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Bioshock (PC)

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18 Reviews

Manufacturer: Take 2 / Genre: Action / Type: Adventure / Release date: 2010-11-12

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    18 Reviews
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      08.05.2013 10:40
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      The best underwater city dystopian sci-fi horror shooter I've played!

      Background
      -----------------

      Bioshock is a first person sci-fi shooter that came from nowhere. It married dystopian visions from Ayn Rand and George Orwell, injecting them into a horror setting on the bottom of the Atlantic ocean. You play Jack, the protagonist and only survivor of a plane crash. Swimming from the burning wreckage, you find a lighthouse and a bathyscaphe that takes you down. Down to the city of Rapture.

      "Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his own brow?
      "No!' says the man in Washington, 'It belongs to the poor.'
      'No!' says the man in the Vatican, 'It belongs to God.'
      'No!' says the man in Moscow, 'It belongs to everyone.'
      I rejected those answers; instead, I chose something different. "
      - Andrew Ryan

      Designed by the magnate Andrew Ryan, the city was intended to be free of government and religious interference. A utopia for the best and brightest. When Rapture's scientists discovered Plasmids in sea slugs could alter a persons DNA, granting them almost superhuman powers, it accelerated the inevitable decline into civil war and madness.

      Now, Rapture's surviving citizens are insane. Pawns in a greater scheme. Orphaned girls have slugs implanted in their stomachs, allowing them to harvest dead splicers for the Plasmids in their system. They are protected in their duties by lumbering figures in diving suits, the big Daddies. Andrew Ryan is still alive, and has declared war upon you. Can Atlas, fighting against the tyranny of Ryan and little more than a voice on the radio help you survive?

      Adam and eve
      -------------------

      Played from a first person perspective, your primary means of attack is by conventional weapons and plasmid powers. Weapons can be bought and upgraded at rare stations in the game, and all require ammo with the exception of your trusty wrench. Firearms vary from a conventional pistol all the way up to a device that fires mines.

      Plasmids are many and varied. You can set enemies on fire, or shock them. Fire angry wasps from your hand, catch and throw objects, and others. A favourite tactic is to combine powers with the environment for greater effect. For instance, electrocuting multiple enemies who are wading through water. Another good one is freezing someone solid, then shattering them.

      Splicers, your principal enemies, vary from foot soldier types to more lethal varieties, like the wall-crawling spider splicers. One of the most disconcerting are ones that can teleport short distances. If you want to buy Plasmids, you need ADAM, a mutagen that typically comes from little sisters. If you can get past their formidable protectors, of course. You are given the opportunity to follow the good path by saving the little sisters by destroying their parasites, or kill them by absorbing the slugs yourself. Saving them grants you less ADAM, but you will be left occasional gifts. Killing them results in greater ADAM. Both paths substantially alter the game's flow and ending.

      EVE is another compound needed to activate powers. You'll be glad to know it, along with health packs and food are available all over, particularly from vanquished enemies. Each level will have a number of little sister and big daddy pairs. You don't have to target all of them in order to proceed, but it is advisable if you want the most formidable plasmids available to you.

      ADAM can also be used to buy tonics, smaller permanent powers which act as buffs for your other skills or abilities, like making melee attacks more powerful, or having longer to hack a terminal or fewer blocker tiles during the same process.

      Welcome to the world of tomorrow!
      ---------------------------------------------------

      The graphics in this game are excellent, particularly water effects. At the time this game came out, many PCs had problems running on the highest settings. Now, the majority can handle that just fine. Everything has that flash Gordon meets Nemo feel. Sharks and other oceanic wildlife are visible through the glass.

      With a stealthy approach, you'll be able to hear the insane ramblings of the splicers as they search for you. Being machine-gunned by a shrieking madwoman who's cut her own face up and is wearing a bunny costume is just one of the delights awaiting you. The voice acting is top notch, with a 40's accent. Getting punched into a corner, than drilled by a big Daddy is equally unforgettable.

      Flames and spot effects are great, although the blood looks rather fake. Despite some rather innovative level design and some great quests, there is a certain amount of repetition here. You do feel that there are too few different enemies to fight. Being careful to conserve ammunition is recommended. You can often find yourself reduced to just your wrench otherwise. Tonics make more and more sense, once you realise this.

      Hacking is done via a pipe type mini-game where you have a limited time to assemble pipework in the form of tiles, from one end to the other. The appeal of this mini game quickly wanes. The only real irritating thing in this game, as hacking can do everything from making vending machines cheaper, to opening safes, to making enemy gun emplacements and flying robots work for you instead. In the sequel, this was redesigned.

      There are a small number of sane people about. Many of these you will work with during the course of the game. Some will work against you. As you proceed, you will come to appreciate what a large game this is. There's always an arrow on hand to help you navigate what is often a maze. Count on about twenty hours of gameplay to finish it.

      Summary
      --------------

      Yes, the game engine is great, with the exception of the aforementioned mini-game and limited enemy types. The graphics and sound effects and voice acting are all top notch, but it is the plot and setting which are the overriding reasons to play this game. The ending depends on your in-game actions, and the "good" ending that I took was very emotional.

