Sunday, October 28, 2007

If BioShock had been Developed by Valve...

Over the years, I've done a lot of Valve slamming on Half-Life 2. Simply do a search on this blog for Half-Life 2, and you'll come across a dozen posts were I really call out its many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many flaws (did I mention it has a flaw or two?).

Of course, the fanboys that you are, many of you have slammed me right back, stating that Valve and Half-Life 2 are works of genius, sophisticated storytelling, quintessential gameplay, etc.

Well, I'm now going to present you with another look at why Valve simply _doesn't_ "Raise the Bar." Gabe Newell has stated that he loves BioShock, and that he thinks 2K Games did a spectacular job with it and copies of BioShock were going to be given to his employees for successful completion of The Orange Box (sorry, I don't have a link to this quote. Do a search you lazy bums).

Most of you, as well as the press, also agree that BioShock is an amazing game, one of the best titles released this year and beyond. And with that in mind, with how much everyone loves BioShock and also Valve, I'm putting it to you "What if Valve had developed BioShock?"

I'll tell you what would have happened had Valve developed BioShock:

- The game's intro plane crash would never have been explained.
- You'd be forced to use Telekinesis about every 5 minutes.
- There would be no audio logs, and you'd be expected to figure out the back story without them.
- There would be no Vending Machines, Inventing, or even Hacking.
- You'd have spent several battles fighting with random, AI controlled allies who would only serve to get in your way and block your progress. Think that Little Sister at the end only much worse and much more often.
- Characters would try and talk _with_ you and not _to_ you. I can't stress how important this one is being a mute character lead.
- The game would only have been about 10 hours long, or broken up into several episodic releases and still having lengthy development times.
- BioShock would still be in development.
- The game wouldn't have Vita Chambers, as even on Hard the game's enemy AI would be so poor, BioShock's own major flaw would have been made obsolete.

There's more I could list, but I think that's enough. If Valve had developed BioShock, if Valve had made it like they make their Half-Life titles, BioShock would have been a stripped down shell of what it is with generic gameplay and a muddled, unengaging storyline. It would certainly _not_ have been a spiritual successor to System Shock 2, and would have been tossed aside as another mundane shooter with a few "magic" powers thrown in.

Now I'm sure most of you are already in an uproar for my audacity to slam the developers of The Orange Box, and I'm sorry you think that, and while there's no question as to the influence that Valve has had over the development industry, they are sorely overrated as developers and thinking about what BioShock would have been had they touched it only re-enforces my belief.

Flame away.

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