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349 of 363 people found the following review helpful
on August 23, 2007
I have been an avid PC and console gamer for...well, as long as there have been PC and console games, and have probably played hundreds of the darn things over the last two decades, and I can comfortably say, that Bioshock, is one of the top two or three games I have ever played, and absolutely the best console game.

It's one of those rare games, that has all of what you love about a great game, with none of what annoys you. I realized, after about 10 hours of play, that absolutley nothing was ticking me off. If there was ever a game that got everything right, it's Bioshock.

Normally, you hear much about a shooter having an "absorbing story", and you're just like: "yeah, yeah, just shut up and let me shoot you". But Bioshock, actually does. The bleak, dystopian world scenario is hardly new in gaming, but Bioshock puts a great twist on things; and the art-deco 1940's sci-fi world is very refreshing and incredibly rendered. If you are as sick as I am of endless hallways filled with crates, you are in for a helluva treat. Not only does this game look amazing, but the design is so good, and so original, that it really does "absorb" you.

The biggest suprise to me, was level of literacy, and period detail. This game wasn't really designed for modern kids, and certainly wasn't designed by one. The villian, an obvious nod to conceptual novelist Ayn Rand, ends up being more complex than the average "evil rich corporate Republican" guy we're all so sick of by now, and not only is the voice acting a-list quality, but they even speak pretty authentic 1940's dialogue, with accurate period inflection. If you watch an old movie from the 40's you'll notice that not only was the slang and colloquial language different, but so was the actual style of speech. The characters in Bioshock don't sound like modern mallrats in seersucker suits, they sound like people from the 40's. The sense of period is very accurate, moreso than most Hollywood films (although a "German" lady character has a very obiously Russian accent lol).

Even the shooting, was fabulously fun. When I first started playing, I thought "oh no..shooting old revolvers isn't fun." But don't forget, even though Bioshock takes place in the 40's, it's still a sci-fi what-if adventure, and the assortment of weapons are a gas to use. And "adventure" is really accurate. Even though it's an FPS with a fair amount of bloody shooting, it really feels and plays more like an old Sierra adventure game than a Quake-style shooter. The plot matters in this game, unlike many others, and you spend more time exploring the amazing world and solving puzzles than actually shooting, so consider that a mild warning if you are a shooting "rivethead".

Bioshock is a very long game, but it was so addicting, that I played it almost non-stop for 4 days and finished it. I actually just rented it, because normally games that are centered on plot don't have a lot of replay value for me, but this one I can imagine playing over and over, so the lack of multi-player doesnt really matter to me here. I'll be buying this sucker as soon as payday hits.

In short, the hype around Bioshock is no hype. This game even killed Half-life and Halo for me, and that's saying a lot. Halo3 is going to have a helluva climb to even get near Bioshock, and i never thought I'd say that.

To wrap-up, even though much of Bioshock's conceptual nods and references will probably sail over the heads of most modern teen gamers, it won't matter a darn. They'll be to busy being knocked out by the best visual world and gameplay mechanics I've ever seen.
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82 of 95 people found the following review helpful
on August 21, 2007
I thought Gears of War was a good game, but I believe Bioshock outdoes Gears of War on multiple levels. First, the storyline is solid, I feel like I am participating in a self-directed movie, opposed to the typical experience of a weak storyline combining together sequences of violence. Second, Bioshock is not about who has the biggest gun, there is an element of strategy not found in previous FPS games with the exception maybe of Gears of War. Finally, the game is intuitive, easy to pickup. I am not a big fan of FPS games, typically enjoying games like Civilization IV, however, this game is one big exception.
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65 of 76 people found the following review helpful
Having a bit of hype surrounding it before it's release, BioShock does not disappoint one bit. In fact, as far as first person shooters go, games rarely get any better than this. BioShock takes the FPS to new levels thanks to it's brilliantly realized atmosphere and setting, and a story that is so engaging you'll think that you were playing an RPG. Taking place in a secret underwater city called Rapture, you get put right in the middle as things go very, very wrong quite quickly, and it's up to you to save the day using a barrage of traditional weapons, and some newfound abilities as well. What makes BioShock so great besides the atmosphere and storyline are the character customization options which really allow the gamer to get into the game and tinker around to your advantage. The overall presentation, from the sound design to the wonderful voice acting to the grimy atmosphere, make BioShock one of the best games to hit the XBox 360 yet, and definitely one of the best FPS' to come out in quite some time. If there's any downsides to BioShock, it's that the game has a lack of enemy variety and that it is a little too forgiving to the gamer. Despite that though, BioShock is a masterpiece of modern gaming, and any and every 360 owner should consider this an essential pick up.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2007
Very simply put right now this game is easily the best shooter to come out for the 360 in a long time.
Not only does it have some very tense and fun gameplay.

