I hope everyone thinks twice before flying over the Atlantic from now on… Because you never know what might be lurking underneath. For all you know, it could be Rapture, the setting of one of my new favorite games of all time, Bioshock. The plot, or an incredibly simple summary of it, goes as follows. Jack Ryan is a seemingly normal guy aboard a flight over the Atlantic, and crashes in the middle of the ocean. He then enters into the underwater hell that is Rapture, a forgotten utopia run by the legendary Andrew Ryan, and now overrun by corrupted once-humans, splicers. How can I sum this up….. Go buy Bioshock now. You can get it for $30 on either the 360 or the PS3, that’s a bargain for this kind of game. This game shines brighter than the sun with such a breathtaking attention to detail in the game that really blew me away. Every nook, cranny, hallway, enemy possession (that you can loot), half of which the casual gamer won’t see, is riddled with astounding detail and thought. This all pans together to provide a truly “used” and creepy atmosphere. Walking in to a corridor, seeing corpses lying around (half of which may not be dead), blood smears on the walls, faded ads, and the faint cry of a big daddy in the background make you feel as if the room has just been evacuated, or that there’s something to be running from. The superb 50s/60s art design also helps the game’s atmosphere. All in all, you have a beautiful and incredibly cinematic game experience. The story in the game will literally blow your mind. Simply there’s so much intrigue, betrayal, corruption, it’s impossible to explain. You really feel like you’re Jack Ryan trying to escape this underwater hellhole, and, towards the end of the game, it’s new boss.
The game is also incredible as far as it’s combat goes. Although I found the system to be a little repetitive towards the end of the game (partially my own lack of creativity), the game does a great job of combining standard gunning gameplay with different, upgradable powers, called plasmids like fire, ice, insect swarm, and so many more. Throughout the game there are different upgrade stations that allow the highest level of creativity, to truly let the mind wander and let the player fight the way they want. I personally used heavier weapons like the crossbow to take out big daddies and large splicer crowds, while letting my creative juices flow with plasmids in times of need or to weaken opponents. Ultimately, you’re choosing the best path to fight against some of the creepiest opponents I’ve encountered. Splicers are basically humans who have used too many plasmids, and gone insane. Sometimes injured, halves of faces, and even limbs will be missing from some of the darker counterparts. Nothing is creepier than walking into a dark room with nothing but a pistol hearing “Jesus loves me” being quietly sung. They will attack you, they will go in groups, and they will do anything to kill you. Also, they crawl on ceilings. Spiderman this ain’t. No enemy compares thought to the Big Daddy, Bioshock’s poster boy. Basically, before you engage them, have a plan, or you WILL die. Big Daddy’s main missions are to protect Little Sisters, who carry the lifeblood of Rapture, ADAM, and to keep them safe. Believe me, I know from experience they will rip you to shreds to keep them safe. The entire game can even be looked at as a choice. Will you be a saviour to Rapture, saving all the Little Sisters and choosing the path of least resistance, or will you be the strong giant choosing to go, with all guns blazing and harvesting Little Sisters for your own needs and wants, to overthrow Rapture? Let’s just say I wasn’t too nice, and they let me know. The game did lose a little bit of steam in spots, especially towards the very end of the game, but that by no means it wasn’t enjoyable during those spots. Bioshock is called an essential gaming experience, and I can whole-heartedly agree. I truly believe all gamers, or even those looking into art, can find something to appreciate in Bioshock. This is a magnificent game and gaming experience that is worth all of $30. An incredible story, a breath-taking and haunting atmosphere, and true and fun combat system all tie in to one of the best games I’ve played in a while. So go, venture into Rapture, hope you make it back soon.
5 out of 5