Since I had a bit of a rough time lately and the new chapter is crawling towards completion, I played the new Bioshock.
Now, first of all: I am not gonna troll the game! It was good. Good! That is a B- in my book and I certainly had a good time.
Recently, I read reviews and comments like "Best gaming expierience of all time" or "One of the best stories in gaming history".
Ok, people! We have to talk!
I know I sound like a prick now, but the game was good! The story was certainly to talk about and I enjoyed it, but please, don't use statements like that! Always keep two things in mind: History is long and "all time" even longer.
The thing is: I agree with Yahzee here. If you are used to current console games or recent AAA releases, the Bioshock games are the best you get. If you are used to old, and I mean OLD PC games... they are B-
And now I will list my A+ games. Most of them are on GoG.com, so give them a look.
This is no Top 5 list or anything, nor do I say that they are "better" than Bioshock: Infinite. I just loved these games much more than it and I still play them to this day. So if you like Bioshock, give those classics a look, that's all I'm saying.
Fallout 1 and Fallout 2
Remember when RPGs were about ROLE PLAYING? Yeah, I liked Dragon Age, but let's be honest: Your choices hardly mattered and in the end, you always played a fighting woman/man.
There are speedruns of Fallout 1 that last 10 minutes and not a single shot is fired in that time. Why? Because you can find other paths for more than half of the fights. And Fallout 2 is even better, removing the binary aspect of choice and giving you the chance to really play a weird character. You want to become a made man for a crime family? A porn star? A selfless defender in one city and a nightmare in the other?A drug lord? How about saving a community of talking deathclaws from extinction? This game is all about non-binary choice and consequence. And unlike the new games, you can kill children! And oh god you do NOT want to do that! A childkiller has no friends.
Graphics? Terrible! Sound? Non-existant! Story? AMAZING! Gameplay? Intuitive and fun! Characters? Range from tragic and sad to HILLARIOUS and amazing
From the same people who gave me the old Fallouts. This game has the best character creation that there is: the entire game. You start on a mortuary slab in the city of doors. And then you go and find out who you were and decide who you are. It uses the GoodVSEvil and LawVSChaos gauge from D&D and my favourite setting: Planescape. Combine that with unique and endearing characters, interesting choices and true roleplaying. Also, there is a bordello for conversation where you can pay to get verbally abused by a half demon girl. Basically the same criteria as Fallout 1 and 2, only with a stronger focus on exploring your own character.
Oh! And do not fuck with the Lady of Pain!
Thief: The Dark Project and Thief: The Metal Age
Want to play a sarcastic and snarky thief in a city of electricity punk and magic? Want to see a conflict between religion, paganism and progress go to it extremes? Want to steal from a god?
The first two Thief titles have probably the richest and best realized settings that I have ever seen. Has to do with the director (who also did Bioshock). Only that time, he didn't have to worry about high end graphics and could go all out. The city is developed and interesting, the characters engaging and even the simpleton guards have a certain charm to them. But all kneels before Garret, the main character and probably the most fun protagonist of any game.
This game is stealth done right, story done better and characterization through action to the extreme.
Now please overlook the graphics and give it a shot, ok?
Zelda: Link's Awakening
BEST TWIST EVER!
I cried for the first time in a video game at the end of this Zelda title. If you pay a lot of attention, you can see it coming, but it will certainly stick with you for a while. The setting is ingenious, the gameplay is old school Zelda at it's finest and from the moment the bosses start begging you to abbandon your quest for your own sake, you know that there is something strange on the isle of Cocolint!
Also: The Ballad of the Windfish is my favourite Zelda tune of all time.
And it was on flipping GAMEBOY.
Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem
One of the best horror games that there are and certainly one of the best Gamecube games, this thing holds a very special spot in my heart. My readers may have noticed that I love the Cthulhu mythos and this is the closest one can get in any game. That and a severe mindf*ckin. I won't go into more. Just, if you like horror and have a Wii, go and find this game. The mistress of madness commands it!
And last but best. My favourite game yet:
System Shock 2
The spiritual predecessor to the first Bioshock. Only with better villains, an atmosphere so thick, you need a vorpal blade to cut it and constant dread of the unknown.
I still like Bioshock, but this game is just so much better at making you feel vulnerable and alone. Plus it actually makes you feel terrible for every enemy you have to kill. The biggest problem I had with both Bioshock games was that they didn't have the gall to make you feel truly guilty. No, little sisters don't count. first: you have the choice and second: its so binary it might as well not be there. All other enemies in Bioshock either asked for things to go bad for them or behave in a way that almost excuses you to give them a good killing. System Shock makes you feel sick for what has happened to the people you are forced to kill. Some people complain that it was unfair in certain regards, but honestly, to me, that added to it's message: In space nobody can hear you scream, or complain that life is unfair.
Same as with Thief: Ignore the graphics and dive into the hell that lies between the starts.
S.H.O.D.A.N. is awaiting you, pathetic creature of meat and bones.