Review by BlackDragon4133

"Perfect? No. Nearly Perfect? Definitely."

Recently, I bought an XBOX360. My friends had been telling me, "Oh get this game," but I never really enjoyed any of the games they recommended. That was until my friend introduced me to BioShock. Immediately, I became engrossed in the atmosphere, story, and the graphics of the game. For some reason, as soon as I picked up the controller, I never wanted to put it down. The game grabbed me immediately as soon as I stepped foot in Rapture, and I did not want to leave until I had accomplished my goal.

This review will focus on a few sections: Gameplay, Graphics, Story/Atmosphere, Replayability. The first section, is Gameplay.

Gameplay: 9/10

I enjoyed the gameplay mostly because I am a fan of first person shooters, but I am also a fan of having the ability to customize my own weapons. BioShock allows you to do so. The AI is, from my experience, fairly intelligent and difficult to kill as you progress throughout the game. The different weapons you are capable of using are a wide variety as well. From the standards like the shotgun, machine gun, and pistol, to the weapons you don't really see in many games, like a chemical thrower.

My only gripe with the gameplay is that after you get farther into the story, it just seems like you do the same things over and over again. I loved being able to explore the early levels without having to scavenge for items. Towards the end, it felt like the game just became a scavenger hunt. Although this happens in the second half of the game, this is the only reason why I am not giving gameplay a perfect score.

Graphics: 10/10

Immediately as I entered Rapture, I was in awe. The water looked like real water. The levels were dark, and fit the atmosphere of the game perfectly. The enemies looked as insane as they sounded. The graphics in this game simply astounded me.

I usually never base my love for a video game on graphics, but the graphics were one of the prime reasons why I fell in love with the game. As soon as I entered the actual city of Rapture, I just stood in one place and just looked around. The graphics were beautiful. Although some of the faces of the normal people looked kind of weird, I did not care. I've seen many beautiful games, but this one is definitely in my top three.

Story/Atmosphere: 10/10

The main thing that made me fall in love with BioShock was the story and the atmosphere of the levels. Right as you submerge in Rapture, you witness the death of innocent citizen. From then on, you're on your toes, checking around every corner, and checking behind yourself so you are not attacked from behind. The game puts you on your toes, and it never lets you calm down. The atmosphere of the levels assists in this feeling of despair and paranoia as well. The lights go out, you hear sounds from above you, and you never know when you're going to be attacked next.

The main story is told through the people you communicate over the radio with, and the audio diaries you find that are scattered throughout the game. I was shocked when I heard what the twist was, and I wanted to exact my revenge. Video games never really get me involved in the storyline (except a select few), but BioShock's story made me want to learn more and more, and to progress through the game so I can see what happens to protagonist.

Replayability: 9/10

The only reason why I am not giving this section a perfect score is due to the repetitve level objectives towards the very end of the game, and I believe that takes away from the replay value of this game. Otherwise, I believe BioShock is a game that I could replay millions of times and never get tired of it. You can try the different difficulty levels, try to think of new strategies to take out your enemies, or just try to obtain all of the achievements. The ability to customize your weapons, plasmids, and tonics add to the replay value of this game as well. Also, the fact that you can research your enemies by taking pictures of them helps you develop strategies to defeat them.

Is BioShock perfect? No, not at any rate. But is it nearly perfect? Absolutely. The gameplay, the story and atmosphere, the graphics, and the replay value can keep gamers coming back just to see what they are capable of doing. The thought that you can put into this game is astounding. I believe that BioShock is one of the best games available today. It's story is head and shoulders above many of its competitors, and it will keep you hooked for hours. I give BioShock a 9 out of 10.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 01/30/08

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

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