Fewer Mechanics, Better Game

Do BioShock's complex mechanics actually weaken the game? In the latest Gamasutra feature, gameplay programmer John Rose examines how limiting mechanics can result in stronger play experiences -- tossing aside fashionable notions in favor of an argument for discipline in design.

While filling a game with features and sandbox elements might seem to answer requests from gamers for an environment with near-limitless possibilities, this can take away from the strength of the game's aesthetic and unity of gameplay.

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Dr Pepper3834d ago


I really liked the mechanics of Bioshock. I enjoyed being able to choose what plasmids and ammo types to go into a battle with. It raised it above many other games, and also gave the game more replay value, allowing you to go back to that spot the next time and try something different. Doing the same simple formula for every game is bound to get repetitive in the industry.

If people want to just graze over the core concepts of the game and don't want to get into what truly makes it an interesting and unique experience, perhaps they shouldn't be playing that game to begin with. If you cant handle a deeper system like Bioshock, for a shooter, then maybe you should just stick to games like Halo.

MorganX3834d ago

Doesn't weaken the game but complex mechanics can weaken the appeal for casual gamers who have limited time to play.

marichuu3833d ago

I didn't bother reading after he mentioned that Bioshock was complex.

Fux4Bux3833d ago

Bioshock is incredibly simple. There's nothing complicated about the customization at all. This is like the main problem with the game industry today. Trying to make things simpler and more dumbed down is not helping anything. It's just pathetic that you have to look back 7 years to find any depth in games.

tony3833d ago (Edited 3833d ago )

sound more believable than this nonsense article. bubbles for all of u.

JDW3833d ago

The variety of plasmids in no way weakened the gameplay, if anthing it actually elevated Bioshock and prevented it from being just another generic FPS game.

The plasmids all worked effectively and allowed the gamer to apply many different techniques when combating enemies.

They could use the electric shock in the water, turn security cameras against the enemies, enrage them against each other and also choose to fight the security bots and gun turrets or just hack them and have them as allies.

There are many other methods of attack as well....and each method works as flawlessly as many games with just a single attack method do.

Say what you like about it's disappointing ending and occasional hand holding, one thin Bioshock got right was the balance of it's weapons and upgrades.

tony3833d ago (Edited 3833d ago )

i love bioshock. its my goty 2007. i have no complains whatsoever.

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