No Right Answer: Best FPS Plot Ever

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 NEXT
 

Alan Rickman should act as the G-Man O.o

I would let Portal win because, well other FPS I play like this. Oh look I can shoot something. There is more more to shoot yes give me more victims Muhahahaha. What there is someone talking? Oh they are. Then I listen genuinely interested for a few minutes and then well I'm back to shooting things.

BioShock was Ken Levine's twist on Ayn Randian's absurd notions of what we now call libertarianism (see Nietzsche and misunderstandings thereof). The plot was secondary to the fun. Later when Mark Laidlaw and Eric Wolpaw truly got to stretch their writing is when we get the half life writing we all love, which is infused in the writer's science fiction universe. Overall, the themes in BioShock are a lot more focused on a particular idea than the general science fiction tropes in half life. And Portal is the real standout in the valve universe that got retconned into half life, so another mixed bag.

I'm surprised neither of the guys touched this at all when talking about the plot, instead getting Lost and Heroes in the mix. Lost was such a disaster of writing i'm not sure anyone is proud of that.

Aureliano:
Honestly, I eventually got bored of Half-Life and was happy to play through Bioshock exactly once.

The argument I would have liked to see for this topic: Marathon vs. System Shock. Runners up: Borderlands, F3 or FNV, Deus Ex.

You disregard Half Life and recommend BORDERLANDS?! AND FALLOUT #?!?!?!?@%!#(UBQPUIBH#PB#E

(%#@_U(U#%PI"MDONEWITHTHEINTERNET*@)H!#Q(_B%!@(#B!!!!!!!!!!!!!

iamscottevil:
BioShock was Ken Levine's twist on Ayn Randian's absurd notions of what we now call libertarianism (see Nietzsche and misunderstandings thereof). The plot was secondary to the fun. Later when Mark Laidlaw and Eric Wolpaw truly got to stretch their writing is when we get the half life writing we all love, which is infused in the writer's science fiction universe. Overall, the themes in BioShock are a lot more focused on a particular idea than the general science fiction tropes in half life. And Portal is the real standout in the valve universe that got retconned into half life, so another mixed bag.

I'm surprised neither of the guys touched this at all when talking about the plot, instead getting Lost and Heroes in the mix. Lost was such a disaster of writing i'm not sure anyone is proud of that.

My thoughts exactly. There's an incredible amount of homages and other musings throughout both the Half-Life series and Bioshock.

Bioshock's primary inspiration is Ayn Rand. And, as you put it, most notably Atlas Shrugged. Bioshock was Ken Levines musings on society, politics, and in some ways the dangers of "science gone wrong" when it's used in exploitative ways. It was in those parts of the story that I saw a little inspiration drawn from the works of authors like Michael Chrichton and others. There are quite a lot of themes throughout Bioshock.

However, I just think Mark Laidlaw, Eric Wolpaw, and Chet Faliszek inject a lot more story and narrative into the Half-Life/Portal series. Almost every time I've played them I've caught something I'd not seen before. A little sci-fi culture reference here. A classic literary homage there. Stuff like that.

I guess what I'm saying is, I just feel that while the plot and narrative of Bioshock (1. not so much 2) are absolutely fantastic, they aren't really as fleshed out and complex as the Half-Life series.

Still, I love the Bioshock story. While I'm not a very big fan of the game itself (I had gameplay issues), I still love the hell out of the narrative, art direction, and atmosphere of the game. I hold Bioshock as one of the most creative games ever made. Ken Levine and Irrational deserve all the praise they get.

Kinda flipped the tables on him with the arguement on narrative. Very nice.

Although, I must say...

...it's time to kick ass, and chew bubblegum...and I'm all outta gum.

Scrustle:
Bioshock is way more of an FPS than an RPG. It just is.

But what about The Darkness? That had one of the most emotionally involving plots of any game I've ever played. It had a big affect on me anyway.

You're not alone on The Darkness, it deserved so much more attention than it got for it's story and colorful characters.

Bioshock 2 has to be on my list as well, people prefer Bioshock 1 it seems but as far as I can tell they only like it more for it's twist which really doesn't fulfill the entire game in my opinion.

I agree that Bioshock did have a generally more engaging plot, although much of what Bioshock did was also present in Half-Life and HL 2. Most of the best parts of both games lie in the world that they build, presenting details through the environment. I liked Half-Life 2's characters a lot more, since that game had a load of NPCs you could identify with. Odessa Cubbage, anyone? No? Okay, Barney Calhoun, you got to love Barney.

The plot and for that matter the whole game of Bioshock is just a clone System Shock 2, only SS2 did pretty much everything way better. The setting, characters, dialog, audio logs, ghosts, plot-twist etc, all felt better and more fitting in SS2.

