In 2007 tons of aforementioned games where coming out. Bioshock was one of the big Kahoonas. It had promised it all. Amazing 3D graphics, open levels, RPG elements, original setting, survival horror elements, a spiritual successor to System Shock 2 but does it still hold up?
The story is quite unique in Bioshock. You Jack have crash landed in the Atlantic Ocean. You find yourself at a light house. Out of all the one and a million chances in the whole entire world you are sent into an underwater elevator and are transported to a Underwater Utopia. But then you realize it's a dystopia. It's terrifying. These people had too much freedom and now are experimenting on each other and little girls. Men are becoming Big daddy's? How sinister? It's your job to join a rebellion and defeat Fontain and save the city from it's own altruist suicide.
The story telling is much interviewed into the gameplay like System Shock as you listen to audio logs and see various clues and clever gimmicks that got old like blood writing on the walls saying "I'm suffering!" or "I like peanut butter.~" It's quite effective but I get tired of the insane sounding audio logs. It worked in System Shock but stop copying the formula. Maybe hmm. READ? But reading things here ain't fun either.
Bioshock much not unlike Metal Gear Solid is concepted by a psuedo-intellectual 15 year old who just picked up Ayn Raynd and asked himself "Who is John Galt?" but then said to himself "Hmmm. This is garbage!" and moved on and bragged about his beliefs to everyone whilst tipping his fedora.
You get nice little scripted events to. Do you guys still love it when a play happens before you and they talk to you like a dog?
All in all the story is a feels trip and gets scary and will make you jerk a tear at the ending if you are a good boy.
The FPS RPG genre was always a troublesome thing to balance. You are either too FPS or too RPG. Some have nailed it while others completely missed the mark. Bioshock seems to have hit the mark and missed it by 3 meters.
What I love about Bioshock is it's ambition.
You have tons of guns and slots to put them in. Each of them as strong as the last. Except for the wrench which is there to be brutal and doesn't feel like it only looks.
There are tons of places to explore. But they all feel pretty much the same.
The RPG elements are simple but effective.
-Get super powers with injections
-Solve said puzzles with powers
-Shoot bees out of the palms
-Hack security cams
-Different AI abilities
All of this made Bioshock completely next gen
The pacing of Bioshock is completely ruined by it's vitachambers. Good thing you can turn them off. But they make the game generally pointless and unbalanced. Everything feels incredibly slow.
Bioshock feels repetitive in a way .The objectives are strange and I know that has a point but they boil down to easter egg hunts and not in the fun pop culture reference way. I mean they make the game a complete bore. Search for dead corpses and photograph them for a pompous artist? Whats the point in that? Just give me something logical like I don't know.. repairing a machine?
I must say that Bioshock has the most unique enemies ever.
The story of Bioshock is comepletely non-linear which makes the Shock franchise a complete candidate for making everything about itself a good blend of what makes a game great. You can either be Jesus or Satan. Jesus saves the world, grows old and dies happily. Satan unleashes it's Rapture on to the world. These are black and white however so it makes it feel shallow unless you are ok with that? This is caused by you deciding to kill little girls or saving them.
The over all world feels dead. Not like a working vessel. Just assume someone is still making this place work full insane druggies.
The graphics in Bioshock are amazing. Rob Waters has outdone himself. They have aged amazingly well with these incredibly colorful graphics and amazing Art Deco design, bump mapped worlds, nifty 50's posters, detailed enemies and monsters, satisfying particle effects, pretty lighting effects, particle effects, and look great on every console. Though it can be low res at times I can only partially blame that being Unreal Engine 2.5 is not the best candidate for details like the camera POV being too zoomed out or character NPC animations being too stiff and lifeless with Fresnell it's unnecessary also the interface isn't very aesthetic really. . This is what I hated about Red Steel and that's a Wii game.Overall Bioshock has a loving presentation that can only be found in 90's CGI cartoons. Though things tend to have too much visual congruity at times it's still nice.
Bioshock is also relies on it's sound a lot. One thing I do love about Bioshock's sound is that it's very atmospheric. So atmospheric that there is no real music. Just some swing playing on Jukebox's. Bioshock feels boring in that regard. There is no actual music about besides POV cutscenes. But the voice acting and sound effects are effecive.
Bioshock is very interesting piece of gaming but doesn't know how to pace itself like System Shock, Deus Ex, or Ultima Underworld. I feel though it's worth a play through and you might like it.
Might as well play STALKER just to be safe comrade