Game Evaluation Project CIS 487/587 FALL 2007 Dr. Bruce R. Maxim Written By Patrick Habib September 24, 2007 BIOSHOCK PC $45-50 GAME INFORMATION • BioShock is a first-person shooter role-playing survival horror • Released for both the PC and Xbox 360 title • Genre(s): FPS (First Person Shooter), Role-Playing, Action • Players: 1 • 2K Boston/2K Australia (previously Irrational Games) • Platform: Windows XP • ESRB Rating: (M) Mature • Release Date: August 21, 2007 (North America)m August 24,2007 (Europe and Australia) • Game Case Includes Manual which contains typical windows installation instructions, game overview, and game control explanation System Requirements • Minimum Stated Hardware Required Operating Systems: Windows XP (with Service Pack 2) or Windows Vista CPU: Pentium 4 2.4GHz Single Core processor System RAM: 1GB Video Card: Direct X 9.0c compliant video card with 128MB RAM (NVIDIA 6600 or better/ATI X1300 or better, excluding ATI X1550). Sound Card: 100% direct X 9.0c compatible sound card Hard disk space: 8GB free space • Recommended System Requirements: CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo processor System RAM: 2GB Video card: DX9: Direct X 9.0c compliant video card with 512MB RAM (NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GT or better) DX10: NVIDIA GeForce 8600 or better Sound Card: Sound Blaster® X-Fi™ series (Optimized for use with Creative Labs EAX ADVANCED HD 4.0 or EAX ADVANCED HD 5.0 compatible sound cards) • Game requires Internet connection for activation SETTING • The game takes place during 1960 in Rapture, a fictional underwater city secretly built in 1946 on the mid-Atlantic seabed, entirely self-sufficient and powered by submarine volcanoes. Constructed by business magnate Andrew Ryan, Rapture was envisioned as the only place on Earth that could support individualism, and populated by those Ryan believed exemplified the best in humanity. During the early 1950s, this population peaked at several thousand, though ranks of elite emerged from the rest, discomforting many. • The discovery of "ADAM," stem cells created from a species of sea slug, by Dr. Bridgette Tenenbaum further upset the social balance. ADAM's prevalence greatly accelerated genetic engineering research, creating a plasmid industry that sold everything from a cure for male pattern baldness to abilities like telekinesis, with active abilities like the latter requiring a serum, "EVE." In order to improve ADAM yields, the "Little Sisters" were created, young girls with the slug embedded in their bodies. Although initially just ADAM "factories," during the war (see below) they were repurposed via mental conditioning to extract ADAM from the dead, and process it within themselves. The "Big Daddies," armed and highly- enhanced humans in diving suits, were simultaneously created to defend the Little Sisters as they worked. GAME SUMMARY • Overview BioShock lets you do the impossible as you explore a mysterious underwater city. When your plane crashes, you discover Rapture - an underwater Utopia torn apart by civil war. Caught between powerful forces and hunted down by genetically modified "splicers" and deadly security systems, you have to come to grips with a deadly, mysterious world filled with powerful technology and fascinating characters. Now you're trapped, caught in the middle of a genetic war that will challenge both your capacity to survive and your moral allegiance to your own humanity. • Player's role Set in 1960, the player assumes the role of a plane crash survivor named Jack, who must explore the underwater city of Rapture. • Story Line After your plane crashes into icy uncharted waters, you discover a rusted bathysphere and descend into Rapture, a city hidden beneath the sea. Constructed as an idealistic society for a hand picked group of scientists, artists and industrialists, the idealism is no more. Now the city is littered with corpses, wildly powerful guardians roam the corridors as little girls loot the dead, and genetically mutated citizens ambush you at every turn while surviving mechanical drones within. Make meaningful and mature decisions that culminate in the grand question - do you exploit the innocent survivors of Rapture to save yourself - or risk all to become their savior? USER INTERFACE User can either choose to use an pc enabled video game controller, an XBOX 360 controller, or simply use a combination of both the key board and mouse Title Screen Pause Screen User Can customize controls anyway suitable enough for game play as well as optimizing graphic resolution USER INTERFACE – CONTROLS Typical Key Board Configuration • W = Forward • S = Backward • A = Left • D = Right • E = Explore • Mouse movement will enable user to look in any direction without moving forward or backward • Left Mouse Button = Weapon/Plasmid Trigger • Right Mouse Button = Weapon/Plasmid Switch • Scroll Mouse Button = Weapon/Plasmid Choice GAME PLAY – ACTION SCREEN HEALTH PLASMIDS OR WEAPONS EVE EQUIPPED YOU SAVING • 3 Ways To Save • Auto save – As you progress through the game, automatic saves will occur • Manual Safe – Save at any time during any chapter and be able to reload it • Quitting Save – Save prompt for whenever logging out of the game If at any point during the game the player shall die, the player restarts the game