It’s a beautiful thing when a game that has been hyped up over the course of a couple years truly delivers. BioShock does just that, and much more. No one could really for-see how this game would pan out. From the first cinematic trailer where we witnessed the main character pull a young girl out of a whole in the wall while wielding a large wrench, to the gameplay demo of how to take down a Big Daddy. It looked so different and seemed to cover so much ground – it really could have gone either way. Luckily for us, BioShock is one hell of a game!
The story starts out on a plane, which quickly ends up as a pile of flaming debris in a body of water. You don’t know where you are or why the plane crashed, but there’s a lighthouse looking structure close by that ends up leading you to an under-water city, Rapture. You quickly gain an Allie in the form of a radio. The voice on the other end seems to know quite a bit about the goings on down below and guides you through the game as you complete your objectives and explore Rapture. You collect details and unravel the mysteries of Rapture via recorded messages found on recorders through-out the city. Some contain hints to the location of weapons and the like, others contain door codes, but most of them are there to shed a bit more light on things. It’s nice picking them up and having them play in the background as you continue to explore. I much preferred this over the typical diaries you might find in other games that require you to stop playing and read a few pages at a time. If I wanted to read, I’d pick up a book.
The environment created by a gorgeous art style, amazing architecture and beautiful music is enough to really pull you into the game. It’s set in the 1960s but Rapture was built in the ÃƒÆ’Ã‚¢Ãƒ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œ40s. So there’s nothing digital and everything is very mechanical. There are several types of vending machines where you acquire everything from health and EVE, to ammo and Plasmids. Of course, these things are found through-out the game as well, but can be purchased if you’re in dire need.
Without exposing too much of the story, scientists in Rapture created these genetic enhancements called Plasmids. They allow you to do extraordinary things like shoot blasts of electricity from your hands or unleash a swarm of bees at your enemies. Plasmids require EVE, which is comprised of processed ADAM. To make a long story short, ADAM is in short supply and in turn, high demand. The only remaining ADAM has been injected into little girls which are now more like little demons called Little Sisters. Since everyone wants to get their hands on ADAM, personal bodyguards are assigned to the Little Sisters – Big Daddy. Wherever you see a Little Sister, you’re sure to see a Big Daddy close by. Big Daddies are pretty harmless and walk slowly and loudly around Rapture. But get to close to a Little Sister and the Big Daddy quickly turns aggressive and is one tough beast to take down.
The story of the fall of Rapture is truly engaging and ever present. While you do a fair bit of exploring, it’s not easy to get lost. Your man on the radio helps you find your way around and when there’s a specific destination you need to reach, a gold arrow appears at the top of the screen to guide you. There’s also a map for quick reference and a list of current objectives. So while there’s lots to do and you cover a fair amount of ground, it’s always clear what you need to do and where you need to go.
I believe I’m just over half done my first play through. I actually stopped playing for a good week as I was experiencing constant lags that would last from 3-5 seconds. Not enough to make it unplayable, but enough to make it no longer enjoyable. While I was capturing some gameplay footage this afternoon, I realized it wasn’t lagging at all. I was also using the Dashboard Themes console this time. After a quick search, I found a solution on the 2K forums that apparently works, but I’m yet to try it for myself. Anyway, I started playing again last night and realized how much I was truly enjoying this game. Now I can’t wait to finish the story, then play it through a second time.