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Bioshock (Xbox 360)

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Genre: Action & Shooter / Video Game for Xbox 360 / ESRB Rating: Rating Pending - Mature / Release Date: 2007-08-24 / Published by Take 2 Interactive

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    72 Reviews
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      02.12.2013 23:48
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      A must buy, this is some of the best storytelling in gaming.

      Bioshock is a first person shooter from irrrational and published by 2k games, and is set in Rapture, a dystopian paradise, in a city filled with addicts to a revolutionary drug that changed the human DNA, and you somehow found your way there, and now all you want is to get out...

      ----story----

      The basis of the story (without giving too much away) is that you are stuck in the city after an airplane crash, with your only friend being someone you have never even met, trying to help you escape, while trying to stay out of the tyrannical clutch of Andrew Ryan, the leader of rapture, but as you try to escape, you succumb to the addiction of the drug that destroyed the city just to survive, and this new world will start to make you question yourself... "Are you a man? Or are you a slave?"

      the story in this game is absolutely amazing, probably one of the best stories in gaming, it is so deep and every single character you meet (excluding the splicers) have a huge back story and a deep history behind them, making you feel genuine emotions when they die or betray you, making you genuinely feel sad for them, or angry that they betrayed you, and some off the people you meet, are so insane from their addiction, that you feel sorry to see their insane smiles or their insane motives, and sometimes you can genuinely feel like you are putting people out of their misery when you kill them, making this a game you will be desperate to learn more about...

      ----Gameplay----

      the gameplay in this game is alright, but nothing amazing, its passable, but definitely not a selling point for the game. The combat is rather generic in terms of gun-play, with the majority of the game being played with the pistol, shotgun,Tommy gun, and the wrench, they did try to stop this being so linear by giving different ammo types, but this didn't help the situation too much. The game also utilises a skill called: splicing, where you inject yourself with a powerful drug to allow you to have magic powers, including the use of fire, ice and even telekinesis, all of this having full story and plot line backing it up, but then this also falls short, as you only have a limited supply of in with the form of a EVE (mana) bar which can only be replenished with EVE, making this a limited use. The game also has a little sister system, where you kill a giant bulking behemoth of steel, donning a massive drill and a powerful gun, in order to get hold of his "little sister" where you can then kill her to gain her ADAM (the resource used to upgrade your power) or rescue her, and only get a portion of her ADAM, but feel like you haven't swallowed your morals by killing a small, defenseless child, this is really fun and challenging and feels worth the reward. The attention to detail is also amazing in this game, as your voice changed during the game, it becomes more warped and demonic the more ADAM you have in your body, showing you becoming less human, making your screams of pain rather scary nearer the end of the game...

      the atmosphere is also amazing, you genuinely feel on your guard against you enemies, they could be anywhere, hiding, waiting for you to try and scavenge, just to try to ambush you for any leftover ADAM in your body, the scenery is all dark and rusted, showing the decay of the city and the people inside it...


      so all in all, this game is absolutely amazing, and while the combat may be lacking, the rest of the game sure makes up for it, and at the price this usually goes for, it is a must buy for any console gamer, this game is also available on PC and the port is great, so it is a must buy on whatever system you have...

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      03.10.2013 16:28

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      Come in, the water's lovely...

      Its 1960, and Jack is sitting aboard a passenger plane when it goes down over the Atlantic Ocean. As the only survivor, he makes his way to a lighthouse which is sat in the middle of mile after mile of Ocean. Inside, houses a Bathysphere which transports Jack to a city under the water....

      As far as game concepts go, Bioshock is entirely unique. Sure, on the face of it, it's a pretty standard first-person shooter. But that seems to be the only thing it has in common with any other game of this type.

      The setting is the underwater City of Rapture. Constructed and created by people who wanted to escape the restrictions and oppression of life on the surface. A place where brilliant scientific minds could flourish, where man's reach can exceed his grasp. Of course, all was well initially, until a struggle for power tore Rapture apart. New scientific discoveries were found, and tested on Rapture's inhabitants, leaders were divided and armies of mutated humans turned on each other. That's where you enter, years on from this underwater Civil War.

      Your journey through Rapture will be a testing one, and sometimes terrifying one. You'll discover what exactly went on down there, all those years ago. And most importantly, why out off all the people in the world, it was you who ended up there...

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      13.09.2013 13:36
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      Style over substance

      I have heard nothing but praise for the Bioshock game series, particularly from a friend of mine that works for 2K games and is a massive Bioshock fan-girl. Keen to avoid spoilers and get to grips with the game myself, I was only aware of the names of some of the characters within the game and had no idea of the plot. I borrowed my boyfriend's copy, but seeing as this is an older title it is available cheaply pre-owned, and has also been released as a Game of the Year edition. There are now two further games available in the series: Bioshock 2, and Bioshock Infinite.

      Back of the box description: "Welcome to Rapture. Bioshock is a shooter unlike any you've ever played, loaded with weapons and tactics never seen. You'll have a complete arsenal at your disposal from simple revolvers to grenade launchers and chemical throwers, but you'll also be forced to genetically modify your DNA to create an even more deadly weapon: you. Injectable plasmids give you super human powers: blast electrical currents into water to electrocute multiple enemies, or freeze them solid and obliterate them with the swing of a wrench.
      No encounter ever plays out the same, and no two gamers will play the game the same way."

      The game begins with a dramatic plane crash plunging you out into the middle of the ocean, where you discover the city of Rapture. Designed as an underwater utopia built purposely to encourage scientific research and development without moral objections or ethical obligations, Rapture is now a dystopian wasteland full of savage characters that are all mentally unhinged and on varying levels of crazy. Playing through in first person view you have no idea of what your character looks like, and I found it difficult to relate as there are absolutely no details given about your character's past, personality, opinions, or anything to add some sort of depth and individuality. Without any hint of who my character was and what sort of person I was playing the game as, I felt disconnected from the story and couldn't get as involved as I do with other video games. I suspect this is mainly done as an attempt to create some suspense and tension as you progress throughout the game, but it just didn't work for me.

