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IMG Reviews BioShock 2


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#1 IMG News

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 05:46 AM

Inside Mac Games has posted a new review of BioShock 2, Feral Interactive's soon to be released Mac version of the genetically enhanced role-playing shooter. Developed by 2K Marin, 2K Australia, 2K China and Digital Extremes, and published by 2K Games for games consoles and PC, BioShock 2 is the sequel to BioShock.

Here's an excerpt:

As far as shooting and combat go, Bioshock 2 has a number of changes. Not only can you dual wield plasmids and weapons, as a Big Daddy you feature a significantly more fearsome arsenal than Jack ever did. Tommy gun? Try chain gun. Crossbow? Try Spear gun. Every weapon is excellently modeled and deliciously powerful. Like the original, every weapon has 3 different kinds of ammo, and also 3 different upgrades you can choose at the Power to the People stations. The camera has also seen an update, now being a video camera. The same research ideas apply with different levels of research granting you bonuses for your character, damage or even some special gene tonics. All the original plasmids and gene tonics return, as well as a few new ones like the nifty Scout plasmid which allows you to go invisible, or the hard to get Fountain of Youth tonic which regenerates health and EVE while standing in water.
Bioshock 2 will be released on March 29. Check out the link below to read the full review.
Return to Full Article - InsideMacGames News


#2 Wumpus

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 09:09 AM

Had this put up a few days early, thought it could be useful for those who wanted to get a good idea of the game so they can pre-order/order, or not.
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#3 Janichsan

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 09:22 AM

I have preordered months ago. I want to play it, dammit!

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#4 Wumpus

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 09:43 AM

View PostJanichsan, on 26 March 2012 - 09:22 AM, said:

I have preordered months ago. I want to play it, dammit!
Just a few more days!
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#5 nagromme

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 10:16 AM

Reminds me that I have barely gotten into BioShock 1, and I really want to! Too little time...

Iím still halfway through Quake 4 and Half-Life 2 as well. Shameful. What am I doing wasting time reading about games when I should be playing them?

#6 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 10:41 AM

How can you leave HL2 unplayed? O_o I think that is an awesome shooter.

I'm currently doing Bioshock 1. It is not totally catching on to me though.. Especially since I find the interface pretty bad.
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#7 Smoke_Tetsu

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 12:49 PM

I completed all three of those games countless times *thumbs nose* Nyeh nyeh nyeh!  :cool: ;)
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Alex Delarg, A Clockwork Orange said:

It's funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you viddy them on the screen.

the Battle Cat said:

Slower and faster? I'm sorry to hear such good news?

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#8 Ichigo27

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 01:33 PM

Bought both bioshocks on sale few years ago. Didn't play multiplayer though. Even though both games felt brief, I still had a blast playing through more then once. Don't get why the mac version needs 4 gigs of ram, cause I only have the ram that came with my computer(4 GIGs). Bioshock 2 on win xp only needs like 2 gigs of ram.
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#9 iRolley

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 02:05 PM

I get terrible performance from Bioshock on my iMac i3 AMD5670.  Even at a low resolution of 1344 x 756 I don't find it smooth enough, I guess it runs barely above 20 fps during fight scenes. At that resolution the game is far from beautiful to look at. Meanwhile Rage runs at a native 1920 x 1080. Bioshock must be a bit too heavy on pixel shaders... I'll wait for Deus Ex ;)

#10 Wumpus

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 02:47 PM

View Postnagromme, on 26 March 2012 - 10:16 AM, said:

What am I doing wasting time reading about games when I should be playing them?
Good question :P

View PostThain Esh Kelch, on 26 March 2012 - 10:41 AM, said:

How can you leave HL2 unplayed? O_o I think that is an awesome shooter.

I'm currently doing Bioshock 1. It is not totally catching on to me though.. Especially since I find the interface pretty bad.
I think HL2 is a terrible shooter, and I can't understand for the life of me why its so popular. I've got a crazy Valve friend so I've attempted to get into it multiple times to no avail. The story certainly has some interesting points, but I've been way more drawn in by other games story/atmosphere. Still I don't begrudge anyone liking it.

