Skip to main content

BioShock Demo Review

I'll jump right in by saying that this game has some great things going for it, but it definitly has some faults that keep it from being spectacular. At least, so far from what I've witnessed with the demo.

My frustrations start off with my attempts to download the game. For whatever reason, my 'Preload' of the demo via did not work, and in an attempt to get it working, the IGN Download manager eat it up. After waiting in the download queue for a third time, I quickly gave up with trying to download the entire game again via Fileplanet - the speeds were just too slow.

Finally, I had some luck and started to host the demo on their servers, and using DAP 8.5, I had the game fully downloaded and installed by midnight.

Next, I installed the Bioshock nVidia beta drivers for my Geforce 8600GTS and restarted my computer. Upon reboot, I noticed my computer had no sound! After fooling around a bit with trying to get it to work, I resorted to unstalling my sound drivers (Soundmax intergrated), and reinstalling them. Problem solved, finally.

Onto the demo, with default video settings, and slightly modified controls, I plunged into the world of Rapture...

My computer specs:

GF 8600GTS 256
Sempron 3000 @ 2.5ghz
1GB Corsair RAM
Windows Vista 32bit
19" Samgsung LCD

I was surprised to see the game looking so good and running so good when it started. But then again, there was very little to process, as the game begins with the player in the ocean after his plane crashes. I had the visual settings on their highest.

As I continue to play, especially when it comes time for me to start trying to shoot weapons, I notice that despite the decent frame rates in this early part of the game, my mouse is responding with super lag. It feels like when I move my mouse, the game doesn't respond for half a second later. It made shooting the baddies really difficult.

A second thing I noticed was there was a lot of tearing on the screen. Frames would only half show up before the next frame would start.... As the game progressed, I could literally see each frame being rendered to screen, raster to raster, and only getting half way down before the next frame would start. THE GOD DAMN FRAMES WERE LAGGING despite still getting decent frame rates! Totally unacceptable.

So, into the video options I went. I turned on Vertical Sync, and like magic, there was no more tearing. Because there wasn't any more tearing, it was harder to see each of the frames lag, but I could still notice them being rendered from raster to raster very slowly. Turning on the Vertical Sync also dropped my frame rates. grumble.

By midway thru the game, I was finding it increasingly hard to hit baddies with the guns I was starting to find all over the place. Swinging a wrench around didn't require quite the accuracy needed of a magnum. The mouse lag was getting to be too much to handle. So, back into the visual settings...

I dropped by quality from high to medium, and dropped my resolution from 1280x1024 to 1024x768. The game instantly looked like shit in comparison to what it did look like moment's ago, but my frame rates were back up and my mouse lag was slightly reduced. There was still unacceptable amounts of mouse response lag, which was even more apparent when trying to navigate the main menus with a cursor. Seriously heavy mouse response lag. It really began to distract me from the game play, and caused me to start focusing on other annoying aspects of the game...

I tried both wired and wireless mouses -- the wired mouse had slighly better response rate, but even then, still so sluggish it made trying to adapt for the recoil of the tommy gun near impossible.

When playing around with the video settings, I started to notice how TERRIBLE the antialiasing was in this game. Even with the nVidia drivers set to 16xQ, and at any resolution, the jaggies were distracting! This game uses a lot of sharp lines with high contrasts, and the jaggies really stand out because of it. It makes the game harder to play when there is so much detail and jaggies everywhere -- I started to find that quite annoying.

Adding to that fact, the game reminds me of Doom 3 in one regard... the lighting. This game has LOTS of contrast. VERY INTENSE CONTRAST. Half the screen is pitch black, while the other half is very bright. My eyes did not appreciate it at all, and it made the game look unrealistic. I know they wanted to add a sense of surprise and whatever else, but the highly reflective surfaces and the intense sharp lighting didn't do it for me. I wish the lighting was softer in this game, with less intense lighting effects. More realistic effects...

The guns do not respond well. They are not enjoyable to use. In attempt to make them feel realistic, they made them feel actually more clumsy and heavy.

There are very few different types of monsters in this game. Its a bit disappointing. Variety among the models would of been better -- even if it were just differences in their clothing colour scheme or superficial changes. Would it of been that hard to do? Oh well...

The game really dives you right in to the choas -- it is intense and a bit scarey actually when everything is working like it is suppose to with the game. I might of liked a bit more of a prelude into the game then just starting out in the ocean... but oh well. And of course, it starts off at night with fireballs everywhere -- just the type of intense lighting they continue on thru the game with. Aren't they lights switches any where in this game you can turn on?!

