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Smash hit 'BioShock' comes to iPhone, iPad with iOS-specific controls

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
After years of rumors and speculation, developer 2K Games on Wednesday released a universal iOS port of BioShock, finally bringing the critically acclaimed first-person shooter to Apple's portable devices.


BioShock gameplay trailer. | Source: TouchArcade via YouTube


As reported in early August, BioShock for iOS is a full port of the original game first released for Windows PCs and Xbox in 2007.

Set in 1960, the game's protagonist Jack crash lands his plane near a gateway to Rapture, an underwater Utopia created by businessman Andrew Ryan. After discovering a powerful plasmid dubbed ADAM, the city fell into turmoil, creating roving bands of genetically modified inhabitants locked in a struggle for power.

Blending frenetic FPS gameplay with role-playing elements, BioShock is driven by an intriguing storyline layered with philosophical undertones, the most influential being Ayn Rand's Objectivism. When the title first launched, critics lauded the novel application of decision-based gameplay in which a player's actions determine the story's final outcome.

From the release notes:

  • Biologically modify your body with plasmids - genetic augmentations that empower you with dozens of fantastic abilities.
  • Control the world by hacking devices - reprogram enemy security bots into personal bodyguards, modify vending machines to change prices, and transform machine gun security turrets into powerless pieces of metal.
  • Upgrade your weapons - Craft variants of ammo and plasmids by picking up materials in the city to modify them at kiosks.
  • Explore Rapture - an incredible and unique art deco world hidden deep under the ocean, vividly illustrated with realistic water effects and cutting edge graphics now playable on mobile.
  • Make Meaningful Decisions - do you exploit the innocent survivors of Rapture to save yourself...or risk all to become their savior?

The FPS horror title spawned two sequels in BioShock 2 and BioShock: Infinite.



BioShock comes in at a hefty 1.65GB and can be purchased for $14.99 from the iOS App Store. Due to processor-intensive graphics, BioShock is not compatible with the iPhone 4S or below, third-generation iPad or below, first-generation iPad mini and iPod touch.
post #2 of 23

Meh. I've played this on far superior platforms with far superior graphics. The graphics (among many others) are one of the main draws of this game so please feel free to enlighten me as to why I'd want to pay $15 bucks for a watered-down version of a game I've played thousands of times on superior platforms?

post #3 of 23
You'll never know unless you actually play it on the new platform whether it's better or not.
post #4 of 23
Based on a true story.
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post #5 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by DogCowabunga View Post

You'll never know unless you actually play it on the new platform whether it's better or not.

 

While you are probably correct a part of me thinks they should have waited and released this with iOS 8 so they could have all that yummy Metal power going. Couldn't hurt to have that extra kick. 

 

I'm rather hoping this goes over at least semi well so that other titles may be released. After all, if folks want gaming on the Apple TV, I doubt they just want Angry Birds. 

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #6 of 23

Freemium? Huh, that sucks!

 

I can't stand being nickled and dimed by all of these freemium games! 

 

Let me buy the damn game outright!

 

I'd gladly pay full price for a great ga.............

 

Oh, wait a sec! This aint freemium?

 

$14.99 you say?

 

Heh, I'm just messing with the freemium haters on here.

 

Seriously speaking, it's good to see more and more serious ports of good games coming to iOS. I also don't feel that $14.99 is too much for a game of this calibre.

post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Amhran View Post
 

Meh. I've played this on far superior platforms with far superior graphics. The graphics (among many others) are one of the main draws of this game so please feel free to enlighten me as to why I'd want to pay $15 bucks for a watered-down version of a game I've played thousands of times on superior platforms?

 

It's true that the graphics will obviously be better on platforms like consoles and desktop as they are more powerful, but that doesn't mean that they are bad on the iOS versions. I've played other console and desktop ports on iOS, and while the graphics are a little less detailed, they were all still good games and well done and enjoyable to play, and that's what's important in my opinion. This game has some hefty requirements. It doesn't even run on iPad 3, according to their device requirements.

 

Try bringing your xbox or your desktop with you on an airplane and playing this game. There are plenty of people who would love to have their favorite desktop and console games and carry it with them wherever they go. Also, there are a lot of people out there who have never played this game before. If you've already played it thousands of times on other platforms, then you've obviously probably played it enough, and you have no use for an iOS version, but I believe that far more people will appreciate having this game on iOS.

 

The more big hits and good games that get released for iOS, the better. 

post #8 of 23
For a second, I thought this was yet another Samsung story.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #9 of 23
A man chooses, a slave obeys. Buy!
post #10 of 23
My Apple // has 128kb for double-res graphics! Take that, iPhone!