What don't you like about the Bioshock interface? I wouldn't call it great, but I never found it bad either. Would like to hear your thoughts.

View PostiRolley, on 26 March 2012 - 02:05 PM, said:

I get terrible performance from Bioshock on my iMac i3 AMD5670.  Even at a low resolution of 1344 x 756 I don't find it smooth enough, I guess it runs barely above 20 fps during fight scenes. At that resolution the game is far from beautiful to look at. Meanwhile Rage runs at a native 1920 x 1080. Bioshock must be a bit too heavy on pixel shaders... I'll wait for Deus Ex ;)
What is your full system specs? Also in Bioshock, was that max settings, low resolution or what? That seems odd to me as i've always found the Unreal engine games to scale and run quite well even on lower hardware. Mind you I haven't had "lower hardware" in a few years, but I did play the original Bioshock (in 2007) at medium settings/resolution.

Rage was pretty well optimized on the mac it seems, I actually got better performance in Lion than I did bootcamp. Not by much, but a little. First time I can say that for a ported title. You mentioned a good resolution, but what other settings can you run Rage at? Texture caching, AA, Anisotropic filtering. How much of the "streaming texture lag" do you get? Just curious.

Also DXHR seems quite well optimized and I'm getting comparable performance to that of bootcamp, although the load times are a bit longer in some spots.
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#11 Smoke_Tetsu

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 03:05 PM

I strongly disagree on Half-Life 2 being a terrible shooter but that's just me. I've logged in over 50 hours playing Half-LIfe 2 on steam.. so there.. I defy anyone who calls it terrible. The only thing about it that bothers me is the parts where you have to drive across the middle of some pipes into other pipes.. it's hard to go across that exactly in the middle without flipping your boat over. Otherwise I really like the weapons especially the SMG and the shooting is fine to me. I could similarly call Team Fortress 2 or Counterstrike terrible shooters that I can't understand why anyone likes since they are not my cup of tea. I could call whole genres of games like turn based strategy terrible games as well.  :cool:

Also it's very odd that on someone's system RAGE would outperform Bioshock. RAGE is optimized but it's not that optimized and on my system Bioshock is not that slow and I play it at 1920x1080 full detail... for the longest time it outperformed other games such as Quake in darkplaces engine with high res normal map texture pack, dynamic lights addon and the pretty water mod added to it. My first playthroughs of Bioshock I actually ran it at 2560x1440 but I toned that down to 1920x1080 just to eke out a few more FPS.

I do get some texture pop-in issues in Bioshock 2 that I don't get elsewhere though. But the frame rate is fine there too.

Also unless you have a mac hooked up to a TV 1920x1080 is not native resolution. The only iMac with a 16:9 resolution is the 27 inch one in which 2560x1440 is the native resolution. If you have a smaller iMac then most likely 1920x1200 is the native resolution or 1680x1050... in other words 16:10 resolutions.
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Alex Delarg, A Clockwork Orange said:

It's funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you viddy them on the screen.

the Battle Cat said:

Slower and faster? I'm sorry to hear such good news?

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#12 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 03:26 PM

View PostSmoke_Tetsu, on 26 March 2012 - 03:05 PM, said:

I could similarly call Team Fortress 2 or Counterstrike terrible shooters that I can't understand why anyone likes since they are not my cup of tea.
Nor mine. I don't see the fuss with them either.

View PostWumpus, on 26 March 2012 - 02:47 PM, said:

What don't you like about the Bioshock interface? I wouldn't call it great, but I never found it bad either. Would like to hear your thoughts.
First time I got an upgrade (And I don't get what it actually upgrades? I think it is some genetic thingamajing), I though "Cool, I can get better!" and clicked the interface to add it. Then later I got a second upgrade, and was surprised that it apparently had a seperate interface, as the upgrade I got earlier wasn't present anymore. Then later, I got even a third upgrade screen! I have no idea why there are several and not just one. Also, it took me several hours before I realised that I could switch bullets on my weapons.. Hit shift by accident and "Hey, I actually DO have more ammo!". The game is horrible at explaining that, and I don't think it should be necessary to go through controls in detail, just to play a game.

