A series of people played Bioshock in class using an Xbox controller and the task for the people not playing was to document their reactions and take note on how they play the game.
Max decided to choose Hard difficulty which might imply that he likes to challenge himself in games rather than doing it on easy/normal and getting the idea of what the game is like and how it functions and then refining his skills.
During the first scene when the plane crashes, Max tries to explore different options and maybe tried to figure out what his character can or cannot do by swimming into the fire. The game’s feedback to this was making the man grunt in pain (audio feedback) and also making the screen turn red for a split second (visual).As Max proceeded to the top of the stairs, he looked back onto the carnage as if to take in the whole scene and possibly behaving in a way he would in real life.
Up till now Max didn’t have to make any choices, however, whilst still being in this chamber Max gets introduced to the first character in Bioshock: The Splicers. It is a very intense scene and you can tell by the way Max is watching intently as the Splicer attacks the innocent man and kills him by plunging his hooks deep into the man’s belly.
A person on the radio then tells Max to head towards a specific
place and that he should trust him – Max’s first goal. His first task is to find a crowbar to use as a weapon. Upon not finding it, hints show up on the screen aiding the player to locate the crowbar. Finally, Max finds the crowbar and seemed to enjoy wacking everything and anything that he came across, maybe because he wanted to know how things will react to the crowbar or simply because he likes to hit things?
Upon getting his first Plasmid, the game goes into a cut scene, explaining (once again through audio) what is happening to your body. Whilst this is happening the controller buzzes intensely which Max seemed to like potentially because it adds to the intensity.
During the cut scene another two characters are introduced to the game, the Big Daddy and the sister, however we don’t get to know much about them or who they really are. When the character regains consciousness, Max proceeds to use his plasmids on objects which the game gave him no indication to use on. Again, this could be Max experimenting and getting to know what this Plasmid can do. However, EVE (which you need to use Plasmids) is in fact very hard to come by especially on Hard Difficulty. Upon his first encounter with a splicer, the audio suggests to first zap the splicer with the plasmid and then wack them with the crowbar. Disregarding the audio’s suggestion, Max made a B-line towards the splicer and continuously wacked him with his crowbar (not once using his Plasmid) which resulted in losing a lot of health. Shortly after, Max succeeds in acquiring a gun but never gets to use it because his turn is over.
First thing that D’kay attempted to do was change perspective of the game from first person to third person. This might mean that his preference is to play in the third person rather than first.
D’kay was very attentive and paid a lot of attention to what is going on around him. We come across the Big Daddy and the little sister again, this time getting some more in-depth information about who they are. The gun that Max acquired seemed to takes preference over the crowbar as D’kay uses it on the first Splicer he encounters, not taking into consideration that he might need the bullets for later for potentially harder enemies.
One particular scene that Dkay came across was two Splicers who were submerged in water and oblivious of his presence. The guy on the radio suggested he uses his plasmid on the water to electrocute the splicers. However, like Max, D’kay ignored the suggestion and proceeded to shoot them, using up all of his bullets. When arriving to what D’kay thought was his goal, an alarm went off and the lights turned red – it was a trap.
Splicers seemed to come out from everywhere attacking D’kay who still was not using his plasmids but resorted to using his crowbar. Due to this, D’kay died multiple times and constantly respawed in the closest Vital Chamber until he, slowly and very painfully, killed all of the Splicers.
One of the first things Dylan had to do was to hack into a bot which, if you succeed in doing so, will travel along with you and shoot at enemies you encounter until it gets destroyed. Dylan managed to successfully hack the bot and therefore acquires a companion! Woohoo! He also managed to collect some health packs and EVE syringes which he used to regain the health that D’kay lost.
One major difference between how Max & D’kay played compared to Dylan was that Dylan used different methods to fight off his enemies and made proper use of his plasmids, gun and crowbar. So it wasn’t a matter of the game not explaining things clearly but more the people not listening to what it was trying to say.
When a goal is made clear to the player, an arrow appears at the top of the screen to help guide the player. Dylan seemed to struggle to find out what he has to do next even with the aid of the arrow and how the lever was a sparkling golden colour.
Few minutes later, Dylan acquires a new gun: A Machine Gun. Needless to say, he used it a lot on his enemies however ended up dying multiple times to which he willingly gave up his controller to another player. Rage quit?
Unfortunately Ryan had only a few minutes to play before we all had to go home. I wrote down a few points about the way he played: the first one being that unlike any of the previous players, he didn’t seem to be very interested in his surroundings. For example, he walked in a room and although there was writing on the floor IN BLOOD he didn’t stop to read it but went straight to fighting a Splicer.
He seemed to enjoy using the Machine gun and spraying bullets everywhere and seemed to get frustrated and upset every time he lost – is it because the gameplay getting harder and more intense?
Ryan also came across a machine which was firing at him. It was only until some of us shouted at him to use his Plasmid on it that he decided to try it which resulted in the bot momentarily shutting down. This gives the player the opportunity to run towards the machine and attempt to hack it. If the player succeeds the machine would then fire at your enemies (pretty much like the other bot but this one cannot move around freely as it is nailed to the floor). Unfortunately Ryan didn’t press the X on his controller in time and the machine restored itself. If it were up to Ryan, he would have just stood there but everyone in the room was practically screaming “GET OUT OF IT’S SIGHT YOU NOOB!”. Fun times.
So as one can see quite clearly: Different people, different gameplay, different experience.
I would have totally played the game in class but I have rarely used an Xbox controller since I usually game on my PC so I chickened out. I’m also quite a boring gamer to watch because I am one of those people who likes to look in every nook and cranny and try not to miss anything. I never actually finished playing Bioshock myself (I think it was either because I got bored or the gameplay became to hard – can’t remember) but after watching other people play it, I decided to give it another go and to take it to the next level: using an Xbox controller!