Almost from the second your plane crashes into the decaying undersea city of Rapture, BioShock will suck you in and will not let go. You would be hard-pressed to find a darker, more atmospheric game on the Xbox 360, chock full of breathtaking imagery and sound, and a wonderfully mature storyline.
At the beginning of the game your plane crashes outside the lighthouse of the crumbling, dystopian, underwater metropolis of Rapture. Built by the cynical entrepreneur Andrew Ryan as an escape from meddling governments, Rapture is host to technological marvels. The discovery of a resource called ADAM allowed for widespread genetic modification of its inhabitants, granting everyone special powers, such as telekinesis, the ability to manipulate fire, electricity, or ice, or the ability to teleport. Unfortunately, the process also drove the inhabitants mad, and the city tore itself apart. Thrust into the middle of all this, you are forced to do whatever it takes to survive and escape city.
There are few games on the Xbox 360 as gorgeous as BioShock. The environments steal the show, looking exactly like one would expect an underwater metropolis to look. The game sports the best water effects I have ever seen. The effects, such as the flickering of light and fires are also top-notch. The character models are a mixed bag. Some, such as the hulking Big Daddies and diminutive Little Sisters, are excellent. The generic, run-of-the-mill Splicers tend to look a bit shiny on close inspection, but this does not really disrupt the emersion.
The music in BioShock consists mostly of 1960s period pieces, playing from various radios distributed throughout the city. The cheerful, innocuous tunes contrast admirably with the shadowed, haunted visuals. The well-voiced dialogue is the real draw. The voice actors do a fantastic job, from the insane ramblings of the Splicers, to the hard-edged monologues of tyrant Andrew Ryan. These sound like real people, and not actors reading a script.
If you own an Xbox 360 you owe it to yourself to give this game a try. There are worse places than Rapture to spend a few hours. Just make sure to keep any young children away, as the game more than earns its Mature rating.