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BioShock Review

Mike Doolittle's picture

BioShock Screenshot

From the moment BioShock began, I knew I was in for something special. Its opening sequence, placing the player in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the fiery debris of a sinking plane, is one of the most dramatic prologues I've ever seen in a videogame. My stomach tightened anxiously as I spied the massive entrance to Rapture off in the distance. This was no full-motion video cut-scene, but a tightly scripted set piece that pulled me into BioShock's world with a sense of frightful urgency. And such is the nature of BioShock—the entirety of the game is experienced from the protagonist's perspective as players are propelled through a tightly scripted narrative that feels like a strange hybrid of science fiction and philosophical exposé. But while BioShock begins with a great deal of promise, ultimately only some of that promise is realized.

Set in an alternate-past 1960, Rapture is a failed capitalist utopia, a monument to individualism and rationality masterminded by eccentric industrialist Andrew Ryan. It was to be a collection of the world's greatest minds, free of the shackles of collectivism that, in Ryan's view, constrained mankind from reaching his true evolutionary destiny. Without question, Rapture is one of the most provocative settings ever created in a videogame. A surreal mixture of art deco architecture and wondrous technology, it creates a harrowing backdrop that inspires both awe and dread. And Rapture not merely a static backdrop; it still breathes—or rather gasps—as it leaks, creaks, and crumbles farther and farther from its idealistic foundation.

When science was allowed to flourish outside the bounds of morality in a free and unregulated market, citizens began making drastic genetic modifications to themselves, and soon the entire city was in disarray as its citizens became more godlike, but at the cost of their sanity. The people of Rapture seem to be going about their business, often quite indifferent to my presence. I often stumbled upon one of Rapture's “Little Sisters” —innocent-looking children cursed with freakish genetic modifications—grazing on a corpse to extract a precious biological resource called “ADAM” while fiercely protected by a powerful, monstrous guardian known as a Big Daddy. The genetically mutated citizens of Rapture—known simply as “Splicers”—need the ADAM to survive, and can often be spotted attempting to kill the Little Sisters and reaping the wrath of the formidable Big Daddies.

To survive in this dangerous dystopia, players are required to “evolve” as well. ADAM is the catalyst for a diverse array of genetic modifications—from supernatural “plasmid” abilities that range from setting things ablaze at will to exerting mind control over Big Daddies, to a host of other abilities such as exceptional physical prowess, an affinity toward hacking and controlling computers, and even extracting health and energy from food. Of course, harvesting ADAM from the Little Sisters means confronting Big Daddies, who are the game's deadliest foes. And while these superhuman abilities certainly become a necessity of survival in Rapture, an impressive arsenal of unique firearms provides ample destructive flair as well. The weapons, most modeled to some degree off real-life weapons from the early 20th century, can be used with a variety of ammunition types that work with varying efficacy against different types of foes. Everything is exceptionally well-balanced here, and it's gratifying to play a game in which so much variety is given to the player. Freeze an enemy with a plasmid and blow them to icy bits with a shotgun, or set an oil slick ablaze and watch any of the Splicers haplessly caught in the ensuing inferno run in panic toward the nearest water source to douse the flames. Or perhaps catch a grenade in mid-air using telekinesis, and toss it right back at its owner.

BioShock Screenshot

And yet despite its aesthetic brilliance and the near-overwhelming variety of weaponry, BioShock never left me with a feeling that it was truly an evolution of the genre. Its rote linearity feels dated compared to S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl or even 2004's Far Cry. Its core gameplay structure of upgradeable weapons and abilities has been done many times in first-person shooters, not only in the System Shock games but in the Deus Ex series as well. What's more, I found the multiple approaches to gameplay considerably imbalanced; for example, in Deus Ex, a character with an affinity for stealth and computer hacking is significantly less formidable in head-to-head combat. In BioShock, however, there is little to prevent the player from acquiring a broad but disparate array of lethal skills. Frequent conflict is an inevitability, and the myriad of tactics mostly serve to provide visually flashy ways of dispatching similar types of foes. Sure, there are Splicers that run around maniacally, crawl on the ceiling or teleport, but there is little to differentiate them aside from their theatrics; all of them will charge head on eventually or, if they are armed, spray bullets in an erratic fashion. Save for the Big Daddies, the enemies never display a sense of awareness or uniqueness that make them truly satisfying to kill. I would have liked to have seen the Splicers make better use of the dark, confusing environments to create combat with a cat-and-mouse kind of tension, rather than the more brute force approach that is prevalent throughout the game, save for a few well-crafted scripted sequences. The “Vita-Chambers” are also problematic. Their frequent placement renders death more of a momentary inconvenience than anything of real consequence. Their abundance combined with the litany of power-ups scattered about the levels, makes the game a fair bit too easy. The game already provides both checkpoints and quicksaves, so the inclusion of the Vita-Chambers is quite superfluous.

The game also presents a “moral” choice that feels promising early in the game, but ultimately falls into the cliché traps of black and white extremes. When harvesting the Little Sisters for ADAM, players can choose to either extract as much of the biological goop as possible—killing the Little Sisters in the process—or extracting less ADAM and allowing the Little Sisters to live. The goal is to arouse empathy within the player, as the Little Sisters are merely innocent victims of scientific tyranny and can be spared their slave-like fate. This minor choice drastically affects the storyline, but only in one of two tightly scripted ways. There is no middle ground to the endings; players are either a saint or the Devil incarnate. The choice has little effect on the gameplay as well— although allowing the Little Sisters to live harvests less ADAM, the players are “rewarded” later on with a fat amount of the stuff such that it equals out very well. While I don't take issue with the fundamental choice or the gameplay balance, the black and white nature of the morality in the game renders it more of a superfluous ploy than a compelling gameplay concept.

So BioShock is not a revolutionary game, or even a particularly innovative one; by the time I reached the end, I felt as though I had played a rather standard and predictable first-person shooter. BioShock's redemption lies in its methodical pacing, its elegant scripting, and its breathtaking art direction. It's a game that is truly a visual treat not merely because of its polygon counts but because of its superb realization of such a strange and complex universe. Simply exploring and interacting with the city of Rapture is truly engrossing; rarely in a game have I seen such a horrifically beautiful and original setting. The entire game even carries with it a none-too-subtle critique on Ayn Rand's Objectivist philosophy—Ryan's staunch adherence to individualism and rationality is both the genius of Rapture and its ultimate downfall. But regardless of whether players agree with—or even pay attention to—the game's philosophical underpinnings, there's still a great deal of humanity in the storyline with well-developed characters and clever plot twists. It's unfortunate that much of it is merely wrapping though; the combat, the role-playing, and the morality all could have been much better fleshed out to create a truly inspired work of art, but ultimately they feel incomplete. But while BioShock's gameplay may not be as evolutionary as Andrew Ryan would have made it, its dramatic storytelling and imaginative vision still elevate it above its more primitive peers. Rating: 8.0 out of 10.

