Tens all over the place? We add our number.
Xbox 360, PC
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The BioShock hype machine has been running on overdrive for some time now, boasting about a genre-bending first person shooter which would offer nearly unlimited possibilities and customisations for tackling the game. Bioshock has finally hit the shelves and it not only looks as stunning as was promised, but also graces us with comprehensive AI, varied enemies, genetically enhanced powers and most importantly an incredibly well thought out world and rich storyline, that places you on centre stage.
As the sole survivor of a plane crash at night over the Atlantic, the nearest lighthouse looks like your only chance of survival as you swim out the burning sea. Turning your back on the sinking tail of your destroyed craft, you descend into the lighthouse. As the lights flicker on to illuminate your descent into the structure, you see the first glimpses of the mottos and creeds of the man-made city that the Bathysphere you stumble across takes you to; Rapture.
Bioshock's opening sequence really draws you into this submersed world. As your submarine takes you over the whale swimming through the city you realise that this is a perfectly formed and self contained world. Arthur Ryan, Rapture's creator, explains to you why he created this Utopia over the 1950's radio. With the Art Deco surroundings, Rapture comes to life as one of the most instantly memorable settings for any videogame. Ever.
"Rapture and its varied psychopathic denizens are brought to life marvellously with a wide range of colours and highly stylised design."
Rapture and its varied psychopathic denizens are brought to life marvellously with a wide range of colours, highly stylised design and neon signs, while the decaying and corrupt nature of the city lends a claustrophobic atmosphere to the game which will put a cold sweat down your spine. Likewise the music, radio diaries and insane bicker of the sub-human Splicers permeate and augment the creepy feel and mid-20th century setting.
As a first person shooter, Bioshock has set itself above nearly all others in the care taken to make Rapture a living, breathing world you can immerse yourself in. However, it is a shooter, so lets talk action. Not long after arrival, you come across the first of the gene-banks, and augment yourself with the power of electricity. In an underwater world, the ability to throw lightning can be devastating. You'll discover this rather quickly yourself, when you find a couple of Splicers standing in a puddle with their backs to you. The Plasmids are one of the most important aspects of the game. Most of the guns are fairly standard pistol/machinegun/grenade launcher fare, but Plasmids can be swapped at special stations to supply you with different means of overpowering your foes. There's a wide variety to choose from too, from flaming fire to telekinetic power and plasmids to make you stronger and better at hacking Rapture's machinery.