The lighting and graphical displays shown within are pretty much second to none as of this moment.

I bought the game on midnight of the 20th/21st and immediately went home to play it. The experience of just how good the graphics are was 10 fold when I was playing with the lights off. I dont even have a HDTV and I was purely impressed by just how good everything looked.

The game also goes a long way to genuinely disturb and creep you out.
Its not the typical BOO factor like games like the Resident Evil series and maybe even FEAR. Not that that is a bad thing.
But this game tends to be creepy on a psychological level only truly experienced by playing first hand.
The idea of this underwater utopian city gone completely wrong may not be the most original idea but it is definitely executed well.

The sounds are easily the number one thing that makes the game so creepy at times. If you do get to play it, find a spot to just stand still for a moment and take it all in. You hear everything from steam pipes creaking to soft whispers of one of 2k's delightfully twisted characters coming from somewhere up ahead. And the sounds you hear aren't always necessarily right around the corner. Which is whats so great, the voices you hear may be coming from the other side of a wall or a room down the pathway.

The AI is also really impressive. They do things like run and jump into water when set on fire, they take off running when they get low on health. They attack in numbers at times making for some very frantic and fast paced combat. The number of weapons and plasmid modifications is truly something to behold. The ability to aim your electric shock at water and fry your opponents may not seem like a big deal, but when you can do that instead of wasting numerous rounds of ammunition believe me you will appreciate it much more. The weapon combos are great. You can shock and stun opponents, set them on fire, freeze them, tag them so that security drones will attack them instead of you. All the while still being able to do something as simple as a shotgun blast to the face.

I do wish cycling weapons was a bit quicker at times. Your right hand weapons are bound to the RB button and you have to cycle thru them in order to find the right one which can be annoying in times of a fast firefight. But you can easily overcome this.

Bottom line is, this one definitely has my vote for Game of the Year, or maybe Assassins Creed but that one is still yet to be seen.

Go out and buy this one if you can, it is definitely worth the price of admission.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on August 21, 2007
When rating a game like Bioshock that has been hyped up for over a year, one has to consider these 4 important questions.

1) Does it live up to the hype?
2) Is it fun to play?
3) Does it distinguish itself from other FPS?
4) Is it a true next gen game?

The answer to all four of these questions is a resounding YES!

Bioshock brings you to the underwater city of Rapture, a dystopian world that is falling apart rapidly. Based on paper thin ideals and materialistic beliefs, the civilization of Rapture has fallen into insanity and sheer madness.
A chemical called ADAM has tainted and distorted the minds, and bodies, of the citizens, turning everyone literally c-r-a-z-y!

Psychotic, mutated and twisted citizens lurk around every corner of this destroyed beauty called Rapture. And it IS beautiful. Bioshock boasts some really amazing and beautiful graphics, fulfilling part of question 4.
The architecture of Rapture is firmly planted in the 1960's and really adds bucket loads of flavor to the overall story and feel of the game. From posters to furniture, you really do get the sense that you are IN the 1960's.
On the graphical note, the water, and there is plenty of it, is probably the best looking, flowing and most realistic water to ever grace a video game. I was simply amazed at the water. I hear that the Bioshock developers had a whole team working on the water effects/graphics alone. Well, it has certainly paid off.
Bioshock also uses the Unreal 3 engine (think Gears of War), so the graphics are phenomenal and character movements are fluid and realistic.
Details are abound. Weapons are detailed down to the most minute detail (ribbed design on the shotgun pump, cracks in the walls/floors). The lighting/shadows are stunning, and the character models are some of the most detailed in the video game world.

