Monday, September 17, 2007

Media Review - Bioshock

Today, I picked up a new PC game known as Bioshock. Considering I'd just purchased a new desktop, I figured I should break it in with a 1st-person shooter. So far, it's been worth every last penny of the 50 bucks I shelled out for it.

Bioshock is a first-shooter game for PC and Xbox. It takes place in an underwater city that has been torn apart by civil war. As the player progresses through each gory level, he makes discoveries about the city's past as he tries to escape. He also gains special genetic powers, made possible by the genetic experiments of the past.

My experience of the game has so far been mixed. The gloriously realistic graphics were a problem for my graphics card, so I unfortunately had to tone down the settings to keep the game running smooth.

The gameplay itself is different than other typical shooters. It uses the standard 'ASDW' keyboard configuration, with a few alterations. The weapons range from the good old wrench to machine guns. However, the selection doesn't end there. Bioshock adds a new element, Plasmids, to the gameplay. Plasmids are genetic alterations that give you elemental powers, such as electricity and fire. Although I enjoy the inclusion of these plasmids, I must say that they aren't original to the world of games. Even the telekinesis plasmid reminded me of the Force powers seen in almost every Star Wars game.

The biggest attraction of Bioshock is its graphics. Superb graphics can make the simplest of games very complex appearing. Bioshock is an example of this concept. In fact, the graphics almost overshadow the gameplay, because it has tremendous artistic value.

The introduction was great, and I actually thought that the beginning of the game was part of a cutscene. The shading and texture is completely detailed; there wasn't a single aspect forgotten.

But once you got used to the rich detail, you realize the simple nature of the game. Most of the artistry went into the disturbingly gory corpses, which are found in every corner of Rapture.


Bioshock is also limited to storyline mode,
and story mode can be finished rather quickly. The advertisements say that "no two players will play the game the same way," but there is much room in the game to play it 'your own way.'

I would have appreciated a multiplayer element to the game, so that the game isn't useless after finishing story mode. If you're looking for more playing time from your game, I'd recommend an MMOG over Bioshock any day. However, if you live and breathe hack-and-slash games, there is no way that I could deter you from buying Bioshock. So if you're still looking for a cheap copy, email me.


- incredible graphics
- interesting storyline
- new 'weapons': plasmids

- only story mode available
- quickly beaten
- graphics are mostly gory

Rating: 3.5 / 5

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