But, on the bright side of things, the actual game play seems to be looking up. Hacking one of the security robots was the most fun I had in the game, which was comprised of a silly mini game you had to win. If they take more cues later on like that from System Shock 2, like the telekinsis weapons (it does!), the full version might be quite the winner. If the game continues to take cues from the likes of Doom 3, this game will still be quite the hit, just not as rememberable as all the hype led me to believe.

I give the game, at first impression, an 8.5/10.

pros: Some great gameplay cues taken from System Shock 2. Really nice graphics. Interesting story line and some neat weapons.

cons: mouse lag! screen tearing! too much intense lighting!



Popular posts from this blog

How to login to an expired Windows

Microsoft has a neat little way to prevent software piracy of their Windows operating system. "Windows Genuine Advantage"[edit: I stand corrected, it has nothing to do with WGA] with its "Product Activation" requirement. Essentially, even with a valid product key, you still need to activate your Windows to ensure that only one computer is using that specific product key. If you can't activate your Windows, there being many reasons for this, you are left with a 30 day grace period to change your product key to one that is fully valid or get in contact with Microsoft and plea your case. Once your grace period is up, Windows refuses to let you login anymore. You cannot access your files. You cannot go on the Internet. You cannot do anything, except the thrill of trying to activate Windows. Well, luckily for me I do not have to worry about this issues, as my Windows is valid and activated. However, for those who do not and have been so unfortunate enough to have

ATi Radeon 5770: PCIe x16 vs PCIe x8

In this article I will reveal the differences one should expect from running an ATi Radeon HD 5770 1GB graphics card at full and half PCIe 2.0 bandwidth. This is particularly important data for those considering a dual ATI 5770's Crossfire setup on today's Intel-based P55 motherboards which generally offer only a single PCIe x16 slot or two PCIe x8 slots. Are you better off with a X58 motherboard for Crossfire that offers dual PCIe x16 slots? Would just a more powerful single slot graphics card, such as an ATI 5870, be a better call? I can't tell you that, since you may find Crossfire annoying or you may want the absolute best performance from your rig. What I can show you though is if Crossfire on a P55 motherboard is a viable option, especially for those trying to save a quick buck. Read on! While other reviews of limited PCIe bandwidth have been addressed prior, such as at Tom's Hardware, these looked at either now-out-dated video cards or very expensive graphics

The Hard Drive Capacity Calculator

Curious why when you buy an iPod, computer hard drive, or memory stick there is less memory actually available then what was advertised? For example, you buy a new laptop, advertised having 100GB of hard drive space, actually only seems to have 93GB available? It almost seems as if there is false advertising involved. I'm sorry to say, this isn't the case, rather just a tricky usage of terminology used by memory manufactures. Let me try to explain... You see, digital data is of binary numbers. 1's and 0's, also called bits. A group of eight (8 bits) 1's or/and 0's describe what is known as a byte. There are hence, 256 different values for a byte. ie: 00000000, 00000001, 00000010, 00000011, ... 11111110, 11111111. Digital memory is measured in the number of bytes, although it can also be described in bits. This is where it gets a bit more confusing.... Just as with our decimal number system, when a very large binary number needs to be described, such as 123,456,7

Some features of digital cameras

Most of us already have a digital camera that suits our needs. Quite possibly it's a brand of camera you bought at Walmart on sale that no one has ever heard of before, maybe it's the one integrated into your cell phone, or maybe your camera doesn't suck and you are thinking to yourself, what is the point of this article!? Well, I'm hoping to share a short list of some of the commonly overlooked or new features of digital cameras today that you might be missing out on. You might even find them all just enough of a reason to change what you are hoping for this Christmas. 1. Image Stabilization What was once only found in professional cameras has now found its way to the masses. Image stabilization technologies could very well be the biggest change for digital cameras since the auto-focus. With image stabilization you can take photos or video clips without a tripod that would otherwise be blurry due to an unsteady hand. Even with a steady hand, trying to take a photo whi

Intel Core i7 860: Stock Cooler and Power Usage

I'm just throwing this out there for anyone else running into similar problems as I have been having with my Intel Core i7 860 system. I'm noticing that a lot of heat is being produced from these chips when at full load and especially when overclocked, to the point that I feel the stock CPU cooler from Intel is simply inadequate. The included heatsink/fan included with the Intel Core i7 860 has a low-profile design that is smaller than previous Intel coolers, which seems a bit strange in my opinion considering that these chips are rated at 95W TDP. Anyways, I bought two Core i7 860 systems, one featuring a Gigabyte P55M-UD4 motherboard and another one using a Gigabyte P55A-UD4P motherboard (primary board used in this review). Using the stock Intel cooler, I could effortlessly overclock these systems to 3.5GHz using stock voltages. While the systems were stable for all intensive purposes, running Prime95 would cause the core CPU temperatures to shoot up quickly to 100*C (usin

