When Bioshock came into the gaming industry in 2007 you might have thought, “Oh look! Another first-person shooter”. But as you start to play this gem of the seventh generation of console games, you realize this is something much greater than just your average run-of-the-mill shooter.
You start out your journey in Bioshock as Jack, a passenger on a plane that crashes over the Atlantic Ocean, surrounding a lighthouse you’ll need to swim your way towards. The real fun begins when you enter that lighthouse and you then see the previously wonderful world that is the underwater city of Rapture.
The city was once populated with citizens that flocked here in hopes of freedom and bliss, now reside as monsters and mutated from the result of a science experiment gone wrong. The mastermind behind all this, Andrew Ryan, would now rather see his creation that is Rapture fall in pieces then save it to its former glory.
Bioshock’s story is a great one and will most certainly throw you for a loop at some point, and deep down is a story about the search for identity and discovery. The audio files you find along the way help richen the story on this journey you take, and missing a single audio file could mean skipping over a piece of the story. Adding things like that are a nice way to add to a story than just your traditional cutscenes to develop the main narrative.
The gameplay though is so fantastic and even though it is quite old at this point, still doesn’t feel all that bad from today’s standards. It can have its moments of clunkiness, but overall it is still very solid, whether you’re meleeing an enemy or viciously shooting them down.
While at its core Bioshock is a shooter, it can be much more than that at times. You can take down enemies in a number of different ways thanks to all the weapons and other combat strategies at your disposal. Overall there is a good mix of shooter, strategy and role-playing, all melding their elements together to make Bioshock so diverse.
If you’re more of the traditional first-person shooter player that likes to run-and-gun, mow everything down with any weapon at your disposal, then you can most certainly do that. You’ll have options like; traditional pistols, tommy guns, grenades, flamethrowers, and rockets. Then you have what are called plasmid powers that you spliced into your genetic makeup early on in the game that will give you special abilities depending on what you choose equipp. You’ll be able to shoot fire, ice wind or electricity out of your hands and that is way more cool and satisfying than a boring gun.
The game even has a RPG-side to it with the way to build up your character with special abilities and skills. Skills like better armor, making your footsteps quieter or even going invisible when standing can be purchased and equipped. Even plasmids can be upgraded making your abilities even stronger.
One of the downsides though is after a while, the game can seem repetitive especially in enemy variety. You can only defeat so many Big Daddies and splicers before those start to get boring. Some could also say the ending is a tad disappointing, but I didn’t really have much of a problem with either of the two available endings.
The graphics for Bioshock do show their age, granted the game is nine years old. I’m sure when the game was new it was a quality looking game, but for now it has dwindled down to “okay” looking graphics. The character models and textures for background scenery have definitely started to show their age. I didn’t notice very many framerate issues while playing either. I can’t imagine how wonderful a remastered version of Bioshock would look like though!
Dated graphics aside though this game looks very good and the environments you’re exposed to. The underwater city of Rapture is wonderful to explore and even though it is a “darker” game, it still looks beautiful in its set-pieces and environments. With what has been put together, Rapture turns into a living and breathing world that you can get wrapped up in.
The audio is great from both the sound effects that encapsulate your ears to the score that’s used throughout and capturing the era that the game takes place in. With just about any room or new area you walk into you can hear a radio playing classic music from the 60s, which really helps add to the immersion.
Any sound that comes from an enemy is enough to haunt you, especially that of the hooks on spider splicers. That sound alone is probably enough to send a shiver down your spine. The first time you hear a Big Daddy near your vicinity is sure to be a sound to wake you up with its loud thump-thud.
The voice acting throughout this game is executed flawlessly, and letting you believe everything that a character tells you. Between splicers freaking you out with their babbling on about who knows what, to the dialogue spoken through radios or audio logs, everything is top-notch quality.
Bioshock is truly one of the greatest games that ever released for the seventh-generation of consoles. Despite the dated graphics the game holds and a few drawbacks in enemy variety, this is still a great game that everyone should experience at least once.
- Good story and lore provided
- Variety in environments and landscapes
- Great atmosphere and creepy tone
- Can feel repetitive towards the end
- Graphics/textures are dated