Not to mention System Shock 2 had real depth to it, with actual rpg elements, an inventory system and various choices you had to think carefully about. Also it was really, really scary and challenging.

By the way this isn't just some fanboy nagging about the "good old days", I actually played Bioshock before I played System Shock 2 but I still thought SS2 provided a greater and more satisfying experience, despite its obvious lower production value and somewhat clunky mechanics.

Bioshock is a weird one for me; a lot of the story did't work for me until the twist. Okay, so you're a random dude who just happens to crash land in the middle of the ocean where this under water city is built? Bullshit. But then once the twist comes around... Everything just fell into place.

I still hate how the plasmids are introduced. You just happen to walk up to vending machine with a needle and jam it into your arm... There was no 'would you kindly' or 'this is why you HAVE to do this'. That was stupid and a big turn off.

Good god. They're both wrong.

Firstly, Bioshock shouldn't even be in contention. Bioshock took EVERYTHING that was good about System Shock 2 and diluted it to a luke-warm water. That still makes for a good game, but nowhere NEAR as good as SS2. Also, the story of BS2 was...well...BS.

Half Life isn't about an experiment going wrong and trying to get to the surface. About 1\4 of the way through the game, you get to the surface and suddenly the marines are trying to kill you to contain the situation. From then on, it creates a wonderfully trapped environment where you're put in a situation that makes it better to go on suicidal missions as it's better to go out dying than laying down.

Half-Life should be up there, but come the fuck on. Where's Deus Ex 1 for crying out loud? No One Lives Forever? Ugh.

No love for Mass Effect or Deus Ex HR? Not that it was a bad episode - if anything I liked how they seemed more aggressive than usual in attacking each other's arguments. But in a debate between Bioshock and HL, I respectfully vote 'none of the above.'

This is what I always wondered about the beginning of Bioshock: "I'm in this strange underwater world, what is this? A big glowing needle? I guess I will just stab it into my arm then"

Monty McDougal:
This is what I always wondered about the beginning of Bioshock: "I'm in this strange underwater world, what is this? A big glowing needle? I guess I will just stab it into my arm then"

Are you telling me you wouldn't stab yourself with a giant needle containing unknown glowing liquid you found on the ground in an underwater city? That is just not normal.

Seriously though there are a number of possible explanations that I placed in spoilers.

OT: I would say Half-Life wins on a technicality. While the plot for Bio-shock was wrapped up more neatly (mainly because it is wrapped up) it has those RPG elements which in my book is cheating.

Personal Favorite: Portal

Best FPS plot? Well, they should have inserted the Sci-Fi in the title, we have Thief, and it have a wonderful plot too, Darkest Corners of the Earth, another great game, if you look at the plot, Arx Fatalis was also great! So yeah, I know people love Half-Life, and I do belive it's a very good game, but not THAT good. Bioshock had a lot of short comings, some quite annoying, and a mechanic I didn't enjoyed at all, the Clone Machine. But it could follow Kyle advice and become a book series.

newdarkcloud:

frag971:
Neither, i think Mirror's Edge has the best. The plot itself may not be the best in the world but it's the best for an FPS and works very well in that universe.

Mirror's Edge didn't really have much of plot. While I liked the game, the plot did need some explaining. For example, what exactly does the city do to make it so evil? We really only have Faith's word that it sucks because everyone who is with the city (that we know of) seems to enjoy life.
That and the fact that the essence of Mirror's Edge isn't really a shooter (despite the last half thinking that it was).

i was very proud of myself for beating the game without shooting a single enemy. and im very upset that i didnt get a trophy for that

Honestly, I did not find Half-Life's story engaging that much. It just didn't mesh with me for whatever reason, it just felt like I was a dude who was walking from action point to action point so that the story could be moved on by other people. I dunno, I think it's because I never really felt like I was in the story, it was always Gordon Freeman, which is something I don't understand when people say that FPSs make "you" the main character. I highly disagree, especially when they give you a name or a voice or whatever, which is what they do with Gordon. I want to learn about him, about his previous life, about his connections, how he would actually react to things. Instead everyone just jokes that he's a mute and he stands around, jumping on tables, waiting for the scientist to start up the teleportation machine already.

I enjoyed Bioshock more because it truly subverts a lot of what we expect in games. The whole twist of "Would You Kindly" really makes you think about how games are designed in a critical way, and it avoids the issue I have with Half-Life in that the character is never brought into question; it's about the world around him, allowing me to truly get into the character I'm playing despite him having a name. I dunno, that's just me.

