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Bioshock Downloadable Content to Increase Replay 85

Posted by Zonk
from the replay-is-good dept.
Instead of expanding the story or adding additional content, Ken Levine's goal with DLC for Bioshock is to increase the replayability factor. 1up reports: "'Diablo II, to me, was a great model for an expansion, because it enhanced the original game, but also extended the game, too. I'm not a really big fan of expanding things just by linearly adding to the experience, adding a new campaign, as much as I am of enhancing the original experience and adding replayability to that experience,' said Levine in a post-release interview in the latest issue of Games for Windows Magazine. 'I think that certainly BioShock's combat experience is great, but it could be broader. I'm a little more confused as far as how to expand the narrative experience.'" He goes on to suggest some plasmids, cut during development, might see their way back into the game. Otherwise, not a lot of detail available on what 'adding replayability' might mean.
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Bioshock Downloadable Content to Increase Replay

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  • I have it.. (Score:4, Funny)

    by EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) on Wednesday October 17, 2007 @09:46AM (#21009577)
    Big Daddy Telekinesis Football.
  • by theantipop (803016) on Wednesday October 17, 2007 @09:58AM (#21009737)
    from reading the rather pathetic "article", is that they're looking for someway to get you to pay more but they aren't really sure what yet. From all accounts, it's a good game on its own that simply doesn't lend to an expansion. It's pretty pathetic when they feel like they have to muck it up with crap like this.

    And as a quick aside rant, downloadable content, the newest buzzword for hacks, maps and mods, is getting a bit out of hand. I understand Microsoft's desire to give all content value, because they make money off every sale. At a more base level, even as a traditional PC gamer who is used to a decade of free downloads for my games I can certainly concede that some addon content is worth paying for. But when developers start stretching for ways to sell you trivial additions to a game it's getting a bit out of hand. What happened to the philosophy of giving a game and its community longevity through developer support?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by provigilman (1044114)
      No one said you had to buy it... Plus, almost all downloadable content goes free eventually. I didn't get any of the maps for Gears of War when it first came out because I didn't feel that I needed them. When they went free though, I picked them up and now I use them.

      The point is, no one is twisting your arm to have this. It adds replayability to a single player game. If no one buys until it turns free, or never buys it if it doesn't, then it will show them that this marketing model isn't working.

    • Besides the more plasmids that was mentioned in the article, you could add a few gameplay modes and/or achievements to get people to play it more.

      eg, a speed game (beat the game in (x) time); change it so death backs up to the last time you passed a chamber; beat the game without any deaths; beat the game w/out using any weapon other than the wrench (which makes it VERY difficult to take down a big daddy if you're trying to play w/ no deaths), play w/out the research camera bonuses; play w/out the ability t
    • I think Valve still has great developer support. They regularly update their games with patches, updates, new features, etc. You only pay for new games, or a new episode in the case of HL2. So, there are still companies out there doing it, you just have to look for them and buy their games. And I do agree that this guy sounds like he has no idea how he's going to make the "extras" good enough to be worth paying for.
      • I agree with you in re:Valve. Epic is the shining model, as far as I'm concerned.

        Also in support of my original argument, I'm not saying all DLC is valueless or should be free. If this guy is able to find some way to truly expand the Bioshock experience in a way Diablo2's expansion did to it's first four acts, then yea put it out there for a modest fee. But if it's just shoving a couple new plasmids in the game, that just feels greedy.
      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        I think Valve still has great developer support. They regularly update their games with patches, updates, new features, etc. You only pay for new games, or a new episode in the case of HL2. So, there are still companies out there doing it, you just have to look for them and buy their games. And I do agree that this guy sounds like he has no idea how he's going to make the "extras" good enough to be worth paying for.

        Don't forget some interesting patches they did to get their older games to play on modern mac

    • "From all accounts, it's a good game on its own that simply doesn't lend to an expansion. It's pretty pathetic when they feel like they have to muck it up with crap like this.

      Why is this an issue for you? Amazingly enough, you're not forced to buy any downloadable content that comes to be. If you don't think it's worthwhile, the world will merrily spin along its way if you choose not to buy it. Your game will remain pristine, with none of the mucking up that you dislike.

      "Looking for someway to get yo
      • I don't get this response, which is primarily what you get when talking about the issue. I see something I don't agree with and say so. I present an argument against it, but you rebut by saying I have no place to argue while adding nothing of merit to the discussion.
        • by Petersko (564140)
          "I don't get this response, which is primarily what you get when talking about the issue. I see something I don't agree with and say so. I present an argument against it, but you rebut by saying I have no place to argue while adding nothing of merit to the discussion."

          I saw something I didn't agree with, and I said so. I presented an argument against it - that nobody has to buy it. Just because you don't accept my argument doesn't mean I didn't present one.

