I like old games, they have a lot of charm, personality, brilliant graphics for it’s time, fun and some can be immersive, new games have personality, brilliant graphics and can be immersive, but most games like Call of Duty, Halo, Homefront and other games relating to shooters are charmless, depressing but it’s fun if you like shooters (but if you play first person shooters online and get too competitive, you’re not really having fun).
So what has this all got to do with Bioshock, well I’m just making an introduction to the review and that’s what happens when newer games don’t have huge appeal to me, however, this has some huge immersion going on.
So you’re the guy with no name, who crash lands near a tower, going inside it you take a lift to Rapture, an underground city with a lot of potential, controlled by suave atheist Andrew Ryan, but it isn’t before long that trouble is brewing that someone gets slaughtered by a splicer, mutated residents of Rapture who got addicted to so much plasmids, they’re pretty much mutated killer junkies. Just as you’re about to get killed by one, a mystery man named Atlas, saves your life and asks you to rescue his wife and son in exchange for helping you throughout the game.
You start with a wrench as your main weapon to crack some splicer skulls, then you inject a chemical that alters your DNA, which enables you to collect genes called Plasmids that give you superpowers like Electric Bolt, becoming a human taser; then Incinerate, becoming a human flamethrower, Winter Blast, becoming Mr. Freeze and freeze splicers; there are many more to collect in Rapture. But if you want to continue using them without being empty, you can collect EVE Hypos which refill your Plasmid usage, carrying up to 9 at a time, same goes to finding First Aid Kits to refill your health.
You get to encounter many splicers, like ones that have wrenches, ones with guns, bendy ones, they have different types of difficulty so having the right weapon will make all the difference. Speaking of weapons, you get a pistol, then a machine gun, shotgun, grenade launcher, a crossbow and a chemical launcher, all with alternative ammo, they are really good and pack a lot of serious punch, especially with the controller vibrating, it’s very effective when you’re shooting splicers.
You find out about the little sisters who collect Adam from dead splicers with the help of Big Daddies which have become an icon on video game’s hall of fame. You can kill big daddies which you need a lot of explosive fire power to kill them otherwise you’re dead in seconds. If you kill one with a little sister around you can capture her, either rescue her, which turns her back into a human and you collect some Adam, or harvest the black slug that consumes the little sister and you collect a lot more, however, rescue more little sisters and you get the good ending, harvest more little sisters and you get the bad ending, which I got because I didn’t realise there were morality endings and it hasn’t bothered me much before but is starting to annoy many gamers like me.
You can do many things on your adventure like missions which are great and enjoyable because of the immersive story, you just want to know about the characters in the game and get into their psyche. There will be Security Turrets, RPG Turrets and Machine Gun Turrets ready to kill you, but you can hack into the machines to turn against the splicers (hacking just involves a pipe game going from one side to the other, ever played Pipe Mania, you’ll get it), but there are times where you are doing the game, there are alarms and broken pipe parts, so you need to do another path, but those bad parts can block all other paths so it’s unlikely to hack every machine, turret or safe.
Overall, this is an entertaining game, this pulls you into an underwater world where the city’s not delightful but creepy. The story is interesting from beginning to end…unless you see the bad ending; which is kind of a disappointment, but the story is paced well to make me continue playing the game until the very end. The weapons are fun to use and the Plasmid powers are a joy to use, finding creative and non-linear ways of killing foes in a game that’s quite linear (unless you go around an area to collect stuff), but that’s fine with me. The controls are great, but I wish I could change the controls, which you’re unable to do, my main gripe is the jump button is the Triangle (I’m playing the PlayStation 3 version) as I usually would like to have it on the Cross button, but I got used to it and didn’t think about it throughout the game.
What I didn’t like was the morality endings, because I got confused of what the results will be at the end, inFamous got it right as they marketed it as a morality game and it worked well, I know Bioshock shouldn’t be known as a morality tale with different endings, but I wished they made it simple enough to understand what the consequences would be if I chose to become a harvester, it was only when a friend told me about it and it was too late for me.
A nitpick here is bosses, they just don’t feel like bosses, they just feel like I’m just killing one of the splicers, but it isn’t until the final boss which…is mediocre too, it’s quite epic but once you get the hang of things, it’s quite simple and not interesting. Another nitpick is a couple of objectives that are hard to find or do and the game never tells you what to exactly do, but you’ll get through at the end, but with a story so grand you just want to get to the next part of the story. It’s a wonderful experience and kind of disturbing, it does everything a survival horror adventure game should, maybe not quite scary as I hoped but other than that it does everything well.
You can get it on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, Mac and OnLive.