April 14th, 2010


Review: Bioshock

I know, I know.  You're thinking, "Didn't Bioshock come out like, three years ago?" or "Don't you mean to put a two on the end of that?  There is a sequel you know..."  While all of this is true (except me wanting to put the 2 up there!) I have decided to go back and review a few old games.  Especially ones I've played recently.  Yep, this is third playthrough of Bioshock I've done, and probably not the last.  Here's why:

The game has just a gripping effect on the player, bringing you in to a world under the sea (please no Disney tunes I'm trying to avoid copyright issues) in the strange and rundown world of Rapture.  You see, Bioshock is less of a game... and more of an experience.  From the very beginning the game stretches you mind on what's real.  I found myself completely spellbound by the opening cut scene featuring a plane crash in the middle of the ocean.  I hadn't realized that gameplay had started until the little prompt appeared at the bottom to tell me I could use the left stick to move.  I even took the time to watch plane as it sunk all the way down and out of sight.  Then, I took the open door and descended into Rapture...

Rapture is a very colorful place that walks the line of a fun 50's carnival, and a submarine.  From the very first display of the logo, which, as the light goes from one side to the other shows this prestine metalic plate turn into a dingy, tarnished engraving.  Everything is featured as something familiar that has been run down or corrupted giving Bioshock a kind of creepy feel without making it into a horror movie.  To make matters worse, the player is confronted by other people wearing carnival masks and look like their skin is about to drip off.  On top of all that is the fact that the player has to kill these big lumbering... things called Big Daddys.  All so that you can gain a little bit of what the locals call "Adam" to change your own genes and make you stronger.

One of may favorite features is the variety of gameplay.  With the many different trick that the player can do from setting traps to blasting away with a rocket launcher you can pretty much play any way you want to.  I seemed to enjoy the "rat" technique where I mostly liked to hide and gather items by searching Rapture's many different openable objects.  Truely, the ability to customize how I want to play the game is a big winner to me.

The story is really good with a zinger of a twist at the end that can have your head spinning and cause a delightfully fun inside joke with your friends.  However, the story seems to drop off at that point and the climactic battle at the end seems to be kind of lack luster compared to how much of an experience the rest of the game was.

All in all this was an excellent game to play three times through and I even look forward to playing it again.  If you haven't played this one and are looking to take a ride through a creeped out version of an under water carnival then this is the game for you.
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