There are a lot of games. Can we all agree on that? Some are amazing, some are totally awful, but holy moly are there a lot of them. It's a shame, because I'd like to get my hands on every single one and play them, like some kind of game-playing monster. It's hard to like playing games so much, but not be able to play every game, so I'm taking steps to correct that. Inspired partially by my huge, embarrassing Steam backlog (it's so big, sometimes people run away when I show them), I'm going to play old games to completion.
This is an idea I've had for a long time now, and I've tried to refine it and come up with criteria for what an 'old game' is, and I'vbe come up with a few dumb ideas that I won't stick to.
- Any full-fledged retail product that is more than three years old.
- Any game which has received a direct sequel and is more than one year old
- Any DLC which is either more than one year old, or has been proceeded by another piece of significant DLC and is more than 6 months old.
After writing that list out earlier, I decided that it was stupid, and I'd let this be a more organic experience. More fun, less studying. This is an adventure, and the more rules that are laid down, the less fun I'll have with this, and the less enjoyable it'll be for everyone to read along.
One important thing I do want to point out, though, is that there will be spoilers!
I can't really talk at length about old games and dance around spoilers at the same time, as much as I'd like to preserve these experiences for other people. It'd be boring for me to gloss over any interesting plot details or hidden subtleties in an attempt to save people from old-ass spoilers, so know going in that I'm going to spoil things willy-nilly and with reckless abandon.
So, now with all of that out of the way, let's get down to the important stuff.
Bioshock 2: Minerva's Den
This is a game (or rather, a piece of content) that I've been meaning to play since it was released. There have been nothing but good things said about it, and Brad's unmatched fervor in defending its title as Best DLC certainly got me interested. If for no other reason, it has to be experienced to understand why Brad loves it so goddamn much, so that's what we'll do.
Now, I'm very excited to dig in to this piece of DLC. Even though a lot of people found Bioshock 1 to be a very special experience, I found it to be extremely repetitive and boring, and then it proceeded to fall apart in the final third of the game. But we're not here to talk about Bioshock 1; Bioshock 2 holds a really special place in my heart. There are so many moments where I had to stop and just take in the horrifying beauty of what was happening around me, something that the sparsely-used underwater portions helped drive home. The further exploration of the relationship between Little Sisters and Big Daddies left me haunted, both disgusted with myself for how I'd treated them throughout the game and moved that they continued to love me so much. And the climax, in which you see your actions towards both the Little Sisters and other human NPCs play out, is one of the most powerful ending sequences in gaming.
On top of an improved story and moral system, Bioshock 2's gameplay is also head-and-shoulders above Bioshock 1, and it encourages experimentation and diversity far better. Minerva's Den's accelerated upgrade path should make the combat far more interesting than it was in either of those games, hopefully doling out new powers in such a way the prevents falling into a comfortable routine and ignoring new Plasmids. I'm looking at you, machine gun and Electro Shock.
All of the Bioshock titles seem to suffer from a sort of lack of situational awareness. In Bioshock Infinite, I remember running around like a fool, looking for the very last enemy to kill, because I just had no idea where he was. Even in Bioshock 1 and 2, there were times when I would walk in to a room populated by enemies who were just out of sight, and I'd find myself at half-health before even getting my bearings on where everything was. Now, it's not as if health kits and EVE hypos were in short supply in either of those games, but it was just a small annoyance that hasn't been corrected in these games. I don't expect Minerva'a Den to take great strides to fix this, seeing as it's just an add-on to Bioshock 2, but it'll be something that I'll have to learn to get used to.
Those are my hopes and expectations regarding Minerva's Den, folks! I'll be back next Sunday with my progress and a solid write-up of what's going on, as well as some purdy screenshots and better grammar. I'll try to keep each game 3 entries long or less, to avoid repetition and fatigue. If you have any suggestions for the layout and general look of this, feel free to let me know. If you want to to suggest an old game for me to play, PM me and I'll add it to a list.