      Graphics: 8
      Gameplay: 9
      Sound: 8
      Plot: 10
      Overall: 9/10

      There is no real reason not to own this game. It has gone on to spawn two excellent sequels. One where you play as the progenitor of all Big Daddies (yes, it is cool) and another that abandons the bottom of the ocean for the roof of the skies. A scraped five out of five stars from me.

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        05.12.2011 17:13
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        One of the best games of the past ten years.

        Set in an underwater dystopia where scientific research free of moral and ethical boundaries has had catastrophic consequences, Bioshock puts the player in the shoes of the sole survivor of a plane crash who must now battle through the decaying remains of Rapture in order to uncover a truth more horrifying than the denizens of this city.

        Drawing upon inspiration from Ayn Rand, Bioshock is both an entertaining first-person shooter and an interesting exercise in psychology. The storyline is one of the most intriguing of its type, with characters developing slowly and several important plot twists that truly immerse the player in the game world, provoking some sense of self-reflection and even emotional investment.

        As a game, Bioshock does not disappoint. Beyond the cartoonish graphics is a phenomenally detailed world, with a distinct artistic style, truly capturing the style of the time in which the fictional city of Rapture was built. Players move through the city as they move through the levels, exploring new parts of Rapture and new wonders of the game developers. The rich detail of the environment is pivotal to the gameplay, with certain power ups relying on the various props and features included to make the city feel real and after just a short time playing one can easily become immersed in Rapture as if it were indeed real.

        Gameplay elements, such as the minigames that allow access to certain items, and the ability to upgrade weapons and switch ammunition type may not be entirely original but are handled very effectively in Bioshock and in keeping with the theme of the game, strategic decisions requiring the type of weapon used in any given encounter play a significant role as ammo can grow scarce very quickly.

        But truly Bioshock's main attribute in terms of gameplay is the use of plasmids. A variety of different abilities can be gained and upgraded through what is described in game as a DNA changer, which allows the player to shoot lightning, fire or even bees from their arms, throw objects across the room through telekinesis and even take control of the minds of enemies to sway them to your side.

        A variety of different enemies will be encountered throughout Rapture with fights against "Big Daddies" proving to be some of the most intense in the game. The primary form of enemy is a splicer, which range from simple thugs to those with almost supernatural abilities due to the level of scientific experiment in Rapture. Those expecting a horror game may be disappointed as although there are horrific elements to Bioshock and the occasional moment of unease, the game primarily plays out as a science-fiction shooter based around the themes of liberty, control, free will and morality.

        Perhaps the only major disappointment is that none of the "boss fights" are particularly challenging, even on high difficulty modes. Players may be very disappointed when one particular fight never occurs and the final challenge is easily accomplished but for those looking for a story driven game with various aspects, both in the plot and the gameplay, these slight disappointments can be overlooked.

        The PC version includes DRM that some people may find intrusive.

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        28.10.2011 15:12
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        'Water' way to have a good time!

        BioShock is a first-person shooter Set in an alternate version of the 60's. You play the lone survivor of a plane crash, exploring Rapture - a decaying underwater city.

        The setting is a very strong point for the game, the fashions, architecture and design being a blend of cyberpunk and art deco. Mix in the underwater setting and you've got a great environment that lends itself well to unique puzzles and encounters.

        The plot revolves around concepts of betrayal, libertarianism and free will and is one of the best stories I've seen in a game. There are numerous references to odious writer Ayn Rand, a version of her despicable doctrine being a cornerstone of the plot.

        You'll find many weird, crazy people inhabiting what remains of Rapture, so you'll need to defend yourself. This is achieved not just through semi-conventional firearms, but by DNA altering chemicals called plasmids. Find or buy a plasmid and you'll be able to shoot fire or ice from your fingers, levitate objects, and a variety of other powers. Plasmids can be used in conjunction with each other or the physical weapons with interesting results, and these keeps combat interesting.

        There are also defence mechanisms that require hacking (it's own little minigame) or strategic approach to overcome. Overall encounters are well-paced and the odd boss fight sets the mix off beatifully.

        You'll also find Big Daddies patrolling the halls of Rapture - huge lumbering diving suits that aggressively protect the Little Sisters. Little Sisters harvest Adam from people, which is what is needed to make plasmids and is the currency of Rapture and instrumental in its downfall.

        There are a few RPG elements, you can increase various skills to make things like hacking easier, and also upgrade your weapons.

        Dotted around Rapture are audio logs and other clues that add exposition, and you communicate with other people in real time.

        The setting, innovative combat and story all contribute to make Bioshock an incredible game that I would highly recommend. The only drawback on release was the punitive DRM, allowing you to install the game up to five times before rendering your purchase useless.

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        25.07.2011 20:02
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        Excellent game - buy it

        Bioshock is a first person shooter game developed by 2K Boston which was released in August 2007. Set in a fictional 1960's, you take on the role of Jack, a plane crash survivor who discovers an underwater city named Rapture. The city, created by corrupt businessman Andrew Ryan is not the underwater paradise he had planned and is now a crumbling dystopian place overrun by splicers - people who have mutated to gain special powers due to a biological substance developed by Rapture's scientists, which is known as ADAM. ADAM is being cultivated in the stomachs of young girls, called "Little Sisters" and then harvested, while "Big Daddies" protect them from harm.

        In your quest to stop Ryan and escape from Rapture, you can use ADAM to gain your own powers which you can use to your advantage to defeat the enemies which Ryan sends to kill you. You can customise your character by choosing which abilities you want to have and upgrading them as the game progresses.

