BioShock Review
by Gotakibono

Basic Information:
Developer: 2K Games
Publisher: 2K Games
Date of Release: 21st October 2009
Trophies: Yes
BioShock's Trophy Guide / BioShock's Forum

BioShock is a fantastic first-person shooter that takes the player into the mysterious undersea city of Rapture, a genuinely unnerving place to have to wander around. The city of Rapture was built by a megalomaniacal businessman by the name of Andrew Ryan, a man with a vision that has gone horribly wrong. And in the spirit of gaming, it’s up to you to uncover the horrid secrets that lie beneath the city under the sea…

BioShock’s gameplay is brilliant and throws in various elements that have never been pulled off in such an incredible fashion. It is rich and engrossing and has a layer of depth that I haven’t found in many games. Firstly, the main enemy you’ll encounter in the halls of Rapture are Splicers, who were the citizens of the city before the whole place went nuts. These fights with Splicers can be hectic and their random mumblings only help to startle you . But it’s the Big Daddies that provide the most memorable moments in the game. They are the guardians of the ‘Little Sisters’. Little sisters are valuable to you and the Splicers around Rapture, as they contain ADAM, which is the fuel for the city. You’ll need this ADAM to buy upgrades for new tonics and plasmids. However, the Big Daddies don’t go down without a fight (especially on Survivor difficulty!) and I found these fights to be hugely enjoyable. Gunplay is also great, with weapons that can pack a real punch. Shotguns, pistols, rocket launchers and crossbows are all present and each can be upgraded at various points around Rapture.

BioShock’s opening sequence is amazing!
It lets you know that you’re in for a hell of a ride.

Character customization is a key trait in BioShock. There are many plasmids and tonics to collect, with the player being able to pick and mix as they wish. Plasmids are the player-controlled weapon-like genetic enhancements. There are numerous plasmids that the player can utilize during their stay in Rapture. Some are self-explanatory, such as incinerate, which allows you to burn splicers and melt ice. Telekinesis, Enrage and the partically awesome Insect Swarm are some the other plasmids you’ll discover and be able to unleash on some unfortunate Splicers. Tonics are stored like plasmids but have passive effects, for example the armored shell tonic reduces the damage you take from physical attacks. Throw in the player’s ability to hack safes, security cameras and strategic turrets, and you’ve got a very diverse and unique way of playing the game.

BioShock is one of those rare games that blends gameplay and narrative together seamlessly. It’s an engaging single-player experience that showed me that not every game needs multiplayer. The game has a strong narrative, which is mainly told through tapes that you find in the nooks and crannies around Rapture. I honestly found this to be one of the most memorable storylines I have played through in a game, and THAT twist at the end is pure brilliance. I don’t want to give anything away but it really is fantastic if you were following the story like myself. I honestly haven’t played an FPS with such an excellent singleplayer mode in a very long time.

Plasmids are great fun to use on Splicers.
They almost make you feel sorry for them… almost.

The story itself takes around 15+ hours to complete and the Survivor difficulty adds an extra little challenge for another all-important gold trophy. The platinum takes some time to achieve, so if you want to be as awesome as myself and call yourself an owner of the platinum, be prepared to put some work into it. Replay value is great as you’ll want to see what you missed out on first time around and with so many ways to actually play it, you’ll find yourself tackling the Splicers of Rapture all over again.

Well, you’d only need to glance at the game to see that this is one sexy-looking title. There’s a rich gloss over the graphics and its 50’s style setting creates an eerie atmosphere. Textures and lighting are also top-notch. The level design is great throughout and there was a lot of moments when I felt obliged to sit back and admire the scenery. I could tell that the developers put a lot of time into creating this world, even little messages smeared on the walls adds just an extra bit of authenticity to the madness that surrounds you.

The sound is great and really suits the style of the game. Splicers ramblings can be heard whilst exploring Rapture and creates a tense atmosphere that had me on edge throughout. Big Daddies distinctive walk echoes through the halls and alerts you to the presence of an all so precious Little Sister. In short, it just feels ‘right’ and you never feel removed from the experience.

Gameplay: 9/10 Brilliant
Singleplayer: 10/10 Flawless
Multiplayer: N/A
Technical: 9/10 Brilliant

Overall: 9/10 Brilliant

I can’t recommend this game enough, even if you're not that into FPS games. Everything about this game is of the highest quality and you'll be seriously missing out if you don’t play this game at some point. I implore you to buy this and get lost in the city of Rapture!