Disclaimer: This review is based on the PC 1.0 version of the game.

According to ESRB, this game contains: Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, Strong Language

Parents should keep the wee ones away from this one. It's graphic and very intense, with themes that are more suited toward adults. The combat is frequent and bloody, and the game carries with it a philosophical nuance that may be too complex and mature for young children.

PC Gamers might want to pass and get the 360 version if possible, or purchase the game online from either Steam or Direct2Drive. There have been many problems with activation issues with the retail version of the game, relating to the SecuROM copy protection. Also note that there have been widespread reports of stability issues with the PC version of the game. I experienced crashes to desktop and system hangs on a regular basis, and in some cases was able to duplicate the crashes at the same point in the game. If you have troubles, download nVidia's beta 163.44 drivers, which contain optimizations for Bioshock and update DirectX.

Fans of Deus Ex and System Shock can't go wrong here. It's right in the same alley and features many identical gameplay elements. The upgrade system reminded me a great deal of the "Biomods" in Deus Ex: Invisible War and indeed they function very similarly. It's more of a straight-on shooter than Deus Ex—few opportunities are given to play the game without direct conflict—but the fundamental ideas are very similar.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing gamers needn't miss out on anything essential, as there are subtitles. The game does rely fairly heavily on audio cues, however, such as approaching enemies shouting, or unaware enemies rambling on incoherently.

Category Tags
Platform(s): Xbox 360   PC  
Developer(s): Irrational Games  
Key Creator(s): Ken Levine  
Publisher: 2K Games  
Series: BioShock  
Genre(s): Shooting  
ESRB Rating: Mature (17+)  
Articles: Game Reviews   Best Work  

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Good Review

I agree on pretty much every level. I sometimes feel that developers leave room for improvement when a game could potentially have a sequel. And that's the feeling I get from Bioshock. Especially with the recent announcement of 2K seeing Bioshock as a budding franchise.

The universe of Bioshock is fully realized, but the gameplay is just hovering above average. Hopefully Bioshock 2 and 3 build on what's here and really bring something fresh to the genre.

(This is still one of the best games of the year as of now)

wow this is the dumbest

wow this is the dumbest review ever. this game was definatley revolutionary and innovative. if you don beleive me then why dont you read other websites and magizines reveiws to see how to rate games, hey maybe you'll learn something!

you really cant make a

you really cant make a sequal to a game like bioshock

hhhmmm I'd have to disagree

hhhmmm I'd have to disagree with you there, unless you've been living in a hole for the past ten years (or perhaps you are an xbox gamer).

Anyone with a decent understanding of the history of FPS games and the truly revolutionary ones knows that Bioshock is exactly as described in the review; standard, predictable and honestly, fairly ho-hum baring the art direction.

A Perfectly Honest Review

This is probably the first honest review of this game I have seen anywhere. Having the guts to speak the truth, to shout from under the mountain of hype on this one, may have earned you a new reader.

No one can deny that Bioshock's graphics are beautiful, the voice-overs are mostly excellent, and the setting is refreshingly unique. Unfortunately, that seems to be as far as any other "professional" reviewer has been able to see. That setting, the game's biggest asset, takes a backseat to tired conventions as you find yourself shooting the same old zombies with the same old weapons amidst the same "atmospheric" blood-stained walls and mutilated corpse props. The plasmids are neat, but behave exactly like weapons and don't really do anything that hasn't already been done in the genre.

That said, the gameplay is decent for a PC FPS, and its worth playing through once. It's fun, it's just not the 10/10 material everyone wants to (or is getting paid to) say it is.

Anonymous wrote: wow this

Anonymous wrote:

wow this is the dumbest review ever. this game was definatley revolutionary and innovative. if you don beleive me then why dont you read other websites and magizines reveiws to see how to rate games, hey maybe you'll learn something!

I don't believe you. Want to know why? Because there are times when the majority is wrong, or when people's spectacles get so tinged with rose that they can't truly give an objective review. I agree with this reviewer. Bioshock is an 85/100 at best.

Agreed & More Tidbits

I can only agree with this excellent review.

While the dialogue heard throughout the game is excellent, I was more than disappointed by the lack of any actual interaction. What main characters you do actually meet in the game are rough approximations at best of their portraits. It honestly seems like more than half the time was spent purely on the Big Daddies/Little Sisters. Compared to the splicers, this duo has a much more vast, entertaining, and well executed array of reactions, animations, and interplay. In almost every way, the splicers are pale in comparison.

Also a bit point of contention for me was just how poorly executed the 'moral decision' was. I'm not talking about the black/white ending but simply the act itself. In both cases it seems like the choice was poorly executed. First of all, the Little Sisters are so exaggerated and doll-like that I had a hard time empathizing with the portrayal. The only thing different about them is their hair color. When saving them, their conveniently simple "THANK YOU!"s are laughable at best. The reaction just isn't realistic. When 'harvesting' them, the act itself is cloaked and unremarkable, and by the end there's little sense of guilt attributed. By the third level, I was hardly paying attention to anything they did. After all, it's essentially the same exact scene every single time.

Personally I didn't mind the plasmid/tonic system. I rather like being able to change my tactics at any given moment rather than repeating several hours of the game. But the thing is, the enemies are often so simple and generic that I don't feel much incentive to experiment. There's little reward in taking painstaking minutes to set up an elaborate trap solely to kill one splicer I could have downed in two seconds.

Great setting, excellent script, average gameplay.

quoted rating

"Rating: 8.0 out of 10"

O_o

There are 4 pages of

There are 4 pages of comments over at gametrailers forums about this review. Amazingly, most readers agree with Mike. Score one for the people!
http://forums.gametrailers.com/showthread.php?t=175762&page=1

Lair and heavenly sword were

Lair and heavenly sword were a real hyped titles, and i only see rates under 9 (under 8 on lair). I realy think than this review is wrong, because its the only review under 9 of bioshock. But, at the end, the review its your opinion of the game, so you think than bioshock is a game of 80 and 99 people think than its a game of 95

Reviews do not justify Reviews

If you're going to disagree with the reviewer, that's fine, a little intelligent debate is never a bad thing, but justify your claims with your own opinions about the game itself. Saying "you must be wrong because all the other reviewers say it's good" is only more evidence that hype is behind this game's elevated status.

And no, hype can't save a crappy game, but it can boost a decent game up a few notches, such that lesser journalists start throwing around things like "revolutionary," and "game of the year," almost too easily.

Agreed

Good but not great
Totally agree with the review, seems a lot of reviewers loved this game to bits but I just found the enemies to samey and the "Atmosphere" not nearly as engaging as everyone seems to say it is.

Guess ill wait for Half-Life 2 Episode 2 *sigh*

Frankly, I love this game.