          I really don't understand why you would disa
    • by brkello (642429)
      I wonder what magical world exists where people got all this free stuff for PC games from developers in the past. Other than bug fixes, developers (in general) will release a game and then release patches for bug fixes after that (maybe small balancing patches as well). They don't work on new content for the game unless it is an expansion pack. Otherwise, they move on to a new project. The free stuff that was put out there were made by the community...and guess what, that is still happening. And develo
  • by Alzheimers (467217) on Wednesday October 17, 2007 @10:11AM (#21009891)
    It's probably to address the one bulletpoint that Bioshock didn't aim to hit (and rightfully so): Multiplayer.

    Remember, Deus Ex was originally a single player game that got MP added in as a patch. I don't see the need for it, but if it could potentially help them sell another million copies of a "GOTY" edition then I'm sure someone up in management is howling for it.
    • by oxidiser (1118877)
      I'm a little torn on this subject. Bioshock is an incredible game that has the potential for being an incredible multi-player game. However, the story and atmosphere of the game doesn't really lend itself towards being a multi-player game.
      • Yes it does. Just make everyone a varied slicer with Adam as the prize. Hell throw a Big Daddy or two in for a little more entertainment.
    • by santiago (42242)

      I don't see the need for it, but if it could potentially help them sell another million copies of a "GOTY" edition then I'm sure someone up in management is howling for it.

      In particular, multiplayer reduces second-hand sales of console versions. If you play the game once and beat it, then you can sell it, allowing someone else who wanted it to play it without paying the publisher money. On the other hand, if you want to fire it up every now and then for an online match, then you need to keep it, so that o

    • Ya but you didn't "need" to buy the "GOTY" version to get the MP support for deus ex AND the MP patch came out many months or even a year in advance of the GOTY edition.... so your example is flawed, inaccurate and irrelevant, actually the devs really wanted the multi player to be in the game, and it wasn't some management thing.... and if you actually READ the patch notes to the original MP patch you will see that. Simply put the deus ex multiplayer patch had nothing to do with selling 1 million more copie
  • Disappointment (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Dr. Eggman (932300)
    I was disappointed in the replay value of Bioshock. I just didn't feel compelled to rerun the game with a different set of plasmids; the choices I made were almost all based on the strenght level at a particular time and my personal style, so replaying it wouldn't have changed much for me without seeing my style change significantly (one of the reasons I hated the randomized plasmids portion of the game.) I'm unsure of how much new plasmids would add to the game.

    On the other hand, I've replayed Episode 2 t
    • I agree in principle - although I speak with little authority as Bioshock has sat on my desk uninstalled for about 3 weeks now while a suck the marrow from the Orange Box.

      What I will say is that, having seen what GOOD developers can add to a game post-release (see above), and having seen what the non-professional mod communities can add unaided (again, see all the HL2 mods out there - SourceForts, Dystopia and all the ones that everyone's heard of), it's a bit pathetic to see such a big boy in the genre ge

    • by MuChild (656741)
      I initially thought as you did, but then replayed it maximizing my plasmid choices so that the only weapon I would need, besides offensive plasmids, was the wrench. It's hard at first but after you get bloodlust and a couple of wrench-lurker/sport boosts, camouflage, etc, you're a serious thug. The game definitely feels different.IMHO
      • Ha! Just this morning I decided to replay as a wrench-lurker. (And trying to get the Research PhD and Historian achievements.)

        I don't see playing the final show-down with the wrench, though!

        -Peter
        • by MuChild (656741)
          No, it's true, It would takea mightier, craftier man than I to beat the final boss on with just the wrench. Especially as I suspect he's cheating.

          Also, I didn't mention before, but as great as Bioshock is, Portal and Episode 2, especially Portal, kick a** as far as replay.

          • What do you mean by "cheating"?

            -Peter
            • by MuChild (656741)
              I just mean that he is super-humanly fast and can hurt you more reliably than you can hurt him. the whole teleport, shake the ground and attack you situation. Then again, I've never been very good at this sort of thing.
              • by Grym (725290) *

                Here's a hint: Get the Electric Flesh (1&2) tonics, and Incinerate 3. Get the two chemical thrower upgrades and max out your electric gel ammo. After this, every big daddy and boss in the game is a joke. It absolutely trivializes the battles. All you do is immolate them, then shoot them with the electric gel until they die (which is usually pretty fast).

                -Grym

              • *Spoilers*

                But that's the whole point, isn't it? He's out of his mind on adam. He's supposed to be super-human.

                -Peter
                • by MuChild (656741)
                  Touché. It just seems like an all-to-common trait of end bosses and something that has bothered me since I was a wee child.
        • Strangely enough, the first (and so far only) time I played through Bioshock was with a wrench-build. (Ever since Half Life 1 and System Shock 2 I've been a very strict ammo conservationist.)

