BioShock combines atmosphere, story, and gameplay like nothing you've experienced since Half-life 2.
Hype is a funny thing, it can either destroy or make a game. The fact that BioShock has a tremendous amount of hype, pretty much means that some people will be disappointed. But if you're willing to forget the (very minor) things that do not live up to the hype, you'll find Rapture a special place you're very likely to play it through again when you've completed it.
You start off in an airplane on the way to some relatives or something, while out of nowhere your plane crashes just outside a lighthouse, you basically have no choice but to enter it. And there inside lay a few surprises. Every citizen in Rapture has gone insane, addicted to ADAM like any other drug user.
Like I said, Rapture is a special place. The games antagonist Andrew Ryan is a crazy artist who has a vision of a city outside of the governments hands, where everyone can be free. And to quote Ryan himself: "It was not impossible to build Rapture. It was impossible to build it anywhere else."
At the beginning of the game when you enter the city of Rapture, you're going to be contacted by Atlas, who guides you throughout the game. He wants you to help him find his family.
BioShock, being a first-person shooter, is nothing like any other. It's more unique than many games out there. The game promises to force the player to make moral choices, and I mean of course, the Little Sisters. Will you rescue or harvest them? This will play an important part of the game, but if you want, you can play through the game without even touching any of them. But then again, you can't buy any of the incredibly cool plasmids.
Plasmids are injected into your body to change your DNA patterns, and that really gives you an incredible amount of strategic gameplay and besides, putting things on fire by snapping your fingers is awesome.
You can also hack bots, cameras, and turrets to your command, and they will blast your enemies until they are destroyed.
Explorations plays a huge part of BioShock as well, you can find all sorts of things like ammo, weapons, voice recordings and even plasmids.
Voice recordings help the story evolve more and make more sense. But there are many side stories as well, recorded by the citizens themselves, or as they are now called, splicers.
Splicers are the common enemy in Rapture, being the everyday citizens, there's not a huge amount of variety of enemies. But spying on them can be very entertaining, the are real people gone insane. And they will talk to themselves and at some points when they notice you, some will even say "honey?", and when she notices you're not him she will attack you.
The A.I lives up to the hype, they go around to look for supplies and when you've killed an enemy, go away and come back, there might be a splicer looting him.
You can save anywhere, which pretty much leaves the Vita-chamber completely useless. A Vita-chamber is a tube you respawn in once you've been killed.
There are also alot of vendors called The Circus of Value where you can buy ammo, health and EVE. Which really takes alot of the challenge of the game, if you have a load of cash you'll almost never be out of ammo. But at one point I was so dry that I couldn't fire one plasmid, I didn't have the right kind of ammo to kill the enemies, and I had to search the entire level for a first aid kit, which was really intense.
At some spots there are Power to the People stations on the wall where you can upgrade your weapons, there are a total of 2 upgrades for each weapon, except the wrench. 2 upgrades is a little limited, but when you chose your upgrade the station will close, so there's only one upgrade at every station, and I didn't find every one of them.
One disappointing thing about BioShock is that the bond between he Daddy and the Sister is not that involved as we may have been hoping for.
Sure the Daddy follows the Sister around and protects them, but other than that, they don't do anything. And being the game about moral choices, once you've defeated a Big Daddy the Little Sister runs to the Daddy and starts crying. It's disturbing to watch, and you get a choice, harvest or rescue them.
If you chose to harvest one you'll see yourself holding the Sister in your hand and watch her struggle, after that the screen goes weird greenish, and that's it. Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ADAM.
If you chose to rescue one you will pick her up in your hand once again, and put your other hand on her head, and she seems to go into a deep sleep and wake up as a regular kid, and you get a rather small amount of ADAM. And you continue through the game like nothing has happened. And there are only 3 or less Little Sisters in each level.
The only real bad thing about BioShock is that it has to end at one point, and you end up wanting more. But since the game ends so quickly, there's a huge chance you'll play it through again. Because it won't be the same, the splicers are not scripted so they will appear at places you didn't think they would your first playthrough. If you take your time and explore the city thoroughly it will most likely take about 25 hours to complete. Which today is more than usual in first-person shooters (The Darkness).
BioShock really is a game that sucks you in more than most other games, it's also an important one for todays gaming, it has set the standard of what games should be, and besides, the game is fun.