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

While you are probably correct a part of me thinks they should have waited and released this with iOS 8 so they could have all that yummy Metal power going. Couldn't hurt to have that extra kick. 

I'm rather hoping this goes over at least semi well so that other titles may be released. After all, if folks want gaming on the Apple TV, I doubt they just want Angry Birds. 

The port was probably finished before ios8 and Metal was announced. The event was only 3 or 4 months ago. If they want to do all the work to update it; it will take a year to do it.
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Amhran View Post

Meh.

It's not for you. It's for me; I haven't played it yet.
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Bailey View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Amhran View Post

Meh.

It's not for you. It's for me; I haven't played it yet.

The usual reaction when games don't make it to Android is that iOS games aren't worth playing. If they get ported over in a year, they'll suddenly become worth playing.

Bioshock sold 4 million copies by 2010. It will have sold more than that since then but I wouldn't expect much more, Infinite sold 6 million. Apple sells in excess of 200 million iOS devices per year now so there will be a significant portion of iOS users that haven't played the game.

$14.99 is a high asking price when the trilogy on the PC and Mac, including DLCs was recently available for around $10. The visual comparison between PC and iOS can be seen here (skip to 1:09 in the PC one at the bottom and 0:23 in the top and play them together, pause and skip to keep them in sync):




They've done a decent job with the visuals but all the character shadows and most environment volumetric effects are removed as well as decals like in the bathysphere when the water runs down the window and the window fogs up. Sometimes hardware can't handle transparencies properly so they exclude overlays. One of the creepy things in Bioshock was hearing a Big Daddy's footsteps and then seeing the shadow come round the corner. The fog hovering over the ground as well as the light shafts really added to the atmosphere of the place.

It would be nice if the hardware being released in a couple of weeks allowed that to be put back in as it would help sell the new units. They could even do the visual comparison side by side to show the improvements.

They have made some improvements to the game though, the PC one was really bad for long loading times - you can see the loading in the 2nd video above from 0:44 to 1:04, a whole 20 seconds and that happened between each level change. These went down with an SSD to about 5 seconds but the iOS version started immediately. The lower res textures would help there but it's still a good thing. The visuals underwater look better too because they've made it murkier.

Another good thing with iOS gaming is you can play games more easily around your schedule so people who wouldn't normally sit down at a PC or console can play this in a more convenient way. Having this kind of game run on passively cooled devices like this is a good stage to reach. I expect the next devices will be able to double GPU performance in the same conditions and combined with Metal, this should open the doors for a lot of AAA developers to bring immersive games to a new audience.
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Amhran View Post
 

Meh. I've played this on far superior platforms with far superior graphics. The graphics (among many others) are one of the main draws of this game so please feel free to enlighten me as to why I'd want to pay $15 bucks for a watered-down version of a game I've played thousands of times on superior platforms?

 

hahahahaha. Just another person who can't figure out the use-case scenario for a 1 pound portable computer you can take with you everywhere vs a large box tied to a large screen tied to a wall socket. 

post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Bailey View Post


It's not for you. It's for me; I haven't played it yet.

Me either- because I'm not in the gaming scene- I never even heard of XCOM- wow... what was I missing?  What awesome gameplay.


I look forward to playing this- haven't bought it yet, but am flying again soon, so this'll make the cut!

2014 27" Retina iMac i5, 2012 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 2, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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2014 27" Retina iMac i5, 2012 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 2, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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post #16 of 23

supports MFi Game Controllers also !
post #17 of 23
Originally Posted by GTR View Post
Based on a true story.

 

Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his brow? 

post #18 of 23
Looks like they targeted the platform with the worst graphics (perhaps an iPad 2?) They should have gone after the iPad Air and iPhone 5s knowing that they would sell this game for years rather than go after the biggest possible market when it launched.
post #19 of 23
There's another gameplay video here, the above one had cuts in it and it looks like this one still has the long loading times:



The times might vary between device models though. The 64-bit devices load software faster, Infinity Blade here on the iPad 2 took a minute longer to load vs the Air according to the reviewer:

post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his brow? 

Would you kindly not ask me this kind of question?

(>_<)
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post #21 of 23

14.99?!  All 3 Bioshock's were available on Steam the other weekend for under $11.

"Proof is irrelevant" - Solipsism
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"Proof is irrelevant" - Solipsism
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post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post

14.99?!  All 3 Bioshock's were available on Steam the other weekend for under $11.

Can I take those versions with my iPad on my business trip next week? No? Then apples/oranges.

I'm sure the price will drop after several months.

2014 27" Retina iMac i5, 2012 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 2, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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2014 27" Retina iMac i5, 2012 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 2, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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post #23 of 23
iOS-specific controls?

Poor mstone will be weeping tears of bitterness at the lack of mouse support.
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