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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

How to clear a room in BioShock

You approach the door and it slides open. Entering the room, you turn to the right and take down the creature hiding behind the locker. Three steps forward and you turn to your left to take out the demon on the balcony above you. A quick sprint to the other side of the room and a practiced 180 degree turn lets you take out the three more creatures who spawned behind you.

For anyone who's played Doom or any other number of first-person shooters, scenarios such as these above are commonplace. No matter how difficult the game, any obstacle can be overcome with practice and reflexes.

Come August 2007, BioShock will change that...

In the video below, Ken Levine (Creative Director for Irrational Games) steps us through three different methods for clearing a room in BioShock. Although no one method is inherently right or wrong, certain methods seem much easier to execute successfully.

In the first scenario, you'll see the player attempt to "run and gun" his way through the room. In classical FPS games, this method of relying on your reflexes was a sound method of going about your business. In BioShock, notice how the game's AI takes advantage of the player's rash decision to charge into the room. There's nothing wrong with wanting to charge in with your guns blazing, just be aware that the citizens of Rapture are ready for you.

The second scnenario shows the player taking a planned approach to clearing the room. By making use of all the environmental aspects of the room, the player is able to clear the room of hostiles with far less injury on his part. Traditionally, this has always been my approach to video games: my reflexes are too poor to play otherwise.

In the final scenario presented in the video, the player approaches the problem of clearing the room a little differently. I won't spoil the surprise, but I would like you to notice how certain elements in the room differ on each iteration through the room. If you think you can memorize the actions required to succeed, certain things in this video may have you rethinking your style of play.

Anyway, here's the video:

I'll say one thing for BioShock: the game looks pretty intense! The amount of stuff happening on screen is mind-blowing. I figure that the game will allow players to acclimatize themselves to the world of Rapture before unleashing the hell seen in the video. If not, BioShock could take me years to finish...not that that would be a bad thing given the amount of gaming goodness that BioShock will be bringing to table!


Mike said...

My goodness, I'm sold! Forget the doubts I had on this game's AI. Even the usual enemies are smart enough to know they're on fire.

Blast it! August, where the hell are you? I'm beginning to hate July even if we're not there yet.

Klopzi said...

Mike -

Tell me about it. The game looks pretty slick.

I'm just hoping I'll be able to adjust to the frantic pace of the game when the time comes to play. Is it just me or does the in-game action look over-the-top crazy?