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The team behind the isometric horror title Stasis has cleverly created a number of mock screenshots demonstrating what BioShock, BioShock Infinite, and other titles might have looked like if the developers' scope had been to produce an isometric RPG. And that's led to an editorial on Max Level that covers "how gaming perspective changes everything":
Of course, by changing perspective, you instantly gain an entirely new way to play. While you lose a sense of immersion, you gain a plethora of new elements, as well as a whopping new list of mechanics. Everything instantly becomes a strategy game. Let's use Bioshock as an example once more.
Instead of rampaging through Arcadia blasting every splicer in the face with your shotgun, you have to strategize a way through without compromising eve and ammunition, all while attempting to break door code puzzles. No longer is brute force an option with isometric-centered games. You'll need to stop and think about your environment and how exactly you can use it to your advantage. Collecting pieces of your Big Daddy suit near the end of your game is no longer just a game of hide and seek. Puzzles and mysteries greet you behind every corner.
While you lose the terrifying aspect of boss fights and bad guys, you gain a much more frightening atmosphere. Isometric games allow you to envision the entire space which in Bioshock'˜s case is as horrific as it is mysterious; Rapture, a decrepit underwater city. Imagine viewing entire rooms leaking with water, your protagonist alone in a massive room merely a small part of the entire picture. Although the high ceilings and echoes give off the sense of an open space, there's an ever-looming sense of claustrophobia.
With Bioshock Infinite, the opposite could be said. You're able to see the bustle of Columbia; its citizens going about their day as if quantum physics and stolen babies are the last things on their minds. You also gain a grand sense of scale and beauty the game's architecture offers. The city in the sky is a beautifully crafted beast, with massive and grandiose statues that serve to inspire Columbia's citizens. We also would be able to conceive just how intricate the sky around Columbia is with hundreds of different airships making their way through the floating city's airspace. We also can't forget about the skyline. From a third-person view, it must look like an incredibly jumble of planned chaos. Unlike the rapture-based Bioshock games, an isometric Infinite provides a sense of beauty that's uniquely different from its normal first-person state. It's not until we get into the city's underbelly that we find the horrors.
Yes, more isometric, please.