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Bioshock - Xbox 360
Format: Video Game|Change
Price:$12.92+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on August 5, 2013
Bioshock is a transcendent piece of workmanship. It is a whole package of arts from many media: visual design, architecture, acting, literature, direction, music, sound design, choreography, narrative, pathos, humor, emotion, philosophy... In my opinion, all art, regardless of media, is judged by only one criterion: how well it immerses the audience. It is highly difficult for a videogame to work well with all of the artistic elements it must from other media, but when it can, results are breathtaking. For videogames have an artistry trump card should all other elements come together brilliantly -

The audience affects them.

I can't begin to say how much this can add to the immersive experience of art. Fallout and Deus Ex and a handful of other games have had a marriage of elements that made in-game actions true epiphanies and sometimes truly difficult decisions, but no game has had quite such a successful integration of the arts and interaction as Bioshock.

To start, the world of Rapture, the undersea self-governing utopia of the late 1940's, is as fully realized as a fictional arena can be. The narrative begins with a plane crash in the middle of the Atlantic. As the only apparent survivor, you swim to the only nearby shelter, a skyscraping spire jutting out of the sea. Upon entry, you're greeted by the larger-than-life bronze bust of the larger-than-life antagonist of the tale, Andrew Ryan. His austere face hangs just above a placard which succinctly states the vision of his that became reified with the construction of Rapture, "No Gods or Kings. Only Man." A later banner declaring "Altruism is the root of all wickedness" rounds out Ryan as a man whose will is singular and formidable and who believes that man's progress truly comes through serving one's self. I don't wish to divulge much more of him. He's somehow omnipresent. His dream world that became as abyssal as the ocean in which it sits, is clearly his world, a full manifestation of one man's vision. Ryan pulls off complexity in a singular character with aplomb. However much you might hate him, you admire him in equal measure. He's an iconic villain, who is actually able to perhaps shake your long held beliefs with surprising charisma, gaining with sheer will your empathy.

Ryan's dream is an art deco, mid-19th century cityscape with impeccable design. Neon signs with bold lettering mark every locale. 40's style public service announcements chime through speakerphones, littering propaganda from Ryan's mind and often featuring a domineering man speaking to an unsure woman as though she were a neurotic child. Heavy, steam-powered machinery powers the city, replete with worn and bulky looks of the period's real engineering. Posters of idealized men and women from the age paint the walls with advertisements for the newest products and services. A highly curvaceous and opulent architecture is present throughout; it's beautiful, beautifully realized and extremely cohesive. There are even cases in which period music plays, from Perry Como, Billie Holliday, and others, used to better effect than almost any feature film soundtrack.

The atmosphere is complete and compelling, but clearly crumbling. Hypnotizing trickles and even larger floods of water flow in through cracks of the foundation, most places are unkempt, or in ruins. There's evidence of a struggle between Ryan and an enterprising businessman named Fontaine. You find out about his smuggling ring whose importing of the "parasitic" ideals that Ryan so abhors caused a war between the two men over philosophical matters and financial ones. "Adam," discovered in Rapture and studied by parties supported by the two men, is a substance that changed Rapture, by allowing the grafting of stem cells that can radically rewrite DNA sequencing to give a man or woman virtually any characteristic they so desired.

A war over Adam is taking place. Fontaine and Ryan fought over its rights and nearly everyone else is fighting to obtain it, and as much as they can. Homemade weapons dot the underwater fortress. Genetically altered quasi-humans walk the city, ever searching the premises for Adam as though it a powerful drug, hurting and killing for it.

Inhabitants exhibit behaviors that are powerfully disturbing. They retain and relive memories of their former lives, giving hints of the trials and tribulations they faced before becoming hideously disfigured in every sense of the word. Some seem like they were broken of their former ways by force, some seem to have arrived by greed or the jealous need to usurp, some seem to have fallen in because of tragedy, and still others, such as the Little Sisters, were simply bred into their monsterhood.

Little Sisters are Rapture's Adam harvesters, and while the game allows for numerous and wonderful player choices in terms of evincing enemies, Little Sisters provide the moral choices. Your guide, a man named Atlas, encourages you to harvest them for the Adam they posses so that you might be better able to survive with the improved genetics by killing the filthy girls with glowing eyes, strolling through the halls with a syringe drawing the blood from corpses they call "angels." The woman scientist who developed the children asks you not to do so, but givesno immediate reward. The system creates a great dilemma both morally and from the virtue versus instant gratification aspect.

