Review by NatorMVP

Reviewed: 08/26/07

Bioshock's a great game, dissapointing to some.

For being super-hyped before release there is almost nothing new about the gameplay. Bioshock seems to be a polished up FPS from the days of Quake and Half-Life. Unlike many new FPS games in Bioshock you can carry around every weapon in the game and collect ammo for all of them, no switching of weapons when you find new ones. Going back to old-school roots it uses a life bar system which some people will like and some won't like, personally I tend to like the newer system of healing if you aren't taking damage. The plasmid powers are very pretty, but overall there are only a couple that you will have any need to use throughout the game. Incinerate is useful to melt ice and get to some "secret" areas, the lightning attack is really the only power I used throughout the whole game to stun turrets so I could hack them. Powers like telekinesis are fun when you first get them, but towards the end of the game catching grenades becomes more work than it's worth since you can just shoot the enemies faster. Modifying weapons is another nice addition so you can upgrade the weapons that fit your play style, but beyond extra damage or added ammunition there is nothing unique for weapon mods. Overall the gameplay is solid though it just seems a little dated.

This is where it's obvious the developers spent their time on this game. There are many differing environments that you travel through including a forest/plant area, frozen areas, urban areas, and a firey/mechanical area. There were no slowdowns or frame rate issues that I noticed while playing. The water effects were very nicely done as well, and detail was added that when you stand under the water in blurs your vision just like in real life. The only thing that I would've like to see more of is shadows on walls, there are a few points in the game that you can see an enemy's shadow on the wall around a corner, but the look too scripted it would've been nice to see more work done with shadows. That's just a minor detail in my opinion.

Very simple controls to use and learn, standard FPS controller setup of left stick moves, right stick looks around, and the right trigger to shoot. The only other functions are jump, interact, crouch, and switch weapons/powers. Players who do not have a lot of FPS experience will have no trouble picking this game up and enjoying it.

Replay Value:
This game is lacking here in my opinion. While there are different endings based on if you harvest or save the little sisters, the two endings are so similar it's not really worth replaying to see the second one. The only reason to replay this game is to enjoy the world again or to go back through and get any achievements you missed on your first runthrough. The first time I played through I ended up with 780/1000 gamer points without trying specifically to earn them. The game offers 3 difficulty settings but your only reward for beating the game on hard is a 40-point gamer achievement. This game has some excellent potential for multiplayer but it was left out. With all the powers and different players using different combos of skills and weapons multiplayer would be very interesting, almost comparable to Shadowrun.
I don't think that I will be replaying this for a while though in the near future.

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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