        Aesthetically, Bioshock is a beautiful game. It is designed in spectacular detail and the graphics are outstanding. I found myself constantly looking around while I played, as I did not want to miss a detail. The haunting music in the background adds to the suspenseful atmosphere of the game. The game itself is very exciting - periods of quiet, building tension lead to intense confrontations with enemies. I was on the edge of my seat throughout. The game is fairly long, which for a game this engrossing is certainly a good thing. There is a lot of variety in terms of the setting and the tasks you have to do to progress.

        Bioshock, when it was released, was the fourth best selling PC game ever, after The Orange Box, Mass Effect 2 and GTA 4, and it is no wonder. It is one of the most unique and innovative games I have ever played, and I strongly urge anyone with an interest in videogames who has not yet played Bioshock to buy a copy.

        I have just started playing the sequel, Bioshock 2, and am eagerly anticipating the next instalment in the series, Bioshock: Infinite.

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          02.05.2011 17:04
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          An amazing plot driven FPS

          Bioshock isn't the kind of game I would usually choose to play. It looked too gory and too scary for my liking but no matter how I tried to avoid it, I couldn't help keep hearing how good it is. Considering the price has dropped significantly now, I couldn't help but feel there was no harm in giving it a go and I can happily say I was wrong to avoid such a great game.

          Plot: Now Bioshock is a game that relies heavily on its plot to make it as good as it is therefore not much can be said without spoiling it but basically you play an anonymous person that knows nothing about himself. You journey through an art deco city under the sea called Rapture and as you progress more is revealed.

          You not only find out more about yourself, but you find out about the city and the people running and living in the city which really adds to the whole experience. This is usually done by finding recorded radio transmissions dotted around the city. Not compulsory but the experience wouldn't be the same without listening to them.

          Graphics: Really quite spectacular. The water effects are amazing and everything looks so realistic. Although graphics have slightly moved on since Bioshock was created, there really isn't that much difference between a game of this year and Bioshock.

          Gameplay: Bioshock is a story driven first person shooter (FPS) where you use not only guns but plasmids (which are like certain super powers within your body) to work your way through the game.

          Controls: You can use the default controls or configure your own. Although I configured my own, they were really easy to pick up and although different things are introduced throughout, nothing is ever rushed giving you time to get to grips with everything.

          Lifespan: Bioshock took me around 15 hours to complete. It really isn't that long if you just stick to the missions given you but I found the city of Rapture so interesting that I felt compelled to explore every room so I could learn everything possible about the city I was in.

          Overall: If like me, you're put off by the same things mentioned in the introduction, don't be. Yes there is some blood and gore but not enough to be off-putting and the plot is so great that you won't even notice whizzing past the corpses scattered around the floor.

          If it had of been a simple shooter, the different weapons and plasmids you have access to would have been enough to of made it a good game but adding in the plot too, makes it one of the best FPSs I've ever played.

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          06.08.2010 22:05
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          Highly polished first person shooter

          Having just finished ranting about the awfulness of the book Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand, I should probably now balance things out by praising the computer game Bioshock, elements of which are based on the book.

          Bioshock is set in the underwater city of Rapture, an isolated metropolis in the art deco style. Back in the 1940s, businessman Andrew Ryan decided that he had enough of governments, so he built an undersea kingdom, intended to be paradise free from government control, free from parasites, free from from slavery. Fast forward to the 1960s and a plane crashes just above Rapture. The lone survivor, you find yourself drawn to the city. Unfortunately, you rapidly discover that Ryan's vision of paradise has failed badly. The crumbling aquatic kingdom is now overrun by insane mutants, and Ryan has turned into tyrant. You must now fight your way through this shattered dream to stop Ryan and escape Rapture.

          Bioshock is a first person shooter, pitting you against armies of mutant "splicers" who have developed abnormal powers through the use of a biological agent known as ADAM. You too can develop ADAM based powers by collecting the ADAM from the "little sisters" who harvest it, providing you can overcome their lumbering protectors - the "big daddies". The ADAM essentially gives you a way to level up your character and make them unique, which makes a nice change from most shooters where all you'll ever get is a bigger gun (though don't worry - you get those too).

          Graphically, Bioshock is awesome. Rapture looks incredible, the water effects are fantastic, and your bio powers look cool. The sound effects are good too, creating an overall atmosphere that is tense, creepy and frightening. The game features some reasonable voice acting too, the only thing I would criticise here are some of the dodgy accents.

          All in all, a very polished game. It has great gameplay with plenty of combat options such as weapons with multiple fire modes, different splicer powers and character upgrades, plus a nice mini game, all very well presented and an intriguing plot too. It's worth following the latter as there are a few unexpected twists before the end, giving you a decent story as well as a good game.

          I would recommend the game to any who like first person shooters, but the casual gamer will probably also enjoy the varied gameplay and the cool plot. Bioshock came out a few years ago, so it's a little old, but it doesn't date and you'll probably get it at a good price. Trust me, you won't regret it.

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            30.01.2010 15:50
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            Overall - I feel every true gamer needs to experience BioShock at some point. Utterly brilliant.

