BioShock golden, due August 21

Irrational's Ken Levine tells Newsweek that the long-awaited PC and Xbox 360 shooter is factory-bound.

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With next week's release of Madden NFL 08, the Great Game Avalanche of 2007 will officially begin. Even with the delay of Grand Theft Auto IV until 2008, dozens of top-quality titles are on this year's release slate, including Halo 3, Heavenly Sword, Super Mario Galaxy, Crysis, Mass Effect, Call of Duty 4, Burnout Paradise, Warhawk, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Assassin's Creed, Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, Tony Hawk's Proving Ground, and Half-Life 2: The Orange Box...to name a few.

Luckily for gamers without a proclivity for pigskin, Madden will be quickly followed by some non-sports titles. This week, Irrational Games' Ken Levine confirmed to Newsweek that BioShock has gone gold and is set to ship on August 21 in North America.

Published by 2K Games, the game is rated M for Mature, and will retail for $49.99 for the PC and $59.99 for the Xbox 360, with GameStop selling special editions of both versions for an additional $10. No other platforms for the game have been announced.

Named Best Action-Adventure Game of E3 2007 by the Game Critics Awards, BioShock is set in Rapture, a sprawling, art-deco undersea city. Founded by an eccentric multibillionaire, Rapture was a utopian experiment that relied heavily on genetic engineering. And like most eccentric multibillionaire's genetically engineered utopian experiments, it failed spectacularly, leaving Rapture a darkened maze filled with mutant horrors. GameSpot's extensive previous coverage has much more on the game's convoluted storyline and intense gameplay.

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