[poll] [REVIEW] BioShock

If you haven't heard of BioShock before, where the hell have you been? It's been on the front page of magazines for years now, and it will hopefully get the respect it deserves in sales as well as popularity. As a 'spiritual' successor to cult classic System Shock 2, they are actually almost entirely different. From the moment BioShock starts, you are surrounded with violent flames- and soon enough in the presence of violent sub-human creatures. The story is expertly told and flows throughout the games hub-like levels that explore an under-water habitat known as 'Rapture'. The story itself is a roller-coaster ride, but to truly experience what BioShock has to offer, you must step off the cart and do some exploring.

Graphics: First off, if you care about Graphics, BioShock will awe. The graphics are unlike ANYTHING you've ever seen before, and even though gameplay comes before graphics, these graphics actually do compliment the atmosphere and gameplay. The water effects are the first effects you will notice, but there is plenty of flames and sparks to go with the pretty liquids. The detail on just about everything is amazing- Pulling out the incinerator plasmid and melting some ice is an amazing spectacle- even if it is just ice melting. The only problem with BioShock's graphics is sometimes the physics models are stiff and sometimes it looks more like a statue falling over than a dead guy tumbling over. 9/10

Sound: BioShock is not a terrifying game, but don't get me wrong, it IS scary. The ambiance is filled with the spine tingling howls and arguments of splicers, voice actors play there roles convincingly [except for some clips that accompany the little sister, her 'Thank you Mister' comment sounds like a full grown adult, not a child] One particular part that is bound to send shivers down your spine is when you are walking towards a corner, and you hear a mother singing to her dead child, the shadows of the carriage and the mother are embossed against the wall, accompanied by the eerie crooning of a child's lullaby. The sound, as with the graphics, are pleasing to almost the full extent. 10/10

Gameplay: BioShock is like a mystery bag- you go in, and never know what will come out. The first level is fairly scripted, to give you a taste of whats to come later in the game, but from then on, Rapture is yours to explore. If you choose to progress through the story, you're strapped in for a fairly linear, but exciting ride. The thing that shakes up BioShock's mysteries is the way YOU play it. I myself had a blast picking up things with telekinesis and hurling them at things. There are 3 ways of getting things in this game: Vending machines which take cash [usually sells rudimentary supplies like first aid kits] or machines that take Adam [used for genetically altering your body]. Adam is important, you will need these plasmids, and oh what fun plasmids can be! Eventually you will have to replace a plasmid, but don't worry, it will be stored in a 'bank' so you don't have to buy it again. BioShock is a roller coaster ride where the rider can get off and explore every nook and cranny that someone may have left things in. BioShock is linear only to the extent of progression an the story, but ultimate rewards are in store for those willing to explore. 10/10

BioShock does not disappoint. Pick this game up NOW! When PC gamer entitled best game ever to Half-Life 2, I'm almost certain HL2 will have that award snagged and pinned on BioShock. If a game were to be a perfect artform, BioShock is the biggest leap forwards toward the fabled 'interactive fiction that video gamers have struggled for for years.