            "Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his brow?" exclaims Andrew Ryan; commencing this horrific, fantastical narrative-driven action tale. After crash landing in the mid-atlantic, Jack finds a perculiar, uncharted lighthouse surrounded by flame. Faced with either a prospect of drowning or burning, he decides to enter the building and thus makes the first step into the horrific bowls of Rapture.

            Rapture is a dystopian environment unlike anything you'll have ever played in a game before. It's oppressive, emotive and above all - creepy as hell. A private sanctuary intended to free earth's greatest minds from the constraints of law and order is now a bloodbath, housing some of the biggest "nutters" you'll ever encounter.

            These "nutters" are called Splicers; regualar artists, scientists and doctors who have genetically modified themselves to the point of oblivion with the aid of a chemical called 'ADAM'. Everybody wants it, everybody needs it. Even Jack needs it, to gain powers enough to survive in the haunting world.

            It can already be argued that BioShock is home to one of the most unique and intreguing narrative premises you've ever encountered. Things, from there, only get better (or worse, if you look at it from Jack's perspective).


            GAMEPLAY - 7/10

            As this is a PC game, there is - as is to be expected, a great deal of focus on the gameplay element rather than graphics (as those all boil down to the actual PC's capabilities rather than the game itself.) I own all copies of BioShock on all 3 platforms (i'm an avid fan) and I must say something just doesn't work here. It feels as if the controls and plasmid abilities are far too spread out around the keyboard to actually make playing simple and enjoyable. From the Xbox to the PC something has clearly been lost in translation, and if you own one of the consoles I thoroughly reccomend you pick the game up for that rather than the PC.

            I picked this game up on release day in the summer of 2007 (first on the 360) without any preconception of what it was going to be about, or play like. Suffice to say, I was mesmerised. BioShock is a first person shooter with a slight twist on the theme, and that being that in your left hand you can harness the magical abilities that the consumption of ADAM permits you. Problem is, ADAM is stored within mutated little girls (named the 'Little Sisters') who are guarded by gigantic hulks in diving suits, named the Big Daddies. For anyone who has played Left 4 Dead - you may relate to this: Fighting regular Splicers is like fighting regular zombies, it is, however, when you encounter a Big Daddy that all tactics have to change (much like fighting a Tank) in order to just get the job done without too much mess. Different people approach the fight in different ways - some with all guns blazin' and some with tactically placed mines. All I know is, these options and diversity make for some brilliant and interesting gameplay, another great design choice by the developers.

            The magical powers (PLASMIDS) can be purchased from a store dotted around the environments - and grants the player such powers as Incinerate (blasts of fire) and ElectroBolt (blasts of electricity) etc. You select and shoot with the left trigger - a nice design choice so that the player does not accidently waste their power whilst meaning to fire a gun.

            The gameplay primarily consists of fire-fights, small bouts of exploration, puzzle-solving and mini-game playing. The exploration of Rapture is fantastic and rewarding, as the environments are so rich and detailed that you find yourself really wanting to explore, as opposed to feeling forced into it. Puzzle-solving plays only a small part in the game, bringing certain items to certain people in order to achieve certain outcomes, and the mini-game whilst at first is fun, slowly gets monotonous. This is the only criticism I have on the gameplay (making it a 9/10) - and that is the mini-game the player has to solve to hack n' crack machines and safes can get very repetetive and dull. It's essentially that "pipe" game many of the retro generation of gamers may have played, where water is slowly filling pipes and you have to connect it all together the right way in order for it to flow successfuly, a little bit like a jigsaw puzzle.

            Whilst this is repetetive, it breaks up the other elements of the gameplay nicely enough - which is useful when the frantic controls can feel a bit TOO much.


            GRAPHICS - 8/10

            In my Xbox 360 review I stated: "You just can't knock it. Released for Xbox 360 in 2007, then ported to the PS3 late 2008 - the graphics for BioShock have remained consistent as some of the best graphics in video game history. There are still games being produced today which don't have a graphical patch on this game - created 3 years prior!" Whilst this is true, the PC version does seem to suffer from a few blotchy textures amd moments where colour seems very pixelated (if that's at all a good way of explaining?) However - I believe this is down to my PC's capabilities and not the actual disc itself... I hope.

            The water effects are some of the best in the industry, and there's a certain special sensation you recieve from running Jack through dripping water to make the screen waver and distort. Beautiful. The environments are fresh, colourful and vibrant - despite being situated in the middle of a bomb-shell hell-house. The character models are fantastic, especially in the case of the mutated Splicers and the gigantic Big Daddies. When you get up close to a mutilated and grotesque Splicer, seeing every inch of their face - torn or bloody or disjointed like a Picasso painting, you can really understand why the graphics of BioShock make for a compelling atmosphere and brilliant enemies.


            AUDIO - 10/10

            At first, the soundtrack may feel like nothing special. I felt that way first time through, but then I realized whilst replaying that this was only because I was so engrossed in the game first-time that I didn't have chance to listen out for it. The music can be beautiful, haunting, entertaining and indeed creepy as heck. The entirety of the soundtrack is made up of original scores, which feature some fantastically beautiful piano playing, guttural choral sounds and freakish orchestral pieces. The music kicks in at really appropriate moments - in the midst of a battle, a faced pace violin and drums piece will play to engross you further. In the middle of exploration, faced with a creepy corridor - single notes will play and drag out, building up suspense and expanding upon the horror atmosphere.

