials. Also they could've made the avatars fairly unique. One of them is a football player, maybe give him a slightly faster movement, or a stronger melee but make since he is a jock maybe his plasmids are weaker or he has a smaller eve bar. Or have the fat aristocrat have more healthy since he is meaty but make him move slower. The magician should get a plasmid buff but be worse at using weapons...the possibilities are endless.
Also, why have a single version of the big daddy suit? The current one is ok, but people have quickly learned that you can pretty much kill the big daddy obscenely fast if you unload into him while the person is suiting up or if he has no support just pelt him with charged plasmids from a distance or run around him while shotgunning him in the back. I think it would've been cool if they added a drill type big daddy, or gave another type a spear gun, or another of the various single player weapons. Hell throw in a big sister suit, let players be a really fast character that has no real distance attacks but instead has to run up and melee people.
Also why are there no alternative ammo types? How about instead of getting bonus damage from research (which is actually really really strong) you get alternative ammo? I think it would be cool if I researched someone and was able to throw out some bolt traps on a cross bow, or have a clip of anti personal ammo.
While pretty much all of what I said is negative I think there is some fun to be had, like a few people I played with mentioned, "the game is meh, but it has somewhat of an addictive quality that just makes me want to play a little bit more." It is good mindless fun but the novelty just wears off too fast.
And speaking of other players why is there no push to talk? Instead it just picks up when people breath into their mics (on the PC) and I spend half the time muting people because it either picks up every single breath for half the people while the other half you can't hear at all despite them trying to yell into their mics to be heard.

Edit: On a side note am I the only one who feels like

when playing capture the little sister? Seriously the way she resists makes me feel dirty...

I say yes in the sense that it adds playability to the game even thought the single-player campaign has enough to stand by on its own merit

I have not played the multiplayer part yet but eh, its solo player was strong enough to make me happy. As long as games have a decent solo experience and treat multi as a bonus then I am happy. Why should it not add a additional feature?

SakSak:
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.

Actually thats not exactly true (the time using thing). The multi-player was designed by a different developer (Digital Extremes) so really it was worked on at the same time as the single-player. Removing the multi-player would have unlikely changed the single player much, if at all.

Link: http://www.destructoid.com/bioshock-2-has-four-developers-arkane-studios-the-latest-139264.phtml

notyouraveragejoe:

SakSak:
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.

Actually thats not exactly true (the time using thing). The multi-player was designed by a different developer (Digital Extremes) so really it was worked on at the same time as the single-player. Removing the multi-player would have unlikely changed the single player much, if at all.

Link: http://www.destructoid.com/bioshock-2-has-four-developers-arkane-studios-the-latest-139264.phtml

In that case perhaps the resources should have been used more concentratedly, available man-hours directed more to one developer. When operating with limited resources, developing one part is always away from other parts. Diminishing returns naturally apply, but it does not remove the fact that resources are divided among different aspects. Paychecks to one developer are out from the potential paychecks to other developers.

"The multi-player was designed by a different developer (Digital Extremes) so really it was worked on at the same time as the single-player." True, but the amount of man-hours within a time period is not set in stone, but rather can almost always be increased by greater allocation of resources. The only point where this is not true, is when there are no more people, period, to hire or rent for consultation.

Man-hours can be transferred, by transferring other resources.

What's wrong with more Bioshock? I don't see any problem with adding more gampeplay to an already great game. While it may not be as great as other online shooters, it is still nice to have SOMETHING rather than NOTHING.

With a game like Bioshock, I would prefer if they didn't include a multiplayer mode. I would prefer them spending more time making a really great single player mode rather than include a multiplayer. Making the multiplayer mode in Bioshock 2 act as a prequel was a nice touch though.

From a personal point of view, I think they could have skipped it and spent even more time perfecting, tweaking and overall making the single player better. Not that it's bad of course, but I just think the multiplayer is unnecessary and the time spent making it could have been put to use for a better overall result. Or, at the very least, the game could have been released earlier?

On the other hand, from the sales point of view, I have little doubt that they used it to suck in a few people who were not sure of they'd get it or not with an extra mode that would potentially give it more playability and a wider appeal. I'll probably never play it more than a couple times just to see if it's any good (I haven't tried it yet, nor have I looked up anything about it) but I probably will stick to TF2 for first person multiplayer shootitude.

The multiplayer was okay, but I couldn't vote no, as the single player was horribly short. It definately wasn't enough. MOAR I SAY! MOAR!

Bioshock was awesome, there's no doubting that. But Bioshock 2 feels like more of the same. i like the variation they threw in with the multiplayer, especially setting it before the first game and before Rapture fell.

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