Welcome to my second edition of TruckOSaurus’s outdated reviews. Yes, a mere 11 months after my first review, I come to you with yet another one. This time, I chose an even older game: BioShock.
First of all, I have to make a confession: I am racist towards First Person Shooters. As a collectivity I feel they are stupid, shallow, linear, incite crime and I just don’t like looking at their grey-brown skins. But, in order to prove that I’m not a bigot, I decided to give a chance to an FPS that everyone was praising: BioShock.
The game starts off as you wake from a plane crash in the middle of the ocean, lucky for you though there happens to be a lighthouse nearby with a bathysphere that takes you to Rapture, an utopian city built underwater by businessman Andrew Ryan. Although, it is not specified through what kind of business Ryan made his money, his decision to name his city Rapture probably rules out marketing guru as his previous job.
Upon arrival in Rapture, you immediately witness a man getting brutally murdered by a hideous man with hooks in place of hands. This scene sets the tone for the whole game. This is not a game about of huge tough army guy who’s out to kick some ass, this is a game about a man stranded in a strange place inhabited by crazy deformed people, fighting to stay alive. The atmosphere is tense, you genuinely feel nervous as you make your way through the game’s environments and you’re quickly sucked into the world of Rapture.
The game features a lot of foreign concepts such as plasmids, ADAM, Splicers, Little Sisters and Big Daddies but through radio conversations and pre-recorded tapes of the residents of Rapture you gradually learn about them as you discover how wrong things have gone in Rapture.
Plasmids for instance are like superpowers or magic spells (lightning, ice, fire, telekinesis or the less known ability to shoot bees). These powers prove to be a welcome variation from the usual guns featured in most FPSs. They add depth to the combat and they can also be used the access certain areas or reach far away items. They get introduced early in the game as your character finds a syringe lying around and proceeds to immediately inject himself with it to gain the power to shoot lightning. (WARNING: Should any child be reading this, don’t, I repeat, DON’T inject yourself with random syringes, 9 out of 10 ten times you won’t gain superpowers).
All these powers are fueled by ADAM, a substance discovered by Brigid Tenenbaum when a sea slug bit a worker and healed his crippled hand. Now if you think that’s fucked up wait until you hear the rest: the amount of ADAM found in the sea slugs was unsatisfactory so after some research they found that they could get a larger dose if they allowed the slug to attach itself to a host’s stomach lining. This prompted the creation of the Little Sisters Orphanage where they would implant little girls with sea slugs for the purpose of ADAM creation. I guess Andrew Ryan wasn’t kidding when he said Rapture was a city “where the scientist would not be bound by petty morality”.
Wait there’s more! Since Little Sisters were filled to the brim with precious ADAM, they kept being attacked and abducted by ADAM hungry people which is why the great minds of Rapture decided to outfit each one of them with a Big Daddy (a guy in a huge diving suit that moans like a whale).
The introduction of Big Daddies in the game is done perfectly, at first you only see one walk right by you as you wake up from your first plasmid bad trip, then when a Splicer attacks a Little Sister, you’ve got front row seats as her Big Daddy trashes him in a very violent manner so by the time you actually come face to face with one of them you’ve learned to fear and respect them. My first thought when Atlas asked me to fight with a Big Daddy was something along the lines of “Are you fucking kidding me?” but I did it anyway because he did ask kindly.
All in all the game’s story is engaging, greatly paced and provides some pretty mind blowing plot twists. Most of all, I feel the story does a splendid job at explaining the strange world you’ve stepped into and you feel compelled to learn more about it.
The focus of the gameplay is more geared toward exploration than total destruction of your enemies. I would argue the game is closer to Metroid Prime than Halo or Call of Duty for instance. The levels are huge with multiple paths to follow and since there’s tons of stuff to collect from ammo, to med kits, to crafting items, to support plasmids, you’re always motivated to explore every corner of the map.
Now, as much as I hate to admit that I was wrong, I have to say that BioShock has proven to me that First Person Shooters not only can be good games, they can be great games! Most of them are still crap though (sorry, a man can’t change entirely in a couple of weeks). I had a wonderful time playing BioShock and it’s an experience I’d recommend to any gamer. It also helped me figure out that I’m a terrible person since I harvested each and every Little Sister I could find. If I had to give it a score I guess it would be around 93 but since I want to know if people actually read the whole thing please disregard the following score.
Final score : 35/100
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