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PS3 Game Review
After 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. Take control of your world by hacking mechanical devices, commandeering security turrets and crafting unique items critical to your very survival. Explore a living world powered by Ecological A.I., where the inhabitants have interesting and consequential relationships with one another that impact your game play experience...
If you thought that your life couldn’t be any worse than having had your plane crash, you find yourself in the underwater city of Rapture. Built, in an alternative 1960’s, as an underwater utopia by Andrew Ryan, who believed that men, freed of the constraints of religion and politics, would finally be able to fulfil their potential, the utopia has spectacularly failed leaving the city crippled and filled with the remains of its former occupants.
You start Bioshock, on the PS3, playing Jack. Having survived the unfortunate crashing of your plane, of which you are the only survivor. As luck would have it you have crashed right next to a light house which contains a lift down into Rapture, this may seem a bit convenient and silly, but it will all make sense by the end of the game.
It’s one of the things that you quickly understand; the game is written more like a novel, with real moral choices for the player which will have an effect on the outcome of the game. What looks like your average first person shooter, with elements of roll play and stealth, soon becomes something much more - a deep and immersive experience which will leave you wondering why all games aren’t like this.
Inside Rapture you’re faced with the remnants of the population forever changed by their addiction to enhancements. To help you there are various information pads which unravel the story of what happened in Rapture. There are also various characters who are trying to influence your choices. Choices are another big part of the game, although the game play is fairly linear it never really feels like that. Where the game branches are in its choices - such as should you kill the Little Sisters?
You’ll meet a number of different enemies, the most common of which are Splicers - gene altered humans. These are not your average zombies, and exhibit a great deal of AI if you choose to take them on - not that you have much of a choice, with many of them. Little sisters are something different altogether. In the game you have the ability to use Plasmids to gain various abilities - fire, telekinesis etc - which you inject. The stronger the Plasmid the more deformed your arm becomes. Power obviously comes at a price, a price that most of the residents of Rapture have already paid becoming permanently deformed by their addiction.
Little Sisters are protected by Big Daddies, creatures in large and lumbering deep sea suits; the Sisters contain a slug within their bodies. Now you can either kill the Sisters for a powerful jolt of power and abilities, or you can opt to save them, in which case they will give you some power, but only a small amount. So do you kill the Sisters or save them? The game really is full of these moral choices where your actions really do have consequences.
The game contains a number of weapons, both Plasmids and more conventional fare. The Plasmids can be a lot of fun but don’t come without a cost to your character. As you progress through the game you are eventually able to do master more funky stuff, such as electrocution, the ability to freeze things, telekinesis, and even unleash a swarm of insects. Alone they represent a lot of fun, but combine them together and you can stick a proximity bomb to a bin then throw it at a Big Daddy, or get a couple of Big Daddies to fight each other. Although just as much fun, the regular guns are there for those who like shooting the crap out of things. The only problem is that ammunition isn’t as bounteous as you would like, but fear not there is cash laying around and handy dandy machines where you can buy just about anything. If you’re running short of cash you can try and hack the machines via a simple Pipe Dream type sub game.
So how do you get your hands on all this apocalyptic goodness? Well the game has three types of currency ADAM, EVE and cold hard cash. ADAM mutates you giving you Plasmid powers which can be further enhanced with the use of EVE. So were do you get ADAM? Well, the best supply is the Little Sisters, but then you would have to make the moral choice of killing the little darlings. Of course you could do it the harder, but much more moral way, of fighting hard for cash and buying the upgrade - I just killed the little suckers. Once you have your ADAM you can introduce EVE to power up your new abilities, but remember each time you use them you surrender a little more of your humanity.
Apart from the excellent AI, the game has atmosphere in abundance. You really need to play it either through a good 5.1 systems or headphone. If you stand still you will hear lots of stuff happening around you which you’ll miss if you don’t stop to smell the flowers, sometimes literally. If the soundscape doesn’t impress you then the graphics will. From the beautifully rendered cityscape, to the water - there is water everywhere - rendered to such perfection that I found myself just standing around looking at the city
Ultimately, although this is a port with some extra stuff for PS3 owners, this game remains a must have. Great script, great sound and graphics and an atmosphere which will have you creeped out into the wee small hours. All games should be like this.
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