All in all, I’m not sure what to say about Bioshock. I enjoyed parts of it, certainly, and I definitely had to shake my head at other sections. For a game that is almost universally praised as being “one of the best” and “truly enlightening,” I don’t think I’m seeing the picture the way most people apparently are. Bioshock did not really make me think about any facet of human nature, nor did it enlighten me in some special way about morality and the choices related toward it. It was a fun ride, I suppose, but it wasn’t the groundbreaking, earth-shattering experience that I was promised.

Maybe this reflects more about my personality than it does about the game’s nature. As a rule, when I hear endless praise and commendations toward a noun, I tend to be a bit skeptical about it. And whether this rule works because I’m not as easily impressed as most people are or merely because I expect to be let down so nothing exceeds expectations, I don’t know. But what I do know is that Bioshock was an above-average game for a below-average price that I ultimately found at least some enjoyment from.

So that’s that, really. I don’t have much else to say about Bioshock except that aside from the great ending, it didn’t leave me with much to say about the structure. Sure, I have complaints about the combat system, the moral choice decision making process, and the faceless characterization of Zhivago, but did I really learn anything? I like playing games where I learn something about myself or human nature in the process (though I find self-proclaimed “art games” a bit tactless as 99% of them have to do with something depressing) and I’m not really feeling that in Bioshock. But I guess not every game has to spark the candle of knowledge, and maybe we’re just in it for the mindless, childish fun.

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