In 1999, Irrational Games and Looking Glass Studios released System Shock 2, a sequel to the original System Shock game which was considered to be one of the greatest games of all time. Now we're in 2007 and Bioshock aims to be the spiritual successor to the other shock titles, and it truly does live up to the legacy.
It's scary, fun, and very intriguing, and the mystery in Bioshock is probably the most important element of the game.
Set in 1960 in an underwater city, you'll traverse the city of Rapture to try and help yourself and your guide Atlas escape from the genetic freaks that wonder the hallways of Rapture. However the residents aren't likely to let you go that easily with almost everyone you encounter out to kill you. Now remember that Rapture was built in the 1940's so you'll also encounter numerous relics and furniture from that faded era and this really helps you get immersed into the game, there's just so many places to explore and endless items to collect.
Now Bioshock has been in development since 2004 and the end result is a really solid production. The developers spent a lot of time refining the water to make it look and feel just like real water. The audio consists of top quality voice acting, a selection of music from the thirties and forties from artists like Django Reinhardt, and an original score that matches the creepy setting.
What makes Bioshock such a great game is how the mystery constantly unfolds through cut scenes and audio diaries.
In addition to this Bioshock offers a complex array of playing options.
You'll find yourself interacting with puzzles, genetic modifications known as plasmids, a diverse range of weapons, vending machines, and there's even the slight RPG element.
This RPG element is between the powerful Big Daddies and their precious cargo The Little Sisters. The Little Sisters are just as they sound, they're little evil children walking around the place. They carry a precious commodity called ADAM.
However there's one catch, if you choose to bank on the maximum ADAM then you're making an evil decision by not rescuing the Little Sister, and of course this impacts on the overall story.
Bioshock works beautifully as it blends a creepy horror feel with an early 1950's science fiction twist, and there isn't much else be said about this game other then the fact that you really need to see it for yourself.
It's nice to see that 2K in Canberra handled the PC version, good work Aussies. We played the game on both an Xbox 360 and funnily enough a Macbook Pro running Windows, and it worked flawlessly every time.
Reviewed by Michael Stark