Review of the New Dell Studio 15 (1555) Notebook

Hi everyone, welcome to my review of the new Dell Studio 15 (1555) notebook. I have had the notebook in my possession for just a few days as of this writing, so the review at this time will focus mostly on my first impressions of the device. I will update this article as I gain more experience using this system, so check back soon for added information or send me your questions via email for a prompt reply. The system under review has the following specifications: Processors Intel® Core™ 2 Duo P8600 (2.4GHz/1066Mhz FSB/3MB cache) Memory 4GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 at 800MHz Keyboard

Review: Lenovo Bluetooth Laser Mouse

In an attempt to give back to the community a bit, I am going to giving a review of my experience with Lenovo Canada and two new products I have recently ordered from it online. The two products are the Lenovo T400 14-inch notebook and a Lenovo Bluetooth Laser Mouse. Purchasing I ordered online both the T400 and the mouse late Monday night, from Lenovo .com. The total price, after tax, was about $1,250. Before tax, the T400 cost me $1070, while the mouse cost me $27 (regular $45). Shipping was free. I scored a bit of a deal on the purchase thanks to some e-coupon codes that were mentioned over at Redflagdeals .ca. These e-coupons saved me a lot of money, but it still took about a month of constant checking before Lenovo had what I wanted in stock and at a decently low price. Shopping at Lenovo .com is a bit like playing the stock market; there are ups and downs. One day the LED back-lighting feature would cost $370, the next day it would be just $30. In the rare case, it

Lenovo T400 Review

So, let my review of the Lenovo T400 begin. Configuration under review Lenovo T400 14.1-inch LED 1440x900 display Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 CPU (2.4 GHz, 3 MB L2 Cache, 25 W TDP) 3 GB of DDR3-1066 MHz RAM Switchable graphics: Intel GMA X4500MHD or ATI Mobility 3470 /w 256 MB Bluetooth Intel 5300 WiFi 80 GB 5400 HDD Webcam Media Card Reader Windows Vista Home Basic 9-cell extended battery Price: $1070 CAD (Ordered November 24th, Delivered December 4th) Also ordered a Lenovo Bluetooth laser mouse. Price: $33 (Delivered in 1.5 days) Prices were substaintially discounted, thanks to a friends of employees discount and an addition e-coupon code. CPU Performance: 1M on SuperPI Mod 1.5 scored about 21 seconds. For comparison, my 3 year old AMD Sempron 3000+ overclocked to 2.4 GHz scored 50 seconds and my brother's 2 year old Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 overclocked to 3.0 GHz scored 19 seconds. The processor is very efficient in both terms of clock cycles and power savings, but compared to modern-d

Google's Web Toolkit 1.3 RC1 now out

Not everyone knows what AJAX is, not everyone will care, but for those who do and don't know this already, check out Google's Web Toolkit . As a hobbyist web developer, I know just how frustrating it can be to design a website with really neat functionality and layout. I have been really amazed at how Google creates their many websites, having them all lack that rudimentary feel most older websites today have. Google has really gone above and beyond by releasing the same tools to the public, for free, that they have used to make their very own websites. To top it off, they even have now released the source code for this Web Toolkit of theirs. The toolkit simplifies the programming process by converting easy-to-write Java code into the painfully tricky to perfect AJAX stylings. What does this mean to anyone who doesn't speak Geek? Well, expect fancier, more powerful, and more intuitive websites to start showing up on Internet that don't have multimillion dollar developer

Logitech LX 500 Review

So after a recent incident with my old keyboard involving a kitten and a bottle of diet coke, it was time for a new keyboard. Enter the Logitech LX 500. I found the keyboard for sale at my local computer shop as a weekend door crasher special for 15$ - strange how they still had plenty in stock despite it being Sunday afternoon. It fit my price range and included a decent mouse, so... :$: Cha Ching :$: The keyboard and mouse unboxed The 800 dpi wireless optical mouse is a dark blue and black in colour, with two main buttons, a horizontally and vertically scrolling capable clicking scroll wheel, and a smallish button underneath it for tabbing between windows. The tabbing button does not function without the included software being installed, but the basic mouse functions were working right away. A pair of regular Duracell batteries were included with it. Overall, my impression of the mouse is good for what it is. It feels nice and, even for it not being a very large mouse, it still fit