Review: BioShock

WELCOME TO RAPTURE

Developer: 2K Boston, Digital Extremes
Genre: Sci-Fi First Person Shooter
Platform(s): PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360
Release Date: August 21, 2007
Compatability (PS3): 25MB Mininum Space | DUALSHOCK 3 Vibration Function | HD 720p / 1080p
Compatability (Xbox 360): 15MB Mininum Space | HDTV 720p / 1080i / 1080p
Rating: 9.0

Andrew Ryan, business mogul and visionary created Rapture: an underwater utopia, hidden away from the hordes of mediocrity, intended for the bourgeoisie, intelligentsia and business elite of society to thrive, free of religious, social and political constraint. Paradise … until now. Rapture’s piece de resistance; the scientific breakthrough of ‘ADAM’ – a gene modifying drug has taken hold of the community. Civil war rages between Ryan and fellow entrepreneur Frank Fontaine for control of the city and Rapture’s civilians (or what’s left of them) have become catatonic maniacs – ‘splicers’ – who will go to any length to secure their next ADAM hit. Amidst the chaos are the Little Sisters – young girls who roam Rapture gathering ADAM. Harmless, right? Enter the Big Daddies – all round powerhouses in over-sized dive suits and sworn protectors of the Little Sisters. Go after the girls and you’ll face the boys, simple as that.

BioShock begins with an unexplained plane crash somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean. Swimming to safety, protagonist Jack stumbles upon a bathysphere which plunges him into the depths of this now dystopian nightmare. After acquiring a radio, a mysterious Irishman named Atlas guides Jack with the hope of finding an escape. Throughout the game, Jack receives transmissions from friends and foes which provide information about the history of Rapture and how it came to be the way it is today. From the outset, the game creates an atmospheric tone of desperation; cackles of crazed splicers and the eerie sound of 50’s music are often heard echoing through the corridors from an abandoned gramophone. The grandeur of the setting somehow makes it all the more frightening. Exploring Rapture is one of the game’s best features alone. BioShock is a hybrid first-person shooter, stealth and survival adventure. With hundreds of enemies in the form of splicers and Big Daddies, you are never too far from the action. At times, however you’ll find yourself sneaking past security cameras or hacking enemy gun turrets (prompting fun mini-games) in order to survive, as ammo can be scarce.

Do you have any doubts that BioShock has a creepy atmosphere?

The most exciting feature of BioShock, besides the immersive plot is the use of plasmids. By injecting EVE Hypo’s (the instrument used to administer ADAM) Jack has the ability to utilize plasmid tonics – the gene alternators which ADAM provides. Essentially each plasmid creates special powers. Quite often, certain plasmids are required to overcome obstacles in order to progress the story, but there is also plenty of scope for imagination when using them in attack. For example, if caught off guard by a fast approaching splicer, a quick blast of ‘incinerate’ will set him alight. The splicer will then run to douse the flames in a nearby pool of water (Rapture’s abandonment has left itself in an ill-state of repair) only to be fried with a swift shot of ‘electro-bolt’.

The combinations are endless and there is real pleasure in watching an attack work out as planned. Plasmids can be upgraded and purchased with ADAM throughout Rapture in ‘Gatherers Garden’ kiosks, however in order to collect ADAM you are presented with a moral dilemma. On the disposal of a Big Daddy, you can choose to either ‘Harvest’ or ‘Rescue’ Little Sisters. Your choice will determine how much ADAM you receive. It’s easy to get greedy. Of course there are plenty of conventional weapons at Jack’s disposal and often when taking on the Big Daddies a method of dual attack must be executed. You can of course stay clear of the Little Sisters and Big Daddies if you wish, but try getting through Rapture without ADAM!

BioShock has a massive amount of weapons for you to enjoy.

The majority of the story is very compelling however as it progresses there are certain ‘search and retrieve’ sub-quests which can be quite tedious, although there are regularly plenty of enemies en route to keep things entertaining. The city of Rapture itself, for all it’s beauty, doesn’t allow for much free roaming and in fact can be quite linear- making it too easy to progress to the next stage or area at times. BioShock also doesn’t incorporate any online content or multiplayer modes; however it was created in 2007, when this feature was not completely commonplace. Whilst BioShock isn’t without it’s flaws, these negatives are far out-weighed by what the rest of the game has to offer.

With a plethora of generic war-based FPS games on the market BioShock is a breath of fresh air. It is innovative in its approach to the genre and even now, over four years after its introduction it still stands as one of the best games around. The ‘Best Game’ award at the 2007 BAFTA’s (amongst others) is testament to this. Through its character development, vivid graphics, chilling audio and gripping storyline; from your first encounter with a Big Daddy to the finale that any Hollywood blockbuster would be proud of, BioShock provides you with gaming moments you will never forget.

Reviewed by deaco2000 – December 5, 2011

Graphics
The textures and visuals are great. The atmosphere in BioShock is very intense and true.
 
Sound
Some of the best voice-acting around and the sound effects perfectly complete the creepy atmosphere BioShock provides.
 
Fun
An amazing game which gives a new taste for science fiction first person shooters. Even if BioShock was released in 2007, do yourself a favor and try this hell of a game out.
 
Final Score

 

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