            Voice acting is fantastic - nothing to write home about, but it is emotive and fits very nicely into the BioShock universe. Some standout characters in particular are Atlas and Andrew Ryan, who offer some of the most realistic and convincing in-game voice acting I've ever heard. The sounds for guns, robots and Splicers are also extremely impressive and just help BioShock stand out a bit more as being one of the greats.


            OVERALL - 10/10

            Yes, there is no multiplayer... And the campaign isn't extremely lengthy. But, none of these things matter in the slightest - BioShock is a story driven, brilliantly compelling game that deserves to go down in the books as being one of the biggest videogame achievements of all time.

            The PC version is similar to the 360 version in so much that once you are finished - there is absolutely nothing left to do. The PS3 version features some downloadable content, but it is nothing to write home about (some small, rather interesting challenge rooms) - so I would reccomend folks wait for BioShock 2 for its fully immersive online multiplayer experience.

            Overall - if you're a rather sentimental gamer, BioShock warrants a purchase and deserves to sit on your shelf for the rest of your videogaming career. If you aren't one for replaying, and you don't much care for a game to pick up and play a few years later, then I would reccomend you rent it.

            Thanks for reading.

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            27.01.2010 23:46
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            Heart-poundingly creepy. Worth buying!

            As soon as I saw the trailor for this game on TV, it somehow put a spell on me. The game was receiving a lot of hype, and I couldn't help but become a little over excited for its release. When it was out, I went and bought it.

            I sat in my chair, all jittery with excitement as I waited for it to install. When the installation was complete, I started my game.

            The first mistake I made was to select 'Easy' as my difficulty level. I'm not good with jumpy games, and wussed out by going the easy route. However after progressing quite far through the game, it was way too easy. But I'd gone too far to start again and change the difficulty, slightly ruining my gaming experience.

            Anyway, when the game first starts, you find yourself sitting in an airoplane, soon followed by lights flashing, sounds booming, then CRASH! You black out for a while, then find yourself floating in the sea, surrounded by burning debris from the plane. Naturally, you try to escape the flames.

            I swam out of an opening in the ring of fire, only to notice a tall building sticking out of the middle of the ocean. Weird and creepy as it is, I swim over to explore.

            I entered the building where I heard music playing... "Somewhere, beyond the sea"... Hmm, it's eerily tranquil. I then entered an elevator, where a flickery black and white movie is projected on the wall, explaining the history of the underwater city known as 'Rapture'. As soon as the name of the city is mentioned, a large view of the underwater city appears through the glass. I was left astounded, staring at my monitor as I observed all the flashing city lights, and a large whale swimming closely by.

            The elevator soon enters a building, then grinds to a hault. Are you greeted by a bunch of lovely underwater city folk, ready to show you their amazing city? Far from it. You peer through the glass to see a man backing away from a human-like creature, pleading for mercy and begging for his life. The creature attacks and kills him infront of you. The sounds of screaming fill the air as you watch closely. By now, I could feel my heart pounding from inside my chest.

            The creature notices you, then tries to hack its way into the elevator. By now, I'm freaking out! The creature soon leaves, and the elevator doors open. I stepped outside wearily, wondering when the creature will strike next.

            After wandering through a few doors, I walk down a hallway to see the shadow of a woman and a baby buggy projected on the wall. I watch and listen intently to her sobbing as she appears to be mourning the death of her child.

            At this moment in time, I'm unsure whether everyone here in Rapture is crazed and hungry for blood, so I approach the woman slowly from behind to see if she's ok. She responds with a massive scream and leaps on me! At this point I'm freaking out big time, and smack her around the head with a wrench. She falls to the ground and all is still, except I notice myself breathing really heavily by now. I then peer into the buggy to find a revolver in there... Creepy... This place is hell on earth...

            I've gone on too much about the unravelling of the story, but I wanted to give a real feel of what the game is like, and how it makes you feel. The creepiness of the place is astounding. It leaves you panicking, even though it's just a game. You can feel your heart racing as you can hear screams in the distance as you peek around corners.

            This game is unlike any I've played before. Sure, there's lots of jumpy eerie games, but there's something special about this one. The graphics and detail are amazing, and the view of the city is astonishing.

            The game doesn't just consist of shooting whatever comes your way either; you can alter your own DNA using strange machines found in Rapture which enable your character to take advantage of certain powers. Some allow you to freeze nasties on the spot, while others immerse your enemies in a swarm of bees.

            Over all, this game is great. It was a bit too easy, but that was my own stupid fault. I can't comment on the difficulty of other levels as I haven't tried any others.

            I give Bioshock 8/10

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              28.11.2009 00:40
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              Not the best game out there by a long way.

              When I first heard about the imminent release of Bioshock I thought it sounded like it was gonna be a fantastic game, in fact I thought it was gonna be groundbreaking. A brilliant concept for a story, a fast and intense, action packed first person shooter and fantastic graphics. Well one out of three aint bad as I'm about to explain.

              The story revolves around a subaqautic city known as rapture, an idealic community that is thriving, until genetic research in the form of plasmids (chemical enhancements to the body) turns everyone psychotic, slowly but surely the city falls into darkness and the perfect city is lost forever.

