Just completed… Bioshock

It was shortly after BioShock first launched that I picked up a copy on Steam. As a veteran of PC shooters I was looking forward to a game with a bit more depth than the average shooter of the time, and dare I say with an actual story behind it. Things started well, I found the whole world of Rapture captivating and the mix of gun play and the games ‘magic powers’ of plasmids a unique twist on the usual FPS style.

Then I came to the first Big Daddy encounter, and died. Restarting at the last vita chamber I retraced my steps and faced again he lumbering hulk of the Big Daddy. And died again.

Then I came to the first Big Daddy encounter
and died.
This process continued for a good four or five attempts until, more by luck than anything, I defeated him and was able to move on. At least until the next encounter, when the process started again. My enjoyment of the game quickly diluted, and before long I had shelved the game into the growing ranks of my Steam library.

Over the next few years I would occasionally try out the game again but always stumble on the same step. In the meantime my wife managed to play through BioShock, BioShock 2 & even BioShock Infinite, whilst I still could only wonder at the twists and turns of the story behind Ryan and Fontaine. Who were they, what drove them to turn the promise of Rapture into the war torn, plasmid obsessed freakshow come ghost town I had witnessed?

So we come to 2014, nearly seven years after the games initial release and I started again, on XBOX 360, this time with everything set to as easy as possible. Nothing was going to get in the way of the story this time! And what a joy it was, to not struggle with battling the big ones, but still to have the fun challenge of navigating the once wondrous Rapture. Poking my nose into every situation I could, listening in to voices of the past and photographing my way to improved skills.

nothing was going to get in the way of the story
this time!
The big twist that lies within BioShock was somewhat known to me, being an avid listener of podcasts it was impossible to avoid after such a long period. But the knowing in no way lessened my enjoyment of living through the reveal, of understanding what had driven my character behind the scenes, and how complete the failure of Rapture was. I, like so many before, felt the ideal and then self-destruction of Rapture flow through me. Such promise of something greater brought down low by the same old problems of all civilizations. BioShock succeeds where all great games succeed for me. In telling it’s story not through cut scenes, but by environment. Through the dilapidation of what was once grand, through diaries of the inhabitants be they the great or the small, the process of true discovery. Of piecing together the tattered strands and reaching an understanding of what had happened on ones own terms. In these ways games will always out run movies and books, not by aping them.

Now I am freed to continue my adventures through both BioShock 2 and Infinite and their associated DLC packs. I feel as though a large weight has been lifted from my backlog of games, a behemoth of a failure in my gaming repertoire. Perhaps 2014 will turn out to be the year I actually break the back of my back catalogue!

My Steaming Pile of Shame*



*Title courtesy of Last Save Loaded/Chris O’Regan

With a recent lock out on my XBOX/Live account meaning I was unable to play any 360 games online, I found myself spending more time back with the PC, and in doing so reviewing my Steam games list. I have a fair few games on there. One hundred and thirty nine to be precise. 139! Now fairs fair, I bought the Pop-Cap collection at one point which had a lot of games in it, and as much as I love the jump in fun of a Pop-Cap game I don’t consider them games that I would sit down and play through from start to finish. But even discounting them I’m still rocking around the 100 games mark. Less than ten of these are games I have actually completed. It’s those damn Steam sales of course that so many of us fall foul off, offers that are just too good to refuse.

“Oh look, I can get Portal 2, wait.. there’s a pack with Portal 2 and every other Valve game, now I’ve got most of them but I don’t have Left 4 Dead 1 & 2, well not on PC, I should get this. I should get this now!”

Foolishly I had about 50% of these games installed, leading to what is commonly known as the Steam ‘What should I play” Impasse. You sit there looking at all these games you could be playing trying to decide which one you are in the mood for, only to eventually close Steam and go look at porn read the internet.

Well I’ve had enough of this. Both never completing anything and having an ever-growing backlog of great games to play on Steam. Thus I took drastic action! I uninstalled all but five unplayed games. These five games must be completed before I allow myself to spend money on another one game/collection. I even turned away from this weeks offer of Oblivion for £3.49!

So which five game are on my initial to play hitlist? Well, these:

  1. Saints Row 2
  2. Tropico 3
  3. GTA IV + Stories
  4. Titan Quest + Expansion
  5. Dirt 2

A hefty selection on their own! Now Tropico and Dirt are games I have ploughed a few hours into already, so shouldn’t

Titan Quest

Image via Wikipedia

take too long to ‘finish’ though Tropico will probably remain installed for years for it contains its wonderful sandbox mode, which kept me playing its first incarnation until 2010! If you are interesting in Tropico, version 4 has recently arrived. Frankly I could ignore Saints Row 2, however I want to have a good understanding of the game for when GameBurst talk about it on their excellent podcast. GTA IV and Titan Quest are both daunting prospects given their associated expansions (DLC for console types) are included, but also are well respected games which I should get a lot out of.

So there you have it. A game plan is in action, now I just need to see if I can actually stick to it!

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