      The best thing about the game from my perspective was the beautiful setting of the city. Rapture is underwater and has a unique architectural style, drawing heavily from 1930's art deco designs. The game has really captured the opulence of the luxurious art deco feel, but with the decay and destruction of the city giving a dark and unsettling appearance. There is a great deal of detail in the environments, and I spent a fair amount of time looking at all the different art and posters on the walls while I was exploring the different areas and hunting for items. There are some really interesting propaganda type slogans which hint at the culture of the previous inhabitants, and evoke some feeling of how the city would have been when it was originally envisioned, before the citizens turned on one another and turned the glorious haven into a nightmarish prison.

      There is a limited amount of interaction with non-player characters in the game, and mostly you will communicate with others through a radio set, although they do the talking at you and you don't get a chance to respond. You are guided around the different areas of Rapture by a character called Atlas, who is also a bit mysterious, but has a charming Irish accent which is pretty pleasant to listen to. Generally I felt that the plot itself was weak and lacking in detail. For the most part I was wandering along killing enemies and gaining new powers, but without any real information about the end goal of my pursuits this did not feel fulfilling. The amount of story revealed to you as you play through is very sparing, and it's not until the final sequence that anything is revealed about the overall storyline, who your character is, and what your purpose has been in the grand scheme of things. The gameplay itself is what you might expect, there is a lot of exploring with a few puzzles and plenty of bad guys to kill. There are varying types of enemy, and taking up the scientific aspect of the setting, one of your side tasks is to research the different enemies which helps you to learn more about them and also gives you certain advantages when it comes to fighting against them. There are a couple of neat additions to the standard physical and gun-based attacks that you can perform, and these are helpful to complete sections of the game as well as providing some assistance during battles. One of the research projects undertaken before Rapture fell, discovered a substance called ADAM which can be used in humans along with plasmids to cause mutations which will give you special powers. You can also take various tonics which give enhanced abilities. You can choose to use these upgrades or not, but I did find that they added a bit of interest and I liked the variety this gives. During the course of the game you come across several types of electronic equipment, and you have the option to hack them to gain control and reap some benefits. To do this you enter the hacking mini-game, which is exactly like the game Pipe Dream that used to be available on the old Windows computers, and brought back some fun memories for me!

      I decided to try replaying the game purely to pass some time and try to earn a few more Gamerscore points from the large amount of achievements that are available to unlock. I had already completed the game on the standard difficulty setting, and opted to try the hardest setting next time. All I can say is that the hard level really is very hard indeed. I think I am an adequately skilled gamer to be able to get to grips with a variety of different gaming styles, but I was constantly dying and it became very frustrating. In a way it wasn't too bad because I felt no connection to my character, and dying was merely an inconvenience, but to have it happen so frequently really interrupted the flow of the game and it was a bit of a slog to get through. There is not a great deal of replay value as the game is designed for one player only, with no additional multi-player or online options.

      In a way I feel quite let down that I didn't enjoy playing this game, as my expectations were so high and everyone else I know seems to have really enjoyed the experience. I do like this style of game, and think that fun touches like the plasmids, tonics, and the hacking mini-game all add greater depth beyond the main plotline and helped to keep me going throughout the levels, so I'm not really sure why I felt so negatively towards it as I was playing through. Overall I can't recommend Bioshock as it seems to be more impressive for the style than the substance, and in terms of gameplay I was just moving around from place to place without any real feeling of purpose. I am willing to give the sequels a try and see if I enjoy them better, but the first instalment was a real disappointment for me and I have to be honest and just say that I am in the minority of people that dislike the game.

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        19.04.2013 17:37
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        Fantastic and exciting game, classic for sure

        Although it has been released back in 2007 in the early years of the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 generation, and I've had it in my collection in about 2010, I've still failed to get the motivation to play the game, although I've been told numerous times that it is one of the best games around and it's been recently put up for debate as being the best game in the current generation of consoles, which made me think that this game must indeed be something special to have millions of video game players agree on this single game as being the best out of the many that come to mind as being my personal favourites, so I blew the dust of the game case and placed it in the console with quite high expectations, which in past experiences has never been good, as I expect too much and never feel fulfilled to the level of my expectation.

        ---Story (Minor Spoilers Included)---

        The game starts with an introductory cut scene in which you first meet the protagonist of the game, a passenger in a commercial aircraft in the year 1959, looking at a picture of his assumed family and smoking, when suddenly the trip takes a turn for the worst and the crash lands into the sea (I assume it's the Atlantic Ocean), and looking like the only survivor the protagonist swims towards what you later find out is the entrance to Rapture. Upon using the supplied submarine to drop down to far below the sea level, you are welcomed by a character called Atlas whom you communicate only through radio and discover this amazing underwater city, created by Andrew Ryan to be a place where each person is free and there is no government intervention, "a person can be what they want", but as you arrive there is far from a utopian society as you witness a "Splicer", a deranged citizen of Rapture rip apart another "Splicer".

        You are then lead through an "as you experience" tutorial through the game where you discover that the whole place is depended on "ADAM" which is a substance which "Little Sisters", essentially possessed little girls who harvest "ADAM" from dead Splicers, and are protected by "Big Daddy's" who are guys in the 1950's Scuba diving equipment, also possessed to protect the Little Sisters as they collect ADAM. (In Bioshock 2, you find out that the Big Daddys are workmen who built Rapture and repaired it before it all went into chaos).

        As the Protagonist you follow directions from Atlas to help him find his family battling Splicers and discovering more about Rapture as you progress in the Story as well as history of different people and what went on in the city through recorded messages discovered around the city.

        ---Gameplay---

        The game is set from the aspect of a first person shooter, with a difference. You go around killing Splicers whom are out to get you at every corner, following direction from different characters via radio to complete goals in Rapture. This can vary from finding an item to taking pictures of the Splicers for "Research", either way I found it quite entertaining and gripping, although the concept of the game seems quite simple, it is challenging enough to require some effort, but at the same time you'll be gripped to continue playing it (few games have this effect on me).

        When I mentioned it was an FPS with a difference, it was due to the fact that although you discover basic firearms throughout the progression of the game, such as a Revolver, a Shotgun, a Machine Gun as maybe one more, you are also collecting Plasmids, which you use with your left arm, these are essentially "Special Powers", which are developed by altering your Genetic Code with an Injection, allowing you to shot Electricity, Fire, cause Tornados and many more, providing you've collected enough Eve to use these powers, in essence the ammo for the Plasmids.

