353 of 367 people found the following review helpful
, August 23, 2007
This review is from: Bioshock - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
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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