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Bioshock: Thrilling, Smart, Polished Action Game

Reviewing: 2 K Bioshock (Xbox 360)  |  Rating:
By relicto on
Badge: Author | Level: 1 | Gaming Expertise:

I recently finished playing Bioshock and, like many, I'm tempted to call it a work of art. It features convincing voice acting and dialogue; it is visually polished enough, and the direction is maybe the best I've seen in a game. Through the soundtrack, the old recordings you find, and the 50's style in-game ads, the guys who made Bioshock really brought to life the dystopian old-timey vision they had in mind. As for the content, the game combines philosophical argumentation a la Deus Ex with the jump-out-of-your-seat scares of survival horror titles. In fact, from the marketing and the reviews I had read, I was expecting gameplay very similar to Deus Ex: a world where you could choose one of many belief systems, all ultimately evil. Instead, between the monsters, the screamer scares, and the horrific, heartbreaking plot twists, the game felt a lot like Silent Hill 2. I personally wasn't bothered by the main complaints other people had - namely, that there's no real penalty to dying and that you're forced to play a little hacking minigame a whole lot (it's really fun in a Minesweeper kind of way). I also didn't mind that the game had no multiplayer - the fantastic single-player mode is all I need. If something disappointed me, it's how linear the story turned out to be. The maps leave a lot of room for side exploration, but you'll probably end up seeing it all anyway, and your actions have no effect on the story. That and the fact that most of the superpowers you can get are pretty useless. But I'm grabbing at straws here. The bottom line is Bioshock will be in the top three games this year, and you should go buy it if you haven't yet.