15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Cream of the FPS crop,
This review is from: Bioshock - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
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.