I still haven't figured out how to access the upgrade UI's. Haven't looked in the controls section though. :P
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#13 Smoke_Tetsu

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 03:47 PM

As far as switching ammo goes I wish they would have made it so when you press a number to go to a weapon pressing that number again cycles through the ammo types instead of putting that on a separate set of keys to cycle through it. Kind of like how in Half-Life similar weapons are grouped together and you cycle through them by pressing the number key again.
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Alex Delarg, A Clockwork Orange said:

It's funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you viddy them on the screen.

the Battle Cat said:

Slower and faster? I'm sorry to hear such good news?

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#14 Wumpus

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 05:11 PM

I think Rage does that with the ammo switching, just hit the weapon key again, it is convenient.

I think TF2 & Counterstrike are also terrible shooters, and I'm a giant shooter fan. Basically I don't like Valve's style of shooting. I enjoy Left 4 Dead, but that wasn't even made by them, it was Turtle Rock Studios who they bought/assimilated. My opinion on HL2, is just that, an opinion :P And no matter how much I've tried to get into it, I can't, so my view stands.

@ Thain, try looking at the manual or controls? :P The ammo thing was apparent to me if I recall, but I also tend to pay attention to small details in games. I don't recall if the interface changes for your plasmids and tonics from BS1 to BS2, but I think what you're running into is this. When you pickup a new tonic, you're giving the option to equip it right away, and you only have so many slots. So if you replace an old tonic with a new one, then it won't be equipped. I think you can unlock 5 or 6 slots total? I don't quite remember. Also using the gene banks to swap out plasmids and tonics is a different interface than the one that pops up on new tonic pickup. And the 3rd interface I can think of is gather's gardens where you buy tonics and plasmids, but don't equip them. It is a lot to keep track of, and the gene bank interface could use some work, but its good enough I found.
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#15 Janichsan

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 12:19 AM

View PostiRolley, on 26 March 2012 - 02:05 PM, said:

I get terrible performance from Bioshock on my iMac i3 AMD5670.  Even at a low resolution of 1344 x 756 I don't find it smooth enough, I guess it runs barely above 20 fps during fight scenes. At that resolution the game is far from beautiful to look at. Meanwhile Rage runs at a native 1920 x 1080. Bioshock must be a bit too heavy on pixel shaders... I'll wait for Deus Ex ;)
Odd. :huh: I have Bioshock (1) running perfectly smooth on my i7 Mac mini with the AMD 6630, completely maxed out at 1360x768. Could the game be that CPU dependent?

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#16 iRolley

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 12:37 AM

View PostSmoke_Tetsu, on 26 March 2012 - 03:05 PM, said:

Also unless you have a mac hooked up to a TV 1920x1080 is not native resolution. The only iMac with a 16:9 resolution is the 27 inch one in which 2560x1440 is the native resolution. If you have a smaller iMac then most likely 1920x1200 is the native resolution or 1680x1050... in other words 16:10 resolutions.

Yes, 1920x1080 is the resolution of the 21.5 inch iMac.

Quote

Odd.  I have Bioshock (1) running perfectly smooth on my i7 Mac mini with the AMD 6630, completely maxed out at 1360x768. Could the game be that CPU dependent?

Interesting, yeah I guess it could be CPU dependent : I tried removing the Complex Shaders, or lower the quality, but it does not affect performance much. I guess I'll try to contact Feral support, but I without a way to measure frame rate, it is hard to "debug".

#17 Wumpus

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 12:44 AM

Feral support is pretty responsive, would be interesting to see the result of this and why you are having so much trouble.
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#18 Janichsan

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 02:32 AM

View PostiRolley, on 27 March 2012 - 12:37 AM, said:

Interesting, yeah I guess it could be CPU dependent : I tried removing the Complex Shaders, or lower the quality, but it does not affect performance much. I guess I'll try to contact Feral support, but I without a way to measure frame rate, it is hard to "debug".
If I recall correctly, Feral puts by default a [pink pony] :P into all of their ports that can be activated by a certain command in the startup dialog, but I can't find the corresponding posting here at the moment.

