your plane crashes into icy uncharted waters, you discover
a rusted bathysphere and descend into Rapture, a city hidden
beneath the sea. Constructed as an idealistic society for
a hand picked group of scientists, artists and industrialists,
the idealism is no more. Now the city is littered with corpses,
wildly powerful guardians roam the corridors as little girls
loot the dead, and genetically mutated citizens ambush you
at every turn...
a marketplace overflowing with first person shooter (FPS)
games, it's rare to see something new that doesn't just tweak
what has already been seen in a hundred games before. Bioshock
takes the format and delivers something that is unlike anything
you've played before.
graphics are incredible. When I first started playing the
game the short introduction totally threw me. You start off
sitting on a plane, which crashes into the sea. Trapped, under
the water, your lungs are bursting as you fight your way to
the surface. As your head breaks the water's surface you can
see fire all around you, and then you hear yourself gasping
for air. This opening sequence looks impressive, but after
10 seconds or so I was starting to think: "Come on! Let's
get on with the game. This cut sequence is lingering on the
impressive graphics a little too long." It was then that
I realised this was the playable part of the game!
The graphics were just as good as the cut sequences.
as you progress the graphics continue to impress. After you
swim to safety, there is a little exploring to be done before
you enter a bathysphere. It is here that you get an
introduction to the city you are about to enter. This segment
(as you approach the city) is amazing. The music and graphics
sent a chill down my spine - something a game hasn't done
for quite some time.
lighting is something which is important in this game and
thankfully the developers provide a simple set-up screen to
ensure that you get the best out of it. To start with I thought
that the darkness in the game probably hid a lot of sins.
For starters I was sure that a lot of the zombie creatures
(known as splicers) that attack you were identical in appearance.
But, when all you can see is a shape lunging towards you out
of the shadows, you don't give much thought to whether it
looks the same as all the other creatures. But, just for a
second, stop and examine the splicers once you've killed them.
You'll find that there is quite a lot of subtle variety in
the characters. The water effects are also incredibly beautiful.
And there really is a lot of pleasure to be had wandering
around and looking out of windows (or occasionally up at the
ceiling) - you never know what you might discover.
you progress through the levels you build up your arsenal
of weapons (from wrench and machine gun through to rocket
launcher) each has three different kinds of ammo - which help
to destroy different enemies quicker. Then there are plasmids
(which are basically special powers). Finding ammo, additional
plasmids and power ups (where your agility or strength is
increased in a certain field) are dotted around all over the
place - they can also be bought from various machines scattered
around the city.
there is the ability to hack devices. Here you have to complete
a puzzle in a certain amount of time (which differs depending
on the difficulty of the hack) in order to bring technological
devices under your control. This could be in order to buy
things cheaper from a vending machine; bring a security drone
under your control, so that it shoots your enemies instead
of you; or to open a safe.
you roam around the city, shooting the splicers that attack
you, you'll also come across large robots called Rosie (aka
Big Daddy). Some of the Rosies are guarding a Little Sister
(a zombie child). Destroy the Rosie (easier said than done)
and you'll be faced with an option that will determine how
the rest of the game plays out. Will you go against everything
you hold dear in order to increase your fire power, and chance
of survival? Or will you do the humane thing, and risk paying
for it later. At the end of the day it's up to you whether
you want to exploit the innocent survivors of Rapture... or
music and sound effects are also worthy of note. The classic
score is nothing short of a masterpiece - setting the scene
beautifully. And the background voices, vending machine ditties
and general ambient noises are incredibly well mixed. I played
this game on a surround sound system with the blinds down
and the lights off. I don't recommend you do that alone at
home late at night. I kept looking behind me to see who was
creeping up on me. Amongst the voice artists are JG Hertzler
(General Martok in Star
Trek: Deep Space Nine), Juliet Landau (Drucilla
in Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Armin Shimerman (Quark
in DS9; Principal Skinner in Buffy);
you're looking for a beautiful game that is endlessly rewarding
you've found it in Bioshock.
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