Review by masterknight14

"The Big Daddy of First-Person-Shooters."

The Big Daddy of First-Person-Shooters.

A shooter like no other, set in an underwater used-to-be utopia, Bioshock is a thrilling and chilling game, where you'll be turning every corner with your trusty wrench ready to whack any Splicer's that try to get your nice Adam.

The story--- Your character, Jack, is on an airplane in the 1960's when it crashes into the middle of the Atlantic. Swimming among the flaming debris, you find a lighthouse right next to you. As you walk in, you see a banner. ‘No Gods or Kings. Only Man.”As you descend the lighthouse, you enter a Bathysphere, the transportation method of the underwater city of Rapture. As Andrew Ryan (an homage to Ayn Rand, though I have never read her books, I know that much of Ryan's philosophy about the world comes from hers.) tells you what he thinks of countries around the worlds, the city unfolds before you. Though Rapture looks to be perfectly stable and running from the outside, as the Bathysphere approaches the inside, you see that all is not right in Rapture, and seeing a man get killed before you the minute you enter doesn't help much, either.

As you proceed through the game, you find out more about the horrible history of this past-it's-time city, and why it has fallen into decline. As you wander, you find these little tape recorders, named Audio Diaries. When Rapture was up and running, anyone who was anyone had one of these, and recorded their thoughts onto them. These Audio Diaries are how you find out what happened to Rapture, and the diaries help you learn that everyone in the city had their own background. There are no flat characters here, every important person in Rapture who recorded onto these diaries had a big story to them, with most ending in death, suicide, or simply going insane from having to live down there.

Bioshock has so many branching stories, it can sometimes be hard to understand what's happening and why you're doing these odd tasks, but the whole game begins to tie together in the final levels, so don't worry if you're confused.

Definitely one of the most detailed and immersive stories I have ever seen in a game, and one I will definitely remember.

Atmosphere--- This game keeps you on the edge of your seat, with the darkness that envelops all areas and aspects of Rapture. The Big Daddies will scare you, the Splicers will spook you, and the characters will almost make you feel sad for what happened to them in their time in Rapture, and how much they were forced to suffer, just for wanting to go to a city where everyone was free to express their innermost imagination and create anything they wanted.

Sound--- The sound is absolutely amazing, and will immerse you into this creepy city. Since the game is set in the 1960's, you can expect some classical, eerie music as you're bashing Splicers over the head with your dependable wrench. Definitely great, and will show you that music really does affect the “Creep” factor.

Weapons: The weapons include the Plasmids (Gene altering substances) and the many guns you'll pick up going through the city. The guns include a standard pistol, a Shotgun, a Crossbow, and even a Grenade Launcher. These weapons will need to be combined with the plasmids to get the most effective damage. You also have your great melee weapon, the wrench, which you'll probably end up using more than your guns!

When you get the Wrench Jockey plasmids, you'll be smacking those Splicers all up and down Rapture, shocking them and whacking them. You can also upgrade your weapons, so you can add to clip size, damage, and reload time! Once you upgrade them all to full, you'll find yourself more powerful than you thought you could be! Plus, using the different types of ammo on different enemies will give you a nice edge, like using Armor-Penetrating bullets against machines would be a smart strategy, and using Electric buck is good for Big Daddies.

Extra Info--- The shooting aspect of this game is great, although definitely not the biggest aspect. With the introduction of gene mutations called “Plasmids”, you can alter your genes to send out shocks of electricity, freeze your opponents, make fire, and even cast swarms of bees on your opponents. Not only that, but you're forced to decide between only having up to 6 Plasmids on your person at a time, and that's where the strategy comes into play.

With Tonics, you can learn passive skills that will apply to everything you do, like “Sportboost”, which will increase your speed, and “Wrench Jockey”, which increases your swinging power. You can also only have on 6 tonics at a time, but like Plasmids, they are interchangeable.

The AI is awesome. The AI will go around looking in trash cans and dead bodies for supplies just like your character, and will speak to eachother. The enemies may even attack eachother to try and kill you. There are many different types of enemies, those with guns, those with simple weapons like wrenches or lead pipes, and even ones with Grenades.

I can't forget about the Big Daddies. These huge monsters wander around the city guarding Little Sisters, the proverbial “Adam Banks” of Rapture. Your character needs to get this Adam to buy new Plasmids and Tonics, and this requires you to kill the Big Daddies. These enemies are hard, but if you manage to beat them, you'll be able to get their Adam, either by saving or harvesting these little girls. This provides you with a moral dilemma: kill these little girls and get a lot of precious Adam, or save them from their torment and get much less Adam. To kill, or to save… It's also worth noting that there are different endings depending on what you do to the Little Sisters.

I shouldn't have to say this, but of course the graphics are STUNNING. The water will flow past you, the blood will appear on the bodies of your enemies, and the plasmids will show you just what the game can do with the effects. You'll find yourself just staring at the outside of Rapture sometimes.

The voice acting will make you feel like you're standing in Rapture yourself, with the emotions being portrayed by the words of these doomed citizens.

If you love linear games, do not pick this up. There are infinite chances to explore and scrounge for items to eat, drink, or use to invent new ammo for your guns. The possibilities of exploring in this huge city give you all the freedom you can ask for when wandering around a game, and the balance between exploring and fighting is just perfect.

All in all, this is a game you just have to get, if you own an Xbox 360 (this game also has many achievements!) or a PC, you are only hurting yourself by not buying this game right now. You'll wanna replay this game to try out the different combinations of Plasmids, and new ways of killing your enemies, or maybe taking a different direction with the Little Sisters. Either way, this is a game you'll just have to pick up, or you're missing out on something great.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 01/03/08

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

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