BioShock versus Halo 3

Now that the WACK is mostly behind me, I’ve had a bit more time to play video games. Earlier this week I wrapped up BioShock and last night I wrapped Halo 3. I’ve only played the single player campaign for Halo 3, but I thought I’d talk a bit about how I felt the two compared.

I played BioShock first. I had read some good reviews on it but didn’t really know what to expect. It turned out to be an incredible game, probably the best FPS I’ve played ever. There is something magical about shooting down bad guys while Billie Holiday plays over the speakers. The basic premise is that a mad man creates what he thinks will be a Utopia under the sea, and as what normally happens when someone tries to create a Utopia, something goes wrong. Words cannot describe the atmosphere of this game. The city under the sea is done perfectly. Creaking metal – leaking water – the sounds of whales in the distance – it is just amazing. The story was pretty good as well – and actually understandable. I don’t mind a confusing story if the game holds up – but it’s nice to have a story that made sense to me and was actually pretty interesting. I would definitely recommend picking up this game if you enjoy FPS games. The difficulty on easy level was – well – darn easy – but I don’t mind that so much as I’ve got limited time to play games.

One last point – and forgive me for being vague as I don’t want to spoil anything. I dinged Prey heavily because of the violence it showed against children. I didn’t think it was appropriate and it just didn’t add anything to the game. There is something a bit similar in BioShock – although not as gratuitous as it was in Prey. The usage here I thought was appropriate and in context of the story at large.

Now to Halo 3. I really enjoyed the solo game in Halo 2. It had some of the coolest moments I’ve ever seen in a video game. The hype for part 3 was very high, and I was really looking forward to playing it. Unfortunately, Halo 3 is just…. meh. It definitely looks nicer than Halo 2, but it just didn’t do anything for me. The game suffers from some bad level design. Many times I had absolutely no idea where to go, and a friend said he had the same problem. If you get lucky – the HUD will show an arrow, but more than once I found myself standing around having no idea where to go next. If I was lucky – I could watch some of the Marines and see where they would head off to. And if you thought BioShock was easy – Halo is even easier. My friend told me he tried to run through the game not shooting anything. Last night I ran into a level that was – finally – a bit hard and I tried it as well. I was able to run through most of the end game by just running around the bad guys. I don’t know if I can adequately describe it… but the game just didn’t do anything for me. It had none of the of drama of the previous game. It certainly tried to be – but it just failed for me.

Now I’ve heard that Halo 3 multiplayer and co-op is much better, but it is hard for me to organize a time to do that. (Although I’ll be on tonight at 8CST if folks want to hook up.) But frankly I was really hoping for a lot more from the solo game.