Review by xXJade_DragonxX
"I Chose... RAPTURE!"
"I Chose... RAPTURE!"
...You relax on your flight on a plane through the middle of the Atlantic, then suddenly the plane falls downward crashing in the Atlantic. Seeing yourself as the only survivor you try to find land the only land you see is a lighthouse looking for people to help; you keep going down, and enter a new world....
Welcome to Rapture, a underwater utopia created in the 1940s, a world where an artist would never be censored for his work or a scientist would never be forced by ethics and morality, where a normal person could change everything about themselves, how they look, their strength, their smarts, everything could be altered down in Rapture. And BioShock does a good job in keeping this idea.
The gameplay is easy and enjoyable and rewards the creative thinker, and this game is all about choices, the choices even come down to gameplay, from using just run and gun style tactics to using stealth even and hacking machines, or perhaps using nothing but plasmids, the choice is yours and the game can reward different combos of the use.
Some of the combos are simple, shock an enemy in the water, but you can come up with very nice and unique things to do, for example, shooting proximity mines that sick on objects on an explosive barrel, then using telekineses to launch the barrel causing massive damage, set on fire some items then launch them right at the enemy catching them on fire.
Getting trapped? Use Incinerate on a pile of crates creating a fire wall giving you enough time to heal yourself, maybe if that's not good enough use crossbow traps, cyclone traps and hack your way to suvival.
Now one of the most enjoyable fights in the games are the Big Daddy's, you have seen them on T.V, on the internet, on every magazine and trailer about BioShock so what makes this enemy so good? Well these massive brutes that wander the halls of Rapture happen to be the hardest enemies in the game, there are different forms of these creatures, some using powerful rivet guns to massive drills these creatures can drain your resources just like that and can make you very angry that you almost killed it.
Well that's not all these Big creatures are good for, they protect the Little Sisters, once children turned into a blood harvesting abomination. These girls are the only way possible to get ADAM, the genetic material that keeps the wheels of Rapture turning. Then there is a moral choice, another of the choices of BioShock, do I give into my greed and kill this little girl by removing the slug that has a symbiotic relationship with the girl? Or do you have kindness in your heart to weaken yourself so you can cure the girls but you don't get as much ADAM as your would harvesting.
Normal Battles in the game are quite intense, the game gives you a good number of intense battles, why intense? Because every enemy can kill you, there is no "grunt" enemy, if you run out of ammo and Eve(the mental energy that allows you to use plasmids) you might find yourself getting your bones shattered by Thuggish Splicers.
The Splicers(the old citizens of Rapture) are quite realistic, they aren't commando trained so their tactics aren't the best against you, but the A.I is quite good, not only do they randomly look around Rapture but when they fight you, different things could happen, they talk to each other, they flank with copious numbers, they use hit and run tactics, when they reload they do what you do and hide while doing it, and when you reload expect them to be coming at you.
Hacking; ah yes, the last thing to discuss on the gameplay, hacking is much like the old puzzle game "Pipe Dream". You connect the pipes and try to get them connecting to the override outlet so you control the thing you are hacking, other things can help you, like using freeze plasmids to freeze the liquids speed making hacking a lot easier, other things that can help this stealthy way of play is inventions, the U-Invent stations are a very nice feature, bringing old materials and making them new, you can find this has a nice way to help your hacking skills when you make auto hacker tools(though the U-Invent Stations have much more uses to making ammo to creating Tonics etc)
Another way is Research, researching security items like Security Turrets and bots and cameras means you can get better at hacking them, or sometimes just clicking x and you already finished that hack.
The Controls are very nice and easy to get into, they are nowhere near clunky, you can swipe weapons, plasmids and move rather well. maybe my only problem with the controls is if I am too foolish to press a button and I find myself reloading or injecting a Eve Hypo, but that is my mistake however since the controls aren't the same as most console shooters.
Sound in this game is fantastic, most games have a common song being played the whole game being very repetitive, not in BioShock, no the music comes from the very game! From old music boxes you hear classic tunes from the 1900s. Over the speakers you hear advertisements that are very much alike to the ones in that era. Then there are the sounds of the people around you, you can hear splicers having arguments, talking, walking. Big Daddy's shaking the ground with massive clanking shoes, Little Sisters talking with these Behemoths.
But that's not it, most games have a C-List when it comes to voice acting, in this game the voice actors do their job very well, the messed up voices of the Splicers can be heard, the demented innocent voices of the Little Sister, the voice diaries you pick up, the very messed up and twisted citizens of Rapture also.
And if that wasn't enough the people talking to you on the short wave radio also give a nice and realistic voice over.
The best art design and graphics I have seen for a console game, the graphics are just great, it seems like a movie when you are playing, it took me two minutes before realizing that I was playing this game, the water is realistic and you can tell a lot of effort was put in it.
The Art design is fantastic, one of the best I have ever seen in a game period. It does look like the game is set in the 1960s, the posters on the wall, the design of the buildings, even smaller things are put into notice by the designers.
Each area you go to is different, each area is unique in it's own way, not all of them are cold halls and dark rooms, each area has a different theme, from factory to medical center to a forest on the bottom of the ocean floor, BioShock will not give you the exact same looking areas.
What's that say you? Your surprised I gave an FPS a 10 in story? Don't be! This is a First Person Shooter that actually offers a unique and enjoyable movie like storyline, the story is a mystery at the start, you are trying to find out whats going on, but several moments later the story changes course and changes it's style, there are plot twists, shocking moments, twisted diaries and characters, and giving a very detailed story, you can understand the story better by reading between the lines, looking at the details of the world of Rapture, you might be surprised on what you didn't know playing through your first time.
And if that wasn't enough there are things that do not address to the actual main story that adds to the depth of BioShock, such as: A drawback of plasmid usage is seeing the events happening before your arrived at Rapture, these "ghosts" portray life before the great change that ruined Rapture and destroyed it in the end.
And there are even lesser noticeable things that add to the story, the Big Daddy's relationship with the Little Sisters, the Big Daddy holding hands with the little girl, when a team of Splicers that charge after the Big Daddy and seeing the Big Daddy suffering for this Girl, leaning down so it takes all the hits, do you root for this mysterious creature? And you can see the reaction on the girls face when the Big Daddy tumbles down, tears down her face as she cries for him to get up, these things are not exactly important to the story, but it shows the developers cared to add this detail.
You might ask, "Why would you give a FPS with no multiplayer and no unlock ables at the end a 10 in longevity?" The answer is, this is a game that can be long on it's own, it didn't need those things to make it worth playing again, I for one am playing the game for a third time, each time doing something else, each time doing something new and unique, and this game offers as stated earlier details you might have missed, things you didn't get to listen to, a few things that you might have missed, to me that is plenty good.
The game takes normally 20 hours to finish which is very good for an FPS, you can of course rush through it lowering that time by half.
BioShock is a game we haven't seen in a longtime... Some people wish this had multiplayer of some sort. I for one am glad about this, it shows the creators wanted to make a unique and good gameplay experience.
The only thing I can see wrong with this game is that it might be too original too unique, this might be a draw back to a casual gamer, but if you are looking for a game with great gameplay, great storyline this is for you.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 08/22/07, Updated 02/06/08
Game Release: BioShock (US, 08/21/07)
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