Bioshock is a First Person Shooter. We all know that the video game shelves of our local stores are chalk full of First Person Shooters (FPS). Stores are literally teeming with them.
One of the biggest arguments against the Xbox 360 was the fact that there was a lack of variety in terms of games, with the majority being FPS.
I can safely say that Bioshock, though it may be a FPS, is FAR from your typical, standard FPS fare.

While you will run into your typical FPS weapons (Shotgun, Handguns, Machine guns, explosives, wrench for a melee weapon and a few more standard weapons), you will also have access to something called Plasmids.
Plasmids give you powers (i.e Telekenesis, the ability to shoot flames and electricity out of your hands, and even the ability to shoot wasps from your veins!)
These powers really change the FPS dynamic in a very profound way. Will you shock your enemy, then beat the tar out of them while they are stunned?, or will you incinerate them? Or, better yet, will you unleash a horde of wasps at them and watch them freak out? Your Plasmid powers even interact with the environment. You can use the shock ability to jump start faulty door switches, and if you spot an enemy in a pool of water you can shoot them with the electricity and watch them convulse.

If you spot an enemy in a pool of oil (yeah you will run into rooms that have oil spills) you can unleash Incinerate and watch them burn and spread the fire around.

An enemy throwing explosives at you, or is your way blocked by debris? No problem, with Telekenesis you can grab those pesky explosives in mid air and fling them back at the thrower or at debris blocking your advancement.

Also, you will find tonics along the way that will enhance other abilities, such as melee strength, hacking and even a tonic that will emit a shock to any enemy that attacks you with a melee attack, a sort of high voltage retribution.

On a side note, there are different types of bullets for each gun ranging from electrified ammo, armor piercing ammo and anti-personnel ammo. And if that's not enough, later on in the game you will be able to create your own ammo!

Yes, I did mention hacking earlier. Rapture has its share of vending machines (where you can buy ammo, health kits and plasmid refills), ammo machines, health stations, security bots, gun turrents and security cameras.
If you get in close to one of these machines, you will be given the opportunity to hack the machine. In an ingenious design, if you decide to hack a machine you will engage in a small mini game.
Does anyone remember an ancient game called Pipe Dream? The hacking mini game requires you to connect the "entrance" to the "exit" via two different types of pipes. There is a time limit however because fluid flows from the "entrance" and you need to get the fluid to the "exit". If you fail, the machine will overload and you will take damage, however you can retry as long as you have health left.

Later on you will find hacking tools that will give you the option to auto hack, though its not always successful. You can also opt to pay a rather large amount to buy a guaranteed auto hack - but that would be boring!

There is quite a bit of collecting involved in Bioshock as well. There are the plasmids, tonics, ammo and even money all scattered about the city of rapture.
With all of that in mind, it is easy to see that Bioshock does in fact distinguish itself from all other FPS on the market, fulfilling question 3.

Gameplay, well that is another story. 2k games boasts that no two romps through Bioshock will be the same. And I can see why they make this claim. You have options, I mean lots and lots of options on how you want to go about your killing. This basically fulfills the second part of question 4, Bioshock IS a true Next Generation title.

With every said so far, it is safe to say that Bioshock is VERY fun to play. First of all, the controls are rather easy and follow the standard FPS controls that Halo popularized.
There are three difficulties, allowing you to ease into the game, and easy to use menus and interfaces.
The story line is very immerse, original and interesting. I can say that I have NEVER played a game with the same story line.
Also, Raptures history is revealed via tape recordings and diaries that you collect along the way, adding even more flavor to an already over flowing flavor pot.
Basically Bioshock is equal parts an action game, survival horror game and a stripped down Role Playing Game in the vein of Deus Ex. And its mixed really well. Nothing ever feels over done or boring.