Frankly, I love this game. I disagree somewhat with the reviewer simply because he doesn't really qualify his points, IMHO. Sure, he gives an example here and there, but I think the point he misses is that the game wasn't meant to be full of completely new gameplay, it wasn't meant to be a breakthrough game. Few games are (and even fewer succeed). I think the point he misses is that the presentation, the production values, and HOW the game plays out is what makes it so great. It appears as though the reviewer is knocking BioShock just because it plays like other FPS's - which doesn't make sense. That's like saying that every Zelda sucks because the gameplay is the same; or every Mario sucks because it's like every other platform game. It doesn't make sense in context.
The real beauty of BioShock is it's creativity, it's freedom . Not in the sense of where you can go and when, but in the sense that you can kill enemies many different ways, you can be very smart and very creative... it's closer to what it would be like if it were real. Any number of things can be done. My other problem is the reviewers comment about a mishmash of skills. That doesn't make sense either. In Deus Ex, it was black and white - you were either combat oriented or you weren't, this is not the case in reality. A person can have abilities both in combat and non-combat, there is no reason they can't have both. This is real choice, this is real possibility. In Deus Ex you were limited in your choices ( I loved Deus Ex, btw... I'm playing through it again right now).
In essence, I think this reviewer was trying too hard to be different, trying to hard to be critical. Stretching to find reasons why it was "similar" and not trying to appreciate the dissimilarities - that sure, it's an FPS and the gameplay is defaulted (I don't see anyone complaining about HL2 being standard FPS gameplay, and anyone that disagree's with that needs a head adjustment), but it's what is done with that gameplay that counts... and makes BioShock unique.

Anonymous wrote: I think

Anonymous wrote:

I think the point he misses is that the presentation, the production values, and HOW the game plays out is what makes it so great. It appears as though the reviewer is knocking BioShock just because it plays like other FPS's - which doesn't make sense.

But presentation and production value don't make good gameplay, which really should be the deciding factor in a game review. Yes, the environments are pretty and the voice overs are well done, but that's not enough to save the remarkably average game itself. He's not knocking it because it plays like an FPS, he's knocking it because it plays like a mediocre fps.

Anonymous wrote:

The real beauty of BioShock is it's creativity, it's freedom . Not in the sense of where you can go and when, but in the sense that you can kill enemies many different ways, you can be very smart and very creative...

I keep hearing this argument and I just didn't see it myself. You have a variety of exploding barrels in different shapes (puddles, oil spills) and specific weapons that set some of those off (electricity and fire, respectively). You also have the gravity gun (Telekenisis). It's fun, but it's not really different and it's not that well executed. The hazards always seem to be placed right where their uses are obvious, which makes you feel like you didn't come up with the solution yourself. Half-Life 2, and others, have handled exploding barrels better, imo.

Hacking things does add some variety, but cameras are only good for taking out randomly spawned splicers. Security bots and sentry guns are fun when they're not shooting you in the back.

Anonymous wrote:

In Deus Ex, it was black and white - you were either combat oriented or you weren't, this is not the case in reality.

Nor is it the case in Bioshock, where you are combat oriented whether you like it or not. Furthermore, the stealth option is not well explored, where it was more than viable in Deus Ex.

Anonymous wrote:

(I don't see anyone complaining about HL2 being standard FPS gameplay, and anyone that disagree's with that needs a head adjustment)

You're right, the gameplay in Half-Life 2 is your basic FPS gameplay, but it's done really well. It's not my favorite FPS either, but the enemies are varied and have AI that goes beyond "charge" or "stand and shoot", the weapons feel solid and useful, and the levels and encounters, for the most part, feel unique and well executed. The setting itself was a little bland in HL2, and that's where Bioshock does things a bit better. Unfortunately, beneath the really lovely veneer of its artistic direction, Bioshock's gameplay is strikingly average.

Thanks for your comments

Anonymous wrote:

The real beauty of BioShock is it's creativity, it's freedom . Not in the sense of where you can go and when, but in the sense that you can kill enemies many different ways, you can be very smart and very creative... it's closer to what it would be like if it were real. Any number of things can be done. My other problem is the reviewers comment about a mishmash of skills. That doesn't make sense either. In Deus Ex, it was black and white - you were either combat oriented or you weren't, this is not the case in reality. A person can have abilities both in combat and non-combat, there is no reason they can't have both. This is real choice, this is real possibility.

I thought I would take a moment to address this, as this raises an issue I think I could have explored a bit more thoroughly in my review.

The problem with Bioshock is that while it technically presents a variety of ways to subvert your enemies, there isn't really any reason or need for it. You can light an enemy on fire or shoot bees at them, but the effect is merely cosmetic. And while some of the plasmids do vary nicely in terms of effects, there just isn't that much need to really explore them. The enemies can be dispatched easily enough with a few basic attacks that there's really no incentive to explore all the different possibilities. Why spend five minutes hacking turrets to dispatch a couple splicers you could easily take down with a few shots from your pistol?

And compared to games like Deus Ex, it's just combat combat combat. The stealth isn't really well developed, and even the hacking is pretty one-dimensional and frankly quite easy even without power-ups.

I liked that some of the enemies were immune to certain attacks; that forces you to use a few different plasmids. Unfortunately, the enemies were ultimately far too simplistic and didn't really do the combat system justice.

Nice honest review, Bioshock

Nice honest review, Bioshock was a fantastic game but it did flag at the end and it wasn't "all that".. I still think it was awesome tho ;)

a twitch-shooter at heart

BioShock continues to be touted as "the spiritual successor to System Shock 2". I strongly disagree. BioShock certainly has the same general atmosphere, but it is in the end another "twitch-shooter" requiring high reflex in a very action-oriented environment. While it is a very good game in its own right, it is a far cry from SS2's need to slow down and seriously think about what needs to be done in most situations, solving clever puzzles in the form of technological interfaces usually with the use of one's own skills and upgrades. Tactical decisions make or break you, not your ability with split-second aiming. In SS2, you keep out of camera LOS or go radar-invis to stealth to a mounted turret in order to hack it. In BioShock, the "turret" is mobile so you need fast reflexes to shoot the crap out of it before you can hack it.

Warren Spector's Deux Ex was the spiritual successor to System Shock 2, not BioShock. I now eagerly await the spiritual successor to Deus Ex.

Well Said Gamecritics!

This is the best review i've read about this game. It cuts straight to the many problems that remove the fun from what could have been an amazing title.

I really don't know what kind of rose colored spectacles all the other reviewers were wearing but this game is average. Average pacing, average polish, average fun, average fps gameplay.

Many other FPS games do much better in the actual gameplay stakes.

Bioshock is brilliant in areas that are not intrinsic to good gameplay (story/theme) and this apparently has 'fooled' many players into thinking the game is better than it actually is.