Though this is really the only immersive hinge in Bioshock, the story is so closely tied to the Little Sisters and the narrative so tight, this one recurring choice manages to be thoroughly compelling. Bioshock is the only experience I've had in recent memory, where I actually as the audience felt deceived, the effect of which I could hardly put into words. Suffice to say, it managed to find through a simple motif, a way to bring me to feel disgust, regret, hatred, and disbelief. Bioshock makes everything that occurs within it your real experience and it makes what is a brilliant social commentary into a frightening self examination.

Is it perfect? No. There are issues with immersion that remind you that you are playing a game. For instance, the penalty for death is nearly non-existent, which takes away from the feeling of fear and discourages tactical thinking. The physics, particularly in death animations, are quite wonky in some cases. There are clipping instances. Corpses twitch.

...That's it though.

Bioshock is truly Dynamic art and comes with my unequivocal recommendation.
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on February 16, 2016
Exciting, eerie, creative, jaw dropping, terrifying, electrifying, memorable, fun. Bioshock is the rare game that perfectly blend all those elements together. The story engulfs you in Rapture, one of the most unique and awesome game locations I've ever played. As you progress, you'll discover and explore the ruins of Rapture and learn more about Rapture and what happened and your character's involvement on why he's here in the first place.
Combat works will blending survival horror elements, such as lack of abundant ammo, to great first person shooting mechanics. It also adds a new spin with Plasmids, giving your character the ablility to electrocute, set on fire, freeze, control, patronize, hypnotize, and among many others.

Such a game like Bioshock can perfectly combine everything that can shooters great. It's exciting, it's terrifying, keeps you on the edge of your seat, it sparks wonder and curiosity. The only thing that keeps this game from being perfect is the ending/ final boss. Ending is kind of out of place (meaning it's either warm hearted or a cold slap in the face that doesn't really conclude your character's journey.) and I didn't lean towards how the final boss was done.
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on March 10, 2015
I've collected video games sense I was six and now i'm 22, I could never of have fathomed a game such as this to ever be created but thank god it was. I have to say this has created an outstanding story that gets you deeply submerged into it's game play during your entry to the Bioshock series. With an amazing concept of an alternate reality and well structured story for the torn city of rapture.This game allows many hours of game play, alternate endings, addicting killing sprees, many plasmids, and a constant urge to replay the series. I couldn't recommend a series any higher than the Bioshock series and this is a must on all levels to have in any collection. I highly recommend this game to all gamer's serious and non cause if you don't play it for the game play itself than you'll be glued to the art work and story line.
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on July 15, 2016
About 12 years ago, I bought an XBOX 360 Arcade, set it up in the spare bedroom for my grandkids to play with when they came to visit. I bought a number of games at the time, and added to them over the years. Among those was "Bioshock". The kids wouldn't play it though because it was a "single player" only; no multi-player. So it sat there un-played, still new. The "Arcade" eventually suffered the "Red Rings of death" and passed away, so I replaced it with the newer (at the time) Xbox 360 S with 4GB. As the years went by, the grandkids got older, and didn't come by as often,
so I moved it into the great room and set it up with surround sound, and a 55" hd tv. By now most of the grandkids were grown, off to college, married, or into other interests as well they should. I, however; having never played any games, decided to try it out and see why they liked playing this thing so much. I found I had accumulated over 40 games, mostly new; and tried my luck with "Red Dead Redemption". Wow!! what a rush! I had no idea what I had been missing. Eventually I played through all 40 games, and came to the conclusion that among my favorites was "Bioshock".
At first I kind of stumbled through it because I had to keep the volume turned down so as not to disturb my wife. I started over , this time with a good set of headphones and a notebook and pencil. This game had me hooked! The reason for the notebook was to jot down certain clues or codes to open doors that can't be hacked. Now I'm nearly 70 years old, so give me a break kids! I have played though it several times, and the outcome depends on whether you "harvest" or "rescue" the little sisters that are protected by Big Daddy or as she calls him "Mr. Bubbles". Make no mistake about it, you cannot progress through the game without defeating a number of Big Daddys. As the game progresses, you will accumulate a variety of different weapons, and "plasmids" that give you extraordinary powers; but they both need to be upgraded because the enemies get stronger as the game goes along. It is not a pure RPG or FPS, nor was it designed to be; but that's what makes it so challenging and fun.
It is however, in my opinion; a true "Classic" game as is it's follow-up "Bioshock 2". Bioshock Infinate was fun, but does not measure up to it's predecessors.
Now that I'm a "gamer" (ha ha) Bioshock ranks right up there with my other favorites: Red Dead Redemption, Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare, Gears of War, 2 and 3, Portal, Portal 2, Half Life/2 , Condemned criminal origins, and both Left for Dead/2.
Fro those that have never owned an xbox 360 or ps3, but started your gaming on the xbox one or ps4, take heart in knowing that as of this writing, the "Bioshock Collection" will be available for both those consoles in September 2016. BUY IT!! and enjoy.
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Playing BioShock for the first time is an intense and very rewarding experience. Playing it for the second time is just as much fun, with a few more surprises to be found. After playing and beating this game three times, I can say that this is definitely one of my top ten XBOX 360 Games. We had come across this game by chance, and it had positive reviews, which could mean a good game or a group of people that have lost their collective minds together in a mass mental suicide. In the case of BioShock, I am happy to say that this game delivers. No spoiler here, so read on with safety of knowing the the characters are vibrant, the story is intriguing and engaging, and you will not regret this game at all. Minor things could have been left out, but overall 4 and 3/4 stars out of 5. The closest game to perfection that I have played in a while. For First Person Shooter / Sci-Fi RPG fans. This game is a must for your collection.
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on March 9, 2015
It's 2015 and this game is getting up there in age, but that doesn't take away from the fun. I've never been one to enjoy a horror game, and while this is mostly an FPS, it does have some horror elements in it. It makes you jump. It makes you think twice before moving too quickly. It slows you down. And it works great in this game. While I did get use to the presentation as the game went on and the horror aspects did decline as a result, I still greatly enjoyed the game. You basically have one hand with "magic" and one hand with a gun. You are "solving" an intriguing story; I won't ruin any of the plot. I went into the game not knowing anything beyond the critical acclaim it had received and immensely enjoyed myself. That said, I love a game with a great story -- I can forgive a lot in the graphics and gameplay if the story is awesome. If I had played this game when it was new, I doubt any forgiveness would be in order. Even by 2015 standards I wouldn't call it ugly -- just older. Most of the games I play fall in the 3-4 star range. I give this one a solid 4.5 (no halves on Amazon sadly), but worth upgrading to 5 for amazon vs downgrading to a 4.
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on December 4, 2014
For some perspective on my gaming background, I was very into Nintendo and Sega (showing my age). However, for various reasons, I got out of gaming, except for playing at buddies' houses and stuff. I still enjoyed "top 100" lists and the like, both on TV and the internet.

