BioShock 2 Blows Widescreen Support

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The PC version of BioShock 2 doesn’t properly support widescreen monitors, using a cropped and stretched 4:3 aspect image to simulate widescreen instead.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Gamers are up in arms over widescreen monitor issues in the PC version of BioShock 2. According to posts on both the 2K forums and the Widescreen Gaming Forum, BioShock 2 crops the top and bottom of images and then stretches the result to make the visuals appear wider. 2K Games has acknowledged the issue but says it’s limited to the PC release of the game.

“This is just a PC issue,” 2K Community Manager Elizabeth Tobey wrote. “It doesn’t impact 360 or PS3 because the game always has a widescreen angle for those versions.”

“I am compiling a complete list with a nifty screenshots for you, but in short: Yes, there’s a problem, yes, a fix is on the way, yes the view will expand horizontally for you widescreen gamers,” she said in a later message. “I wanted to let you know as soon as I could – so stay tuned for the details.”

Is this ringing any bells with anyone? Return with me, if you will, to the golden days of 2007, August to be precise, when the original BioShock hit the market. Owners of widescreen monitors were howling in outrage over its apparently busted widescreen support, which 2K said was actually a case of the game being stretched higher on 4:3 monitors. In other words, it wasn’t a loss for widescreen, it was a gain for conventional monitors.

Needless to say, gamers were entirely unsatisfied with that explanation and 2K eventually released an update to correct the issue. I was never entirely convinced that this was actually a problem as opposed to a legitimate design choice (although to be fair, I played BioShock on a standard aspect monitor) but regardless of that, 2K had to know that gamers would be watching for this and would react badly if it was discovered that widescreen support wasn’t 100 percent. So how was this allowed to happen again?

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