The lights are on
What is Bioshock? That's a question you have to ask yourself. Is it an FPS? It could be, it has some of the tightest shooting and aiming mechanics in the business. Is it an Adventure? It could be, it has one of the greatest storylines in gaming history. Is it a Horror? It could be, the mood and setting of the game provide a frightening experience. All of these blend together to create the fantastic story of a romp through Rapture, a destroyed underwater utopia built by Andrew Ryan.
The game has no real companions of the player, who's name is only revealed in the opening cut scene. The only interaction between other people are boss fights and skirmishes with the main enemies, Splicers, citizens of Rapture driven to insanity by the drive to get more ADAM. The history of Rapture isn't revealed by long cut scenes with main characters, but instead by audio diaries, which provide an insight to the true life of Rapture.
Combat involves two types of weapons, guns and melee, and bio weapons called Plasmids. Guns are the classic shotgun, pistol, machine gun, etc. with a few special weapons thrown into the mix, but Plasmids truly show off the game's most outrageous feature. From launching fire from your fingertips to freezing an enemy solid a la Duke Nukem to commanding a swarm of bees, Plasmids vary in tons of ways. Also available are combat, engeneering, and physical tonics to boost other skills. Personally, I kept with the electro bolt-pistol headshot combo for 2/3'ds of the game, but tonics can make your first weapon, the wrench, become the most powerful, which I began to use much more.
The setting is unmatched. No other game provides a setting which truly evokes the creepy mood that Rapture does. Blinking neon lights light up the damp rooms. Everything is ravaged, water damage is present throughout, and with stunning graphics to back it up, the game is an absolute dream to play in 1080p. It truly must be seen to be believed.
Sound design is top-notch as well. With no major character's outside of Ryan and Atlas, the story must be told through voice acting in audio diaries and transmitters. This could've gone horribly wrong, but Bioshock prevails. Every voice actor delivers in whatever lines they are trying to sell, no matter the situation. Ambient noises from nearby enemies and dripping water kick ass. Play it loud.
Bioshock is a generation defining game. Every generation has a game which stands out above and beyond the rest, and as of now, Bioshock holds that title. The winner will be clear at the end of the generation, but as for now, cliche in hand, would you kindly stop reading this and pick up the game?
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