        Essentially the Plasmids are related to the RPG system character development, the more you progress the more options are open to you, but in order to stand a chance against the newer enemy you come across, you need to advance the character, this either being through upgraded Plasmids or by finding the "Power to the People" stations and upgrading your weapon, doing all this will allow you to blow through the Splicers much easier, but as you progress the Splicers will come in greater numbers and pose a bigger challenge.

        One of my favourite things about Bioshock is the "respawn" method, unlike other games were you come back to a checkpoint, Bioshock will drop you off in a Vita-Chambers scattered in numerous locations around the game rather than starting from a checkpoint or from a Save, this makes the game a little less stressful.

        Among finding Plasmids and upgrading your weapons, you'll find numerous other stations such as the U-Invent allowing you to create ammo and other items from junk you find from scavenging around, as well as vending machine shops and ammo vending machines to spend your money in for health packs and Eve among other things.

        Research is unlocked a bit into the game when you acquire the camera, this is used to take pictures of the different splicers and gain a researched advantage, basically the more picture you take the more damage you inflict and you'll get awarded different Plasmids.

        As the Story progresses the more Plasmids you collect and the more challenging the enemies become, although if you check every corner, box, enemy or whatever else you might come across you will find money and items which help you and make the game fun as you're not constantly being over powered by Splicers.

        The most interesting element of the game which is linked to the overall story of Rapture and what has caused the mayhem, is the Little Sisters who are possessed little girls how collect ADAM and Big Daddys who are as I mentioned possessed Workmen in Scuba Diving suits. To get Plasmids and develop in the game you must either Rescue or Harvest the little sisters, harvesting gives you more ADAM, but kills the Little Sister and Rescuing gives you fewer ADAM but takes the possession away (Note, your choice may matter). Admittedly when I first played it, I thought it was a bit "strange" to essentially have a goal of finding little evil girls who syringe out ADAM from dead bodies and they have a large guy protecting them whom you have to kill in order to drain the ADAM out of this little girl either killing her or freeing her from her evil way. But I promise it's really interesting and griping with lot of twists and turns and it's a game which encourages you to investigate. I had not once just done a goal straightforward, I divert and investigate everything I can find to make sure I've got lots of ammo and health at all times, due to this, what may be a medium length story, turns into a long and fulfilling game.

        ---Achievements/Trophies---

        Only having played this on the Xbox360, I can't comment on the Trophies included in this game but 9/10 it's usually the same.

        Being quite old makes this game perfect for most achievement hunters like myself, since it has no online features, it has no online based achievements and this makes it perfect for 100% completion as it is very doable and quite easy with only potentially requiring 1 play through to get the full 1000g.

        This game will give you around 700g for just completing it on Easy/Medium, further achievements can be gathered through completing the game on Hard (which isn't all that challenging) and completing a number of collectables in the game, which with the help of a guide will probably get a few extra hours out of the game, as well as some "as you play" achievements.

        I quite liked Bioshock's achievements as they are realistic to get and just require some dedication and time.

        ---Replay Value---

        The game has got 2 endings depending what you do with the Little Sisters, having seen one ending I was compelled to find out what happened in the other ending and this gave me and excuse playing the game again and picking up the other achievements throughout the game, mainly the collectables. Having completed it twice, I am still not ready to part with Bioshock for some odd attachment has formed, maybe it's another GTA 4 in my eyes and I can come back after a few months or realistically a year and replay it.

        ---18 Rating---

        The best part of Bioshock except the captivating storyline and the unique aspects the game has taken which vary it from anything else available, is exploring Rapture. But due to the mayhem in which you are thrown with Splicers fighting over every bit of ADAM they can find, you come into a very dark world where everyone is killing each other and you aren't anybody special. This means you'll be seeing a lot of gruesome things on your journey varying from dead bodies decapitated on the ground to entering a room with a person hanging from the ceiling, but eventually it becomes second nature.

        Either way, it's not a game I'd recommend to the light hearted and easily disturbed and especially younger children.

        ---Overall---

        As I've mentioned many times throughout this write up, I love this game, the story, the way it's presented and the fact that there isn't anything like this. Although it's set as a first person shooter with special powers, of which there are many about, Bioshock has that special flare which distinguishes it from any competition. It is a game which you simply want to keep on playing as the action and development is constant and there isn't many if any moments in which I was bored.

        It does take some time for the game to reveal its true fun self at the beginning as it can seem a bit dull, however you must stick with it and soon you'll become as enthusiastic as me about it.

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          03.06.2012 02:01
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          Lightning, Flame, Frost and Swarms of Insects! What more could you want?!

          "Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his 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. I chose the impossible. I chose... Rapture" - Andrew Ryan - As introductions go, 2k's Bioshock can do no wrong, whether it's that excerpt from the greeting on the projector in the submergence elevator or at its initial beginning, the crash of an airliner plummeting down into the ocean on a stormy night, while the protagonist of the story reminisces and desperately swims towards an unknown obelisk amongst the flaming wreckage. If those enticing speeches and visuals weren't enough, there's the in-game trailer showing one gratuitously gory possibility of your future gaming deeds, a future too graphic and altogether confusing to put into words. It's at this point I was ashamed of my own reluctance, apathy, cheapness, to even consider purchasing Bioshock and giving it a deserved go.

          "Welcome To Rapture"
          The game is a story driven, first person shooter based in the incredible surroundings of 'Rapture' - an underwater metropolis built in the mid 40's and finished in the 50's whiles the protagonist explores it in 1960. Created by one smooth operator (Andrew Ryan) it was thought of to be a utopia in which "the artist would not fear the censor, the scientist would not be bound by petty morality, the great would not be constrained by the small!". Our introduction to this neo-Atlantis is a breathtaking one, with gorgeously gloomy vistas and a frightening reality check that it is no haven when your quaint little elevator gets torn up in the dark by a psychopathic 'splicer'. Turns out that this place had suffered a civil war, thanks largely to the focus on 'ADAM' - a substance which acts as a consumable substance that people can't get enough of as it correlates to the use of 'Plasmids'. The surviving civilians all turned insane over time, don creepy masks and fashion themselves in the styles popular back in the 50's. Lured here by your own inquisitiveness, you're all alone until the voice of a man known only as 'Atlas' contacts you via radio and tries to explain what is going in and why you should follow his word. Throughout the game you'll find several audio tapes to listen to for interesting insight to the gruesome events, some relative, others whimsical or helpful. It's these subtle events and mysterious storyline that at first is your main reason for playing.

