"Look Mr.Bubbles, Angels!"
ESRB Rating: (Mature) Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, Strong Language
Publisher: 2K Games
Developer: Irrational Games
Video: HDTV 480p / 720p / 1080i
Audio: 5.1 Dolby Digital
Players: 1 Player only
Release Date: 21st August 2007
The sequel to the tremendously successful System Shock 2 finally arrives on the 360 and the PC. Bioshock was first revealed back during July 2004 and looked on course to be a huge hit. Since the release of the Xbox 360, news of Bioshock has been floating around and over the past year details about the game and its fiction have slowly been leaking out to magazines and review sites.
I’ve never played any of the System Shock titles in the past so had little idea about what to expect from Bioshock. It uses the Unreal 3 engine, so one can expect superb visuals, but what about gameplay? It’s all nice having a great graphics engine, but it has to have gameplay and since the start of 2007 the constant previews of the game have made it look better and better. Recently the Bioshock Demo hit the Xbox Marketplace and I have never ever seen Xbox Live grind to a halt in such a way. I normally have no trouble getting demo’s downloaded at very high speeds, but it took me a solid 9hrs to do so, and I restarted 3 times during that time. Other gamers spent upto 48hrs trying to download this demo. Xbox Live just couldn’t handle the mass amounts of requests for the demo and ground to a complete halt.
The demo exceeded expectations. It was short, but gave gamers who never experienced the System Shock genre a look at Plasmids and haunting atmospheric environments. I was completely knocked sideways by the demo. It wasn’t very scary, but the world of Rapture looked beautiful and lovingly designed by those coders at Irrational Games. What is Rapture I hear you say? Well read on.
The storyline of Bioshock is simply superb and I really enjoyed unravelling it as I progressed through Rapture. It starts off by you being a male passenger by the name of Jack on a plane over the Atlantic Ocean in 1960. Suddenly the plane crashes into the ocean for an unknown reason. You find yourself underwater slowly swimming past objects and luggage that are slowly sinking past you as you head upwards to the surface of the ocean. As you surface you find yourself surrounded by fire, plane debris and the oily black water, which isn’t helping things. You’ll die from the fumes if you don’t move out of here. You can just make out the rear tail of the plane ahead of you, heavily damaged and soon to sink to the depths of the ocean. Ahead of you through the heavy clouded skies, you can just make out what looks to the top of a spire or building…in the middle of the ocean? You slowly begin to swim away from the searing heat just as a piece of the fuselage explodes nearby.
You clamber out of the water onto the steps outside this spire and as you walk inside the huge structure, the heavy doors behind you suddenly close. You’re trapped and somewhat shocked as you glance around. A huge statue of someone looms over, and there is music playing inside this structure. The interior resembles a steam-punk deco style. As you walk down the stairs ahead of you, you spot a Bathysphere at the base of this spire. Upon entering, the door closes and the sphere descends downwards into the sea. On a screen in front of you hear the voice of Andrew Ryan and he introduces you to his dream – the city of Rapture! An underwater city where scientists and engineers can create their dream inventions without the restrictions that the real world above throws at them.
The sphere slowly travels through the incredible city allowing you to see its untold beauty, but where is everyone? The city seems rather devoid of activity except for a heavily suited maintenance worker that you pass by. Suddenly you begin to hear voices over the radio to your left. A man called Atlas is talking to a colleague by the name of Johnny who is coming to greet you at the docking port. As the sphere approaches this port you see Johnny and something else approaching him. It’s humanoid but its hands have large hooks…Johnny is quickly cut down by this creature as he pleads for his life. Luckily the sphere’s doors are still shut as the creature tries to break in but fails and flees the scene.
Atlas tells you to kindly grab the radio and to slowly leave the sub. As you do so, you see the area completely in tatters. This place is deserted, and seems to have been in this state for some time. There are strange posters littered along the floor too. Atlas is a survivor of Rapture and watches you through the city’s remaining security cameras. You slowly ascend some stairs only to hear the creature taunting you, it’s a female but doesn’t even sound at all human. You know she is up ahead but it’s too dark to proceed. Atlas tells you to kindly move forward and as you do the creature appears and at the same time a security bot suddenly appears and begins firing upon her causing her to flee in anger. These bots are controlled by Rapture’s security system. Atlas tells you that she is known as a Splicer – A former citizen of Rapture.