              The game starts with you, the player, sitting comfortably in an airplane seat. There are no cut scenes so you're free to look around and take in the rather impressive graphics. Turbulence starts to disturb your rest when suddenly the plane is crashing through the atmosphere spinning out of control until it hits the murky abyss of the ocean. This set piece is done to tremendous effect and really is quite impressive.

              You frenetically haul yourself up onto a stone staircase sticking ominously out of the swell, still charged from the crash you stagger upwards and through a dark doorway and on into a bathysphere (a cross between a lift and a submarine), then down, down, down into the bowels of the city, welcome.....to rapture.

              Unfortunately from here on in the game doesn't live up to the hype it received. It got fantastic reviews and was well received by most, but for me, it was a bit of a disappointment. The story never really gets going, theres no twists, no intrigue, no reason to take an interest in your character whattsoever. The game is pretty short and the ending is amongst the worst of any game I've played (think anti-climax times 100). For an FPS these are all elements which are important in making for an exciting and playable experience.

              It's not all bad though, there are some accomplished aspects of Bioshock that mean it's not a complete and utter disappointment. The graphics are quite impressive (or at least were at the time of it's release), graphics however should always be second to gameplay in my opinion. The water effects throughout the dying city are stunning at times, and the uneasy and disturbing atmosphere is quite well realised. The residents of Rapture are unhinged and at times can be somewhat disturbing, sobbing and screaming at their own tortured selves. Society was frozen in the 50's when rapture started to come apart. This provides a pleasing juxtaposition between the happy smiley decade of spats and swing with the psychosis induced depravity that some of us may or may not be able to empathise with.

              The plasmids that ripped apart an entire society feature as a useable substance within the game, you come accross various stations throughout the game and can make use of the facilities to inject yourself with various tonics with a range of effects. Some electrify your hands, some enable you to engulf your enemies in flame, there are a wide variety of plasmids here (around 20) and each can be upgraded to make them more effective.

              The plasmids can be combined in interesting ways, theres something very satisfying about setting an opponent on fire, watching him run and dive into a soothing pool of water only to have it electrocuted as you pass ten thousand volts through it.

              Amongst the regular schizo types you'll encounter in the ruins of the flooded citadel, you will come accross big daddies. These guys are huge and moan like whales, they are equipped with massive drills and want to do you specific harm they are accompanied by sweet little girls who unfortunately for them have been possesed by malicious little grubs that turn the girls...well...a bit wrong in the head.

              On defeating the big daddies the girls can be saved by ripping the grubs from them or they can be quashed (for the more unhealthily minded out there). If you save the little dears you unlock a 'good' ending, if you smite them you get the 'bad' ending. Both endings are lame unfortunately.

              Overall Bioshock is a mixture of good and bad, but what's bad is too integral to the overall experience, they are not factors that can simply be overlooked. A summary to round up the review will hopefully help anyone deciding whether or not to buy Bioshock for themselves

              ***THE GOOD***

              -Great Graphical touches
              -An unnerving and eery atmosphere
              -The use of plasmids is fun and innovative

              ***THE BAD***

              -The story, the story, the story.
              -Very Short.
              -Characters are hollow, including your character, the main villain and every character you come accross.

              ***THE UGLY***

              -No ugliness here, the graphics are good and the water looks very realistic and behaves realistically.
              -Really didn't live up to my expectations and overall I can't reccomend this game, there are so many FPS out there that blow Bioshock out of the water.

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                02.09.2009 23:10

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                You must own this

                ONE OF THE BEST FIRST PERSON SHOOTER EVER!
                In my opinion this is just as good as Half Life 2. the graphics and sound are excellent, especially if your running direct x10. The game is set in an underwater city called Rapture. The inhabitants have all gone a bit crazy after becoming addicted to a chemical called ADAM, that gives them super human abilities. As you progress through the game you can collect ADAM from children that you rescue, either by killing them or removing the worm that's inside them. You can then use this to enhance your own power. You can choose things like telekinisis, piromaniacs or freeze, to name but a few. You can also upgrade your weapons from terminals that you come across, or you can find parts and put them in a vending machine that upgrades pop out of. You find money that you use in vending machines to buy ammo and medication. Some of the inhabitants are semi friendly and tell you what to do, but inevitably they end up attacking you. I've played this game through 3 times and it doesn't get dull.
                YOU MUST GET THIS GAME

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                21.02.2009 00:57
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                A greta game that anyone with a console can buy

                Bioshock is a first person shooter made by 2K. Bioshock is available on the Xbox360, pc and now ps3 and was awarded a grammy award.

                The game takes place in 1960 and begins with jack, the character you play on sitting on a plane. Shortly after the introduction begins the plane suddenly comes to a halt and crashes out of the sky, and you are forced to get out of the plane alive. As you emerge from the plane crash in the atlantic ocean, th first thing you see if the fire from the plane reflecting over the water, which is honestly the best water effect of seen in a game (well maybe apart from crysis). As you swim around the remains of the plane, you see a tower, which is where the game begins. As you enter the tower, you go down a staircase into a batysphere, which is where you enter the underwater city of Rapture.

                In bioshock there is a very good story. The story begins by you meeting a man called atlas over an emergency radio, who is enemys with another main character, and the creater of rapture, andrew ryan. I cannot give to much away though as it would give awy the story.