Also, following in the vein of "choose your own adventure" type games, Bioshock presents you with situations in which you will have to choose, morally, which way to go. This adds even more to an already amazing game. And, unlike other games that offer this, your choices and actions WILL affect the game.

Overall, Bioshock lives up to the hype and is a must own for all Xbox 360 owners. I will warn that there is a lot of blood, gore and violence, not to mention a wide array of mature themes involved.
If you are into these things, and of age, you MUST pick this game up. Do not pass up on this, even if you are sick of the First Person Shooter genre, I guarantee that Bioshock is a unique and engaging experience that you will not regret paying $60 plus for.

Price is one of the biggest factors that can scare away potential consumers, since next generation games cost so much, consumers want to be sure that the game they are spending their hard earned money on is actually worth it. I can honestly say that Bioshock is worth it.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on August 21, 2007
You don't get into gets into you.

My very first impression of playing this game was that someone watched enough episodes of Lost and translated it into a very good game.


- you are on a trip in a plane presumably to see your parents when the plane crashes in the middle of the Atlantic.....check

- you wind up on a mysterious lighthouse which transports you to a mysterious city.....check

- you communicate with mysterious people who may or may not have ulterior motives.....check

- wierd medical experiments are taking place affecting people of that city.....check

- some of those same people want to kill you.....check

- you must choose whose side you on and how it affects your survival.....check

Good enough?

I am trying ot mkae my review short enough without giving spoilers away or be redundant to the official reviews and long enough to tell you that what you read is true!

Bioshock is definently a step to redefining first person shooter. This is not your balls to the wall shoot em up, but rather a thinking person's game where the point is to interact and enjoy the story, creatively think your way past enemies and make decisions that will affect your game play.

All of you have probably heard about the creative elements of the game play...others who reviewed it have covered it, so I really don't want to get into that...if you have read enough about it I would say you have to see for yourself.

What is more important to me is how much this game creeps up on you and scares you into playing a little bit more. This game IMO revolutionizes the FPS because of the content. It's pretty much doing things storywise what Resident Evil and Doom has been trying to do for years.

I am recommending that if you play this game, don't do it on anything less than a home theater system.

I am playing this on a 51" HDTV, 7.1 surround sound with the lights on dim and my goodness it is IMMERSIVE. YOU WILL will will be scared....the first time I faced off with a big daddy it was to be believed. It crept up behind me...I heard it coming and instead of turning with my joystick I literally truned around and luckily I didn't already aggro it but it was up on me and walked byand my heart was in my throat. There is this one scene early on (and u get to see it in the demo) where you see a sillouette of a lady rambling to a baby in a carriage and it's truly eeirie and there are SO many moments like this throughout the game. You can gather recordings to listen to the insanity that these people were into. And sometimes feel sorry for some of the people that you have to kill.

And yes, there are even more mysteries in this game. again similar to Lost...and this is where I wrap up:

- Is it a coincidence that your plane crashed here?

- What is the story behind the tattoes?

- What went wrong and made these people crazy?

- Who or what are the Little Sisters and why must you choose?

- Why would any seemingly sane person that wound up on this island willingly inject himself with gene altering material to get powers and what effects will they have on your character by the end of the game?

If you are looking for a game that will keep you in the dark while you play it in the dark (best way to play) BUY...THIS...GAME. I have a feeling that this will be the bestseller of the year...Halo my sell the numbers due to the fan base but Bioshock will sell because of the immersive story alone
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 6, 2007
I was talking to a friend of mine about the game recently and I think he summed it up best when he said, 'Everyone who owns a 360 NEEDS to have this game in their collection.'

I could just leave the review off right there because there really isn't much more to say than that. When you play this, expect a single player experience rivalled only by a handful of other games.

The graphics are stupendous. Very few games have a level of immersion like this one. You'll play it and you will feel like you're deep under the ocean, exploring the city of Rapture.

