Bioshock Review

Developer(s): 2K Boston

Publisher(s): 2K Games, Feral Interactive (Mac OS X)

Console(s): Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, Mac OS X

Release Dates: Xbox 360&PC: August 21st, 2007/ PS3: October 21st, 2008/ Mac OS X: October 7th, 2009

Genre: First-Person Shooter

Engine: Modified Unreal Engine 2.5, Havok Physics

Player(s): Single

Rating: M (Blood/Gore, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, Strong Language)

-Marcus Lawrence 

Can You Survive Rapture?

Would you kindly sit down and read this review of the well renowned piece of art that has been brought to us by the people at 2K? Bioshock has graced the presence of gamers all across the globe. Bioshock has it all, a complex and twisting story, well-crafted gameplay, and an atmosphere that to this very day, chills people to the bone. As mentioned before, Bioshock is seen as a piece of art by many that have played or heard of it. I think that it was even one of the few games that showed video games can be portrayed as artwork. The only real way to truly understand why, is to play it. Hopefully, I do justice to this fine title with my review.

You play as Jack, a man minding his own business on a plane that’s passing over the Atlantic Ocean, until the plane mysteriously crashes. Finding himself among the wreckage, he spots a lighthouse in the distance and swims towards what he assumes is his salvation. Little does he know that the plane crash he just survived is the least of his problems.

Bioshock plays out like a FPS, giving the player access to weapons and a primary melee weapon. Your first weapon is a wrench and let me tell you, aside from fighting the bosses, will probably be your most used and possibly favorite. It’s so strong and never runs out of ammo. Some of the weapons are fashioned after older types from 1960 since that’s when the game takes place. The other few that you get your hands on have been crafted from everyday household items. These weapons can all be upgraded at the Power to the People stations (or PTTP). The PTTP affects the rate of fire or how many damage they deal.

What really sets Bioshock apart from other FPSs’ is the ability to wield Plasmids. Plasmids basically come in all kinds of forms. You can have a fist full of lightening, spawn bees from your arms, and even shoot fireballs by snapping your fingers. They pretty much affect the world around you too. Shoot a lightning bolt into the water with the Splicers in it and it’ll shock them death. See an oil trail on the floor? Set it ablaze and catch the enemy on fire. By combining Plasmids with each other or your weapons, you can find different combinations to help you survive Rapture.

One very important aspect of Bioshock is to collect Adam. Adam is the genetic material that helps you to upgrade Jack and his Plasmids. How do you find Adam? You have to find a Little Sister, who looks like a little girl that runs around collecting Adam from dead bodies. If you think it’s easy then you’re wrong for you have to go up against a Big Daddy. These hulking beasts protect the Little Sister from those who want to steal her Adam. Always be on the lookout for them because trust me on this…you will need that Adam.

How you want to get that Adam solely rests on your moral judgment. You’ll see what I mean. Far enough in the game, there’s even a camera that makes it easier to kill certain splicers if you take enough pictures. Along the way, you’ll run into security cameras, bots and turrets. Just like any of the vending machines in Rapture, you can hack them so that they will be on your side. Hacking is simple and sort of plays out like that old tube game from back in the day. You have to find pieces to fit right and form a way to the other side, resulting in a successful hack. Failure to do so can cause damage or have security bots come after you. No encounter will ever play out the same and two different people may have two opposite ways of playing Bioshock.

Since coming out in 2007, Bioshock’s graphics show that we have come a long way. Granted, it looks completely fine but you can obviously tell it’s an older game. There are times were the surroundings take a while to catch up the rest and smooth itself out. I will say that I’m still impressed with how the game shows battle damage depending on what you use. Burn a splicer and their clothes and skin will be severely burned. Beat them with the wench and you can see the blood left on where it landed. Now, I’ve heard some really good soundtracks before in games but with Bioshock, It’s completely different. Not only does the 60’s style music add a creepy element to the Rapture but it seems that whenever something is about to happen, the game lets you know though a rise in the violins or a violent note played. Bioshock is a perfect example of how well music can draw one into the video game’s world.

Even years after its release, Bioshock still is considered to be one of the best games to come out for the Xbox 360 system. It just offers up so much in terms of gameplay and atmosphere. The only real drawbacks are that the game is quite short. On a normal playthrough, it took me about 10 hours to beat. And with all the choices this game offers up, the ending only comes with two choices. You can either do good or do bad and that’s all. I personally was just expecting a bit more. Regardless, Bioshock does an amazing job of drawing gamers into the world of Rapture. I’ve seen Bioshock available at Gamestop for $9.99; such a sweet deal. Now, would you kindly go buy Bioshock?

Verdict: 90%

Bioshock Gameplay