Bioshock was a pretty well-realised romp, with an interesting premise. Feels especially applicable since I know a little about this genetics thing myself – it’s interesting to see how the mass market views it (apparently, like all science, it is a gateway to unspeakable horrors and the realm of things that Man Was Not Meant To Know). Very good, although sometimes I had a feeling that things were chosen for shock value (let’s have small girls!…with giant needles!…And they’ll be indoctrinated by a crazy scientist!…and they’ll speak in cute voices while repeatedly stabbing things!) A good premise, and surprising twists in the story! A pretty good followup to the System Shock series, although I miss SHODAN. B+
Fallout 3 has beautiful technology – there’s a cool slow motion gunplay system, and you can wear all sorts of clothing. A nice variety of weapons. A huge, well-realised world. But unfortunately, the story is pure blah. I was waiting for … something … but it didn’t really happen. You do things for people, but you don’t connect with anyone really. In the end, I plowed through for the ending – a pretty impressive-looking final fight sequence, although you end up watching rather than doing anything. It’s really a C+ game with B+ technology under the hood.
And what is with American videogames and their obsession with the ugly?! Maybe it’s the opposite end of the uncanny valley – if making things too life-like/realistic and pretty makes people creeped out, I guess you can exploit that and really freak them out by making lifelike creepy things…Somehow, I’d much rather be in a world that is not populated by people with a level of fashion sense comparable to my own. And the single palette of colours – it’s all brown, all the time in Fallout 3 (really dislike this, probably burnt out on that scheme in my old Quake days). Then again, I like the over-the top colourful designs in Gundam, which is on the “aesthetics over function” side of things.