Bioshock [Xbox 360 Review]

Developer: Irrational Games.
Publisher: 2K Games
Game Rating: M (Mature)

 

Welcome to Rapture
Opportunity Awaits

I’m Andrew Ryan and I’m here to ask you a question:
Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his own 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 own brow,
Rapture can become your city as well.

Welcome to the world of Rapture! A post World War II metropolis concealed on the ocean’s floor to harbor mid 20th centuries great minds. Following the second Great War, Andrew Ryan implements his dream of an underwater city to provide a safe haven for societies elite. It is here, in this aquatic kingdom that our story takes place.

As sole survivor of an airplane crash in the ocean, your character takes safety on the only land in sight. A small island that is the gateway to Rapture. This is where your journey begins.

Upon entering the city, you are immediately made aware that something has gone horribly wrong. The cities founder, Andrew Ryan, has lost all sense of humanity, and has turned human evolution into a disaster. Rapture is driven on a biological resource called Adam. This resource is used to genetically alter human DNA to provide super human abilities, i.e. telekinesis, electro shock, winter blast etc… The downfall to this appears to be, that too much human alteration, drives the host mad.

Your motivation? Survival. Your arsenal? Anything you can find. Wrenches, steel bars, pistols, machine guns, shot guns, and grenade launchers are at your disposal. You are also aided through radio, by a habitat of the city, who strikes a deal with you. He will guide you through the city, if you help him save his family that he has been cut off from. Through this trek, the mystery unravels, and you begin to discover your connection to the world of Bioshock.

Presentation – 9
There is no one word to describe the beauty of Bioshock. It is simply, one of the most breath taking and compelling environments to explore. Irrational Games really hit the nail on the head for this title. Environments are displayed to the most intricate detail of each item. Almost everything in Bioshock is accessible to be interacted with, providing a feeling that you really are there.

The Art Deco architecture of the city gives the feel that you are walking around the Empire State building in the early 1950’s. Providing the game with a real authentic feel for the time period in which the game takes place. The levels are furnished with a variety of items from the period that solidify authenticity of the 1950’s.

Standing out from the rest, is the realism of water in Rapture. This city is after all submersed and housed on the ocean floor. But I often found myself splashing through a flooded room, or watching a Great Whale surrounded by a school of deep sea fish swim by a window. Jack Cousteau himself would be proud.

Lighting and shadowing are also very well down, and cascade perfectly together. Squinting when going from a dark room to a bright room like when waking up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom provides a ultra real ambience to the game.

Graphics – 9
Character design and art are original and done well. Meeting a Big Daddy face to face for the first time is an experience not to soon to forget. Environment and character graphics are detailed nicely, and no jaggies to report. In fact, I found Bioshock to be one of the most graphically polished games released on the 360 to date.

Animation of the characters you meet and fight have never seemed more fluid or real. Each character has its own agenda, and moves accordingly. Large and bulky characters move slowly and thoughtfully, as other characters move with cat like grace and precision.

Sound – 8
Adding to the graphics of this game, sound is used properly. Water splashing, sounds like water splashing. Weapons sound like they should, nothing overly ground breaking here.

Period music on old vinyl record players, also providing you with the occasional crack of distortion from a non digital era.

Character dialog is done well, with no over replayed phrases annoying you. Making interaction appear more like you are in a movie rather a video game.

Gameplay – 10
Respecting Xbox standards the control and game play of Bioshock is easy to handle. They are pretty much the standard control setup as most Xbox FPS genre games. Right trigger button operates your weapons, whereas Left Trigger enables your genetically enhanced abilities.

Pleasantly, this results in smooth movement and no hiccups when trying to reload or interact with your environment.

AI in Bioshock is also outstanding. The characters behavior display a practical understanding of life that provide different challenges upon encountering each of them.

Lasting Appeal – 9.5
Bioshock is an immense world for you to discover. Detailed levels provide many challenges for you to accomplish before moving unto the next level. You will be amazed by the beauty of your surroundings.

Three levels of difficulty ranging from easy, medium and hard will keep you occupied and will provide you with some replay value. However, hard is insanely difficult, and you might want to consider pre-purchasing some extra controllers in the event of smashing your current controller against the wall.

Different weapon, tonics and Adam upgrades make the game much more interesting as it changes how you face each situation.

Bioshock is strictly a single player game, and this is where it falters. There is no
co-op mode for Xbox live, and also no multiplayer mode. Something essential for making this game a must buy. Basically, once you have completed the game, there isn’t much to do, but go back and pick up missed achievements.

There is rumors of download content on the internet in the future, but this is yet to be seen.

Crave Factor – 9
Out of 10 (Excellent)

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