Linear, samey annoying enemies with zero intimidation, horrible PC controls, slack feel, unpolished and bug ridden.

to give a game of this 'unfinished' level (in gameplay design and technical execution) 10/10 across all the other sites is highly irresponsible and shows how little a lot of those so called 'reviewers' actually understand about PLAYING games rather than looking to see if they 'tick all the boxes' and offer a 'new story'

games are for playing, story should come secondary to that once the gameplay is solid (and the bugs are ironed out). This is so story led, everything was forced in around Ken Levines grand idea but we all know he want's to write a novel so he should stick to that and unless he can deliver GAMEPLAY of the standard in System Shock 2 again then maybe he should just write books from now on.

Simply, the team couldn't bring his grandiose idea to life properly in game form, perhaps the teams and tech is just not ready yet because this game is flawed on so many levels.

Thanks!

Dear Mr Doolittle,

this is the first review of Bioshock I read that rates the game realistically.

The world of Rapture was breathtaking and beautiful. By itself, it had depth and promised more than the game it contained could keep. At the end I felt sorry for the many lost opportunities Bioshock has.

Very interesting opinion,

Very interesting opinion, but you watch at the game at a very small angle. You didn't marked it's revolutionary technologies, because they have very natural and quality realisation. Yes, most of them not so fresh and taken from other games, but in our case it will like comparing hunting and darts. AI-ecology, brilliant water, plasmids("magic"), security system - yeap, they aren't so fresh, but realisation and integration is the best. And of course storyline is perfect. So i suppose you've missed with your critics.

Cunick wrote: Very

Cunick wrote:

Very interesting opinion, but you watch at the game at a very small angle. You didn't marked it's revolutionary technologies, because they have very natural and quality realisation.

sorry, no offense, but I strongly disagree in almost every respect: of course, it's a matter of preference an how you play a game but exactly HOW these "revolutionary techniques" are implemented makes Bioshock so mediocre at being an FPS.
Even in Jedi Knight - yes, the one from one decade ago ! - your Force Powers could be put to much besser use than the whole array of plasmids.

Quote:

Yes, most of them not so fresh and taken from other games, but in our case it will like comparing hunting and darts.

hmm, I think hardly anyone critisising BS really minds that most of the elements have been used a thousand times before - hell, even System Shock or Deus Ex weren't too original in WHAT they used, but HOW everything was combined made them two of the best pieces of interactive narration ever conceived - but the fact, that they just don't make any difference ... as stated in the review, it's a lot easier and less frustrating to just riddle the attacker with hot lead than set up elaborate traps and/or play them out against each other.

Quote:

AI-ecology,

huh ? You mean the one, that was promised to us by Mr. Levine back in the days the game was supposed to take place in a bloody NAZI UNDERGROUND LAB ?
Or the elaborate scripting and carefully set waypoints that now serve as some kind of walking stick to an otherwise average AI ? I wonder what it is that makes me think of Unreal Tournament (again: yeah, the one from - almost - a decade ago !) whenever I fight a "Bullethead Splicer" ...

Quote:

brilliant water

I can agree on that one - great artwork, though with the possibilities of modern GPUs that's hardly any technological novelty.

Quote:

plasmids("magic")

remember Jedi Knight ? :P
Hexen ? (1995)
Cybermage ? (1995)
Shadowcaster ?(1993)
Dark Messiah of Might and Magic ? (2006)

And these are just the few I remember ...
And again: what use are those plasmid if there's no real reason to use them apart from the urge to experiment ? Sure, sometimes you have to melt some ice, blocking doors but it's not that THESE occasions weren't thoroughly scripted puzzles rather than imaginative gameplay elements ...

Quote:

security system - yeap, they aren't so fresh, but realisation and integration is the best.

agreed, they aren't ... however, "best" is a very subjective term, I for one found it too easy to overcome this "security".

Quote:

And of course storyline is perfect.

again, VERY subjective ... while the rough outlines are indeed great, the way of telling the story through audio logs, though it worked great in SS1 and 2, is not fit for such a fast paced game like BS.
I missed great parts due to some enemy turning a corner (behind which I was hiding, so I could listen to that tape undisturbed) just in the wrong moment or the groaning from a distant big daddy - in that case, I just didn't bother to open the menu and search for the right log to listen to again, running the risk of missing another part ...
Maybe it's just me but I think the radio messages and audiologs are way too quiet; even when you push the voice volume to maximum, the mad rantings and screaming of those splicers are still too loud.

Quote:

So i suppose you've missed with your critics.

So I suppose there are still different tastes - if you like the game: fine, go and have fun with it ;)
Just don't think that because the thing is so overhyped, there's no room for justified critisism ... remember HL2 ? Back in 2004 it was "teh shit" according to most gaming magazines (the game's metascore lies only slightly below that of BS)- I, being a fan of the first game and even the mission packs bought it and was ... underwhelmed by almost every aspect of the game while.
Of course, you can't say that aloud since the majority is alwas right[/sarcasm].

regards

denton

Not dumb, lulz

I, for one, think this is the most sensible, objective review of the game I've seen yet.

I suppose we should all look at games only in the context of how "everyone else" sees it, hmm?

Let the man have his opinion.

Your an imbecile!

Your an imbecile!

He didn't give it an 85. He

He didn't give it an 85. He gave it an 80. He's an imbecile.

Did I stumble into an anti

Did I stumble into an anti Bioshock forum? This so called reviewer gives game reviewers a bad name. It's ironic his name is Doolittle because his reviews do little to inform a gamer and actually just mislead them.

You are a moron.

He gave the game an 80 out of a hundred. You say you agree with the review. Then you say you think it is still one of the best games of the year.! Duh! Which way did he go George, which way did he go!

Anonymous wrote: Your an

Anonymous wrote:

Your an imbecile!

Hahaha. Man, you can't make this stuff up. I think this should be my new MySpace headline.

To all the people who are leaving constructive (and grammatically correct) feedback, thanks!

more reviews like this please

It's thoroughly refreshing to read a review by someone who has actually played games for more than 5 years and don't think every game that does things well is "the best game ever".

I found Bioshock a deeply frustrating experience. Its setting and backstory are magnificent but the actual execution of the story and the gameplay were insultingly average, especially in light of the 10/10 reviews it seems to be getting everywhere.

Best game of the year, perhaps, but only because genuinely outstanding games come maybe once every 5 years.

There's a good humorous

There's a good humorous review here.

D wrote: It's thoroughly

D wrote:

It's thoroughly refreshing to read a review by someone who has actually played games for more than 5 years and don't think every game that does things well is "the best game ever".

I found Bioshock a deeply frustrating experience. Its setting and backstory are magnificent but the actual execution of the story and the gameplay were insultingly average, especially in light of the 10/10 reviews it seems to be getting everywhere.

Best game of the year, perhaps, but only because genuinely outstanding games come maybe once every 5 years.