          "You'll be no better off with the metal Daddy, Little Fish"
          No ordinary FPS, Bioshock makes use of creative weaponry instead of just highly accurate firearms (which are still included). Classic TommyGuns and Shotguns to your ever hand wrench can be upgraded via Stations sparingly scattered throughout the game, with upgrades for damage, ammo and effects. Plasmids however, really shake things up, consuming EVE (mana/stamina/magic) they use lightning bolts, Fireballs, Insect Swarms and Telekinesis - Most of which can be essential to progressing through the game or accessing secret areas. Tonics make for even more complex involvement, as passive abilities that shorten alarms or ADAM/EVE absorbing techniques when hacking. Which brings me onto the minigames - required to hack various vending machines for ammo, medpacks, EVE etc. You must arrange a set of pipes in order to allow the slowly advancing water to flow through to an exit, avoiding virus' and your own pace. These make sure you know what you're dealing with as they can alert flying machines with mounted turrets, just when you need some calm to reload and restock your supply, this can prove a troublesome tactic... or you could just pay for your goods at a steep rate.. Strolling around the levels are menacing Splicers who attack you on sight, ganging up on you with their blood stained buddies. Also on walk abouts are the infamous 'Big Daddies' and their 'Little Sisters'. These badass monster wear gigantic deep-sea diving suits and wield a terrifying rotating drill on one arm to disembowel anyone stupid enough to go near his little friend. This however is a big part of progression in the game as disposing of the Big Daddies will net you more ADAM mmmm. This also poses a choice for you - Rescue or Harvest the little sisters... The controls and variables are off-putting slightly at first, but with time you get your bearings, similar to the way you understand your surroundings and goals which you must complete in order to proceed through the vast zones of Rapture.

          "A man chooses, a slave obeys"
          Your controllable fellow isn't much for words which seems like a bit of a cop out at first, but if anything its better that way as you can simply listen to all the events unfolding before you. Atlas acts as your guide through the majority of the game with his thick Irish accent, but despite his willingness and helpful nature, something's just not right about him.. Andrew Ryan, the aristocrat who dreamed the impossible appears to be the one man you're trying to find. He pops in and out of the game on recordings left strewn all over the place as well as making his feelings known on radio frequencies and intercom broadcasts. Dr. Tenenbaum is a previous employee under Ryan Industries and managed the experiments on the Little Sisters. Distraught and repenting of her own work, she strives convince you to spare all of the demonic children you come across. The accents and mannerisms of all characters are so well defined and original that it makes for a rich, fine experience when in one way conversations with them, again proving you don't need a voice. Perhaps a little thin on notable characters.

          "Look Mr.Bubbles, it's an angel!"
          What makes Rapture a creepy place to navigate are its imminently flooded, decaying casinos, ER's, Theatres and gardens. Despite the chaos, levels still have the grandeur of art deco inspired rooms, plastered in post war time illustrations and gun powder. What makes the levels even work is the interactive elements, for example, should an enemy be standing in a pool of water, blast em' with a shocking electrocute plasmid and they suffer the consequences of their bumbling idiocy. The same goes for firing rockets and projectiles - which can be redirected with telekinesis. Changing up the gameplay and responsible for multiple outcomes to situations, no fight is ever the same as long as you're willing to test out your observation skills. Part of the reason to Bioshocks fame (besides the underwater element) is the 50's design - everywhere is kitted out in super retro decor that perhaps interests the graphic designer in me more than the avid gamer. The malfunctions in machinery that keep Rapture ticking also make for uncertainty when playing, should a pipe burst, a room flood or even worse, the pant-sh*tting moment when lights cut out and you're left with the mindless muttering of splicers and their weapons scraping on the tiles. From time to time you'll come across a lonesome Daddy, or Little Sister plunging a syringe into a corpse, a mad surgeon fondling organs or laughing about previous malpractice. Someway through you gain a camera to research enemies, adding additional traits to your arsenal, exploiting their weaknesses.. or you can use it to photograph the mangled bodies at the will of an eccentric maniac - Thanks to all this, its not only an FPS but a stylish, horrifying one.

          "How much is that doggy in the window?"
          The icing on the soggy cake is by far the music. Sticking with the theme and time of the 1940's - 50's, levels are altered with the vinyls of old appropriate tracks like Bobby Darin's 'Beyond the sea', the Inkspots 'If I didn't care' and some real oldies like 'Danny Boy' and more modern tracks like 'Please be kind' by Frank Sinatra. These tunes get blared out on old scratchy dictaphones during some real inappropriate yet ironic times that the game unfolds in cinematic quality. It has a wealth of music that is largely overlooked today and well worth considering the unofficial soundtrack. Surprising at first, your thoughts will change to how down right creepy the music becomes when paired with the dank n' dark underworld, along with its dastardly violent inhabitants. When I acquired the game I completed it with the space of 3 days, staying up late largely thanks to the addictiveness of gaining more plasmids, tonics and searching for endless amounts of ADAM! So one could stipulate that its a fairly short game in comparison to so many other games in the genre. I think it's this briefness that makes the game succeed, every moment counts, concentrating brilliant parts altogether with no filler or weak points. Looking back now, Bioshock was from a time when video games still had promise, conjuring up original, imaginative games instead of recycling the passed glories of record-breaking titles. Coming from 2007 may make this dated, but it certainly doesn't stop it from making a genuine, charming impact.

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            14.11.2011 14:25
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            A modern classic, brilliantly realised, unique FPS game

            Bioshock is a brilliantly made and hauntingly atmospheric first-person shooter (FPS). It has a smart and engaging plot and unique gameplay twists which come together to create a modern gaming classic.

            Setting......

            Bioshock is set in a parallel imagining of the 1960's, and takes place is the underwater city of Rapture. Rapture was designed as a utopia for free thinking intellectuals, where technological and biological science would be allowed to develop without restraints. When you arrive, this vision of perfection is long gone, and the city is bursting at the seems (in some cases literally).

            Atmosphere & Style......

            This is where Bioshock excels. The game's mysterious opening throws you into Rapture without a clue of what is going on. The layout, appearance, and sound design create a dark, eerie, claustrophobic world, with a very tense oppressive feel to it - you can almost feel the millions of gallons of dark ocean pressing down on you. This is very deliberate, and is brilliantly crafted by the designers.

