BioShock Rocks!

I’ve long maintained that I’m not much of a gamer. I do own practically every vintage console system made since the early 90s, but for their nostalgic and collectible value — I honestly rarely play them. My favorite games are Red Alert II, Unreal Tournament (the first one) and Commandos (possibly the subject of a whole other post) — all well over 5 years old. I borrowed a Wii right after they came out, to test it out, but don’t own one. And I’m borrowing an XBox 360 right now (thanks Little Jon), mostly to have another HD device to hook up to my TV. But I rarely spend any time or money on games.

bioshock01_2.jpgHowever, since I have a 360, and since BioShock just came out, I had to try it. I do keep tabs on the technology world, and it was hard to miss the hype. Virtually every gaming magazine gave it a 10/10, proclaiming it the best game ever made. How could I not try it out?

FPS is not my favourite genre. The perspective gives me a headache, and I can’t play for very long. The only FPS (if you can call it that, because it bent a lot of game types) I’ve ever played through was Shenmue on the Dreamcast. Usually I play a level or two to get a feel for the graphics and gameplay, and that’s enough to satisfy my curiosity. BioShock hasn’t panned out that way. The game is so engrossing that the only reason I put it down tonite was that the XBox froze up and lost about 20 minutes of progress and I was too ticked off to play back through.

First of all, the graphics are a whole new level. I’m not big on graphics — there’s lots of boring games with beautiful graphics — but these are something else. The game is truly scary, because it feels so real.

And this is one game where the graphics truly serve the game play. There’s so much richness to it — you don’t have just weapons and ammo to manage. You have genetic modifications, called plasmids, you can collect and use very creatively to eliminate your enemies. You have money, Adam and Eve, each of which allow you to obtain additional resources. And you make morality decisions as you play that determine what kind of character you become, and even how the game unfolds (I only harvested one Little Sister, out of curiosity — I’m rescuing the rest!)

Finally, the story-line is really interesting. The game rarely leaves you stranded or grinding or wandering. Its not “on rails” and it doesn’t drag you through, but it doesn’t frustrate you either. It really is like playing through a really fascinating, really scary movie.

If you have a 360, you need to pick up this game — at least to rent. I doubt I’ll be able to finish it, but with my new-found free time, its been a lot of fun to play. Definitely an M for Mature though…

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