                In this game there are a variety of enemys from the mutated splicers, to the drill wielding divers, called big daddys, and a sick actor named Sander Cohan. And to counter these enemys you have a variety of weapons e.g shotguns and pistols, but you can also buy genetic inhancements called plasmids. Plasmids give you various powers from electro shock to summoning a swarm of wasps, and these upgrades are brought using adam, which you obtain of little sisters.

                Overall, i would give this game a 9/10 as it has a great story and fun gameplay, but its in very linear.

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                27.01.2009 01:25
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                A game that goes down in history as one of THOSE games.

                Bioshock is one of those amazing games that sets an EXAMPLE, raises the bar so to speak. Never before has a game had such an atmosphere. The underwater 50's/future city of Rapture is created with such detail and logic its simply astounding. The inhabitants of this dystopia are also detailed although not as much. The most memorable moment of the game, and one that will probably stick with you through all your gaming adventures, is the first view of Rapture. After your plane crashes into the middle of the ocean and Jack swims to an odd lighthouse structure you discover the bathysphere. This esoteric contraption begins to descend and you are given a brief description of the concept of Rapture by its founder, Andrew Ryan, via a projecter. Promptly after the short monologue concludes the screen whisks up and you are given your first vibrant view of the sprawling dystopia city. This is right up there with my favourite game moments of all time, its simply breath taking.

                In the begining, Bioshock starts you off with basic FPS mechanics as well as an eventful and helpful tutorial. Shortly after you've learned the basics it throws something new into the mix, plasmids. This is the core of Bioshock, and the former city of Rapture as well. Basically plasmids can be explained as spells/abilities. There are passive ones and active ones. What seperates plasmids from regular abilities is their uniqueness and stratigic uses, on enemies as well on the environment. The electric plasmid, for instance, can damage and stun single targets or if you throw it into a pool of water (theres lots in the underwater city) it will instanty kill all enemies in that pool. The fire plasmid will set enemies ablaze (Warning: fire spreads), ignite any puddles of oil, and melt ice. These are just the basic attacking plasmids, there are many more active plasmids with a variety of effects. Passive plasmids (think perks) offer you bonuses. Things like increased health from med packs, extra melee damage, chance to freeze target on hit, reflect melee damage, ect. You only have a certain amount of slots so you have to configure your plasmids to suit your combat strategies.

                But wait! How do you get plasmids? Quite simply they are bought from Gatherer's Gardens. They cost Adam to buy. Whats adam? WELL, Adam is some sort of genetic material that replaces YOUR cells with stem cells. These stem cells can then be easily altered by plasmids. Originally Adam comes from a deep sea slug, discovered in Rapture. But now the only source for the stuff is the little sisters, little girls so spliced up that they recycle Adam from the bodies of dead users. Not so fast! You can't just waltz up and take the Adam from this little girls, not with the Big Daddy following them. These huge beasts in scuba suits are equiped with massive drills, gernade launchers, and rivet guns. But once you handle that monster the Adam is all yours! Another thing, plasmids (active ones) cost Eve to use which is like your mana. Thats all there is to plasmids.

                Finally I will tell you about combat as a whole in Bioshock. While the game is linear and enemies are always in the same spots there are a near infinite amount of ways to approach any situtation. Depending on your play style you could do many different things. Five enemy splicers up ahead? You could lay traps like land mines and trip wires and lure them closer, you could run in and hit them with your wrench, snipe them from a distance, stun them with lightening and melee them, distract them with swarms of bees and shoot them down. There are so many options that it doesn't even matter that the game is linear because you can play the game 10 times and fight in a complete different manner each time. You can also hack vending machines, turrets, flying sentry bots, and safes for assistance in combat or extra goodies.

                The only downsides to this amazing game are the repedative quest objectives (go here fetch this, come back) and the death mechanic. While the quest thing comes across more as an annoyance than anything else (some of the quests are different so its not ALL the same) the death system really does ruin the game. If you die, you probably will at some point, you come back to life at one of the many, many vita chambers with no penalty. So your free to run back in on a suicide mission until everyone is dead. Of course to avoid this you could just, not play like that. Despite this flaw it really doesn't take away from the gameplay unless YOU choose to exploit it. If your a gamer, you must play this game. So in ten years when the gaming community still looks back on this game as an example you can say "oh of COURSE I played Bioshock!"

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                  12.01.2009 21:14
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                  Great game, very original. Poor DRM

                  Bioshock could be the most immersive game ever made, it's certaintly one of the best written. I have very little bad to say about this title but I will aim to provide a comprehensive review.

                  Bioshock is a first person shooter set in the underwater, art deco city of Rapture. Starting with very little background, you begin as the sole survivor of a plane crash. Fortuitously you have crashed upon a small, man made island in the middle of the ocean. After a minute of exploring you discover a bathysphere and descend into Rapture.

                  From here you are dropped into a dark city inspired by various 50s styles and trends and other works of fiction such as Ayn Rand's novels and Relativist philosophy. There is beauty and intellect in bioshock for those who will appreciate it.
                  For the rest there is also a significant deal of action and horror placed within this setting that keeps the game paced while managing to avoid seeming gratuitous.
                  The game plays well, controls are the usual FPS fare but there are also innovative features such as a currency system to buy things from vending machines and a hacking tool in which you can fiddle with machines by playing a quick game of pipedream.

