Review by KingBrolly

Reviewed: 08/26/07

Does a man who pays $60 for a game deserve it to be great? Yes, says the man from Boston!

Okay, I’m not from Boston, but within the first ten minutes of playing this game, the precedent for such a time machine of a game is set with a similar phrase. Not only are you taken back to the past, but sent into the future as well. Not only in game design, but originality as well. As Bioshock shows, it is a game that is truly ahead, or behind its’ times.

Gameplay: 7
Bioshock has the controls of a standard first person shooter with a few exceptions. You can search specific things to get healing items, some good, some bad, and some mixed as well. The controls are fine for most parts of the game except when you get to problematic fire fights where you are pressing buttons like mad to reload ammo and heal your health. What’s surprising is that you can cancel these maneuvers by pressing another button in the process, canceling it out, frustrating you in these areas as you’ve got to sit and wait for these actions to happen. This game also lacks a block button which again is frustrating seeing as how these enemies love to smack you around. There are also times where you can gain control of electronics to your benefit. These sometimes feel cheap in their delivery as you can either do it the hard way or the easy way if you have enough money. Overall, the controls feel good, but feels lackluster in crunch time.

Graphics: 8
This game uses the Unreal Engine 3, which is currently the provider of the best graphics this generation has to offer. However, it is by no means perfect. Facial animations up close are where this engine really shows its flaws, and there also instances of jag lines present at somewhat unexpected and noticeable places. The underwater effects are amazing to look at, but when it comes to water dripping over your face, it does make you want to avoid it splashing over your face at many points during the game. Now, usually this would mean the graphics get a 9 at a consistent 30 fps, which I noticed only dropped in problematic situations. The graphics get an 8 because of the 60 fps mode which it offers. This degrades the graphics and adds quite a bit of graphical tearing, which basically means it’s unplayable due to its distraction. Although it is a nice gesture, it should’ve been left out to not try and overstretch its’ boundaries.

Sound: 10
The sounds and music of Bioshock are truly unforgettable. Whether it be the sound of bullets closing in, the old scratchy video tape diaries, which are tremendous by the way, the soundtrack truly nailed the 1960’s feel of this game, and this game could not have succeeded without it. Not only that, some old time musical favorites make it into the game, which is really a treat. And since the narrative of this game is fully voiced, meaning no text, this had to be the strongest part of the game, or else it would fail. It did not fail a single time.

Presentation: 8
The game runs in 720p and 16:9. However, as you play, sometimes you feel you’re tilting to one side, which might disorient you. The game definitely makes you feel like you’ve gone back in time to the 1960’s, but at times you also feel like you’re in 50 years in the future with the in-depth storyline. However, the pacing is a bit uneven. It’s good, but it’s not spectacular. You might find yourself in a single area much longer than others.

Replay Value: 10
Bioshock has a lot to offer which pretty much guarantees a second play through, if not a third or fourth if you want all 1000 achievement points and for those who don’t want the achievement points. There’s a lot to do and see, and will keep you satisfied for at least 10-20 hours in each play through.

Gameplay: 7
Graphics: 8
Sound: 10
Presentation: 8
Replay: 10
Overall: 43/50 = 86/100 = 9/10

Bioshock is definitely a first person shooter. It’s not a first person adventure like some may believe. The genre has definitely been lacking individuality as of late, and it is nice to see someone try something different after a while, especially in the audio department where it drives the game forward. Bioshock is definitely something the genre needed for most players to be interested in it again.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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