Review by TheRedneck14
"Would you kindly read this review?"
BioShock is a very well received game made by 2K Games about a man who got stuck in a underwater paradise turned into a hellhole. It is also one of the games that shows just what the 360 can really do. Lets light this candle.
I do not really want to reveal too much, so I will be careful in how I do this.
BioShock takes place during the 1960's in an underwater city called Rapture. And Rapture was created in 1949 by a man named Andrew Ryan as a place where the great would be free to create whatever they want, without the bounds of morality, and the whiny Government. Although this is a good enough idea on its own, so many great advances could be made if people were free to create, but like all good things the wrong people wind up being there and they screw it all up. Soon after a law was passed that banned contact with the outside world, crime increased and a war began with the followers of Andrew Ryan, and Frank Fontaine which ended with Fontaine being killed and a new leader named Atlas taking control. And soon, the denizens of Rapture went insane from all of the Plasmids they had taken, and Ryan lost all of his old ideals during the war.
Back to the game... you are on a plane, which crashes near a Lighthouse the leads to Rapture. After arriving in Rapture you find that what was once a utopia where people would be free to create without being oppressed has been turned into a desolate underwater hellhole that seems like it is about to fall apart.
You then meet Atlas, and he gives you a mission to help him rescue his family. And Andrew Ryan who believes you are a Government Agent that was sent to kill him uses his mind control techniques on the Splicers [the citizens who went nuts] to try and have them kill you.
After that, a lot of stuff happens but I'm gonna leave the rest of it out of this review so you can experience it for yourself. I will say that BioShock is one of the few games I have played which had a deeply immersive movie like story that captivated me for almost the entire time I spent playing it.
BioShock has a smart, provocative story that really makes you think, and it is also one of the few games I have seen that was able to pull off a morality based storyline. And there are also a lot of influences from people like Ayn Rand
Gameplay: 7 [9 without the problem]
With BioShock, I felt that the Gameplay was a little mixed for my tastes. On the positive note, I liked all of the RPG customization that was in the game. The Plazmids and the Tonics and all of the extra powers they could give you, and all of the items you could collect. I liked some of the little things like being able to make Drones turn onto your side by hacking them [after knocking them out with the electricity Plazmid]. I liked how you could spend points [called ADAM and EVE] to make yourself more powerful, and all of the vending machines where you could upgrade your weapons, or buy new gear, Plazmids, and food.
I also felt that the AI in the game was brilliant, the Splicers, Little Sisters, Big Daddies and the Drones/Turrets were fun enough to fight, as were all of the different little environmental effects that could also be used while fighting, such as shocking a Splicer in the water with the Electricity Plazmid to instantly kill them. The combat itself felt great, and this is truly what next gen is about.
But now onto the burning negatives, when you die, you are revived at half health in a revival chamber near the spot you were in, and nothing is done to whatever you were fighting. Like the other reviewer who gave this a 5 I felt that this was just too bad considering how well this game was made, and it definitely knocked out a few points. If you are fighting something tough, and you almost have it dead when you die, you can just go back in there and finish it off when you still have plenty of health. That is just too much of a disappointment for me. But if that is not counted, then this game does have GoTY quality Gameplay. But you really do need to look past these things to enjoy the game as it was intended to be.
While the main game itself is a decent challenge, and it will take some time to get all of the endings going through the different paths you can take. The respawn really hurts the game, it is like in Halo where if you get killed you are brought back to the past save point, almost exactly how you were before, and although that one was done well with Halo, in BioShock you are just brought back to life with half your health in the closest revival tube near you died. Even a sucky player can beat the game if they just keep doing that. And that is really sad, because a game as great as this one should not be this easy to beat.
I don't really want to go over the controls too much, but if anyone knows FPS games on the 360, they should get used to this pretty fast. Simply put, BioShock offers a very simple control setup that is very tight and easy to get used to. You should not be screwing up very easily on this game.
If anyone wants to know why you should buy a Next Gen game for Graphics, BioShock is that game. Everything is so beautiful in here if you have the right TV that it is mind-boggling. The thing that impressed me the most is the water, in fact Ken Levine [one of the people working on the game] said "We've hired a water programmer and water artist, just for this game, and they're kicking ass and you've never seen water like this." Well you know what, he was not selling you a fools gold, even the advertisement that they had on TV makes you think that it is real life. Hell some of the Plazmids can even disfigure you, the fact that the Developers even bothered to do that just shows you how much work went into the game.
The only problem I have seen in the graphics is that sometimes the textures did not load right away, almost exactly like the big problem Halo 2 and several other graphical powerhouses on the 360 [I have seen this on Gears of War as well] have shown. But when I look at how great everything looks otherwise, I can forgive it.
This is another example of just how much is being done with the 360. And if you have a good sound system, you should be impressed. The music, the voice work, the guns, all of the effects, they will blow you away. You can even hear the direction things are coming from, and to me that is something special. You can really tell just how much effort was put into creating all of the beautiful sound for this game. And really what else do I need to say; I summed it all up very simply.
But words cannot sum up the brilliance of the sound; you have to really experience it to understand it. All you need to know is that BioShock has an amazing soundtrack filled with atmospheric scratchy sounding 60's music, and creepy singing. There is also some of the best voiceover work I have ever heard in a game, and some of the best sound effects I have heard in a 360 game.
BioShock is one of those games that you can really get immersed into. Everything just feels so real it is easy to get lost in all of it. Simply put, you really feel like you are in Rapture surrounded by all of these infected freaks. BioShock really gets you into its story, and you do start wondering what in the hell happened to Rapture. BioShock provides movie-like levels of immersion, and I am glad it did because I like games which can give you a real story.
BioShock is like a good book, you just want to find out what happens next.
The game is only around 10 hours, and there is no Multiplayer so that will suck for some people. But there are multiple endings that require you to play differently to get them [since BioShock is very open ended], and well it is just an awesome game that should captivate you enough to replay it.
The Sound, Graphics, immersive, INCREDIBLE writing, open ended story, proves that Video Games are an art form.
Short, lack of Multiplayer [mainly for the hardcore FPSers], cheap ass respawn.
Should you get it:
Hell yes you should, even with one big flaw BioShock is a brilliant game. And this is coming from one of the "Nintendo Fan Boys" [even though I am Wii-360] who wanted Metroid Prime 3 more than this game, but that does not mean that it is not a good game. BioShock is one of the best games of 2007 that set new standards for storytelling. You really should get it if you have a 360, or a PC that can handle it.
BioShock is an excellent game, and will be a contender for Game of The Year. There is a brilliant atmosphere and the Graphics, Sound, AI are top notch, and the Story is also very captivating, it is one of the best I have ever seen in a video game. The only "big" flaw was the cheap respawn [if we could use decimals in these Reviews, I would of given this game an 8.5] feature that was in the game... at least Halo used checkpoints instead of that. Just remember, although there is one part that really annoyed me, this is still a great game that is well worth the purchase.
Honestly, anyone with an Xbox, and anyone who likes a good captivating story should check this game out.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 08/27/07, Updated 09/01/08
Game Release: BioShock (US, 08/21/07)
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