                  Visually speaking, Bioshock is absolutely beautiful. The visual syle would probably be lost if it weren't supported by a tight graphics engine with beautiful water effects. The designs are the stars though, 50s art-deco architecture merhed with a real underwater feel. The rooms surrounded by halogen bulb adverts and posters for the latest genetic upgrade. For a fantast, Bioshock manages to feel strangely authentic. The drawback is that you will need a modestly capable machine to run it but the requirements aren't astronomical. On a dual core system with 2gbs of RAM and an nVidia 9400gt (nVidia's current low end card) I could play the game at full settings but it did occasionally slow or become jerky.

                  Bioshock belongs to a new breed of game, that which gives priority to the story. Like a novel, most aspects of the game are configured to draw the player into a very real situation with characters that exist beyond the usual two dimensional variety. On top of this they have placed a very well designed first person interface that allows you to fully experience Rapture. If you can run it and you enjoy games with an absorbing storyline then I can fully recommend Bioshock.

                  There is one thing that needs mentioning however, Bioshock has been at the centre of the ever more ludicrous DRM issue on the PC. Bioshock does not come complete on the disk, in order to play you must have an internet connection and activate you copy where you are given access to the files needed to finish the installation. Initially Bioshock was given limited activations meaning if you changed you computer significantly or tried to install on another machine more than a few times the game would not activate. The solution to this was to phone the publisher (in the states, no local number) and attempt to convince them you were not a thief or pirate.
                  The limited activations have been removed now though the activation is still necessary. As such it is important to not that the game is not playable without an internet connection and activation can take quite some time.

                  Intrusive DRM such as this is a growing issue within the software industy and limits user's rights. It has also been proven to be ineffective against piracy and seems more likely it is a movement to end second hand sales of games.

                  The attitude of people in the industry and even some consumers is that these restrictions are unfair and in some cases illegal, as such I think it is important that prospective buyers be aware of DRM issues.

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                    06.09.2008 19:52

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                    Just WOW

                    Its rare to happen, Halo 3 failed to live up to the hype in my eyes, STALKER didnt live up to the hype but Bioshock has.

                    The atmosphere and the story is what makes this game, if you want a deep game which really sucks you in like a great movie, Bioshock is the place to go.

                    I personally am not a fan when a game just sends hordes of enemies at you, wave after wave, which is why i was let down with the likes of Halo but Bioshock has a good amount of enemies and has the kool Big Daddies.

                    Bioshock starts by giving you a few words that get you interested in and about your character and then the plane you are in crashes into the ocean and whats so great is that you think its still video clip where your in the water and the fire is blazing but in actual fact you are in game, its just that the graphics are soo real you think that they just cant be in game.

                    The story is about a place called Rapture, a place run by one man and its about a place which has no rules and no limits in science.

                    The story relates to religion in some aspects, it has a fantastic twist and deceit around the corners.

                    As i said before there arent hordes of enemies but each enemy is tough and you have to use your powers which you collect through the game through upgrades to defeat them. These powers including electricity, fire, ice and many other nifty ones.

                    The big daddies look awesome in the game and are fun yet difficult to kill and the little sisters the ones they are protecting you have a choice whether to kill or not which determines the ending to the story. There are 3 different endings although 2 are practically identical making there 2 different endings.

                    The graphics in this game are amazing, making great use of the UNreal 3 engine and the sound is want makes this game tense and a tad scary you could say.

                    Everything is just amazing in this game, it may start slow but my goodness it is game of the year for a reason.

                    A small gripe with the game is that there is no death penalty which i find makes the game easy.

                    Must have to all hardcore PC/xbox 360 gamers

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                    15.08.2008 01:54
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                    Worth buying!!

                    I always like games on the PC and that meant a lot to me when i heard that Microsoft were going to make games especially for the PC. Bioshock was definantly the best game of the whole of 2007.
                    It has an interesting storyline of a man crash landing on an underwater utopia where he has to help a man called "atlas" to suggestively save his family.There are tough enemies and some are tougher than others and they are called the dreaded "big daddies".
                    These "big daddies" will only attack you if you attack them but the rewards of killing them will be that you can extract the precious "Adam" from the fallen angels that the "big daddy" protects. You can decide weather you wish to kill them or save them and the rewards will be better if you decide to save them. I brought this for £24.00 from game station a few months ago and that is quite cheap considering the fact that you are buying a great game for such a cheap price because games this great usually tend to cost around the £40.00-£50.00

                    The graphics and sound are great, both deliver a stupendous feel to it making you believe as if you are really there and experiencing rapture it self. You can clearly see everything and understand all the actors voices with a great ideal understanding.

                    Bioshock's minimum specs:

                    CPU: 2.4 GHz single core processor or better
                    Memory: 1 GB or greater
                    Graphics card: GeForce 6600/ATI X1300 or better
                    Direct X 9.0c sound card
                    Internet connection for game activation

                    My system specs (where different from minimum):

                    CPU: Core 2 Duo 3 GHZ
                    Memory: 2GB
                    Graphics Card: GeForce 8800GT

                    Thank you and please read my other reviews at mehmoou1001.

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                • Product Details

                  Take control of your world by hacking mechanical devices, commandeering security turrets and crafting unique items critical to your very survival.