What should consumers expect from a re-make or a port? A better ending if the first game didn't have a great one?
"BioShock" was released on the Xbox 360 last summer year to much critical acclaim. A PS3 version with commendably similar engineering is coming out next month. But there was at least one widely acknowledged flaw with the Xbox 360 version: the game's final act. Yesterday, I learned that despite that year that's passed since the 360 version's release, that ending isn't going to be improved on the PS3.
"When you get a chance to work on something that was really creative you get the temptation to re-do things," the PS3 version's senior producer, Melissa Miller of 2K Marin, told MTV Multiplayer. "We chose not to."
Criticism of the game's final hours of gameplay is subjective, of course. Detailing it too much would be a spoiler. In vague terms, non-"BioShock" players, the complaints about the ending focused on a boss battle and on the limited paths that this game -- that was otherwise about the nature of free will -- wound up offering its players. Criticizing the ending is hardly controversial. "BioShock" lead creator Ken Levine admitted those flaws himself last year in an interview with Kotaku's Brian Crecente, saying "I underestimated, way underestimated, the impact the story was going to have on people ... I didn't realize it would change people's perspective on what to expect from gameplay."
The PS3 version will present gamers the same final hours of gameplay. The core storyline, graphics and gameplay progression is no different than what 360 gamers played. "We wanted to respect it," Miller told Multiplayer. "The things we wanted to add were things that would complement what was created." Those additions include a new difficulty mode and platform-exclusive downloadable content consisting of "challenge rooms" built from the gameplay structures and characters of the core game.
There are famous fan debates about classic movies that were altered when they were re-released. The many tweaks to "Star Wars," as it's been re-released in theaters and on DVD, have pleased some fans who enjoy the creators' changes. Those same changes have angered others who simply want a classic presented to a modern audience in its original, pristine form.
If Ken Levine of 2K Boston and Xbox 360 fans knock the ending of "BioShock," should the 2K Marin team making "BioShock" for PS3 have improved it?
The argument seems to go either way.