            The tarnished and disfigured Art-Deco styles, along with the bizarre quasi-futuristic mechanisms you encounter are very evocative of the unusual setting, and the distant creaks and booms are very unnerving.

            You are initially lead through a brief tutorial as you are introduced to several of the less savoury inhabitants of the city, and the fact that you are constantly on the move and scrapping for survival immediately cranks up the tension...

            Bioshock is a game which has you on edge almost constantly, and you will feel that you can never relax. It's an intense game, and consequently I found I was often not in the mood to play it - especially when coming back from a long day at work. It is a great experience, but there are some times when you feel you need something with a little more light-heartedness, or at least a chance for respite.

            Story......

            The beauty of Bioshock's story is that you can control (to an extent) how much you want to be involved with it. You obviously cannot ignore the core plot, but through various systems, including speaking to other characters, finding old audio-recordings, hacking into computer terminals, etc. you can learn more about Rapture and its inhabitants, and be drawn further into the workings of this mysterious place.

            Whereas many games have these features as minor optional extras, Bioshock's added content is extremely rich and compelling, and I feel the best way to enjoy the game is to really embrace the idea of full exploration. You should see, do, read and listen to as much as possible, as you will be rewarded with a fantastic and original storyline, and a greater appreciation of the game's central plot for your troubles.

            Gameplay......

            Although this is a FPS, it is far from traditional in its mechanics. Bioshock involves lots of exploration, hacking of computer terminals and other machines, problem solving and mysteries as well as combat. The combat itself is also diverse and original. Whereas you will usually have at least a basic firearm throughout the game (be careful, as ammo is limited) your secondary armament comes in the form of 'Plasmids' - genetic modifications which grant powerful abilities such as telekinesis, or emitting bolts of lightning or fierce flames from your hands.

            These can be combined with your customisable weapons to unleash a wide array of destructive and devastating effects, and make for very exciting and far from traditional FPS combat.

            Moral Ambiguity......

            One core mechanic of the game is the presence of the bizarre 'Little Sisters' and their protectors; the 'Big Daddies'. I won't spoil the plot for you, save to say that depending on who you believe, Little Sisters should either be saved and freed, or destroyed and 'harvested'. Depending on your choice of action throughout the game, you will receive certain benefits, but needless to say, whichever path you choose, the Big Daddies will not be happy...

            This really is a key element of Bioshock, and proves, along with the unique setting and great storyline, that this is an FPS with a brain, and a moral compass.

            Final Thoughts......

            From the moment you first set foot inside Rapture, you know that this is going to be an impressive and original game. Bioshock delivers on these initial impressions magnificently, offering something genuinely new in the world of FPS games, which is traditionally dominated by shaven-headed space marines, grunting machismo, and limited cerebral inspiration. A winding, branching, compelling plot will keep you gripped and entertained, and a brooding, eerie atmosphere full of danger will keep you on edge throughout.

            The only negative thing I can really say is that the atmosphere is sometimes too much, and I found myself crying out for something a little more relaxed and less foreboding. However, this is simply testament to the brilliant job the designers have done in crafting the perilous and claustrophobic underwater world of Rapture.

            Cue Rapturous applause...

            Also on Ciao... :)

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              10.08.2011 15:08

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              I love it myself, buy it play it if you dont like it sell it.

              as i said in the title either you love or hate this game. i myself love it.

              its a game with a fairly confusing but great story which twists and turns toward an multi-ending that reflex your actions towards the scary looking children of rapture changed by experiments and whom's hobby consist of finding dead bodies to harvest.

              my sound scary and honestly it is the first time.

              it is an extremely thought through game and I myself couldn't find many faults with it which for me is strange as my friends think that i hate every game that exist.

              it blends a good concept of a FPS and RPG which allows players enjoy not hours but days of game play.

              although i love this game the few bad points are that it is unlikely and confusing in many places for example why would an outsider to the under water city stay there after the first attack on his life.

              there is a lack of multiplayer which has been fixed in the second installment.

              it scared the life out of me the first but not the second as nothing really changes the second time through other than the difficulty that i change.

              i would definitively recommend this game to any one who is a story nut when it comes to games and to people who like the recent fallout games but in a smaller scale

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              22.03.2011 19:32
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              Excellent game, BUY IT!

              OK, a few things to start with, firstly, I enjoy playing games but I get bored very quickly with nearly all games, only playing for half an hour or so at a time. Secondly, I very rarely sit down and play a game, especially non-multiplayer, for more than an hour.

              With this in mind, I can play Bioshock for five hours without realising it. As the title suggests, I'm not sure what it is about the game, but I really can't put it down. I very nearly completed it and then my save game file became corrupt, so I'm on the almost second run through, which I'm enjoying just as much.

              The game starts with you in a plane, which then crashes during night time in to the ocean. At the time the graphics were amazing, now they're still VERY impressive, but look a little dated compared to some modern games. I won't spoil things by giving any more of the story away, but it is very engrossing and keeps my hooked.

              As the game progresses more things become available. In your right hand you have your weapon, starting with the wrench, then pistol etc. Each weapon then gets different ammo, regular, armor piercing etc. Now, what makes Bioshock a little bit special is your left hand. This becomes an extra weapon using Plamids. This can be things like fire, electricity, ice etc, and as you progress you unlock more and can equip more. They also react with the environment so if you see oil on the floor you can time a fire attack to hit the oil just as the enemy are running through it and set them all alight :)

              Later in the game you can also start to collect materials and build your own things, although I never really used this feature much as in easy mode you hardly ever run out of ammo, but feel I may need to use this feature a lot during medium mode.

              The atmosphere of the game can be very tense at times, especially if you have surround sound and play in the dark. The thumping sound of a "Big Daddy" (you'll find out what these are in the game) makes me grip the controller and move very slowly around the game trying to decide on if I should take it on or not.

              Controls are very good with the right button and trigger controlling the right hand and left button and trigger controlling the left hand. The only niggle I have is the fact that the camera is classed as a weapon so taking a picture then quickly trying to get to a decent weapon before being spanked can be frustrating.

              The first time I played through I played on easy mode, this time round I'm playing on medium and I can tell the difference, I don't think I'll cope with hard :/

              Not a very detailed review, but I really don't want to give too much of the story away.

