Yes it needed more work. WAY more work.
No to me it's awesome.
I think that would be interesting, that's all. I'm always curious. I just hoped to know more about him because he seemed, literally and figuratively, faceless. However, that did not stop me from loving his character, which is why his details seemed like they would be important.
Of course, this is where the player's imagination comes in.
I personally felt the same with Jack though. He's nothing more than an engineered embryo being played by the powers that be within Rapture. He has no say, no free will, no incentive to be there or do what he does beyond the fact that he doesn't have a choice.
Can that be compelling for a story? Sure, obviously it worked and served it's purpose. But I don't see much difference between he and Delta. Each is implanted with memories or instructions, each serves a purpose for others and neither takes an active role in choosing to do what they do.
So personally I think if you find one to be 'poor storytelling' then they both can be argued as such.
I think they both serve the purpose of allowing gamers to be a faceless entity from which we can experience Rapture through fresh eyes. And I can't speak for the developers but I think that's one of the reasons they made these characters that way, to allow the immersion to come from the player as it pertains to the role they take.
I found that a child's need for her protector to be with her to be more personally compelling than Jack's tragic pawn usage.
Don't get me wrong, I think they both have shortcomings, but compared to 98% of games both are far better executed. I just don't think either deserves to be considered bad, because I don't believe either are.
I put a lot of time and energy into earning the $110 (thanks to the wonderful Illinois tax) I spent on the game, only to not enjoy what I payed for. I absolutely loved Bioshock 1, and suppose I could find another game that I can enjoy, but that doesn't put $110 back in my pocket. Had I known then what I know now, believe me, I wouldn't have wasted my money and time on Bioshock 2, and I probably wouldn't be having this conversation.
Or would I? In retrospect I would have, but back then I might have been turned off by a delay.
It is a careful balance between maintaining interest and quality, but quality wins out in the end. And a bad product is bad forever.
At least until the damn patch.
Last edited by Adam Addict L; 03-03-2010 at 12:36 PM.
What has happened to him isn't reason enough to understand him. Let me provide two scenarios regarding Delta's past:
1. What if he was a horrible man who made it to Rapture, was accepted into society, committed heinous crimes, and forced into the suit as a punishment?
2. What if he was forced to take a dangerous job as a diver to support his starving family, wandered off the beaten path, and was put into the suit to silence him?
Now, depending on which of those scenarios you would go by, would you form a different opinion of him? Would you be able to connect to a criminal like you would a loving father? If scenario 1 was Delta's past, would you feel bad for him after Lamb forced him to kill himself? And even if you did, would you feel as bad as you did if scenario 2 was his past?
With Audio Diaries and Fontaine's explanations and a whole bunch of scattered clues, I felt I was able to piece a good amount of Jack's past together. Not all of it, but enough to connect.
Last edited by Adam Addict L; 03-03-2010 at 01:25 PM.
And just because something bad happened to him isn't reason enough for me to connect with him. I don't know anything about him. If a guilty man were punished, I probably wouldn't feel bad for him. If an innocent man were punished, i'd feel bad for him. If Delta committed heinous crimes in Rapture and as a result was put in a suit as punishment, then i'd say he got what was coming to him. If he just randomly found Rapture and was thrown in a suit, then i'd feel bad for him. But seeing as I know nothing other than what a man who made a living lying and a man who has become a horrible creature incapable of reason have told me, I don't know what to think of Delta.
Alexander worked on Big Daddies, but Alex The Great is not Gil Alexander. He has become something else. If he is incapable of reason, why would he have a reason to tell you the truth? He may be doing so, or he may be lying. The point is that he has lost his mind. Does he have any real reason to attack you? No. Does he? Yes. He could say exactly who you are, or he could say you are Santa Claus, the point is you can't really know for sure. Seeing as he has lost his mind, he may not even know what the truth is. Alexander knew that he would become something else, hence the placing of his instructions for you to kill him.
As for Alex The Great..yes he was out of his mind..but like you said,he may very well be telling you the truth,but in his own insanity,he may be doing so without even realizing...but...now that I think about it,this is all off-topic
Furthermore -- a lot of this is deliberate, and the developers even confirmed as much by giving reasons why his real name is never mentioned, and most likely more backstory. Because they want the player to see themselves as Delta. To see themselves as someone who was taken in, forced into a horrible situation and has to fight for the only thing he knows that matters - Elanor.
So you and I can pick the same game up, can play the same character, take what tid-bits we get and then formulate who we really want this person to be. Maybe it's a tragic story, one of sadness where he's forced into a horrible situation without reason or cause. He's a good person that doesn't deserve this. This would likely lead to the player playing him as a hero, saving little sisters and showing mercy on even those that betrayed him. Because that's what the player of the game WANTS Delta to be.
Or, alternatively --
He was a spy as Ryan suspected. Sent to destroy Rapture or seek it's knowledge for his own benefit or those he worked for. And now, after being caught he wants vengeance. He's spiteful to all of the world he now inhabits and will stop at nothing to destroy every last person he comes across and harvest all the little sisters for his own benefit, to be more powerful to exact revenge. So the player of the game can go about the word in that way as the game allows it.
Or perhaps it's something different, more muddled. But allowing the player to make those choices himself or herself in regards to the back story further allows them to play the game as they feel it should be played based on what they want to think and feel.
It succeeds in doing that.
Remember, Jack is a genetic creation himself, aged extremely fast to be powerful to finish a plan set forth by others. He has no real memories, no real back story himself. He - is no one. He is simply a man put on a path which you follow no matter what.
Now that still works in the same regard, but less personal in my opinion. But it still allowed gamers to struggle with that knowledge that they weren't anything but a pawn to reflect the choices they had made. Had they been malicious and harvested, showing the control Fonatine had over them, or did they spare the little ones showing a sliver of freewill that would ultimately free them emotionally?
The themes are quite similar. But Bioshock 2 is far more calculated than some give it credit for - it's meant to be specific to each of us alone.
We can sit around arguing semantics and the philosophical meaning behind it all (and don't get me wrong, I agree completely with your above post), but in the grand scheme of things it comes down to opinion. Opinion cannot be argued. It isn't a fact, it isn't right or wrong, it just is.
I think this is the point we're missing in these "Bioshock 2 "insert negative synonym for failed here"" threads. We can argue the facts, the time line, the psychology and the philosophy of it, but we cannot argue based on what we the players get out of it. Some people will "get" it, both emotionally and mentally, some will just get it mentally and not feel the emotional (the visa versa applies here too), and some, sadly, will get none of it. It is all opinion and can only be changed if we're willing to change it as individuals.
This game was delayed. Three times. It's fine, geez.
And let's not forget that Johnny Topside was supposedly a well loved citizen of Rapture once he found it, so he obviously didn't perform crimes and other things like that.
Last edited by Bambi; 03-03-2010 at 04:52 PM.