Review by AmazoLK

"BioShock should not be missed by anyone, it is awesome."

Before I got my hands on this masterpiece of a title, my Xbox 360 randomly couldn't read any of the disks I put into it, resulting in me having to send my 360 in for repairs. So while I waited, August 21st came around, and still, I had no 360. Finally, in late August, I got the 360 back with me, and I couldn't have been happier. Right away, I went and picked up BioShock, because I knew that this game is going to be outstanding. So, not to my surprise, I beat BioShock, and it was absolutely amazing. The visuals are impressive, the story is original, and everything about it screams AAA. BioShock is a special game, no doubt about. We really haven't had a good, solid AAA game for a while, and finally we get BioShock, and finally we get something to talk about. But BioShock does have issues, it's not perfect in anyway, but it's still amazing, and I still love it.

You start the game as a person inside of a plane, then suddenly, the everything starts shaking, and the title appears with the sound of the plane crashing down in the background. The next thing you know, you trying to get to the surface of the sea while seeing the plane sink in the water. You get to the top and everything is aflame. If you haven't seen it before, it seems like it's still a cut scene when you get to the surface, but actually, it's the start of the game. Once you find a random lighthouse in the middle of the ocean, you go inside, and you eventually find yourself in a Bathysphere and sinking into the water. A small movie then starts playing with a voice ranting about America and Russia. He explains himself as Andrew Ryan, and he wanted to get away from all of the politics, so he made the impossible, he made: Rapture, a city under the sea.

Once you eventually get into Rapture, a man is waiting for there for the Bathysphere but suddenly gets attacked by a monster, but they're actually just humans that have gone mad. Their are named Splicers. Splicers are the main enemy in the game, and there are five different types: Thuggish, they carry objects like wrenches and pipes; Spider, who climb on walls and ceilings and throw hooks at you; Leadhead, who carry guns and shoot you with them; Houdini, who can disappear and reappear, and throw fireballs at you; and Nitro, who throw grenades and other explosive items at you. At the beginning of the game, you find mostly thuggish and Leadhead Splicers, but later you on you find more and more of them. Most Splicers are walking around talking to themselves, and when they see you, they start attacking you.

Anyways, the Splicer kills the man, and then suddenly starts attacking the Bathysphere, but suddenly leaves. In the Bathysphere, a walky-talky is there, and a man is calling out for you to pick it up. He explains himself as Atlas, and he will help you in Rapture. An example of this is right when you enter a hallway, a Splicer is getting attacked by a Security Bot controlled by Atlas. Eventually he explains that you're the only one who can save his family inside of a submarine somewhere in Rapture. You must try to get there, save them, and get out of Rapture alive. More twists, turns, and events happen very often after you start, and end up being one of the best stories in a video game to date.

You also collect Audio Diaries around Rapture and they explain many details of certain people's lives during the good, and sometimes bad, times of the under water city. You visit many places around Rapture, going from the Medical Pavilion, to the forest of Arcadia, to the Core of the city, where the power is generated.

The game is generally a first person shooter, with a lot of Adventure elements mixed in. There are also many RPG elements around like upgrading your weapons, and using different plazmids and tonics. Plazmids are your secondary weapon, other than the main guns. You use the Left Bumper to switch your plazmid, and the left trigger to use them. The guns are used with the opposite buttons. Plazmids can arrange from Electricity, to Fire, to Telekinesis, there are many different types of plazmids to use, and they all have their own unique advantages and disadvantages. You also have a Health bar, and an Eve bar which you lose from using tonics.

There is also a very wide assortment of guns to chose from too. There's the standard pistol, machine gun, and shotgun, but then there's unique guns like the Chemical Thrower and Crossbow. There are also 3 types of ammunition for each gun, which you chose with the D-Pad. The different types of ammo do different things. For example, with the Chemical Thrower, one type sets the enemy on fire, one electrocutes them, and one type of ammo freezes the enemy. You can invent different types of ammo in a U-Invent machine by collecting items like Kerosene, Steel Screws, and Distilled Water. You can also invent other items like Tonics and Automatic Hack Tools.

