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Bioshock vs. God of War II

I had some spare time during the week to finally dig a bit more into Bioshock and God of War II. Yeah, I know; old, right? I’m such a lousy consumer. It can easily take me months to read the most exciting book or to play through the most fantastic game.

I suck that way.

That said, I felt it necessary to exclaim my love for God of War II, cuz damn! It is unrelenting balls to the wall nail-biting action from start to… well, where I am now, in the city of the Sisters of Fate.

That there, is some sick shit, as we say.

Bioshock on the other hand… Well it’s very well done, but… Well I honestly find it pretty boring. Now it’s not quite fair to compare it to God of War, but nonetheless, so far—and I’m no where near done—it just lacks scale and involvement. It’s all a bit too hyped to be honest.

At least I have a quarrel with any of the outlets that have been so careless as to give it a blank 100 score. It’s good. It’s not that good. In fact, this video review pretty much nails it.

But then, I’m not hung up on non-linearity and player-guided choice, as much as I just want a kinetic involving experience. Screw replayability; I’m a grown ass man, I don’t have the time to replay these things!

With Bioshock, the Art Deco stylings seems to be a sticking point for some. Personally, I dig it, though I would just have preferred a straight up futuristic science fiction game. In fact, I would simply have preferred System Shock 3 (_with_ co-op!).

Now it’s worth reiterating that I haven’t finished either of these games. But for what it’s worth, the graphic side of Bioshock’s level design really feels no different than Quake. Room, hallway, room, t-junction, room. It looks a lot better, and some good thought was put into making the individual areas play considerably better than Quake ever did.

But with God of War… Wow! It feels like nothing I’ve ever played before. From running around inside the Colossus, to… Well, just about everything in the God damned game!

Where it is easy to see how Bioshock’s levels are likely to have been built—namely the old-fashioned way of room, hallway, room and then letting the graphics artists figure out the details, the method is considerably more obscure on GoW2, and must have taken much more effort and integrated workflow.

That’s not to say that GoW2 is frustration-free, cuz it ain’t. But it is clear to me, from a development point of view, which of the two games is better, despite the added choice and non-linearity of Bioshock.

Now if only Kratos didn’t look like the lead singer in a nu-metal band…

JournalMichael Heilemann