          And in truth, the final boss was a breeze for me with nothing but the wrench. I had a much easier and quicker time killing him than my roommate with his arsenal of weapons.

          The only thing I would ever bust out an actual weapon for was the Big Daddies, they're considerably harder to smack down with the wrench. (Though I d
    • I much prefer Valve's approach -- Lost Coast, Half-Life 2 Episodes, where I can get a completely new game.

      Yeah, go ahead and add features and playability to the elements you carry over -- but also give me a new story, new areas to fight through, even a completely new environment.

      To me, "enhancing replayability" is a cop-out, so they can selectively implement whatever they feel like -- a new gun here, an upgraded map there -- rather than having to replace almost everything, and upgrade what you keep.

      Also: I'
    • There was almost no replay value in Bioshock. I played through once rescuing all of the little sisters, then decided to play through again harvesting them instead to see the other ending. I got 3/4 through and was pretty tired of playing it over again since it was almost the exact same game except for that choice.

      I honestly don't know how it got such great reviews when you get 6 hours of play time out of it, maybe twice that if you play it over again. Then that's it. Nothing else to explore. It's diffe
  • by Seakip18 (1106315) on Wednesday October 17, 2007 @10:23AM (#21010027) Journal
    1. Explosion Plasmid- The games got a decent physics set up. But why only let the grenade launcher have the fun?

    2. Rapture- The place is huuuuuge based on the opening scene. Lots of places like high-rises, were never fully touched. Let us fully explore it.

    3. Big Daddies- I thought one of the most enjoyable experiences was fighting those things. I always relished these fights as I quickly surveyed my surroundings for the best battle plan. Give us more scenarios which to fight these things, which leads me to....

    4. Environment- Rapture actually made me consider where i was going to run during a fight. As most fps'ers can attest (I'm looking at you Halo), you just duck, run, turn, kill. Bioshock's environment made me run to where I'd best be able to take the foes down, not simply hide. I'm not just running. I'm looking for water, or leading them away from water when I set them on fire. Give us more scenarios to exploit with plasmids(see #2 if your having trouble).

    5.Story- Perhaps put the character into the role of a resident who didn't give in to the plasmid rush and is trying to get out. Remember those signs "Let this end! Let us Ascend!"? Now, they've gotta give into the plasmids they watched destroy rapture in order to escape...wow. that's actually not a bad idea.

    6. Those "minigames" got pretty damn annoying pretty quick. Every hackable device has the same puzzle setup. Once you hacked every device type once, you have seen the setup for every minigame. It doesn't differ, except in the minor ways you solver it. Give us some alternate minigames or cut the whole experience out.

    7. Optional: Multiplayer. Everyone and their mom has a multiplayer option now adays. Bioshock doesn't need it in my opinion, but then again, with the plasmids, you've got a pretty interesting setup.

    8.Ummm....more plasmids?- The plasmid balance in the game was pretty neat I thought, so good that I was never thinking "Man, I wished they had made a plasmid." But with new scenarios and setups, I'm sure some ideas will come.

    Bioshock is a pretty awesome game. There doesn't need to be a bunch of tweaks and adjustments to make it a game that you'd want to play. That said, even playing through it three times, you've gone through most of the scenarios the developers had in mind when they setup the level.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Seakip18 (1106315)
      Forgot 2 things:

      9. Give us more residents that use more plasmids. You've got five types of them. Give us a couple more with plasmids.

      10. If you fail at justifying cutting out minigames, give the player XP or something when they successfully hack so at least they'll eventually just insta-hack it like they do with turrets and the such, in conjunction with research camera and engineering tonics.
    • 5.Story- Perhaps put the character into the role of a resident who didn't give in to the plasmid rush and is trying to get out. Remember those signs "Let this end! Let us Ascend!"? Now, they've gotta give into the plasmids they watched destroy rapture in order to escape...wow. that's actually not a bad idea.
      That is really good, but I would suggest giving them a path where they don't have to use plasmids but it's a hell of a lot harder.
    • by stubear (130454)
      "4. Environment- Rapture actually made me consider where i was going to run during a fight. As most fps'ers can attest (I'm looking at you Halo), you just duck, run, turn, kill. Bioshock's environment made me run to where I'd best be able to take the foes down, not simply hide. I'm not just running. I'm looking for water, or leading them away from water when I set them on fire. Give us more scenarios to exploit with plasmids(see #2 if your having trouble)."