I have to agree that i was VERY disappointed with Bioshock. I believed the 10/10, 9.5/10 hype that i saw nearly across the board, and what i found was a very beautiful game wrapped around very average gameplay. It is not particularly fun to kill, and be killed, by splicers over and over and over.

And someone please please please tell me why it seemed logical to have grenades, rockets and other high explosives inside a glass city? There's no way in hell it could structurally remain intact after the amount of damage we dished out.

Sure, say it's just a "videogame", but Bioshock goes to great lengths to create a believable environment, only to overlook major elements such as that.

Quote: again, VERY

Quote:

again, VERY subjective ... while the rough outlines are indeed great, the way of telling the story through audio logs, though it worked great in SS1 and 2, is not fit for such a fast paced game like BS.

I missed great parts due to some enemy turning a corner (behind which I was hiding, so I could listen to that tape undisturbed) just in the wrong moment or the groaning from a distant big daddy - in that case, I just didn't bother to open the menu and search for the right log to listen to again, running the risk of missing another part ...

Maybe it's just me but I think the radio messages and audiologs are way too quiet; even when you push the voice volume to maximum, the mad rantings and screaming of those splicers are still too loud.

No, i didn't particularly like the audio logs either, i would have been happier if they were quoted to me in person by an actual character. Again, the logic of the game failed me. WHO would record these tiny snippets of information, much of it highly personal, and leave it out in the open across the city for anyone to find? It is so blatantly placed there for plot advancement that i couldn't overlook the likelihood of anyone actually doing that.

Of course this is all just my biased opinion, but i just can't see myself playing BS again. I actually find it to be a boring game lacking the thrills i expect in a FPS. Some of them are there, yes, but overall the experience became very repetitive very fast, with no reward for quick thinking, strategy or planning.

Obviously, this writer(?), has no idea what makes a great FPS.

This reviewer obviously knows nothing about FPS's in general, and to give Bioshock a 8(and Halo3 a 7), proves he's doing his awful(and how about giving me more then 5-6 paragraphs, please?) reviews, just to get this website more hits.

This review is a joke(as was his Halo 3 review), and i should know, as iv'e been playing FPS's since the Wolf3D shareware.

To back myself up, Look me my gamecard:

ElMariachiPJO on Xbox Live, and i live FPS's.

http://live.xbox.com/member/ElMariachiPJO

(Iv'e beaten every 360 FPS on the hardest difficulty. I know my FPS's, and Bioshock is this years best FPS, hands down)

I didn't write the Halo 3

I didn't write the Halo 3 review bud.

Philip O wrote: (Iv'e

Philip O wrote:

(Iv'e beaten every 360 FPS on the hardest difficulty. I know my FPS's, and Bioshock is this years best FPS, hands down)

Your obvious fervor for the genre, while endearing in some respects, clearly marks yours as a rather biased opinion on the matter. Mr. Dolittle's article lays out its arguments fairly objectively, for a review, and I happen to agree with most of them, and with his final score.

In other news, I may have enjoyed my short 3 hours with Portal more than my time with Bioshock. The gameplay was consistently fun, though it was admittedly reliant on a gimmick. It was one well executed gimmick though, instead of the many haphazard gimmicky mechanics slapped over the familiar gameplay in Bioshock. The atmosphere was top-notch, largely understated, but excellent throughout. It made Rapture's "engaging" environments look like some gaudy Vegas casino, an elaborate animatronic caricature of real atmosphere, by comparison.

I KNOW YOUR PART OF THE MOTHAFUCKAS THAT TOOK MY CLOUDSONG

Ok, so you think this game is overhyped. You think this game comes off as a standard FPS with better graphics and better "art direction" and you think this game just isn't as good as everyone says. Well, I must agree with you dumb bastards. This game is exactly like any other FPS. Ever. I especially despise how the creators of this game seem to spend no time in trying to develop something revolutionary such as incredible AI and self enhancement elements. This isn't even the shittiest part of this game though. The epitome of shitiness in this game could be found in its very well written story and its ability to make the world of rapture seem alive. Yep I agree with you stupid, stupid, ignorant people, who wish to deny this milestone in gaming as another FPS. Yea, so basically I give this piece of shit game a 7/infinity for its incredible graphics, story, innovation, style, and gameplay. Truly a dumb game.

ugh

Xenoxo wrote:

I especially despise how the creators of this game seem to spend no time in trying to develop something revolutionary

It's pretty commonly stated that Bioshock borrows nearly every significant element, in at least some respect, from the much older System Shock 2. Nevermind Deus Ex. Let's not make the mistake of throwing around "revolutionary" here.

Xenoxo wrote:

such as incredible AI

The AI sucks, period. They blindly rush or strafe and shoot. It's on par with the Imps from Doom 3, or maybe a little worse. The Unreal Tournament series, among others, has been doing much more interesting AI for a long time. And no, random idle animations don't suddenly count as "AI" just because they're a little more elaborate than usual.

Xenoxo wrote:

and self enhancement elements.

Better than nothing, yes, but the concept is hardly original and its execution here is not especially good. BioShock's character advancement fails to open up significantly different gameplay options or really enhance replay value as it has in previous titles (IE stealth in Deus Ex). It's fun, just not amazing, as accurately represented by an 8/10.

Xenoxo wrote:

its very well written story and its ability to make the world of rapture seem alive.

I'm not sure anyone's arguing with you here. Frankly, these aspects are a large part of why I feel it deserves even an 8/10.

if you have only played console fps...........................

The reason why this person thinks, the review is "DUMB" and thinks the game is Soo revolutionary is simply, the first shooter game he ever played was "HALO" or "007", and he compares all other games to these two , very standard shooters.

"smart reviews for serious

"smart reviews for serious gamers"...thats your tag line right? You are a little too serious, so serious its not even ABOUT gaming anymore. Not feeling that Bioshock is revolutionary AT ALL, IS COMPLETE BULLSHIT. You must think you are hot shit don't you, pretending to be intelligent. Have you ever tried to design a game all by yourself? I somehow greatly doubt it. You must not be able to appreciate anything. Did you have a rough childhood? Sure, you can attack me and everyone else with your pointless perceptions on how smart you are, but you won't be able to change anything. You are nothing but a selfish prick that thinks he's pretty cool. FAIL! I doubt you even have 100 friends. Its not like you are unique or anything, everybody has the capability to be serious. Either find something better to do or just kill yourself, its better than living your pathetic, ignorant lie! I wonder if you will even be bothered reading all of this, if you are really weak you will just delete this post. Go ahead! Reply! Defend your retarded site's layout and your equally stupid yes-man prick readers (who you will most likely never meet), with some cheap ass witty response!

I think that a lot of the

I think that a lot of the talk about how it's "innovative" is coming from younger players and/or people who primarily play console games. If you've played the Deus Ex games, the System Shock games, or even some newer PC stuff like Stalker, Bioshock isn't nearly as impressive.

