Bioshock combat: beads on a chain

| Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Bioshock really wants me to think of it as an open world.  It lets me move between zones.  The fights take place in large spaces with room to move.  I'm not sure how I'd deal with handymen without the space, since my current strategy involves a great deal of running away.

Yet it is inevitably a world that moves forward.  Elevators break.  I got thrown to a different platform.  Skylines go in loops.  I will not be fleeing from a fight, not entirely.  Tactical retreats are all that is allowed.

This makes sense from a couple perspectives.  Within the game things are happening quickly.  If I were running around to other areas in the middle of fights, then I'd expect to run into reinforcements.  Or given the extremism of all other sides (and myself, but that's for another post), they'd just shoot down the entire platform.  From the standpoint of the developers, an open world makes it harder to tell a story.  This is the point where someone talks about how they want to tell their own story, not get railroaded through the developer's.  I don't care.  I was under no delusions that this was going to be a game about telling my own story.

Despite the clear railroading, I am not quite complaining.  The combat allows me to move.  I can fall back, try from another angle, jump to a higher platform with the help of freight hooks birthed from tears.  The overall effect is that I'm only really constrained between fights, and that's when I want to follow the story anyway.

Others have said it before, but it should be emphasized: Elizabeth is awesome.  At least where I am in the game, she's not a fighter, but she's not a liability or a coward.  She keeps away from the bullets, but keeps me stocked and alive.  She's a support class and she does it well.  Someone needs to point out all those lockpicks I keep missing.  Someone needs to sing along when I find a guitar.


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