You don't have to look far on the Internet to see the gaming community growing very worried about the PS3 version of Bioshock. If you follow the link you'll see many people are already canceling their preorders. And it's not hard to tell why -- the demo is plagued with problems:
- The game runs at sub-720p, but forces itself to display at 1080p instead of defaulting to the game's optimal resolution like other 720p games. Thus you have to manually change it to 720p in the Display Settings or you'll get nasty white bars on the bottom and right side of the screen during cutscenes, which ruins the immersion factor of, say, the underwater cutscene at the beginning. And frequently during play, traces of this white garbage will appear and linger on the outskirts of the screen until you pause the game. Terrible.
- Many textures are a pixelated mess. Look at the dead Big Daddy up close; the textures are big, blocky pixels, like something out of a PS1 game. Or try pushing in the right analog stick (R3) to zoom behind the pistol, and look at the blocky mess of pixels on the barrel of the gun. Look at most walls. It hurts the eyes and in the case of the Big Daddy it hurts the heart. How could this happen to such an iconic character?
- The framerate jitters along, especially during the submarine sequence. Look at the windows on the hive towers of Rapture as the bathysphere makes its descent; look at the stop-motion animation of the squid as it darts by; this lack of smoothness is distracting and steals the scene's power.
Now, people can say it's only a demo. But what does that MEAN? What we need to hear is the developers say the retail version does not have these problems. I hope this demo is an old build and the final build is better; I bought a PS3 for Blu-ray and Bioshock and I'll be sorely disappointed if four developers and a year of extra time couldn't deliver a polished port of one of their most important IPs. With a sequel and a movie on the horizon, this isn't the time to start sacrificing quality.
So, Elizabeth and the people of 2K Games: What's the deal? Is the retail version better? What concerns me is the fact the final game has already gone gold (meaning, it's DONE), and this was announced around the same time as the demo.
If the developers can assure us the final game will be good, I will gladly spread the word and lay the fears of NeoGAF and other gaming communities to rest. They're the people canceling the preorders; others will follow. 2K needs to act fast.