from a vita chamber (checkpoints) throughout the level which revives that players health and enables them not to start over from the beginning Game Play - Plasmids Plasmids are used by centering the target on your enemy and triggering your weapon. Plasmids can be used for: Electrocuting your enemy Burning (incinerating) your enemy Freezing your enemy Telekinesis – Throwing your enemy Different Plasmids are attained throughout the course of the game PURCHASING HEALTH/UPGRADES • Many vending like machines will be seen throughout the game which enable the user to upgrade their health power, plasmid power, or to gain other unique skills Weapon/Health Upgrades Plasmid Control Power Upgrades Skill/Tools Control Special Features • Biologically mod your body with plasmids - genetic augmentations that empower you with dozens of fantastic abilities • Take control of your world by hacking devices and systems • Upgrade your weapons at Fire-For-Effect stations located through Rapture • Pick up materials in the city to modify them at U-Invent kiosks • Explore an incredible and unique art deco world hidden deep under the ocean, vividly illustrated with realistic water effects Scoring • Collecting Eve Hypos Eve’s are responsible for regenerating your power for your plasmids. They are used by directly injecting a needle into your arm. Game includes a very graphic approach for this event. • Collecting Cash Cash is collected in various places in the game such as cash registers, crates, dead bodies, combination lock safes, and lying in various places. Cash can be used throughout the whole game to purchase health, weapon upgrades, and other various tools. • Collecting Adam Adam is earned by defeating the bouncer (refer to game cover) who protects the little girls. These points are used to buy crucial items such as other plasmids, life extenders, and other unique powers and upgrades. • Collecting Miscellaneous Items Many items in the game can be collected to improve the health and endurance of your character. These items include but are not limited to: Wine Bottles First-Aid Kits Liquor Bottles Potato Chips Candy Bars GAME PLAY - WEAPONS • Weapons are collected throughout the game and stored in inventory when not used • Different Weapons use customizable ammo • Weapons include: Wrench Pistol Shotgun Machine Gun Grenade Launcher And Many More Camera – To study the enemy and learn what's the easiest way to kill them GAME PLAY - WEAPONS Weapons/Plasmids Inventory Weapons and various ammunition Equipped Plasmids SOUND AND MUSIC • Generally, the music for this game is eerie and scary since the genre of the game is a survival horror. • This game’s sound and music definitely enhance the game’s feel and involvement of the player inside the game. HACKING • Hacking is used to help your character in many aspects of the game. Hacking is done by solving these various types of puzzles as shown below. It begins with most squares are covered. After clicking them to uncover them, you must reroute the water to the correct ending position. If you fail, you lose a significant amount of life or lose your chance to achieve something for good. Hacking can be used to • Get Cheaper Health • Make Items Cheaper and Reveal New Item For Sale • Program Drone Machines to aid you with unwanted enemies • Open Safes Full of weapons and money • Game Review GAME REVIEW • Bioshock is probably one of the best pc games I have ever played. The story line draws in the user to play more and more. Throughout the game, diaries can be found and listened to reveal more about Rapture City’s and it’s incidents. Since this game is the latest and greatest of it’s kind, it offers great graphics. The realistic water effects implemented in the game really enhance the feel of the player’s setting. The incorporation of plasmid secondary weapons is an added bonus to the game and makes game play really fun. My Overall Rating 9.5/10 • Other people who have reviewed BIOSHOCK BioShock has received "universal acclaim" from critics and has been reviewed very highly. It is described by the developers as a "spiritual successor" to their previous title System Shock 2.. At Game Rankings, BioShock holds an average review score of 96% for the Xbox 360, making it the highest rated Xbox 360 game released to date and the 7th highest rated game of all time, and 96% for the PC, making it the highest rated PC game released to date and the 8th highest ranked game of all time. The game has been cited as having an "inescapable atmosphere,“ "inconceivably great plot" and "stunning soundtrack and audio effects." The game play and combat system have been praised for being smooth and open- ended. • What is the appropriate audience for this game? This game definitely requires a mature audience over the age of 18 due to the graphic nature of the game and violent dialogue. What is good (fun) about the game? Why? • Looting You can explore your whole environment by looting corpses and various objects for money and other crucial items for survival such as eve’s to replenish your plasmids or first aid kids for health. You can even loot enemies that you just kill. • Using plasmids Plasmids are fun to use. This is the first first person shooter I have played with weapons such as plasmids. These plasmids include electrocution, incineration, freezing, and