              Summary - excellent atmosphere, still VERY good graphics, engrossing story, good controls.

              Get the game, you can get it at the moment for around £8, I paid £20 and it is one of my most played games (determined to complete it before starting Bioshock 2 which has been on my shelf for 3 months unopened)

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                12.01.2011 01:12
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                Fantastic in every way. Would you kindly buy this game?

                I loved Bioshock. I absolutely loved it.

                The game is set in the dystopian, underwater city of 'Rapture' started by industrialist Andrew Ryan who wanted to find somewhere his particular brand of philosophy could thrive. The setting is visually stunning and you could very easily lose time just staring outside of the underwater windows across to the city in front of you and the level of detail in the fish between you. Add to this a nostalgic 50s/60s feel supported by a soundtrack from the same musical era and a storyline that at times literally left me speechless and you are onto a winner.

                As a first person shooter the gameplay is pretty easy to pick up. The game has an added dimension in that as well as using an array of your average shoot 'em up guns (and some funky new creations) you can also use plasmids. Genetically enhanced abilities including telekenesis, incinerate and winter blast. If first person fighting is not your forte they even have a plasmid to distract your enemies while you edge rather hastily past them. The maps are not difficult to navigate, often I find in first person shooters you can easily get lost or turned around, but thankfully the setting is so recognisable that you can easily find your way around Rapture.

                The storyline itself was brilliant. The few twists I genuinely did not see coming at all and came as a complete shock. Even playing through for a second or third time (you can't just play through it once) I found these moments can still leave you reeling for a moment even when you know what is coming. The character you play as has little to say (very Gordon Freeman-esque) and you are confronted with some moral choices to make which affects the development of the storyline making you feel very much a part of the game.

                Bioshock also raises some interesting ideas about society and how even the simplest philosophy can be distorted. The idea of 'parasites' in a city where everyone is supposed to pull together and work for everything they have is an interesting one as is the treatment of them. The conflict between the classes, again is an interesting development in a city where class was not supposed to exist. All in all a fantastic game that can also leave you thinking about the implications of the philosophies and societies contained therein.

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                  27.11.2010 18:07
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                  A really good game

                  I believe bio shock is a really good game, I have not played too many first person shooter games but once I started playing this game I found it hard to stop.

                  Bio shock in set in 1960. The game starts with you in a plane, but the plane crashers, you survive and find yourself in the ocean, in the distance you will see a lighthouse this is where you take control of the character. When you go into the lighthouse you will then be able to go down into the ocean and enter the city of rapture. You will then be assisted through the game by atlas a man talking through the radio.

                  There are different enemies that you will have to face during the game, mostly splicers, these are the remainder of raptures humans. These splicers will try and kill you, so be careful. You will also face a number of big daddies during the game, these are protecting the little sisters - these will have the adam which you will need to get through the game. You will be asked to make a choice when you have the little sisters, you can help yourself and take all the adam, but you will kill the little sister, or you can help the little girls and just take a fraction of the adam. This is entirely your choice.
                  The atmosphere of the game is great and really engrossing, at times the game is scary and is an 18 as it could be too scary for young children.

                  I would highly recommenced this game, it is by far the best game I have played on the xbox. I would advise anybody to give it a go.

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                    21.10.2010 18:53
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                    I would buy one of these for every console I own.

                    Bioshock is a game involving a theory. That theory is a world without morals, religion and governments. That world is Rapture, an underwater city run by a (some would say) tyrant named Andrew Ryan.

                    You first start the game on a plane, at which point that plane crashes, leaving you in the ocean, alive (just) and this is where you take control of your character.

                    Upon taking control, you make your way through the water to a Spire in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, this is the entrance to Rapture. Once entering Rapture, you get a truly stunning view. But I'll let you view that one for yourself.

                    I have to be VERY careful writing this review, as there is so much to write but it all involves the story, and I don't want to ruin it for any of you. But I promise there is a twist that I will guarantee NONE of you will see coming.

                    Basically, the overall structure of the game and the combat mechanics involves using plasmids (a product developed in rapture that rewrites your genetic code, and lets you use a large variety of abilities from lightning to telekenisis to a massive swarm of bees! This is coupled with a variety of guns, including a revolver, flamethrower and shotgun (my personal Favourite).

                    Throughout the game, either through pure luck or purchasing from the various vending machines throughout the game, you acquire plasmids. In these plasmids, you acquire new abilities displayed above, these can also be upgraded and you can have a maximum of 6 equipped at a time (if you buy the upgrades from a Gatherers Garden.

                    If any of you are familiar with the idea behind the Fable saga, you will recognise it through this game. It's the basic idea of deciding whether to do right or wrong. This idea is shown solely in the form of the Little Sisters (shown on the front cover, if you look closely it's the little girl). And if you missed the big thing with the drill, then that's known as a Big Daddy. They were created to protect the Little Sisters. Throughout the game you are given the chance to either Harvest or Rescue the Little Sisters. Harvesting would gain you more Adam (which can be used to purchase plasmids, upgrades and the like), while Rescuing them gets you less Adam and appreciation from Dr. Tenenbaum (the creator of the Little Sisters). But to get your Adam, you need to defeat the Big Daddy. This involves a lot of skill and ingenuity. It is honestly the most challenging part of the game.

                    The game itself is a video game marvel of graphics and ingenuity. It's incredibly cinematic and a storyline with twists, turns and pure wonder the like I have never had the pleasure of enjoying. I have never before found a game that I enjoyed as much as this, I can honestly say that it's one of the few games which has sucked me into the franchise, not because my friends play it and I'd feel left out and alone if I didn't buy it, but because I enjoy it to this week and every one afterwards.

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                      01.09.2010 21:15
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                      One of the best games you're ever likely to play - you owe it to yourself to experience Bioshock.

                      In 2007, 2K games took the gaming world by complete surprise by releasing their unique FPS 'Bioshock'. With a fresh twist on an established genre, the game intended to take the next-generation of gaming by storm, by immersing the player in a dystopian world of greed, violence and utter isolation. Its unique gameplay elements made it an instant classic then, and its compelling story has meant that it has created an enduring legacy in gaming.

