Monday, August 30, 2010
retro review: Bioshock
Just let me tell you about the best story-driven FPS in years. Bioshock. I honestly feel like this game played up the horror aspect a little too much in the advertising and turned off quite a few people in the process. While the setting is unnerving and certainly not for the faint of heart, there are only a handful of jump-scares and I think that's what a lot of people are expecting in a dark, underwater city setting. Without spoiling anything, I can honestly say that the setting of the game, the underwater city of Rapture, is easily one of my favorite settings of the last 10 years. Hell, I played the sequel a few times just to experience it more (a separate review for the sequel will come later on). I'd say the game doesn't really break any ground in the FPS genre, you shoot, you melee a little bit, and the switching weapon system isn't exactly the smoothest in the world. The "plasmids" (read: magic) that you wield in the game is varied and actually used in the puzzles, so it is a good bit more diverse than your Halo/Call of Duty fare.
The real tout here is the story. You're alone, in a dark place, ruled by insanity, and your only friend is pretty shady himself. There's a twist, big surprise there. I hear that if you played System Shock 2 that the twist wasn't nearly as epic, but I didn't, so I thought it really played out well. For a while, I felt like a walking Bioshock commercial because I couldn't stop recommending the game to people. Go to Best Buy, spend $20 for the Platinum Hits release, and have an amazing weekend with Bioshock.
That said, if I had paid $60 for this new back in 2007, I'd be rather pissed at the short-ish story.
Also, if you did play Bioshock, Singularity blows. Though I do applaud them for trying.