Review by Hurgle77
"Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his own brow?"
When I first played Bioshock, the first thing that struck me was the eeriness of the whole thing. Having only played shooters such as Halo and Half-Life, this experience of storyline, shoot-em-up and some RPG elements was a cleverly woven tale of horror and mistrust.
The city of Rapture, built by Andrew Ryan was apparently once a booming underwater metropolis. Unfortunately when protagonist Jack manages to crash land there, that's not the state we find it in. The place is overrun with "splicers", which are genetically mutated human beings. It is one of those eery places on games where the silence between battles is deafening, and as you progress deeper in to the mess, the more like a man-made hell it feels. Rapture is an artistic vision gone drastically wrong, and a beautiful setting for this game.
The gameplay of Bioshock to be honest is not special. It is exactly what you get in most shoot-em-ups with guns such as the shotgun and pistol and repeatedly killing enemies. What sets it apart from the other shooters though, is that you want to be killing these creatures, you know why you are killing these creatures and the place Rapture. I don't believe there is anything wrong with the gameplay, it could have just perhaps done with a few more standout guns or set-pieces. The fighting is made up of two parts, the shooting and "plasmids", which by all intents and purposes, is magic. Using EVE, which runs out the more you use it, you can incinerate, set bugs on enemies and even hack security cameras plus a lot more.
The progression of the story throughout the game is quite remarkable. The plot has twists and turns at every corner, and the characters that you meet, all being somewhat insane from living holed up in Rapture for so long are just as fascinating. The only criticism to be made is a bit of absurdity surrounding the final part of the game, but it is still well worth it.
The major part of the story, and the only decision you get to make which doesn't result in life or death consequences, is whether you want to save or kill little sisters. Little sisters are little girls who are full of ADAM, a genetic trait which can be extracted for you to use for personal benefit. The choice is, do you shamelessly kill these girls for more ADAM, therefore more benefit, or do you save the girls so you get less ADAM but also less self-loathing. All this is not easy though, as each little sister is accompanied by a big daddy, who will attempt to kill you, and often succeed when you want to get to a little sister.
Bioshock is a fantastic game. The reason I have given it 9 despite the minor flaws is that it is one of not many games I've played which I consider to be truly memorable. The storyline is fantastic and it is fun to play as well. My only slight qualms is it peaks in the middle (yet is by no means bad at the end), the enemies can be slightly repetitive and the respawn system means you can never really fail. None of these reasons detract it from being the truly brilliant experience it is, with a story you'll never forget.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 04/07/08
Game Release: BioShock (EU, 08/24/07)
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