RobotDinosaur:
No love for Mass Effect or Deus Ex HR? Not that it was a bad episode - if anything I liked how they seemed more aggressive than usual in attacking each other's arguments. But in a debate between Bioshock and HL, I respectfully vote 'none of the above.'

well mass effect wasnt a first person shooter but i am surprised deus ex wasnt mentioned. i never thought bioshock had that great a story. the "would you kindly" thing was a pretty awesome twist but i wasnt blown away by anything about that game. half life creates a really immersive world but lets be honest, its strength has never been the story. the story isnt bad but its certainly not anything special either

Halo universe.

Half-life was boring.

Come at me Escapist.

Bioshock's plot: Guy explores a messed up world to learn the interesting story about how it got so messed up...then guy decides he doesn't like the story and does his best to screw up the ending.

Half-life's plot: Guy caught in a bad situation tries to save his colleagues and not die as things get worse and worse around him.

Both of them are on the action end of survival horror where the protagonist doesn't have much more motivation than "you're in a bad situation...try not to die". Both try to tack on a more noble motivation near the end and the fact that we see these as "plot twists" is a sad commentary on the state of the plots up until then.

Half-life does a MUCH better job of "show don't tell"; BioShock does a better job of back-story and world building;, but the plots within the games are nothing much.

I'd have to agree with the commenters above who listed Halo, Mirrors Edge, No One Lives Forever, and Thief as having better in-game stories. And of course, if we're counting BioShock as a FPS, then Deus Ex is certainly in the discussion too. Those all establish a world with a compelling conflict and fleshed-out antagonists, plausibly explain why you are a central character in that conflict, then let you go to work PRO-actively instead of RE-actively being herded along.

Half Life lost to Bioshock?

There is no God.

So the thing that I don't think anyone has touched on yet is..Why did they both chug their glass of water?

the fact that half life can even still compete with a game like bioshock that was released....dunno 20 odd years later (?) proves that half life was and is boss.
win by awesomeness - rasputin style (aka half saw/was the future)

:)

What Half Life did well was its ability to immerse a player fully into a world and environment with the most barebones elements of plot. There is no extensive exposition, your character never speaks - you're literally dumped in medias res into the life of guy who, if it wasn't for the passing comments of some security guards, you wouldn't know the name of. And everything happens without anyone explaining it and somehow, it all works. You honestly do feel like you're living the life of Gordon Freeman - unlucky man caught in a terrible situation facing completely inexplicable things like aliens popping out of midair.

It's the opposite of most shooters nowadays - shooters now try to include as much exposition as possible to give you context and immersion, but in actuality, that can work against you - there can be too much contrast between the dialogue-heavy cutscenes with the best friend, the romantic interest, the commander, the main villain, the computer techie, etc. and the dialogue-empty gameplay parts where you just keep shooting moving things.

Half-Life didn't have that contrast and the developers did a great job setting the details to make sure the immersion was preserved. When a helicopter shot a rocket at you, no one told you, "Look out, they're shooting rockets. To dodge the rocket, take cover behind a wall, then shoot back!" or whatever.

However, on the flipside, it also limited the depth of story that could be explored. It never shifts to another perspective, there's never a long briefing. You're strictly limited to the perspective of one guy. So in Half Life, you don't get to meet a lot of characters, trace their arcs, their development, experience a richness of dialogue and plotlines, get all the backstory and necessary information for a deeper understanding of everything that's going on. Its strength of immersion also inhibits its storytelling - in fact, it doesn't have much "storytelling," really. It's entirely a slice-of-life - just a very traumatic and painful slice-of-life that happens to address the fate of humanity and the Earth.

I really feel Kyle crowbarred himself in the foot invoking similarities to Lost as part of his defense of a good plot.

Once again you're both wrong and it falls to me to be right about everything.
The answer is Metroid Prime.
Of your two choices I just have to say; really?
Half Life?
Really?


I like Half Life 1, (2 and it's other incomplete bits are a wretched abomination) but it's not exactly a great plot.

infernal had a more interesting plot than bioshock.... almost better game play too. As for HL2...it was just to generic for me. HL1 is still great!

Akalabeth:
I prefer Doom 3. Go to hell, fight demons, what's not to like.

A game, Doom 3 is too busy trying to hide everything in darkness than be a fun game...it also did horribly since it was "cenimagic" and not a coherent game...

Bioshock and Half-Life have become so overlyhyped and stained with nostalgia that I think it's near impossible to convince some people they aren't as great as other games. It seems saying something often enough and loud enough turns opinion into universal predisposition.

Half-Life consists of killing aliens because a portal is opened and Bioshock relies on atmosphere and a single line twist that ultimately means nothing. I think people confuse story telling and atmosphere with genuine plot and meaning.