Actually *surprise* I have

Actually *surprise* I have played all of those, and many, many more. HALO GETS OLD, I'm already tired of Halo 3 thanks to all the bullshit little kids from Halo 2...UT99 for the win. I bet I'm one of the few people who actually noticed on a small section of ceiling (where that Finnigan guy freezes you) they used the default UnrealEd2 texture. I took a screen shot if anybody is curious. XD

Desperate for ad-revenue traffic, eh?

I love this! GameCritics.com have quickly become the laughing stock of the online gaming community! It's brilliant how they willingly sacrifice credibility for a little of that notoriety from writing crappy, pretentious BS reviews. Starved for a little ad-revenue money, eh? I can only imagine the memos being sent down from the parents' basement office of the "editor" to the reviewers imploring them to give as low of scores to fantastic games as possible, while scoring 100% marks to shite like "Lair" so they may make a name for themselves and inspire so-called "debate"!

The real beauty of this facade is, of course, money. The more hits from their dishonest reviews they receive, the more they can try to increase their ad revenue. So in the end, their "reviewers" are just a bunch of editor-controlled whores writing whatever crap their basement lords ask them too.

"Smart reviews for serious gamers"?!! More like "BS reviews to generate more ad-revenue"!

This game was boring, you

This game was boring, you are obviously easy to please and don't require your games to have much substance. To suggest that I could learn something by reading other reviews is silly, I played the game!

Pay no heed to the masses

I just want to say - chin up Mike Doolittle, not everybody thinks BioShock is the pinacle of computer gaming.

There have been some very bold claims made about BioShock. Some that I've heard include:

-revolutionary gameplay
-best level design ever
-complex AI ecology
-unique and inventive

Frankly, I don't think it deserves such praise. For me, having grown up with Doom, Hexxen, Heretic, Quake, Half-Life, Deus Ex (etc), BioShock was a mediocre shooter at best.

I think that when you want to make a game, the first thing you need is a killer GAMEPLAY concept. Of course a story is important, but it's not the story-telling that sets games apart from other medium. It's the gameplay.

And I'm sure Mike doesn't regret his review when he faces such user comments as "you're an imbecile". Frankly, when you get such comments, you know you're doing something right. No one takes raving fan-boys seriously, anyhow.

So keep up the good work. After this review, I'll check out GameCritics more often. Hopefully we can have one place where not every over-hyped game gets 100% scores, and the criticisms of old-school gamers can be heard.

Thanks HybridVision

What people seem to not realize is that if they actually read the review instead of just whining about the score, they can see that I really did like the game a lot. I thought it had a lot going for it and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

I just am not in this camp that sees it as a breakthrough game. It's very polished and has great art direction and atmosphere with solid gameplay, but beneath its shiny skin it's a fairly straightforward linear shooter that isn't particularly evolved from the previous System Shock games. 'Course, it's probably safe to say that a lot of the younger folks with XBox360s probably don't even realize this game is a spiritual sequel to System Shock 1 & 2. And something tells me it's the younger gamers, not the vets, who are writing the fussy comments.

Hyped a bit far

Yes a great game, but then so was System shock 1 and 2. I think some of this team also made the Thief games (my personal favourite series) which were also pretty amazing.

I have to agree with the review that after the initial astoundingly well handled build up at the start, the game left me a little dissapointed. That pretty much everything in the game, with the exception the big daddies, attack you on sight and theres no interaction except through the medium of violence.

That said the game is very well handled and stylish to boot. Id think it deserved more than the 80% rating or the above review, but not the crazy scores people are throwing around such as 98%. A score of 98% implies the game is virtually perfect, which of course it is not.

Its good to see a review

Its good to see a review that mirrors my oppinion. I agree entirely, the game was good but not great. It certainly isn't "perfect" which is what a 10/10 score means surely? 10/10 means no possible room for improvement? What about the AI? Surely even those who hate this review have to agree that the enemies either rush you head on or stand and shoot. They don't take cover, they don't work together in any co-operative fashion and even on hard difficulty setting they don't do particularly devestating damage. Iplayed through the entire game using mainly the lightning plasmid and crowbar. Almost any generic enemy was easily defeated by stuning them and hitting them with the crowbar, a technique your taught at the begining called the "one-two punch" or something similar. I often maxed out on all items and ammo, usually having to leave a great deal behind. Simply strafing around a melee enemy while he attacks and hitting him with the crowbar defeated even the spider splicer.

I have considerably more to say on the game, but its needless really. I agree with the review and score.

I'd like to add, so as to

I'd like to add, so as to eliminate any misunderstandings, that clearly this technique did not work for boss characters or big daddys who require the use of weapons and usually specialised ammo. They are somewhat infrequent however and the multitudes that are the splicers are easily defeated.

Excellent review

Anonymous wrote: wow this

Anonymous wrote:

wow this is the dumbest review ever. this game was definatley revolutionary and innovative. if you don beleive me then why dont you read other websites and magizines reveiws to see how to rate games, hey maybe you'll learn something!

How is the game revolutionary? You sound just like my friend. It doesn't even have life like graphics. Not even shader pixel lvl 4. The water is the best part and the most fun part, stay close to some water and and go in and out and splash about and then u'll have the time of ur life, its probably better than playin the whole game. What 2k have done is taken stuff from other games and shoved it all in one and renamed and touched up the stuff. moral decisions? to kill or not to kill yeah really hard choices, u can do that in oblivion, fable, star wars and so many other games. The game diffuculty is also extremely bizzarre, I mean seriously when u get into the latter stages of the game the same enemies just become harder to kill, 2k should have just made different types of splicer or other enemy. . ALso u can't run. Oh crap there a turret shooting at me, oh well can't be bothered running. They say smart AI, smart? Look the only thing the enemies do it run at u, even if they have a wrench and u have a gun. If u think this game has good ai, then come meet me with a wrench, and I'll have a gun. Oh yeah and the sky at the start is stuffed up, its pitch black except for the moon. The only credit that the game deserves is the fact that the lighting is good and creates an atmosphere with the sound. It is only so good because of the advertising and the trailer, nothing else. It is definitely overrated.

I think the main problem is

I think the main problem is not that the game is just 'typical' FPS fodder with supposedly nicer graphics and story but that it is in fact a SUB PAR FPS to start with. The graphics are sometimes nice, sometimes garish, sometimes scruffy... either way I don't judge it from the graphics I judge from the gameplay and i'd stand up in court and swear on the bible that this game isn't as good in gameplay, ergonomics, polish, testing, controls, pacing, variety as much less well reviewed games going back almost a decade.

Forget about the graphics, underneath is not just a shallow experience but one of the most annoying experiences in gaming history, the mass of conflicting sounds and lack of challenge/vita chambers alone mean this game isn't even fit to lick the pixels of other more 'average but very very solid' games like Doom3 for example.

