In terms of a single-player gaming experience, it's going to be
really, really tough for any other game this year to top "Bioshock."
As immersive a game as I have ever played, the world that is created
in "Bioshock" is simply going to be cooler than any of the other big
first-person games coming out this fall.
Set in an underwater city run by a maniac named Andrew Ryan, "Bioshock"
is a first-person shooter but not in the way you are used to; you've
still got access to a ton of weapons that will be solid ways to deal
with the evil lurking the hallways of this 1950s-era Atlantis.
The difference is the magic system, called "plasmids" within the
game, that allow you to do some pretty cool things to the
environment--summons bees to swarm a group of bad guys, or shoot
liquid nitrogen from your arms to freeze opponents, or toss a spell
at one bad guy that makes him attack any other bad guys on the
screen. It's the plasmids, and the incredible intelligence of
the bad guys, that makes "Bioshock" such a blast; I don't think the
game is very hard on the normal difficulty, but it's just fun to use
all of the items/powers at your disposal to get rid of the baddies.
Baddies don't take that many forms in the game; you've really
only got three types to deal with. There are Splicers, which
are mutated humans who were stuck in the underwater city of Rapture
when you arrive; they look like zombies but move at normal speed.
Then, there are various boss characters who are still human and that
have somehow avoided mutation...and, there are Big Daddies, men in
huge metallic underwater suits who have piledrivers attached to
their right arms. They are protectors of Little Sisters, who
harness the magic energy that you need to upgrade your character
throughout the game, and the only way to get that is to kill the Big
Daddies (not easy). In addition, there is a hacking element to
the game that is basically a mini-puzzle you have to solve on
occasion to open safes, or disable security systems, or break into
vending machines. It mixes up all of the killing quite nicely.
But, it's the story, the background, and the incredible visuals
that make "Bioshock" so cool. I played this game over about 20
hours on Labor Day weekend, and it was great to fall in with a game
with so much time to myself...and, despite a not-so-great ending,
the game was well worth the trip. No way that "Halo 3" has an
offline single-player adventure this good, so use "Bioshock" to tide
you over in the meantime.
Rating: Opening Weekend
Feedback? Comments? Salma Hayek's digits?
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": Buy
this game right away, and don't ask me any questions as to why
that's a good move. A game experience that will almost
guarantee repeated controller abuse, lots of ManScreaming and high
resale value, you will assuredly play this bad boy for months on end.
after games have been out for a while, they drop in price slightly,
or can be bought for slightly cheaper in combination with other new
games. Usually, that's about $40. You'll feel good
getting the game for this price, since it isn't quite
run-out-and-get-it-right-now good, but it has enough game in the box
for a few weeks' worth of enjoyment.
game is not too bad, but you'd be better off buying it used from
either half.com or eBay. You also might let a friend buy this
game, let s/he beat it, and then try to buy it from them to make
them feel better. Yes, this does tend to feel like "Sloppy
"Rental": Like my
cousin Ron, you should always rent games that you aren't sure about
first, to make sure that your $50 is going towards something
worthwhile. For games in this category, this is the maximum
amount of money ($5) and/or time (3-5 days) you'll need to either
gain satisfaction from the game, or beat the game in its entirety.
Rental-rated games are also sometimes perfect for a weekend when you
are going to be at home on your ass, with some time to kill.
Games like this should have never been released. If you play
this game for any reason, you will regret every second of the
experience. Further, if you can get this game for free, don't
do it, because even for FREE, it will still be a negative experience