BioShock Reader Review
First person shooters, yawn?
In the crowded first person shooter marketplace there is seemingly no place for more of them you would think. But that's where you are wrong. Bioshock is the spiritual successor to the two System Shock games and shares the same design mechanics of putting you as the antagonist in a dangerous environment trying to piece together a puzzle. The return of the intelligent shooter has never been more welcome.
Instead of opting for a quick linear run n gun experience with little to no story Bioshock (as its predecessors) will let you roam the levels freely (mostly), scouring for equipment and upgrades while avoiding the security systems and roaming enemies. Every enemy will be vulnerable to several approaches and instead of focusing on a 1 approach is always the right, experimentation is recommended and also rewarded.
They also reward you greatly for performing the quests for saving the little sisters. Saving more makes the game easier as you'll receive more powers but the combat to save them also gets harder.
Inspiring level design and graphical style can be seen throughout the game, there are a couple levels that really stand out both in their design but also in the story as sub story lines will play out; BUT the less memorable levels disappear as you will not feel like you have the time to take in the view as you will be constantly fighting.
And that's the negative of the game, there is too much focus on the shooting. It is a shooter yes but the amount of shooting makes the game tiresome and you will stop experimenting. You will opt to take the quickest approach but you are sometimes not able since there is always a need for ammo and money and health. Another 'pseudo'-negative point about the game has been mentioned with the Vita-Chambers, these chambers serve as respawn points for you. Instead of using Checkpoints you will be moved to the closest Vita-chamber when you die and regain a bit of health. The complaints say that the game will be easier because of that...... which I don't want to go into now.
The best thing, EVAR.
However the best thing about the game is also one of the best things ever in a first person shooter. The storyline inspired by Ayn Rands theory of Objectivism where a Man can only be motivated by his own greed, his own self-preservation and his own success. The game does something a game cannot do (According to Ebert), it answers back. It has something to say to you, trying to get you to think. And the way it does it is very successful. But even though it is successful the story isn't perfect. As you've played more than three quarters of the game something happens and you will lose a bit of motivation and the game changes in pace and the game feels artificially prolonged even though the final levels are still good the final ending never matches the earlier highpoints of the game.
Great game with a great story that suffers from repetitive game play and should have been cut down in length to keep the experience from being diluted.
9 / 10