Hacking is a main part of BioShock. Safes, Security Bots, Vending Machines and all sorts of other things can be hacked for an advantage of some sort. Hacking is done by rearranging different types of pipes to make one long pipe line from Point A to Point B. There might be an alarm or block in the way, and it will cause you to short circuit resulting in health loss, or an alarm. You can also use an Automatic Hack Tool, or buy out for a certain amount of money. Hacking a Vending Machine will allow you to buy certain items, and will cause other items to cost less. You can also hack First Aid Machines (which heal you), and it can make the cost less, and when an enemy tries to use it, it hurts them.

You also find a camera later in the game, and taking pictures of enemies results in a research bonus like more damage, or being vulnerable to certain ammo types. You can research the different types of Splicers, but researching all five types of them can get tiring, especially when the bonuses aren't really that good. Plus, the two Big Daddy types, Rosie and Bouncer, can be researched aswell. Also Little Sisters, Turrets, Cameras, and Security Bots can also be researched. Collecting or buying film is the ammo of the camera, but if you buy all 100 before you get it, you probably will never run out.

You collect many things in BioShock like ammo, items for inventing, but the main thing you collect is money. Money can be used what money is used for everywhere: to buy things. But money is also used for other things like healing yourself and turning off the security alarm. Killing enemies, and searching items are pretty much the only way to make money in BioShock, and on the higher difficulties, money can be scarce, so use it wisely.

Tonics are the other RPG element that you can collect, buy, and invent in BioShock. You have 3 Tonic slots: Physical, Engineering, and Combat. When you find a tonic, you can put it in one of 6 slots. You don't start off with 6 slots though, you start with 2, but you can buy more slots with Adam you collect from Little Sisters (I'll get to that later). Physical Tonics are useful, they can make items like booze and candy make you regain health and eve. Engineering can make hacking easier with Tonics that make the juice flow slower, or the tonics can make the alarm have half the time to expire. Combat Tonics can up your overall defence, and make you take off more damage with your wrench.

Little Sisters, who can create Adam which is a necessity to complete the game, are little girls who are protected by their Guardians: the Big Daddies. The Big Daddies aren't main bosses of the game though, there are other Spicer bosses you have to face instead. Big Daddies are very difficult to defeat if you don't know what you're doing. Defeating them though, is very worth it because you can Rescue or Harvest the Little Sister it was protecting. Harvesting the Little Sister gives you 160 Adam, but Rescuing them gives you 80 Adam. But after you rescue 3 Little Sister, you get a gift, which is a teddy bear sitting in front of the Gathering Garden (the place where you spend the Adam), and it always has another 200 Adam with other stuff like ammo and other things.

The visuals in BioShock aren't groundbreaking like Gears of War or anything, but are still amazing either way. Every character model is smooth, and the environments are outstanding, and every little detail is amazing. Rapture looks exactly like it would if it was made in the 50's, just like what time BioShock takes place in. Fire looks great too, and when you hit a puddle of oil, it sets on fire right away, and blows up the oils drums near it. The physics are great too. Picking up items with Telekinesis and throwing them is would be exactly the same as it would be like in real life. Plus, BioShock has little to no slow down, so when you're in the heat of the battle, you don't have to worry about the game slowing down or anything.

BioShock is very atmospheric by the way, and around every turn you never know what's going to happen. You're on your heels all through the game, and it never ends. The creepy music and sound effects in the background are top notch, and make you scared as hell where ever you go. The voice work is also AAA. Every Audio Diary, to every scream from a Splicer, everything is amazing. Voice work is always one of the best ways to tell the story of a game, and in BioShock, it works perfectly.

Overall, BioShock is an outstanding game. Whether you like first person shooters or not, this game is definitely the best game on the 360 yet, and should not be missed by anyone, even if you don't own a 360. The atmosphere in this game is unbelievable, and Rapture looks like it could actually be a real place. Even playing it twice is good because of all of the missed achievements from the first play through. There are 50 achievements total, and they're all pretty much easy to collect except two or three. Basically, if you have a 360, buy this game, and if you don't have a 360, shame on you.

+ Very atmospheric.
+ Story is amazing.
+ Great sound and music.
+ Gameplay is top notch.
+ Great mix of first person shooting and RPG.
+ Awesome variety of weapons and plazmids.

- Ending is a bit odd.
- Some plazmids are useless.
- Hacking is a necessity.
- Researching is tiresome.
- Most achievements are too easy to get.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 09/07/07

Game Release: BioShock (US, 08/21/07)


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