Northern Ireland Gaming
game reviews07 Oct 2008 08:48 pm

By Dermot

‘Don’t worry, your genetic code is being re-written, just hold on and you’ll be just fine’ Said Atlas ever so calmly. My response: ‘Yea, ONLY MY F******* GENETIC CODE!’

I am a harsh critic. I rate games very vigilantly and it takes a lot to convince me on something. But Bioshock, it takes the biscuit. Not only did it utterly thrill me, it physically got me jumping up and down as I stepped out of the Bathysphere for the first time. (Thought I was going something bad didn’t you? Kekekekeke) I…love…this…game…

It takes a lot for me to say that about any game. I know quite the few people who would say that I’m losing it and it’s not actually all that good. They can talk to Big Daddy thank you. This game was an achievement across all its platforms. Suffice to say I spend more time looking out windows than playing the game because the city of rapture is stunning. The visuals were carved from the flesh of the Gods.

The sheer depth in the city environment makes for mental gaming electrocutions. You look at this particular scene as you are entering the city limits via the Bathysphere. The lighting is spectacular, they have everything in the right place and it makes for an extreme in game feeling of achievement!

Ok, on a more critical note, we’ll talk about the game play more now…I suppose I have to.

The game itself, when I took that Bathysphere and arrived in Rapture I was thinking critically and nothing was really popping up as disappointing, no seriously, nothing! But after you get past the first few bits and pick up your first weapon, I started to really get pulled into the game. About 10 more minutes of game play, ladies and gentlemen I actually felt I was there In Rapture. The game achieved something I haven’t actually felt in an FPS, it made me feel like that was me, and that this was the situation I was currently in! As I looked outside the windows I actually caught myself wondering how this could have become of such a city of ideals. You actually start to feel for Rapture, the pain it’s suffered, and the problems the city faced.

Now, I know as I always say, visuals aren’t everything. So I’ll go over the confrontations etc. I noticed one thing, sometimes AI’s can take a few seconds to realise you’re there even if you’re standing in front of them. This was rare, but still there nevertheless. However you did have the realistic edge in being able to sneak up behind them and they would respond if you were to step on a twig. They’d look around, but if they didn’t see you, they didn’t try to kill you. In most games I’ve seen, you so much as breathe the AI automatically spots you at 1000 yards with binocular vision through a fully opaque wall which is impenetrable by bullets…except by them.

One thing I’ve never seen before till now is this; separate a Little Sister from her Big Daddy, she shows how much she misses him as she hugs and cries to try and make him get up again. Serious heartbreak, I felt like such a dick. Kill a little sister and the Big Daddy experiences remorse and severe upset for the death of the little one. When I killed one of each to see the reaction of the other, I actually walked over to pat the big guy on the shoulder and reassure him. Then he drilled a hole through me. The little girls who I separated from the Big Daddy? Nah just harvested those little brats.

Now for the storyline, at times it can get a little drawn out I have to admit…I mean they run the risk of becoming samey.  I haven’t encountered that as of yet, but the risk is there. I’d say, on a story basis, this game has an excellent storyline. Interesting, full of depth, has a very well thought out history behind Rapture, and its reasons for existing. As far as I’m concerned the story opened up a new realm of FPS gaming; the ability to complete objectives that involve other things than just kill your enemies, or do something to make it easier to kill your enemies. Objectives vary widely, and with the amount of plasmids, weapon upgrades and items you find along the way, the game has a VERY large degree of customization.

‘No two players ever play Bioshock the same way’

Said 2K. And damn were they right. You play happily in the knowledge that your play through shall be unique in different aspects to other player’s. They achieve a purely, visually beautiful portrayal of new FPS advancements than any other game I have come across. Then again, Bioshock is really the first of its kind.

Alright onto the final part of this, on the first podcast Tristan, Paddy and Matt discussed types of graphics. Well Tristan and Paddy did, matt just insulted them both in the second half. Go Matt, go. So to use what they’ve said to my advantage I bring up this point, is Bioshock graphically stunning? (There is a difference between visual and graphically good games). Well I’d have to say yes on this point. Now, because the graphics are quite cartoony for the game, it could very easily be branded graphically bad, visually good. Well, I have to say, the Splicers I came across, cartoony as they might be, looked more real to me than characters in almost every other game I know. Put it like this, the lighting is excellent, the sounds are bitching, and the character designs are just amazing. Downright, amazing. Reason you ask? Ok, I’m not talking cartoon as in Scooby Doo…I mean colours and the like, the character movements etc. And the way I see it everything is VERY clear, the level of detail is stunning and hits the mark of excellence in a graphical perspective. There will be people out there who disagree, and that’s fair enough, but they can go back to driving Peugeot 106’s and dressing in Burberry with their football and racing games.

On a conclusive note, the game is visually and graphically stunning. It achieves realms of depth I haven’t seen in years since I played Spyro and Ratchet and Clank. The AI’s at time are a little iffy but it’s VERY rare to come across. People in Burberry are driving their Peugeot 106’s into other peoples children, and I actually am going to give a game a rating higher than 8. In this critics opinion; a solid, well earned and very well achieved 9/10. It has to be said, who the heck came up with an underwater city with plasmids and weapons? I’d like to shake his hand, buy him a puppy, and make love to his wife.

Here, have one last image:

See what I mean? Perfect!

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