telekinesis. • Realistic Water Effects This game not like any other game has amazing water effects which enhance the game play since the setting is an under water city called Rapture • New Guns and Different Ammo Although this game is like most other games when the further you progress the better guns you gain, you can also find or buy ammo that provide different purposes. These ammos included electrocuting rounds, body piercing rounds, and exploding rounds. • Comical The Game is a survival horror but can make you laugh from time to time. The dialogue in the game can seem pretty comical from time to time because game play can get real serious. Typical situations would be a wife and husband arguing senselessly, then trying to kill each other even though there kind of already dead. • Enemies talk to each other and kill each other Enemies within the game provide different types of dialogue. Some dialogue may be funny and others may be serious using swearing and other verbal abuse. • Hacking Enemy Robots to assist you killing your enemies Enemy robots that try to kill you can also be hacked to follow you and assist you killing other enemies. The most popular hack is the flying robot which uses a machine gun. Other type of situations include cameras you can hack to make your environment safer and protect you. • Game AI is pretty advanced Zombies don’t just stand there or slowly drag there feet towards you, your enemies run at you wildly swinging furiously making your enemies really unpredictable. • Game play gets to be pretty real When your character gets hurt, he provides a excruciating cry along with many other noises to make the game play real TYPICAL SENARIO • As you play, you will creep around corners while eerie music plays and approach an old lady attending to what appears to be a baby inside a strolling crib when really there's nothing in the crib, the lady hears you, turns around revealing her disfigured face trying to kill you as she becomes ragingly mad. What is bad (not fun) about the game? Why? • Repetitive Puzzle Hacking Hacking different things throughout the game is pretty useful but get very repetitive. The same puzzle is offered at every station making this very redundant. Even though some puzzles are more difficult or larger, it gets pretty tedious doing the same thing over and over again. • Sometime Too Difficult To Kill Enemies Some enemies in the game are given way to much health to defeat. Those enemies include the bouncers that protect the little girls. Other enemies included final bosses which take a long time to defeat. • When Cameras Are Tripped Certain areas are surveyed by cameras that when spot you call upon drones for a time period of one minute to come to that area and keep attacking you. When you defeat one, another one follows directly behind it making it hard to survive. • Too Many Enemies At Once Sometimes When game play gets pretty intense, sometimes there are more enemies than needed making it really hard to survive. In a typical scenario you might be trying to defeat a really hard enemy while other small enemies are attacking. • Not Too Much Of A Challenge When the player dies, he is revitalized at a vita chamber with almost approximate full health. Each level contains at least 4 or 5 Vita chambers How does it compare to similar games in the same genre? Why is it better or worse than similar games? • Bioshock compares to games in the same genre such as RESIDENT EVIL, F.E.A.R., and DOOM were the character defeats the enemy for one common goal, to finish the level and progress to the next until the game is finished. • Bioshock is not necessarily better or worse than other games because it offers something new. And because it is a new game, it offers enhanced graphics. • The story line is brand new and intriguing and offers the new idea of using different unique plasmids as a secondary weapon. • Bioshock succeeds by combing three different genres together cohesively (First Person Shooter + Survival Horror + Action) = BIOSHOCK SUMMARY • Bioshock offers players a lot more than shot em’ up style game play. BIOSHOCK is a successful game by incorporating role playing, horror, and unique abilities all in one action packed game. • The game is fun because it requires the player to strategically maneuver certain obstacles without being detected which also helps the player take down his/her enemy more efficiently. • Gameplay is fun because the story line draws the player in entirely. As the game progresses, it reveals more and more to the story of Rapture and it’s victimized citizens. STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES,IMPROVEMENTS? Strengths Weaknesses Story Line Repetitiveness Plasmids Levels Too Long Graphics Hard To Find Enemies In The Dark Realistic Water Effects Same Enemies Over And Over Again Looting Music For Setting The Mood Sound Effects How could it be improved? • Remove Repetitive Puzzles • Make it More Challenging To Real PC Gamers • Make it Easier To Carry More Plasmids Design Mistakes Or Bugs • There doesn’t seem to be any major design mistakes or Bugs to report about BIOSHOCK at this time. Is the game worth purchasing? TWO THUMBS UP! References • www.wikipedia.org • www.ign.com • www.gametrailers.com • www.amazon.com • http://www.metacritic.com/games/pla tforms/pc/bioshock QUESTIONS?