      You apparently haven't played Halo 3 yet then. I'm
      • by Seakip18 (1106315)
        Actually, I did beat it. Sure some parts are strategic, such as taking down the AA on the ark. I'm just saying that the environment in halo 3 is, most of the time, eye candy for you to hide behind while your shields recharge. If you want a game that makes GREAT use of cover, Gears of War fits the bill. Now, Halo Multiplayer is different entirely. Players will bank grenades off walls, fire at your exit or cover. Not so with Single player, where the AI relies on numbers (the flood) rather than strategy....wel
    • by fyrie (604735)
      I've got a couple more. Assuming they will fix the FOV in a patch (although the hack works great), here is my simple list of things they should add: - The ability to walk on the PC - Ability to turn off respawn.
    • by steveo777 (183629)
      Thought the plasmids seemed balanced, I definitely thought they were underpowered. For instansce, when you hit a spider splicer with the #3 fire, it does almost no damage... just lights them up so you can see what you need to shoot at. The ice plasmids set you up to wrench something to death, but doesn't actually harm anyone. The only plasmid that somewhat works for combat is electrovolt. And not very well.

      I'd like to actually be able to make it through the game with plasmids and minimal weapons. At t

      • by jandrese (485)
        I thought some of the plasmids were kinda underpowered personally. How much use did you get out of Cyclone trap or Security Bullseye? The only legitimate use for Security Bullseye is to toss it on a Big Daddy when he's wandering near a camera since the whirlybirds seem to use AP rounds or something. Otherwise there is really no reason to not just hack the camera/turret.

        I did find that if you neglected the Engineering plasmids too much you could easily get hacks that were out and out impossible (a soli
        • by steveo777 (183629)
          What I meant to say is that reviewers were quick to note how balanced the plasmids are, but I believe they are horribly underpowered. None of the plasmids are actually combat worthy, but must be augmented with weapon fire. And there really isn't any real strategy to how you play the game.

          You can choose different plasmids, but without the weapons, you'll get absolutely nowhere. And yeah, those puzzles were so bad after a while that I'd buy every auto-hack tool along the way just so I didn't have to hack m

        • by elcid73 (599126)
          I remember looking down into the rooms from a floor above or somehow getting up above the rooms in the LS nursery- I TK'd (I think) a first aid kit from the room in question.

          I missed the room in Fontaine's place though- I'll have to double check that.

          I also missed on the second encounter with Sander Cohen in his apartment - so I'll have to check that out too.
          • *spoilers*

            I was so disgusted by him that made him eat a wrench as soon as I completed his masterpiece. Doh!
    • 6. Those "minigames" got pretty damn annoying pretty quick. Every hackable device has the same puzzle setup. Once you hacked every device type once, you have seen the setup for every minigame. It doesn't differ, except in the minor ways you solver it. Give us some alternate minigames or cut the whole experience out.

      But at least if you do all the research you can hack the turrets and security bots instantly... (just press X).

  • by siDDis (961791) on Wednesday October 17, 2007 @11:36AM (#21011199)
    So I can create a few hours of extra fun from Bioshock for myself and the whole world.
  • One of the complaints about the original game that I'm aware of is that the FOV is not user-adjustable, hence the game experience is exactly the same on a widescreen monitor as it is on a traditional 4:3 monitor. For a while, at least, there was a minor hue and cry about this among the dualhead enthusiasts and their ilk. Although I think the game currently plays fine on my widescreen monitor, it might be interesting to add content for WS and multihead players, such as a FOV adjuster, additional diagnostic
  • Oh well.... (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by MobyDisk (75490)
    It's too bad I'll never get to play Bioshock because of the stupid copy protection [wikipedia.org] and since I don't plan on getting an XBOX.
    • Yes. As far as I'm concerned, the copy protection renders the game unplayable, since I can't purchase it, and I won't "rent" it. Instead of focusing on "replayability", perhaps they should work on "playability".
  • I like how the summary for the article was about the same length as the article.

    In other news, I'm sure when Levine says he's not "interested" in adding a new campaign or whatever it's just justification for reintroducing minimal material that was cut from the game and charging for it. We already know Bioshock 2 is greenlighted and I doubt he was hemming and hawing in that board meeting. I might sound negative about this but thats mostly because of the disingenuous way that the information is presented.
  • From the article: "There's no multiplayer and the storyline doesn't lend itself to simply dropping in additional "levels.""

    It doesn't? Rapture is an entire underwater city. Certainly it would be an easy matter to let the bathysphere go to additional locations, each with a self-contained storyline.

    One might as well say that the Diablo II storyline didn't lend itself to simply dropping in additional "levels"... until Act 5 got added.
  • by Kuvter (882697)
    Is anyone worried that with these incremental additions to games, that the original game will get smaller and less detailed?

    Or

    Do you think that it'll raise the quality of games, because if they're not good no one will buy the increments?
  • ... remove the DRM and online activation scheme. So that when I want to replay BioShock years from now to recapture the rapturous experience, I won't be denied the pleasure because the activation servers have been shut down. Or when I want to replay BioShock on my laptop while on a business trip, I don't have to be online to get approval when I install the game from the original media while sitting in the terminal waiting for my late plane. Or when I played Bioshock after receiving it as a birthday gift

I'd rather just believe that it's done by little elves running around.

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