                      The crux of the game is a suitably fascinating one - left dumbfounded by both capitalist and communist systems on the surface, an ultra-capitalist entrepreneur named Andrew Ryan created a city under the sea in 1946 called Rapture. Here, there would be no censorship, everything earned by an individual would be theirs to keep and there would be no restrictions placed upon science. However, one scientific revelation threatened to destroy this 'utopia': ADAM. This collection of unstable stem cells allowed humans to grant themselves superpowers - or 'plasmids' - but had drastic side effects. Not only was it addictive, but it came to take control of the 'splicers' who used them extensively. Becoming horribly disfigured, they became shadows of their former selves and, in a civil war which ravaged the city in 1958, ordered government in the city ground to a complete halt.

                      This is where you come in. You assume the role of Jack, emerging from a devastating plane crash in the game's first scene. You scramble to a lighthouse which contains an entrance to the underwater city and once you arrive, you realise that it was probably best if you'd stayed away...Guided via radio by an unknown character named Atlas, you must survive among the crazed splicers and uncover the secrets of Rapture.

                      Now, if the story isn't enough to entice you into the game, then the graphical excellence of the title certainly will. The developers captured the period they intended to cover impeccably, with the art-deco style permeating every aesthetic level of the game design. Not only are the interiors given a suitably fifties feel, but even the specially made advertisements and propaganda posters are beautifully given a period feel. The impact of the presentation cannot be understated: this level of detail had never before been seen in a console title and, in high definition, this is a truly sublime game to simply gape at. At times you'll literally spend hours just perusing the detailed and varied environments: look out for Eve's Garden in particular, whose lush green forests really offer the feeling that this city was once a rapturous utopia.

                      Likewise, the crazed enemies you face are suitably rendered. Not only do they shamble along and ramble to themselves - with unique dialogue given to each and every character - but there are several different types of enemy to face throughout the game: spider splicers, for example, crawl on the ceilings and ambush you while nitro splicers hurl dynamite your way. Not only is each 'class' made to feel unique, but each has its strengths and weaknesses which can be uncovered by the research camera you eventually come across. Take snaps of enemies before disposing of them and they'll be easier to beat the next time you see them, a neat touch which snugly fits into the game design.

                      Undoubtedly, the most challenging enemy of all is the Big Daddy, a character intrinsic to the Bioshock experience. Not only does it adorn the cover art but it is the most challenging of foes in the game, being both heavily armoured and armed to the teeth. Its function is to protect possessed girls named little sisters who draw the ADAM from dead corpses, and, to be able to advance in the game, you need to obtain this solution from the little sisters. The Daddies themselves have their own demeanour and protect their territory violently, lashing out if you near a sister. On the highest of difficulty levels you'll experience some truly epic battles against them, juggling movement, plasmids and firepower to outwit them and get to the valuable sisters.

                      This brings me onto the next important story element: ADAM. This solution serves two key purposes in the game. The most immediate of these is the moral choice that you as a gamer are given. As previously mentioned, the gamer obtains plasmids by using ADAM as currency. These give the player superpowers such as the ability to set foes alight, electrocute them or fling objects at them with telekinesis (among a wealth of other choices). Put simply: if you have more ADAM, you get more powers and the game is a much easier prospect. So when you meet a sister you have a choice: harvest her for maximum ADAM (i.e. murder her) or obtain a lot less of the solution but free her of her affliction. The choice you have affects the ending you reach at the game's climax and truly makes you think about your moral choices: this is a neat touch which adds to the game's immersion, and it even changes the way in-game characters converse with you.

                      Aside from the moral side of ADAM, its role as currency is an integral fibre in Rapture. Jack can 'carry' a limited amount of plasmids at a time but using ADAM new slots can be purchased. The same can be said for 'tonics', another in-game feature which gives the player certain perks against enemies such as invisibility while stationary or the ability to hack machines, turrets and cameras with ease. Moreover, the game features an impressive weapon upgrade system; not only are traditional weapons well recreated but they are given a Rapture flavour, designed to look like they were cobbled together by its insane inhabitants. This stretches to the implements added to your guns, with nuts and bolts visibly fixed onto the guns to make them more effective against foes. Not only does this wealth of detail make the game a blast to play but it makes the whole idea of Rapture as a self-contained society all the more believable. It entirely immerses you and makes you see this underground dystopia as a living, breathing organism, a depth of story which other games simply haven't been able to match.

                      This effect is compounded by the gripping - and rather lengthy - story, whose twists and turns keep you at the edge of your seat throughout. This is helped along by the intuitive objective and story-telling mechanisms, with the player being told where and when to traverse certain areas via radio signals rather than having to read blocks of text. This means you can continue on your way while hearing your objectives, giving you no time to stop and take a breath along the rollercoaster ride. Not only does this system heighten the tension but it nails the atmospheric feel perfectly: you truly feel alone in this twisted vision of paradise and when you're only contact with society is via radio your detachment makes the setting all the more eery and unsettling.

                      In summary, 'Bioshock' is simply a masterpiece in both theory and practice. The background story to Bioshock would be enough to warrant its own dystopian novel and the level of thought behind the title permeates to the surface of the game design. What's more, the intuitive use of plasmids alongside traditional weaponry gives the game a unique feel unmatched by other FPSs of this gaming generation. The beauty of the title comes in its intuitive mix of aesthetic beauty, compelling and original narrative and impeccable game-play elements including ADAM and radio messaging. Ultimately, this truly is an awe-inspiring title and for those who have overlooked 'Bioshock' for the three years since its release I tell you one thing: play this game. Experience Rapture.

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                      14.06.2010 01:08
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                      Well written and looks beautiful

                      This is a review for Bioshock for the Xbox 360, produced by 2K.

                      I have recently borrowed this game from a friend on high recomendation. I was dubious about playing this game after some time prior, playing a demo. I have to say however the demo did the game no justice and it was rightly recomended.

                      The first thing that strikes you about the game is just how beautiful it looks. You spend the opening scene in a plane crash into the sea and having to swim to the rather handy nearby rock which happens to have a building on it. As you swim you can really appreciate the attention 2K have taken to just how water works, it looks really good! Suppose this is a must though really as you game is here-on-in set underwater in the bottom of the sea structure named Rapture. 2K have really given you something to look at the whole way through the game. Rapture is compleatly styled in Art Deco, although maybe slightly run down.

