Xbox 360 Bioshock Game Review: Mysterious and Epic City of Rapture under The Atlantic Ocean
Bioshock is a first-person shooter created by the same development team behind the System Shock series, and the suspenseful and creepy environment haven’t changed much with their new title. Though System Shock may be only remembered by the most devout gamer, Bioshock is a game that will be embedded into any player’s mind for a while.
The Tale of Rapture
The story is set in 1960, as players assume the role of an unknown man who is the sole survivor of a plane crash in the middle of the ocean. After swimming ashore to a mysterious entrance, he is introduced to Andrew Ryan, a man devoted to the commitment of serving mankind’s greatest individuals, and then to the exquisite underwater city of Rapture.
[alert variation=”alert-warning”]As grand as the entrance may feel, the horror takes place the moment players enter the city.[/alert]
Through series of gene-splicing and chemicals known as “plasmids,” the citizens of Rapture have mutated and gone insane. Players are greeted by Atlas, one of few people who will attempt to assist with the journey through the metropolis.
The story continually unfolds as Atlas convinces the main character to stop Andrew Ryan from his stranglehold over Rapture. As players progress through the game, they will hear wonderfully written dialogue performed by some of the best voice-acting in any game, followed by twists and surprises that will catch the player completely off-guard. Bioshock’s plot is one of the best experiences in any game.
Environment & Design
Rapture’s layout of a 1950’s themed city is detailed in every respect possible. Players will be engulfed by the combined artistic effort of creating a massacred city on the brink of destruction with the essence of a mid-twentieth century setting. Perhaps fighting through enemies wouldn’t be as creepy if Billie Holiday and Bing Crosby weren’t playing in the background at the same time, but that’s an opinion for the player to decide.
Rapture’s enemies are also varied and have their own distinctive abilities. Splicers are the mutated citizens of Rapture that attack the players with gene-enhanced features, such as fire starting. The bizarre aspect comes from the splicer’s personality. Though they try to kill you, they appear almost as though they want to die as well. This psychological twist can confuse players, but also give them a sense of guilt over killing a once innocent citizen. Big Daddies are the guardians that roam about Rapture and are a brute force to be reckoned with, both in strength and fighting abilities.
Even among the intense plot and well designed setting, Bioshock still manages to take its innovativeness to gameplay. A variety of guns and bombs exist, and can be modified as well, but the plasmid feature stands out the most. Like the citizens of Rapture, the player can also access supernatural abilities to defeat their enemies. These can be used conveniently to the player’s advantage, such as confusing enemies to fight each other or freezing objects, which leaves fighting opponents up to the player’s imagination.
Bioshock is innovative, original, scary, beautiful, artistic, and disturbing, which makes it stand out above the majority of titles available today. The game also features many hidden secrets, including an alternate ending, which increases replay value for the hardcore gamer looking to complete everything. This is a must-own title for the Xbox 360 that players will not forget their first time through for a long time.