Timesplitters 2. It's basically Quantum Leap with guns, aliens and monkeys

I win.

I'm going with that one game about shooting aliens in the face...and it's really a shame I have to be more specific than that...

Rodrigo Girao:

Aureliano:
Marathon vs. System Shock.

Fuck yeah! With little hesitation, I say the Marathon trilogy has the best, most ambitious, most delightfully far-fetched writing in the whole history of video games. The gameplay has aged quite a bit, but the plot is just insane.

Anyone who didn't yet, go play the damn thing.

I love you both so very, very much. And of course I agree; although maybe I'm just being stubborn, but I still enjoy the game-play just fine. It doesn't have Doom's brilliantly absurd amounts of mass murder, but it's got enough 'Oomph' for me.

I'm ashamed of myself. When I saw the title, I thought "Hm, maybe Blops and Gears? Eh!". I never thought of Half Life and Bioshock, and I own both games. *sigh*

Anyway, that final word made me think. I was leaning more towards Bioshock 1 because it does have a very original plot with a great plot twist that makes you facepalm yourself for not realizing it sooner. The atmosphere was indeed awesome and...just everything about it made YOU feel like you're part of the game. However, Valve does at better job at intertwining its worlds.
HOWEVER! Half Life had a good story but not as good as Bioshock. Maybe it was me but as I was playing the game, at one point I completely forgot what my character was supposed to be doing. People showed up here and there, gave me a palm on the back and left. Then I wandered all over the world until someone tried to kill me.

Valve is awesome. But as far as Valve goes, I actually think Portal has a better story, even if its shorter. Also, Portal = Best original FPS ever.

Hm, that would be a good episode. Best original FPS ever. Portal vs. ???

EDIT: Best FPS nominee? Minecraft! You're armed with a sword, dirt, grass and your fist. You're stranded on a world where you're the only survivor. How did you get there? Is there a way out? Why is there a gate to another world? Who are you? Kinda blows your mind. ;]

Clearing the Eye:
Bioshock and Half-Life have become so overlyhyped and stained with nostalgia that I think it's near impossible to convince some people they aren't as great as other games. It seems saying something often enough and loud enough turns opinion into universal predisposition.

Half-Life consists of killing aliens because a portal is opened and Bioshock relies on atmosphere and a single line twist that ultimately means nothing. I think people confuse story telling and atmosphere with genuine plot and meaning.

I only beat Half-Life for the first time earlier this year so I'm not seeing it through nostalgia. What Valve does in Half-Life is take a reasonably mediocre plot and tell it in a reasonably believable way with extremely novel gameplay elements. I think the reason Half-Life is always mentioned in these kinds of discussions is because it packed together so many memorable gameplay elements in the progression of a rather simple plot. Many of these elements have become their own cliches in time because they have been reused by other developers. For instance I can't think of another game that had a helicopter chase like the one in Half-Life before Half-Life, and yet now it's a bygone conclusion that action games have persistent helicopter chases that end with you finding a rocket launcher and shooting it down.

Do4600:

Clearing the Eye:
Bioshock and Half-Life have become so overlyhyped and stained with nostalgia that I think it's near impossible to convince some people they aren't as great as other games. It seems saying something often enough and loud enough turns opinion into universal predisposition.

Half-Life consists of killing aliens because a portal is opened and Bioshock relies on atmosphere and a single line twist that ultimately means nothing. I think people confuse story telling and atmosphere with genuine plot and meaning.

I only beat Half-Life for the first time earlier this year so I'm not seeing it through nostalgia. What Valve does in Half-Life is take a reasonably mediocre plot and tell it in a reasonably believable way with extremely novel gameplay elements. I think the reason Half-Life is always mentioned in these kinds of discussions is because it packed together so many memorable gameplay elements in the progression of a rather simple plot. Many of these elements have become their own cliches in time because they have been reused by other developers. For instance I can't think of another game that had a helicopter chase like the one in Half-Life before Half-Life, and yet now it's a bygone conclusion that action games have persistent helicopter chases that end with you finding a rocket launcher and shooting it down.

It's definitely a case of storytelling being mistaken for actual narrative. It's the same deal with Portal; the actual story there is very flimsy--there's just nothing to it--but the way the story and world unfold around you is a great example of player immersion. Like you said, you'd be hard pressed to find a developer in the genre not at least somewhat influenced by Half-Life. That alone, however, doesn't make the story anything to write home about.

Half-Life's plot is about as B class sci-fi as you can get. It was simply told in a fashion people hadn't seen in many games, especially first-person shooters.

Yeah... point of order, Bioshock is a shooter with a small quantity of RPG elements. you don't have so much as an inventory screen.

Thus Kyle is visiting wrongtown right off the bat.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here