The surround sound is top of the line. You'll be able to pinpoint the locations of anything that makes any kind of noise in this game easily. This is one to play with the volume all the way up. Oh yeah, hopefully your subwoofer can handle the thudding footsteps of the Big Daddies.

The controls are just right and are never frustrating. Little to say other than that.

The game itself is really in a class of its own. I love the mood that this game instills. It's tense to a point where I can safely say that this is one of the only games I've played where you dread turning the corner ahead of you. The intro to this game alone is simply jaw dropping and grabs you and doesn't let go from the outset. There are moments in this game that are literally terrifying. I'm not going to go on record as saying this is the scariest game I've ever played but it truly is an experience in fear and anxiety.

This is an instant classic and while there's no multiplayer, keep in mind that not every first person shooter was meant to be a fragfest. This one is about putting you in the middle of a terrifying scenario and making sure you believe you're actually there for every second that you're playing. Sure you can nitpick little things here and there but there's nothing in this game that comes even close to ruining the sheer perfection that is Bioshock.

I can't recommend this title enough.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on August 21, 2007
This is by far the most interesting, fun, adventurous game since last years Zelda for the Wii. There is so much to do in this game, you can hack into safes, invent items, shock someone in the water, use a crowbar to knock someone out, anything you want to do, you can. I didn't hear about this game until last week when Microsoft released a demo of it last week. I played the demo and immediately got hooked. I went out early this morning "21 Aug 07" and purchased this game. I have played it for roughly five hours and it has been so much fun. It's not super confusing and it's like a choose your own adventure game. The classical eery music is an added plus. If you own an XBOX 360 and you are looking for the "Next Big Game", or you just want a Phenomenal gaming experience, purchase this game, I guarantee you will not be disapointed. The only negative for me is that this game really makes other games look really bad. But that's a negative that I will just have to deal with. Now I am going to shut off the laptop and get back to playing.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2007
A franchise is born and its name is Bioshock! Games like this don't come along too often. At heart its a FPS ,but the added 'Bio' powers make this game truly shine. The first stage of the game is Linear somewhat a training session , then the levels open up into multiple pathways and areas to explore. There is a detective quality to this game if you wanna follow the story through audio diaries,PSA's, and generous bloody scribbles on the walls,or you can ignore them and simply kill everything in your way. This game gives you that option. But IMO the story makes this game top-notch , yeah sure its typical creepy fare, but hey its fun. With certain abilities (LT) you can set people on fire with your fingertips,use telekenesis ,and some others I won't spoil. Not to mention 2 endings worth a replay through or 2.There's not much I can say negative about this game other than it's about 20 hours long. Too short for my taste but its a rock solid 20 hours of fantastic gameplay. Aside from the widescreen fiasco , its in 16x9 widescreen at native 720p no stretching by the way. The games look beautiful and the camera is fully controllable like most FPS so for my HD LCDTV its looks fantastic .Im looking forward to Bioshock becoming a franchise with at least a sequel coming for it. This game is one heck of a joy-ride ,movie-like game experience. One that should not be missed. M rated lots of blood and gore not for the kiddies. PEACE.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 30, 2007
This is an amazing game, one of the best for xbox360, and quite possibily the best single-player FPS of all time. Not only is this a killer shooter, but there are adventure and rpg elements like upgrading your weapons and abilities. Not to mention hacking security camera and cool stuff like that. There is really no other game like this, an original masterpiece.

The graphics are probably the best I've ever seen on any game for any system. No question. The amount of detail given to each room and every little object is amazing. This is truly a next-generation break-through. It runs on the Unreal Engine, which is the same as Gears of War and Rainbow Six: Vegas, so you know the graphics are nice.

The audio is probably even better than the graphics. Movie-quality voice overs, amazing music and realistic sound effects. With a good surround sound system you will really be able to hear every footstep and taunt. There are some really creepy ambient sounds too (if you like nightmares).

Bottomline, stop reading the reviews and just buy this game. Its gotten a solid 5 stars on Amazon, a bunch of the major review sites have given it a full 100% or 10/10. It doesn't get much better than this. This is a modern classic at its finest. Don't miss out.
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