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#19 edddeduck

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 09:37 AM

View PostiRolley, on 26 March 2012 - 02:05 PM, said:

I get terrible performance from Bioshock on my iMac i3 AMD5670.  Even at a low resolution of 1344 x 756 I don't find it smooth enough, I guess it runs barely above 20 fps during fight scenes. At that resolution the game is far from beautiful to look at. Meanwhile Rage runs at a native 1920 x 1080. Bioshock must be a bit too heavy on pixel shaders... I'll wait for Deus Ex ;)

Sounds like something is up the creek on your Mac you should not have such bad FPS :). Just checking did you have VSync and FSAA off? Those are the biggest FPS killers. Also what is the VRAM on that card? 256 or 512? 1080p is quite huge res so needs more VRAM. Dump all this and a support report (see support tab) into a support email and mention me in the email. I can have a looky on a similar Mac at Feral's offices.

View PostJanichsan, on 27 March 2012 - 02:32 AM, said:

If I recall correctly, Feral puts by default a debugging option into all of their ports that can be activated by a certain command in the startup dialog, but I can't find the corresponding posting here at the moment.

That's because the feature is not public knowledge for a reason. We keep it for support issues only. I would appreciate it if we don't pass it around as you can break the game and have side effects by enabling the fps counter and other options in that menu.

Edwin

#20 Smoke_Tetsu

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 11:50 AM

I'm afraid to say it but it probably is a good idea to turn vsync off but at least with Bioshock there are no FSAA options to speak of. Edwin how could you not remember this?  :cool: Also on my Mac Bioshock runs great at "1080p" with my 512MB of VRAM (and no.. great is not code for crap  :huh:). You might remember I was having crashing problems in Fort Frolic but that was only due to a corrupt plist file and nothing else. Although again I did drop from 1440p down to 1080p which performed a tad better than the former. In that particular game. :P

Personally I find what resolution I can run a game at dependent on what game it is and some games are more optimized than others. Like for example I run most id software games at at least 1080p including Wolfenstein (2009) in wineskin. But with other games such as UE3 ones I drop down to 1600x900. Same thing with FEAR2 in wineskin but FEAR1 and Condemned I run at 1080p.  What's been helping me is having vsync off although that kind of sucks for me because I prefer the look with vsync on but oh well. Having it off helped a lot with DNF making be able to run it at 1080p max settings with FXAA on and Motion Blur off. Some older games like Max Payne 1 & 2 I run at a head exploding 1440p with 8xAA and they run great.  :o Painkiller runs very good at 1080p with 6x AA. So does Halo except at 1440p.  :cool:

Anyway, iRolley... is that new 21 inch iMac what you have? Because you said you had a Core i3 and those have i5. If you have an i3 then likely you have a mid-2010 21 inch iMac. According to what I've read it should have 512MB if it has the 5760 option.
--Tetsuo

Alex Delarg, A Clockwork Orange said:

It's funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you viddy them on the screen.

the Battle Cat said:

Slower and faster? I'm sorry to hear such good news?

Late 2012 27 inch iMac, Core i7 Quad 3.4GHz, 16GB RAM, Nvidia GeForce GTX 680MX 2GB, 3TB HDD - Mavericks

Late 2009 27 inch iMac, Core i5 2.6GHz, 12GB RAM, ATI Radeon 4850HD 512MB, 1TB HDD - Mavericks

Mac Mini, PowerPC G4 1.4Ghz, 1GB RAM, Radeon 9200 32MB, 256GB HDD - Leopard

Dell Inspiron 1200 Notebook: 1.2GHz Celeron, 1.2GB RAM, Intel GMA915, 75GB HDD - Ubuntu

Generic Black Tower PC, Dual Core 64-bit 2.4GHz, 4GB RAM, GeForce 9600 GT 512MB - Windows 7