This was a game that always seemed to show up highly on those lists. The images and descriptions I saw on TV or articles were very compelling to me. Quite frankly, seeing the reviews and clips of this game pulled me back into gaming after a 15 year or so hiatus. Needless to say, I had very high expectations for those game.

All of those expectations were exceeded. The last FPS I had played was Doom on my old Packard Bell computer. This game had a story that pulled me in with its twists and turns. The environment and settings pulled me in quickly and had me thinking about them long after I stopped playing. The gameplay had variety, with different weapons and plasmids allowing for varied strategies in going up against enemies. It was creepy and fun. There is huge replay ability because there are so many different options and ways you can play. Amazing game and great introduction to how much games have advanced since I was a kid playing Mario and Sonic!
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on August 11, 2014
I originally wanted to get CoD: Black Ops and CoD: Ghosts to kinda keep up with the franchise, being as I'd already beaten Cod 4: MW, MW2, MW3 and Black Ops 2, but then I thought I should get something different, so I went with this, and I don't regret it at all. I love the setting, the guns and how everything works. The ability to hack vending machines to get cheaper prices on items and get machines to work with you instead of against you by hacking is really cool, and the overall plot is interesting. The graphics aren't bad either, as opposed to some people on here saying they look "cartoonish", which I don't think is the case at all.

I haven't gotten too far into the game yet, but I've come far enough to tell whether I like it or not. That being the case, I'll definitely continue playing the game and working my way through it, and maybe update this as I progress to see if my views change on any aspect or element of the game itself.
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on October 29, 2014
Finally got around to playing this and was not disappointed. It was such a great game with an atmosphere that you'll probably step back and take a minute or two to admire. There are certain areas of the game where you can become more spooked...but nothing over the top. The story grasped me and I had to find out what was really going down in Rapture, the twist that happens mid-way through the game was a nice touch and changed things up a bit. The combat is solid with the use of plasmids of all variety, you'll find yourself scavenging bullets for your weapons and saving eve to purchase new plasmids. I like the way the game enticed you in a sort of "moral dilemma," should you save the little sisters and get less eve or kill them and get more...accessing more plasmids. Depending on which route you choose, it determines the end sequence you get. It's an enjoyable game from start to finish.
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on May 16, 2017
Very fun, good balance of action and strategy. Graphics are great, expansive map, very entertaining.
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