The worst part is this game ended up nothing like was promised for years, it had the single most annoying, repetetive, non intimidating and unpleasing to kill enemt to fight in any game ever (Splicers!) and was wrapped up in DRM riddled, Bug laden, still waiting for a patch, consolised BS (PC VERSION).

I also agree too many people (youngsters) think this game is special because they have limited reference, it doesn nothing new but many old things... the closest it comes to genius is the whole Big Daddy/Little Sister gimmick.. I say gimmick because that's what it ended up, could have been awesome but was just a bullet point on a game design document that was never fully realised. So many parts of the game bear little relation to other parts, the story tries it's best to pull it all together, to make you believe, but the whole package is full of flaws and dissapointments that nothing can save it.

Except those 10/10 reviews that just make people who rarely think for themselves 'assume' it must be the 'best game ever' because loads of websites (who make money from the industry) said so.

Seriously, none of us need reviews to tell us how we should think, I waited for this game for over 3 years and wanted it to do well, it did, they made a fortune out of it while gamers with brains and taste realised we'd been had.

This is NO system shock 2, Deus ex, HL2... it isn't even as good as most 5/10 FPS games from 5 years ago but it sure fooled a lot of people...

I haven't played this game

I haven't played this game yet but i have always valued games as processes of telling a story and apparently the atmosphere and immersiveness and storyline of this game are good so i am gonna buy it.

OFF TOPIC: have to add i have been quite annoyed at the way gaming has seemed to have turned into an graphics arms race to see who can make the most rediculously pretty game while neglecting the rest. i wish developers could stop going the easy option of just pumping up the graphics to satisfy their corporate funders and actually try to make a new outstanding gameplay/immersive experience. apart from a few developers, games are increasingly like hollywood sell out rubbish.

I guess it all comes to want

I guess it all comes to want sort of gamer you are.
I mean do you focus on the story-line, or the gameplay. BS really shines when you consider the story, and its underlying messages, and morals (do skip the little sister killing or not thingymigig, the developer could have had you killing or not killing the kids and left you with only one ending, and might have escaped this criticism of being too black and white).
Yeah, the gameplay is mediocre nonetheless, too easy and prdictable, thats what i think.
But still, IMHO this is a good game if not a great one, playing it was like reading a good novel or a compelling film. I guess nothing can be perfect, and this game lost a bit on gameplay, sadly.

BioShock review

I totally disagree with the reviewer.

The graphics are revolutionary. The water effects are astounding. But I don't need to argue that point, you can see for yourself.

The gameplay is revolutionary. The Vita-Chambers are NOT superfluous. I think the developers were trying to address quicksaving and checkpointing in an innovative way. Instead of just spamming quicksave and dying until you learn the encounter by wrote (destroying any tension in the process) they put a gameplay element in to negate it. And then they gave you the choice to quicksave anyway (choice is good). Did you never wonder why the splicers couldn't use Vita-Chambers? When you discovered why, didn't you think to yourself 'oh, that was clever'?

The sound is revolutionary. Bludgeoning a mutated psychopath to death with a wrench whilst listening to The Inkspots was an epiphany in gaming for me.

The story is revolutionary. Don't want to spoil it but, come on, it was great. My first little sister, I had to walk away from the computer. I intended to kill her but found I couldn't do it. I berated myself because it was a stupid computer game and I still couldn't do it. At work, I even looked up the works of Ayn Rand because the story piqued my interest so much.

Bioshock is an above average

Bioshock is an above average FPS. Aesthetically, it is pleasing but gameplay-wise nowhere near good enough to warrant the hype it has. A major disappointment for me, but I'm a sucker for hype.

Great review. I agree. I'm

Great review. I agree. I'm not so much into first person shooters but I heard the almost novel like story trumped up and I thought hey Bioshock might be that fun, adventure game with some shooting thrown in. What I found though was a very dark little arcade shooter with a few extra smooth touches thrown in. Just not something I can get excited about.

Wow.

Nice grammar and spelling, dipshit.

This is one of the better Bioshock reviews I've read.

This game was in no way revolutionary, except maybe its art direction. Sure, the game has great graphics, a great story-line and a somewhat immersive environment, but it was a rather dull and formulaic game. It follows the criteria for a great game, but ends up being dull and boring.

I put this game down after 3 hours of gameplay, and looking at all the user reviews, lots others did too. This was a fine game, perhaps deserving of a 8-8.5 rating, but no way in hell was it perfect, as some of the other more retarded and conforming game reviews say it is.

So wrong; stop picking at

So wrong; stop picking at little shit this game was a great revolution in story line plot and single player game play, definitely better then you give it credit

Yea

Yea, you're probably right, but that doesn't make it less awesome. It's actually only a game for the experienced players to enjoy, because you have to beat it several times (I've done it 4 times), to try, unlock, and understand everything.
This fourth time i played, before defeating "The boss" (For no spoilers), i had all ammunition for all weapons, because i only used the wrench all the friggin time. This CAN be done, and you CAN beat Big Daddies with the wrench (*Cough* Bloodlust + Electro Bolt *Cough*)...

Just trying to stand out

Thats all this review is doing. Yes, Bioshock has a few minor flaws, but that doesn't mean the whole game is flawed. You are pulling minor details to try to make an argument about why Bioshock is bad.

Maybe its not revolutionary, but the games it borrowed from are from years ago.

Anonymous wrote: wow this

Anonymous wrote:

wow this is the dumbest review ever. this game was definatley revolutionary and innovative. if you don beleive me then why dont you read other websites and magizines reveiws to see how to rate games, hey maybe you'll learn something!

Everyone also said the earth was flat, but it didn't mean it was true. This is about the most honest review I've read for the game, and I entirely agree. There is nothing that hasn't been done better before in other games. The only reason to buy bioshock is for original idea of being under the sea. Nothing at all is revolutionary nor innovative, and the above comment would have to be the dumbest I've ever read. Please do everyone a favour and never offer your opinion on anything, thanks.

Philip O wrote: This

Philip O wrote:

This reviewer obviously knows nothing about FPS's in general, and to give Bioshock a 8(and Halo3 a 7), proves he's doing his awful(and how about giving me more then 5-6 paragraphs, please?) reviews, just to get this website more hits.

This review is a joke(as was his Halo 3 review), and i should know, as iv'e been playing FPS's since the Wolf3D shareware.

To back myself up, Look me my gamecard:

ElMariachiPJO on Xbox Live, and i live FPS's.

http://live.xbox.com/member/ElMariachiPJO

(Iv'e beaten every 360 FPS on the hardest difficulty. I know my FPS's, and Bioshock is this years best FPS, hands down)

Typical idiotic xbox fanboy. I couldn't make that sort of stupidity up if I tried. The only game more over hyped than bioshock is the halo series. While Bioshock has a couple of things going for it (original setting, pretty graphics), halo is just mediocre in every single aspect. The fact you call yourself a long time gamer, then go on to mention xbox, halo and the stupid xbox scoring system proves that well, you don't in any way qualify as a proper gamer. Claiming halo to be one of the best FPS games is akin to a toddler claiming he can ride a bike. He can ride it, but he needs training wheels. Similarly halo relies heavily on aim assisting and just general "nerfing" of anything that requires skills.

