#285 Bioforge

Posted: 3rd March 2018 by Jeroen in Games
Tags: , , , , ,

675th played so far

Genre: Role-Playing/Puzzle
Platform: PC
Year of Release: 1995
Developer: Origin Systems
Publisher: Electronic Arts

I’m not sure quite where I stand with Bioforge. Graphically, and in vague theme, we have something that resembles an older version of System Shock, but it’s billed as an RPG/Puzzle/Adventure while the manual lists a bunch of combat options… A lot of this is going to depend on where it wins out for me.

Our Thoughts

What genuinely got to me while playing this game is that quite a bit of it was let down by the game’s age and the consequences it has on the controls. We have a third person perspective with a camera per ‘room’ or area and with that, we get tank controls (with no WASD!) that are slow and awkward. I can accept it, up to a point on Grim Fandango, but for the most part, that game isn’t about the timing.

Here, imprecise turning meant that running down a hallway to avoid a cannon you cannot take on yet becomes very difficult. Combat feels too complex and difficult and, so far, hasn’t added much to the game beyond being an HP drain – which feels annoying considering it’s a very limited resource in the game. The controls feel too imprecise to really play the game, and I couldn’t bring up the patience for it.

And if this game were remade – something that seems unlikely as EA doesn’t care much and it’s not really a big name – that would probably do it. The world seems interesting, a dystopian feeling space station where you are landed and have to escape while being threatened and so on. The puzzles are pretty fun – quite obvious, when the controls aren’t a hindrance to solving them. It makes some good use of computer interfaces, manipulating the world through all of that, creating a real sense of the possibilities here. The project was also developed as an interactive movie – something that sounds a bit like a buzzword, but it inidcates the story it’s trying to tell. It didn’t quite work on me, but I do feel there’s a clear greater effort taken in the storytelling here that we don’t see elsewhere.

Final Thoughts

It’s hard to feel like there aren’t games who did this better – Quest for Glory combines a similar set of genres but feels playable as it’s based in a point and click adventure instead of a 3D engine like we get here. The System Shock series trades on similar themes, although with less adventure game puzzles. Here, it challenges you, but not quite to the point as it could have when the 3D control issues would have been worked out.