It is very rare for
a game to leave its mark on the gaming industry and the last game to
really give the market something unique was the original Half Life
game, however the
award-winning System Shock 2 "sequel", BioShock is just one of those
games which will leave you mesmerized from start to finish and craving for
more once you have completed the title.
Although BioShock is a first
person shooter, it's sets itself as far apart from this genre as
possible with developers Irrational Games creating an almost living
gaming entity in this unpredictable shooter. The game also has a
healthy dose of fighting, puzzles and adventure to give gamers
almost everything they want in a first class game.
Take control of
your world by hacking mechanical devices, commandeering security
turrets and crafting unique items critical to your very
weapons with ionic gels, explosives and toxins to customize them
to the enemy and environment.
modify your body through dozens of Plasmid Stations scattered
throughout the city, empowering you with fantastic and often
Explore a living
world powered by Ecological A.I., where the inhabitants have
interesting and consequential relationships with one another
that impact your gameplay experience.
next generation graphics that vividly illustrate the forlorn art
deco city, highlighted by the most detailed and realistic water
effects ever developed in a video game.
choices and mature decisions, ultimately culminating in the
grand question: do you exploit the innocent survivors of
Rapture…or save them?
The story of
BioShock is set in the world of yesterday gone mad and when your
plane crashes into uncharted waters, you swim about frantically
until you discover a rusted bathysphere that leads you into the
biosphere of Rapture created by billionaire genius Andrew Ryan. This underwater Mecca is unlike any city of
your time and hosts some of the world's greatest and diabolical
scientists, artists and industrialists who have not only tampered
with life itself but abandoned their morals.
the denizens of this majestic and futuristic city, something has
gone awry and it's up to our hero to uncover the mysteries and
dangers of Rapture and needless to say, BioShock is a game that must be
experienced and if readers are interested in more "spoilers", they
should look elsewhere because it will definitely impact on your
enjoyment of this title.
The first thing you
will notice about BioShock are the spectacular graphics and amazing
gaming dynamics which will make this one of the most impressive
looking and playing games on the XBox 360. Irrational Games have
truly outdone themselves with BioShock as the attention to detail is
not only awe-inspiring but probably pushes the XBox 360 to its
limits, dare I say.
The graphics go hand in hand with the storyline and the gameplay and when you
first appear in those uncharted icy waters, you are really thinking
to yourself what the hell is going on here as you make your way to the
bathysphere that leads into Rapture. Once in Rapture, the detail and
special effects truly shine such as the realistic water effects
and highly detailed backgrounds.
Every character in
the game has been professionally designed, almost as if "God"
himself has had a hand in the creation of this game because while I
was playing this title, it was as if I was part of the this
amazing in-game universe and is one of those games that can truly
focus on the word escapism. The characters are also extremely
realistic and move with a human like grace, especially once your
genetic powers have forced them to catch alight as they run around
the rooms of Rapture, attempting to dowse the flames.
Without spoiling the
story of BioShock anymore, lets just say that the greatest minds of Earth
have been tampering with mother nature and have unlocked the powers
of genetics. These scientists have allowed men to possess
supernatural powers such as telekinesis, pyrokinesis and the
strength of giants. Your genetics and the citizens of Rapture are
controlled by Adam and plasmids which is the life force of the game.
Apart from running through the hallways of
Rapture and visiting various realms in this city such as the
greenery of Arcadia or the amazing shops of the Farmer's Market, the
player has access to a variety of classic first person shooter
weapons such as pistols, shotguns and other futuristic yet retro
looking weapons of the 1950's.
The weapons in BioShock are also
upgradeable which is achieved by finding specific items in the game
and of course using cash which allows you to purchase additional
items such as ammunition and health. Almost everything in BioShock
can be searched and you will always find items on the bodies of the
slain or even in trashcans.
Fortunately your trip to Rapture has
given you the powers of these genetic modifications that must
be used in conjunction with your other physical weapons. For
instance, security drones do not take kindly to shotguns or pistols,
however if you set them alight, they will languish around even more
before finally accepting their death. "Big Daddy's" who protect the
little sisters in the game are extremely difficult to defeat with
brute force, however the player can use their modified genetics to
force them under their control in order to attack your foes. Once
their health is low, the player can then finish the deed and collect
the essence from their little sisters. Feel for something a little
bit more creative, gamers can also "hack" security drones in order
for them to become your allies.
BioShock is almost
RPG-like in its presentation because as you progress through the
game, your powers also increase and the game even suggests that
certain areas of the game should not be accessed unless your "Adam"
is higher. Adam is basically like experience points in BioShock and
the more Adam you have, the more powers you will have in order for
you to take on the varied denizens of Rapture. There are also a
variety of genetic modifications available to your character which
really puts the "spin" in this game and sets it apart from stock
standard Doom and Quake-like shooters.
Although in order to
keep the game fair, your character has a set number of genetics
available to him which can be changed at genetic workstations that
are littered throughout the gaming environment. These genetic
modifications must also be used in conjunction with your other
powers, for instance, you will need fire to melt your way through
ice or telekinesis in order to catch grenades that are being thrown
at you. As the world of Rapture is quite dynamic, the developers
ensure that there are a variety of different ways this title can be
completed. I completed this game in around 15 hours and needless to
say, I was glued to our Plasma TV.
Rapture also contains auto-saving,
however the player can save the title any time they like, ensuring
less frustration and more enjoyment. If you do happen to die,
Rapture contains pods that will restore you to your former glory in
order to get on with the job. I did have one gripe though, the save
system seems a little strange and for some reason, the title did not
continue with my previous save and I'm the kind of gamer that likes
to have a hundred different saves which did make for some fiddling.
Although Rapture may
seem like a huge place, your character is fortunate to have some
allies who will assist you to complete the title. You will meet other
characters along the way who will ask you to perform a variety of
entertaining missions but it should also be noted that those in
Rapture are not always what they seem. The mad genius behind Rapture
will endeavor to destroy your journey but your human spirit will
win, thanks to your allies and the items available in Rapture.
The control system of BioShock makes
good use of the XBox 360 wireless controller, especially force
feedback which allows you to experience all the bumps and "shocks"
of BioShock. Move over PlayStation 3 because force feedback is
definitely far superior and useful than the SixAxis! The layout of the controls are self explanatory and
seasoned gamers will have no problem in mastering the control system
with more inexperienced gamers taking a little longer.
the left shoulder buttons are used to change between your genetic
powers and to use them which are mirrored with the right shoulder
button for your weaponry. The keypad is used to replenish your
health and genetic powers and also to activate objects in the gaming
environment and finally, Y is for jump. The analog stick is then
used to navigate your character through the wondrous city of
Musically, BioShock is first class and features a great soundtrack
that suits the genre perfectly. Match the soundtrack with excellent
voice acting and some brilliant sound effects and this title has it
all. Nothing in the title seems too contrived or forced, so turn
those speakers onto high. With this in mind, the developers ensure
that "sound" is used carefully throughout the game such as enemies
hiding or the moans of "Big Daddy" protecting their little sisters.
In conclusion, BioShock is one of the
best games out for 2007 that features innovative gameplay, amazing
graphics and an immersive storyline that will draw in even the most
staunchest gamers. Extremely short load times, human-like AI, the
only complain with BioShock is the save system which becomes
confusing if you save too many games, nevertheless, a brilliant