Once again, this review is by far the best I've read for Bioshock. Props to the author for being intelligent enough to analyze the game for what it is, instead of being blinded by its graphics and the praise from others.

Xenoxo wrote: Ok, so you

Xenoxo wrote:

Ok, so you think this game is overhyped. You think this game comes off as a standard FPS with better graphics and better "art direction" and you think this game just isn't as good as everyone says. Well, I must agree with you dumb bastards. This game is exactly like any other FPS. Ever. I especially despise how the creators of this game seem to spend no time in trying to develop something revolutionary such as incredible AI and self enhancement elements. This isn't even the shittiest part of this game though. The epitome of shitiness in this game could be found in its very well written story and its ability to make the world of rapture seem alive. Yep I agree with you stupid, stupid, ignorant people, who wish to deny this milestone in gaming as another FPS. Yea, so basically I give this piece of shit game a 7/infinity for its incredible graphics, story, innovation, style, and gameplay. Truly a dumb game.

Umm ... are we talking about the same game here? Bioshock had fucking awful AI and a predictable storyline. Those seem to be the only points you can bring up as to why the came is so "good" (even though your trying to be satirical about it and failing miserably).

wait wait wait, i don't get it

how can gamecritics criticize bioshock for its "non-evolutionary" gameplay, then jerk themselves off over call of duty 4?

i don't get it, COD4 is garbage compared to bioshock, yet you guys criticize bioshock for its gameplay shortcomings and talk about how great COD4 is ?

I didn't review Call of Duty

I didn't review Call of Duty 4, Brandon did. I wasn't particularly impressed with CoD4 either. For my money, the best shooters of last year were PC exclusives – STALKER and Crysis.

I agree. STALKER is easily

I agree. STALKER is easily better than Bioshock, even without mods. With mods for STALKER, Bioshock's not even in competition.

What a joke...

Hm.... seeing all the comments made me think. A review is the opinion of one person. It doesn't really matter what they think, it's what you think that matters. If you enjoy it, who cares what others think. I love CoD4, Bioshock (haven't played Stalker yet) and even if other says it's bad, hey, I enjoyed it, it was fun. I got my money worth.

A review is a guide for people to choose. The reviewer may have qualms with some aspect of the game, but maybe you won't. Personally, if the game gets 8.5+, it's in my list of consideration for purchase.

You're the one playing, so you decide. Sure, you're pissed seeing your favorite game not getting the score you want. So what? Just close the browser, launch the game, and remind yourself why you love it.

Well put Zero.

Well put Zero.

Emphasis....

It seems, at the moment, as if there are two (or maybe three, see below) camps of people as far as opinion on Bioshock are concerned, those who think its near/perfect 9 to 10 /10 material, and those that find it average or worse (as evidenced by the group splurging taking place over this review).

For me, what this all comes down to is how much emphasis we each place on gameplay, story, replayability or anything else you can think of, when it comes to forming an opinion (or score) on a game.

For this reason I don't think anyone has a 'wrong' opinion when it comes to Bioshock. Generally speaking those who dislike/hate it cannot get past the (admittedly not top of the line) gameplay (I hate using this term because it is so ambiguous, but for now it will suffice), for them this shortcoming prevents any enjoyment of the excellent story and other elements.

There are also a few (seem to be a minority, but only from my experience) who find it to be a 'very good, but not great' game (as in the reviewer). These people enjoyed many aspects of the game (e.g. graphics/art direction/sound/story) but still felt that it was held back by the gameplay enough to not warrant a high score.

Finally there are those for whom gameplay is just another aspect of a game, no more or less important, and as such can look past it for the excellence in other areas.

As far as my opinion goes, I fall into the latter camp. I didnt think the gameplay was bad, or even average, as a lot of people find it, but I didnt think it was anything like perfect either. All I can say is that despite this I thoroughly enjoyed the game. For me it was a 9-9.5/10 game easily, purely because I found the story and atmosphere to be so incredibly deep, rich and involving.

Exiting the game just having completed it for the first time I simply felt that I had played an incredible game, probably good enough to be in my top 10, or at least top 20, pc games (and I'm old enough to consider myself a gaming 'vet'). I think this is why there is such harsh debate over the game, a lot of people had the same experience as me, but others (who simply never sunk deeply enough into the game due to the issues outlined above) just don't understand what we're on about. And both sides think the other is off their rocker.

To the original reviewer; I would be interested to hear what you have to say about this. ;)

Far cry 2 is better...

Far cry 2 is better...

your bad review

Interesting that millions have said it was game of the year, and I had no technical issues on my PC, maybe its time for you to upgrade. This game stands at the top of PC gaming, and threatens the top FPS games for PC. If you are any type of professional, you can see this game is minimal an 88 out of 100. 80 is an above average solid title, giving no credit to greatness.

And yet they made a sequel.

And yet they made a sequel. Oh so close.

It's a fucking video game. Wasting too much energy on this shit.

Pretty much Zero, good shit. Fuck the bullshit, I played a level and a half of this game it's pretty pimp, reminds me of Fallout 3 with the searching and story elements etc. Graphics are ass those when enemies die, looks weird I dunno. The biggest error most fools are making is that they're comparing the shit out of this game. HL2, Deus Ex, and System Shock are their own respective games. Let it stand on it's on and judge from that standpoint, then compare it a little. And to those claiming 10/10 and above...more power to you glad you enjoyed the game now keep playing it and raise the middle finger to all those haters. And to those riding the "I don't wanna follow the mainstream so I'm gonna say it's not that great so my balls feel bigger" continue to think that you're making a difference. There's no such thing as an "objective" review, humans are humans, we like and hate shit, period. And to point out that being a critic is work and the whole criticism regime is a business. Ads drive these sites along with with other mediums of revenue so yeah all those who agree with this review will now frequent this site more often making corporate happy. And I'm not knocking Mike for his review, I agree with some of his points despite my limited playing and disagree as well, but that's my opinion. So keep doin what you do Mike, mother fuck those haters.

I totally agree....you (the

I totally agree....you (the author of this article) must be from another planet entirely to think that this game is not wholly unique and revolutionary compared to any other. The care that went into this game is, frankly, unparalleled by any other that I can remember playing. And it represents an excellent balance of game types: a little bit of role playing, a little bit of action/shooting, coupled with some experimental ideas (plasmids, genetic modification, etc.). What's most important, it is done in such a way that the story is the key focus and it is such a haunting and intriguing experience that it is completely engrossing. I don't know by what criteria you review the games you play, but I wouldn't take your advice on gaming if someone paid me to do it.

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