May 14th, 2008, 06:00 Posted By: Shadowblind
Publisher: 2K Games
Developer: Irrational games (2K Boston)
genre: First-Person Shooter
I've been wanting to do this review for a while, but its a little outdated. Still, I have alot of friends out there who really aren't sure about the title, so here goes to clear some things up.
The first person shooter genre has just been made.
Where to begin...wow. Eh-herm, Bioshock is a FPS that takes place in an underwater Utopia named Rapture. Built in the late 1940's to escape the threat of another world war and possibly nuclear war, Rapture was once a thriving utopia of brilliant scientist, athletes, artists, and the best mankind had to offer. However, all good things must come to an end, and Rapture proves that statement to be more then simply a saying. With the invention of Adam and plasmids, the world of Rapture grew greedy and lustful, ultimately bringing itself down to the depths it was created in.
Welcome to Rapture
The story behind the game (without revealing spoilers) is that your plane crashes in the mid-atlantic ocean. Upon crashing, you find a building which transports you to the devastated and war-torn land of Rapture. There you embark on a journey of discovery, betrayal, revenge, and get caught in the middle of a feud between two of the most influential powers in Rapture.
The storyline in Bioshock is simply one of the greatest ever achieved in a video game. This epic tale of a once-utopia underwater city is original in itself. However, the true brilliance of the plot comes into focus by the way its told. Its subtle yet obvious mode of story telling creeps to the player through every subliminal way you can imagine-- posters, audio tapes, statues, even the water on the ground to the psychotic quotes from the splicers. Everything about the atmosphere is perfect. The slow leaking of the ocean water into Rapture makes you almost feel as though the city could be under taken any minute. The blood on the wall and corpses propped in horrid positions show that the inhabitants aren't only vicious, but utterly insane-- a side effect due to the bio-engineering that is plasmids and splicing. The entire world of Rapture springs to life in a way of dead silent corners and gives you the feeling that this must have been a truly great place before its fall. The subtitles, on the other hand, are a total mess. They work fine, but appear either too late or too early. Despite this, the world of Rapture is one, if not the, most stunning world ever created in a video game.
Bioshock, the Beautiful
When it comes to visuals, Bioshock is still one of the best out there, bar none. Still lagging behind Gears of War, the visuals for Bioshock are great; everything from the amazing flame effects to the epic water effects. textures are perfectly presented, however, some textures seem to repeat more then others, but only in the most minute of ways. Character models truly show the player just what happened to the citizens of Rapture (heck, if I looked like them I'd be crazy too) It shows the splicing effects it has on regular human beings, and gives you even more clues to Raptures past and present. Character animations are near perfect, no need harping on that. Big Daddies are some of the greatest looking characters in any video game, anywhere. Still, some of the splicers look maybe a bit stranger then they should, and you can find the same splicer on more then one occasion. All gun effects, including plasmids are as best as they could be. The best the FPS genre has ever seen.
The lighting here is simply amazing
Symphony in the Water
The ambiance is Raptures single greatest feature. The drops of water, the psychotic rantings of splicers, or the busted whirring of the sentry bots add perfectly to the tense yet wondrous mood of the game. The sound of pistols firing, tommy guns blazing and rockets exploding into Big Daddie's helmets are spot on. Voice acting for everyone is only second to Mass Effect and GTA IV.(Well, maybe not GTA IV.) The 1940's style music is quite possibly the greatest part of the ambiance of Rapture. While not so subtle, it delivers the message constantly to the gamer that this is based in the early '60s, and that Rapture isn't your space-age utopia, like so many games before it. Even the Little Sisters and Big Daddies talk (and groan) in such ways that you might mistake those jumble of words for an actual conversation between the two. The symphony of Rapture plays without a single instrument (I'm gonna patent that quote)
Expanding the genre
The FPS genre has had a lot of AAA titles before it: Halo, Doom 3, System Shock 2 to name a few. But very few of those titles actually both perfected AND expanded on the genre the way Bioshock has. Bioshock fine tunes perfect gunplay with the strategic elements of plasmids to make one of the best strategy-shooters ever made. You can manipulate everything in Rapture using plasmids; from setting people on fire using the oil on the ground, using telekinesis to catch and throw rockets back at the sender, to even getting a Big Daddy to think your a Little Sister and guard you. The strategic possibilities are uncountable, and the best part, is that no enemies (with the exception to storyline events) are scripted. Not even the Big Daddies, who are essentially walking boss battles. the splicers travel, searching for Adam to buy more plasmids. Some even stalk you in particular, knowing that you are rich in Adam. The A.I. in the splicers ranges from stupid to strategically smart. I've had a splicer electrocute a sentry I sicked on him with his wrench and use it against me! And at other times, I've had splicer run directly into my rockets like a total moron. the explanation for these things is that while some splicers are hopelessly insane, others still can think and process. Onto weaponry. For every weapon, you have 3 types of ammo that all have special uses in the field of battle. Sometimes, choosing the right type of ammo may very well choose the outcome of the battle. other times, its just fun to lay out a trip wire from the crossbow, sick some bees on a splicer, and watch him stumble across the wire electrocuting himself while trying to get rid of the bees. Point is, all the ammo types not only have uses, but are fun to use. Hacking in itself is a mini-game. And if you don't feel like doing the mini-game, you can use an auto-hack if you have one to get an instant hack. The gameplay for Bioshock expanded not only the idea of shooters, but the idea that strategy in a FPS is a glorious thing.
See, not only are you genetically enhanced, you also have the force!
Welcome to Bioshock, again?
While every minute of it is absolutely golden, Bioshock doesn't last forever. The Campaign mode is 15-20 hours long, and it doesn't have multiplayer. However, expect to find yourself going through it at least one more time to get the second ending. Tonic and plasmid collecting is addictive, and achieving all 1000 gamerscore on Bioshock I something you can REALLY brag about. However, the short campaign with no multiplayer and only a bit of downloadable content doesn't add more then 40 hours to the entire game life. Still, for a shooter 40 is a very impressive amount.
Lets get to it then!
Absolutely top-notch. Amazing. The world of Rapture comes to life with every drop of water and splicer you kill.
While it may not be Gears of War it is certainly the best the FPS genre has ever had. The water effects are unrivaled.
Bioshock has a Symphony with no orchestra(patent pending) and it shows. Sound effects are great and voice acting is over the top.
The golden game of FPS arrives, bringing with it the most amazing shooter experience you'll ever have.
Replay Value: 4/10
While 40 hours is a long time, thats only if you play through it twice and die a few times. Multiplayer exclusion was absolutely criminal for a game this stunning.
Bioshock is like one of those amazing things that only happens once in a blue moon. Such as finding a 100 dollar bill in a sewer or something like that. The single most defining game of the FPS genre, no bars held.
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