Bioshock under Linux/Wine: better than Windows! OMG!

Yesterday I found myself in the mood to play a game again. So I turned up my Windows 7 partition and tried to play Bioshock. But: there was no in-game sound. After the very first cut-scenes (the airplane crash) you float in the middle of burning water but mute. No sound, no beep.

So I googled around to fix that issue and discovered there is a ton of people suffering from the same problem. I followed several recommendations but nothing changed. There is even a YouTube video for the very dumb with several tips, but none (none!) enabled the sound. It took me about 1 hour along with several reboots and changing Windows 7 core components. Finally I gave up, frustrated. And I’m not alone with that. It seems that Bioshock under Windows 7 (or Vista) is a No-Go.

Today I tried the same game under Linux and within 5 minutes going for the mouse fix I had it up and running! With full sound enabled!

OMG!

I can’t believe that applications made for Windows do not run under Windows but under a Windows Emulation on Linux. This is crazy. One should expect that applications should run better or at least with equal performance on both operating systems. But having Linux being superior to Windows on Windows own playground … is this yet another sign of dying M$ technology?

So, everyone wanting to play Bioshock but is suffering from the sound problem: get yourself a Linux installment! I guess any will do. Bioshock does run on your machine – but not under this operating system.

Game: Dead Space 2

Dead Space 2Finished Dead Space 2. Compared to the previous Prince of Persia _this_ game is gory. And brutal. And everything. The game experience itself is great: always looking over the shoulder in a 3rd person manner, dark and always there is something crawling and lurking right out of sight. It’s a great game with just some minor defects.  

First, the game suffers from the US definition of horror: gore. Not very subtle. At this the game can’t match the No. 1 horror game ever: Silent Hill II. The later had all ingredients without all the gallons of blood (though a good share of it). It defined tension not by the number of limbs cut off, but by the fact that you just do not know what is going on and the overall creepiness. However Dead Space II is quite good in delivering a portion of suspense.

Second, the game stresses the gore factor unnecessarily to a questionable extend: the “Eye-scene” and the “Execution” in the very last chapter: WTF! There is really no single reason found in the story-line to justify this. I believe it’s just there to give US teenagers a good kick to topple the game over other survival-horror shooters.

Third, I f**king hate opponents and enemies which you can’t kill. In the last chapter, there’s a special sort of monster which puts itself back together and rises again. So, you can’t kill it. Ammunition and health packages are rare, enemies are crawling all over the place and this undying thing start to hunt you. Next to the stress to find the exit you now have to make it very fast. This was the reason I switched in the game from “Normal” to “Easy” in the last chapter, because this invincible thing was nothing but pure annoying.

Forth, the story is … uhm … confusing at best. Most of the time the radio speak of Nicole/Marker is very hard to understand to get the full picture. And what Nicole/Marker is doing with Isaac’s mind is totally unknown to me. Also there ain’t any background to anything but Unitology, which is clearly a parody of Scientology. Besides the Marker and this religious movement the Dead Space universe is quite, well, “dead”. There is pretty nothing of interest in it. Dead Space universe history and environment seem to fit on a single page of paper.

I assign the game 4 out of 5 stars. On the pro side: one of the hardest horror yet seen in games(18+ is right) though way too splattery. The sidekick at Unitology = Scientology is pretty obvious and nice. On the con side: the four points mentioned above: too much emphasis on the unsubtle gore part of the definition of “horror”, which is sad, exaggerated gore scenes in the end, which do nothing to the story and seem quite out of place, invincible opponents and completely confusing story within a pretty dead universe.

7/10: 7 out of 10

Game: Prince of Persia – Warrior Within

Prince of Persia - Warrior Within 

Finished Prince of Persia – Warrior Within. This is the second installment of the famous Prince of Persia series. It has been released in 2004 and received quite good receptions. The game is quite gory so rating it as 16+ is quite low for european standards.

 

I assign the game 4 out of 5 stars. On the pro side: it features the best game soundtrack ever! Combining this with the dark, martial ambient gives the prince a very adult, cool aspect. This Prince rocks! On the con side: the player is forced to visit the places over and over again. This gets boring sooner or later. And finally the difficulty: even on the easiest level the game is very, very hard to solve. Enemies are tough and often one has to figure out which move to use in the correct second. Not to mention for a huge stress level when you are chased by the Dahaka! The frustration levels raises constantly if one needs 15 or more runs to get by a boss fight. Funny thing: I managed to get all live upgrades and received the Water Sword, which lets me kill the Dahaka in the end. This fight is a laugh comparing it to the Empress boss fight earlier!

 

7/10: 7 out of 10