Here’s a look back at the Bioshock series. Each Bioshock game will eventually be reviewed starting with the original Bioshock.
Developed by: 2K games
Consoles released on: PC, Xbox 360, PS3
Platform Reviewed on: PS3
Date Released: August 21, 2007
When I first heard of Bioshock, I thought of it as a single player first person adventure game with some strategy and puzzle solving elements.
Bioshock is a single player first person shooter adventure game much like Half Life and Metroid Prime. Unlike other shooters, Bioshock fares well on its own with its stellar campaign. Bioshock rewards players to use strategy over their developed shooter instinct. It’s how the player incapacitates the enemy (in most cases are insane Rapture residents called splicers) that rewards players and not number they killed.
The story is your protagonist – a victim of a plane crash who landed in an underwater city Rapture. The protagonist makes his way through the city to escape. Along the way, he frees the “Little Sisters” from the clutches of their guardian “Big Daddy”. It’s a fair story without spoiling too much. There’s a lot of background information giving hint that there may be more than meets the eye. The environment is well presented and it has a lot of potential. However the story telling near the end is somewhat anticlimactic.
The game plays like most shooters. Your right hand holds the weapon and your left hand uses Plasmids – your special ability which runs on an energy bar called “Eve”. The Plasmids are found, acquired and upgraded throughout the story. You get gene tonics which gives provides passive abilities. Saving Little Sisters yield Rapture’s currency “Adam”. You spend Adam to upgrade your Plasmid, increase your slots for plasmid and gene tonic, or increase your maximum health and Eve.
Most of the game is reaching point A to point B with fetch missions. Hacking Rapture’s security system requires the player to connect a series of pipe parts to make one complete pipe within a time limit. Although not mandatory, hacking allows you to navigate Rapture without interference. This is one of the more frustrating part of the game because it is time consuming and sometimes you land in a zone full of traps and dead ends at which point there’s no way out of. If you fail the hacking procedure or trigger an alarm, security bots relentlessly deploy to attack you. It is annoying and takes time before the alarm settles. Another frustrating part is the research camera to take pictures of enemies in order to develop advantages over them. More often than not, the pictures I take doesn’t qualify even if the lens is centered at the enemy and mind you, this is through switching weapons during a battle. Lastly, you are able to craft special ammo and gear through collecting materials and using a vending machine. It’s interesting but I personally don’t use it much.
The graphics are appropriate for the atmosphere the developers want to create. In a horror game, the key is to make use of what you can’t see. The use of darkness, screen blurring and enemy ambushes are made just right. The high end graphics make effects through your visor more realistic. Enemies getting hit with different attacks or weapons react accordingly. The immerse environment is highly enjoyable especially the sea life when looking outdoor through the window. However the common infrastructure and abandoned buildings do get old and sometimes you wish you were out in a brighter environment.
At this point, I am on the fence whether I should replay the game at a higher difficulty. The campaign is short enough to conquer in a matter of days or even hours. However, some parts become stale and the constant jingle of the vending machines drives off players. There are downloadable contents available in the form of extra chapters of which I have not tried yet.
Overall, Bioshock is an enjoyable experience and aged pretty well. The deep environment and good effects are the best traits of this game.
Replay Value 6/10
Overall Rating 8/10
Recommendation: You don’t necessarily have to play this game first to enjoy the other Bioshock games but the campaign is definitely worth a run through. Many parts of the game are enjoyable such as the graphics and the environment presentation. However I doubt many would hold onto this game long term because it is short.
(Source: Neoseeker for screenshot)