BioShock Reader Review
Quite simply this is one of the best first-person games you are likely to play on the 360 or PC. DRM and copy-protection aside, Bioshock grabs you by the neck and pulls you into its world with style and aplomb. The disturbing atmosphere is carried off so convincingly that the first few hours are a tense and scary experience - especially if your foolish enough to play with headphones on at 2am in the morning. The quiet moments of exploration which usually reveal a arrowing past to Rapture are punctuated by the shockingly violent and disturbing Splicers - former inhabitants gone mad through gene splicing and the usual utopia-itis.
Bioshock succeeds not because of flashy graphics or Hollywood set-pieces like Call of Duty 4 or Crysis, but because its world is almost real. The 1950�s style of architecture, and the antiquated weapons add balance to the genetic advancements that are the Plasmids. All this combines with a truly haunting soundtrack (never will Bobby Darin�s Beyond the Sea, or Mario Lanza�s Danny Boy sound quite the same), to produce a game that really pushes what the medium is capable of.
From the moment you descend down the lighthouse into Rapture you enter a city that feels like it really could have been built. Built in pursuit of a better world after World War 2 without rations or restrictions placed upon progress. It�s hard not to rave about this game being more than just another shooter, so it�s sad to report that its final hour doesn�t quite keep up with what it achieves for most of the game. But to pass over Bioshock because the final third is �just ordinary� would be criminal - its story is everything, from the little sisters to the deranged Doctor�s and concert performers. More than once I found myself thinking about things the storyline brought up and it got me wondering - how far-fetched is a world like Rapture? It succeeds in this game because it�s an idea that could happen - maybe not underwater but somewhere in this world someone wants to built a Rapture.
So in terms of gamplay Bioshock gets thumbs-up. However there are some issues that need addressing regarding everyone�s friend� DRM.
I never had a problem myself but the hoops you have to go through to actually get this game to start up is unacceptable. If I can go on Bittorrent and download the pirated version quicker than getting the ruttin� SecureRom copy protection to work then something�s gone wrong.
The biggest issue I had was crashing. The first 2 hours were fine but after a certain point everytime I went to pick up a new plasmid or tape recorder the game would freeze. We�re not talking freezing and then thawing back to the desktop - oh no, we�re talking pulling the plug out to restart the machine business. I tried everything from re-installs to new save games but the only thing that fixed it was upgrading my computer ( a happy coincidence I�m sure).
Once that was sorted I was fine but I came very close to giving up completely, and that would of been a terrible shame given the high quality of this game.
A big thumbs up and a �must-buy� sticker gets slapped on Bioshock from me. You can play this game in short bursts and get great enjoyment out of it, feeling fully immersed in its chilling world without having to worry about the game ramping up the difficulty too much towards the end and putting you off completion.
So if any game deserved to be the poster boy for 2007 - then Bioshock is that game.
9 / 10