                      You dont have much time a the beginning to admire the beauty however as you are soon dropped right into the suspense that carries on right the way through the game and really emerges you into the well written story. Rapture is a dark place in general and with your enemies being very quiet untill they pounce upon you it keeps you on edge and checking every dark corner with your finger held closely over the trigger.

                      The weaponology for the game sits very well between an RPG and an FPS. Although pistols, shotguns and rocket launchers are commonplace, you are also endowed with plasmids which alter your DNA to enable you to create fire, ice and electricity among other things. Getting these powers however isnt easy. Plasmids are created with Adam, an energy source found within the body. To increase your adam you need to find a little sister, not difficult in itself but they are protected by a big daddy. Little sisters are created within Rapture and collect Adam from the deceased and seeing as people dont die very often in Rapture, the big daddy's are there to lend a hand. Fully armoured and carryinga rivet gun, big daddy's are no mean feat to take down and you will often die a few times before taking them out and getting to the little sister.

                      As I said before, the story line is very well written and you spend no time lost in limbo. Always with a sense of purpose the game feels very fast paced although not rushed. There is also a few twists to the plot to keep you guessing and to stop it all getting a bit stale.

                      In all I am very impressed with Bioshock and recommend any player to give it a go, dont go on the demo as I felt it really let it down, buy it, rent it or borrow it.

                      You can buy Bioshock online at Amazon.co.uk for around £12 or on the highstreet at shops like Gamestation or HMV for around £20-£25.

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                      09.02.2010 01:18
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                      If your'e looking for a truly immersive environment and a great storyline, there is no better game

                      Shoot bees from your veins, electricity from your fingertips, fire balls from your palms, and move objects with your mind. Then pick up a shotgun and mow your way through the beautiful and terrifying world of "Rapture".

                      This decrepit art deco city at the bottom of the sea is perennially stuck in the 1950's, but the decade ended with a civil war that tore the city apart, and left the population insane. As "Jack" you are caught in the middle of a power struggle for the minds of "Rapture's" citizens. On one side is the comforting Irish voice in your ear, Atlas. On the other Andrew Ryan, a cynical business man in hiding, the creator of "Rapture", a visionary. But his vision, though noble, has become twisted beyond recognition in the execution. This is largely down to the lack of restraint on the scientists of "Rapture". Their gene experiments, have resulted in mutating the people. Through a sea slug found outside the city walls, ADAM was harvested, and distributed among the civilian population. ADAM has a narcotic effect on the resident, and their increasing dependency on the chemical causes them to act in irrational ways. They lose their grip on sanity, slipping into the blackness of ADAM's clutches, from which there is no escape. Here they experiment on themselves and one another with horrific results, ranging from the cosmetic surgeon attempting to create the perfect woman through mutilation, to the German scientist who captures and indoctrinates the little girls of the city to drink the blood of the dead to harvest the ADAM and recycle it.

                      It is these "Little Sister's" that mark the focal point of the game. They provide an unparalleled moral decision: harvest them for the valuable ADAM they uniquely possess, or save them and make surviving the horrors of "Rapture" that bit harder. Depending on the choice you make will affect the ending of the game. Will you be Savior or Destroyer? Hero or Villain? However, in order to make those decisions you must get the "Little Sisters" on there own, which means defeating the iconic Big Daddies. These monsters in diving suits will terrify you as you hear their low roar, or the heavy metallic footsteps, and you will know that you are in the toughest fight of your life. If you face the Rosie version of the Big Daddy, you will face a giant with a Rivet gun fired with extreme force and precision. Not to mention that he will be throwing proximity mines at you, which will detonate on impact with you. Th bouncer is probably the most iconic and recognisable resident of Rapture, with red lights on his helmet when he is in a bad mood, and green when he is passive. But don't mistake him for a traffic light, as he moves at tremendous speed and packs an almighty punch. Then there is his coup de grace, a giant drill attached to his arm, which he will use to strike you with, bore into the ground to disorientate you before charging like a bull, or simply to bore into your torso. And at six feet long, this is no Black & Decker.

                      The official classification of this game is an action shooter, but it quite easily could be a horror. This is bone chillingly terrifying gaming, but the way it frightens you is entirely new for the medium. This is a game waging psychological warfare against the gamer. The fear begins as a feeling of being disturbed by the shadowy corridors and strange noises that emanate from the city. This feeling begins at the back of the brain, but slowly works it's way forward, eroding your sanity like ADAM has eroded the sanity of the splicers of "Rapture". It is at work even when the game is switched off, it stays with you while you are doing the shopping, while you sleep you will wander the echoing hallways of "Rapture", dreading what is round the next corner. The fear will spread through your mind from the back to the front, until you can feel it pushing against the inside of your eyes, and the only way you can exorcised it is to scream. Playing this game alone at night, in an empty house with the lights off might sound like something that a gaggle of thirteen year old girls would do for a cheap fright night, however it is one of the most immersive and horrifically brilliant experiences I have ever had the privilege to enjoy. As you hear a disembodied voice singing "Jesus loves me this I know", before rounding a corner and seeing the owner of the voice does have a body, one which is terribly disfigured from splicing ADAM, one which is clothed in tattered overalls and carries a bloody knife. The ramifications are truly felt when you consider that this was once someone's father, son, brother. Yet these people, once the best in their field that walked the perilous line between genius and madness, would rather relinquish their gifts and indeed their grip on reality, for one more hit of ADAM. They have forgotten that they once had families, they would fail to acknowledge them in the street, perhaps not recognising them, these people who were once so close and loved. They would gladly kill them for ADAM, or even for sport to satiate their irrational rage and uncontrollable hatred for all rivals to their precious drug. This brings it home for me, makes it real. Makes it terrifying.

                      This is a game that aspires to examine the Human condition at it's most basic level, to see what makes us separate right from wrong. Is it wrong to want to be free from the restrictions of bureaucracy? The tangled traps of red tape? This poses so many questions about our political ideologies , our philosophical beliefs. Rarely has a game had such lofty goals. Rarely has a game hit such heady heights at the depths of the ocean.

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                      30.01.2010 15:47
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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 - 9/10

                      I picked this game up on release day in the summer of 2007 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.

                      Aside from that repetetive task, everything about BioShock's gameplay is bang on the money.


                      GRAPHICS - 10/10

                      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!

                      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 - 9/10

                      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 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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