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Bioshock Review

March 31, 2009
We all make choices in life, but in the end our choices make us, Welcome to Rapture

We all make choices in life, but in the end our choices make us, Welcome to Rapture

I am Andrew Ryan, and I’m here to ask you a question. Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his brow? ‘No!’ says the man in Washington, ‘It belongs to the poor.’ ‘No!’ says the man in the Vatican, ‘It belongs to God.’ ‘No!’ says the man in Moscow, ‘It belongs to everyone.’ I rejected those answers; instead, I chose something different. I chose the impossible. I chose… Rapture, a city where the artist would not fear the censor, where the scientist would not be bound by petty morality, Where the great would not be constrained by the small! And with the sweat of your brow, Rapture can become your city as well.

With that now infamous quote, is how Bioshock begins.  Bioshock puts you, a person with no name or lines, into this vast underwater Utopia gone horrifically wrong.  You are immediately thrust into the story with the aid of Atlas, a man over the radio who helps you through your journey, and Andrew Ryan, a man intent on killing you.  The story takes you through a gritty word populated by psychopaths, brutes, and strange little girls.

Each and every character in the story, whether they be dead or alive, is expertly characterized and fleshed out, thanks in part to the fantastic voice acting.  Even the no named character you control is somehow given an identity by the characters around him.  The story is full of mystery, intrigue and all the other words I can’t think of at the moment, but its a great ride from beginning to end.

The various 2k dev teams that were formed from irrational games implemented a moral system into the game revolving around what are known as Little Sisters.  During the course of the game the player can choose to either Save, or Harvest these children.  While the game makes it seem as if this is a morale deliema, it really isn’t.  While at first the games make it seem that Saving and Harvesting have their own sets of pros and cons, it become obviously farely quickly that the game wants you to save them.  The rewards for saving them along with the fact that Trophy/Achievements support saving the little sisters and not harvesting them is a clear sign to the player that the children should be saved.

While a game have a great interesting story, it also needs great gameplay, which Bioshock delivers.  While the developers would like to tout how much strategy can be used with the plasmid system(more on that later) the game for the most part is more standard than they would let on.  In Bioshock there are two ways to hurt enemies, with Plasmids, or Weapons.  Weapons take the form of standard guns and a wrench, however the interesting bit is in the Plasmids.

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Plasmids come in two forms, Plasmids & tonics.  Tonics are mostly upgrades, allowing you to take less damage, hack systems easier, etc etc.  Plasmids are more offensive and take the form of attack bees, eletricity, fire and the ability to freeze enemies.  The main strategy of the game is how to use the plasmids with your weapons to take down enemies.  A good combination that will last through most of the game is the tonic that makes the wrench stronger, coupled with eletro bolt, will allow you to kill enemies with one hit of the wrench, saving ammunition for more dangerous enemies.

While this is always a good strategy, it is not extremely useful until you play the Playstation 3 specific survivor difficulty, and even then after the first two level or so the game looses it difficulty for the most part.  Obviously to me the game wasn’t terrible hard (except for the first two-three levels in survivor mode) but the game is still very satisfying.  Exploring Rapture’s ruins and finding out about the past of this extraordinary place is great fun, especially when coupled with the story.  There is also the hacking system which allows the players to make security cameras, bots & more work for the player, rather than against them.  Whether its making bots attack enemies, making items cost less, or making it easier to create objects, its a simple yet essential part of the gameplay.

Spooky Huh?

Spooky Huh?

The atmosphere of Bioshock is just extraordinary, from the visuals of the collapsing Rapture and enemies, to the extraordinary voice acting of the characters, the world of Rapture is brought to life like few video games ever are.  The presentation is top notch, even though the game is two years old at this point, it still looks great.  The audio quality is top notch and really shows what a good cast of voice actors can do.

Bioshock is an amazing game.  Since its been out for awhile its available for discount proces which make it an easy purchase for the Playstation 3, Xbox 360, or the PC.  If you haven’t played it pick it up and give it a try, I can garentee you won’t be disapointed.

Amazing

Amazing

Editor's Choice

Editor's Choice

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