[This article has been reposted, with permission at GamingLives. Please check out that version, as it’s better there. It can be found at http://www.gaminglives.com/2010/03/19/bioshock-3-a-review-for-the-nintendo-wii/]
A while ago, I began working on a time machine. While the purpose of it was to go back and stop myself doing a lot of silly things I did in the past (such as begin building a time machine), I was dismayed to discover I had built a time machine that follows the time travel rules of “You can only go back to the time when you first created the machine“. While the rules of time travel and suchforth are multifold and supremely interesting, this isn’t the time for that. Unable to find many practical uses for this time machine, I found one that would make me supremely famous on the internet. The plan was to wait until games came out in the future, play them through and review them, and then send the reviews back in time! There was no way this plan wasn’t completely filled with plot holes and potential paradoxes, and so I begun!
The first review I sent back in time was one for Bioshock 3. Seeing how polarising both of the first two games are and were, it only seemed fair to send this one back in time first. Read below, and prepare to have your mind BLOWN.
Bioshock 3: A Review for the Nintendo Wii
Bioshock was a game that people never felt needed a sequel, so when Bioshock 2 was revealed, with multiplayer included, many people felt the need to boycott it and hate the need for companies to make money by releasing sequels guaranteed to sell. Now, when it was revealed that Bioshock was always in fact, meant to be a trilogy, there was anger almost in parallel to the great internet gaming war of 2012 (which actually happened a while after the announcement, so I’ll admit, the comparison is a bit strained). So, how does Bioshock 3, a game many people thought would never exist, and never wanted it to, hold up against the game-changer Bioshock, and Bioshock 2? Read on and find out:
Firstly, I think people reacted the most angrily when they found out that most of the game was in fact, an online multiplayer mini-game collection for the Nintendo Wii. While I could have reviewed one of the versions from another console, I thought reviewing what would amount to be an inferior port would be a disservice for such a high-profile game. A lot of the multiplayer mini-games and modes range from the standard, such as Deathmatch, Horde mode, and the latest multiplayer fads, which for the uninitiated, are “Punch Yourself In The Face” mode (wherein you use the motion controls and your own fists to punch yourself in the face until you reach unconsciousness) and “Mad Hatters” (Everyone wears stupid hats, and you have to beat each other down with your bare hands for wearing such stupid hats). However, some of the new modes Bioshock 3 tries out border on the ridiculous, and while some modes may make the player laugh, some of them are outright ridiculous. Little Sister Dress Up borders on the creepy and voyeuristic, while “Make Your Own Plasmids” seems like a cynical attempt to steal ideas from the fans.
Spousal abuse! Now culturally acceptable!
However, in order to placate the angry gamers who believed the series should always have been Single Player only, there is a Story Mode for them to play through, too. This time round, you play a grown up little sister, exploring Rapture again. The big theme is Identity this time around, and you’ll spend a lot of time in the game questioning your own identity, and if you are who you really think you are. Herein lies one of the mechanics of the game, wherein this Little Sister has genetic links to the protagonists of the previous two games (it all becomes explained when you play the game), which allows her to enter flashbacks to their lives as part of the game, in order to continue progress. I’m not going to lie to you, you do pretty much replay parts of Bioshock 1 & 2 at these points. Literally, it’s just Bioshock 1 or 2, exactly, until you reach a certain point and are allowed to continue as the Little Sister. While some people will get angry at this revelation, they simply “don’t get it” and what it’s trying to achieve, and the game’s probably not appealing to them anyway.
When not flashing back, you control your little sister just through Quicktime sequences, and most of that is done by furious waggling of the Wiimote. The Vitality sensor is also used to indicate your heartbeat and adjust the scares accordingly. Not scared enough? It’ll throw some extra nasties at you. Really scared? It’ll throw some extra nasties at you. Having a Heart attack? Have some extra nasties. Come to think of it, it’ll pretty much throw extra nasties at you at any point, which is a bit difficult considering you’re a lot weaker, and can only fight through Quicktime sequences. But still, if you don’t approve of that, there’s more than enough flashback sequences to placate you! They are about 80% of the single player campaign anyway…
Remember this from the first game? Well, you have to do it again. Twice.
However, while the game leads out on a story that isn’t as interesting as before, you are led by a couple of characters who are somehow integral parts of Rapture, despite not being mentioned at any point beforehand, and at the risk of spoilers, the final boss fight is literally just yourself. You have to beat yourself to death, while watching yourself at your own hands. Does it teach you anything, or help bring about an important moral or lesson? Probably, if you care about the story, but its kind of cool to watch.
Oh, and all the splicers have been renamed “People Who Have Let Drugs Ruin Their Lives“, the syringes have been digitally altered to look like cookies, and all the guns have been replaced by walkie talkies.
Going down to Rapture, gonna have myself a timeeeee
In conclusion, though, Bioshock 3, while solid, interesting, and a finish to an epic trilogy, asks the player several questions that they have to make sure they’re prepared to answer before playing:
-Do you have the Vitality Sensor attached?
-And the Nunchuk?
-And the WiimotionPlus?
-Single Player or Multiplayer?
-What Difficulty Level?
Only once the player has answered these questions, can they truly discover the world of Rapture again.