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BioShock Gameplay Review

NOTE: BioShock is a big game. So big, we’ve decided to cover it in two separate reviews – one based on the gameplay experience and story, one based on technical performance and hardware breakdown. This is the gameplay review, based on the Xbox 360 version (though content is identical and we have played both). It’s spoiler-free though, so have no fear.

The hardware review is based on the PC version only and is available here.


Introduction

Developer: Irrational Games / 2K Boston

PC Prices

UK Price (as reviewed): £24.99 (Inc. VAT)
US Price (as reviewed): $39.99 (Ex. Tax)

Xbox 360 Prices

UK Price (as reviewed): £39.95 (Inc. VAT)
US Price (as reviewed): $49.99 (Ex. Tax)

I didn’t want to write this review. I wanted to stay exactly where I was – in the bit-tech meeting/console room, playing the Xbox 360 version of BioShock on The Big TV. It was nice in there, despite the guttural and envious screaming of others outside and the incredible humidity caused by sweaty hands pawing at the windows, trying to get in and take my game away from me.

BioShock Gameplay Review
This little girl is only the beginning...

They can’t have it though, I tell myself. If anybody even tries to get in then I’ll turn around and shock them with an electro bolt plasmid, follow it up with a burst of anti-personnel bullets and then finish things off with a wrench. Yes, it’s quite possible that I’ve lost touch with reality and can no longer tell the difference between where my real-life ends and where BioShock begins. Rapture’s city limits are fuzzy like that.

But that’s one of the things which makes BioShock great – the way it sucks you in like a ocean whirlpool and holds you tight. It grabs you tightly and keeps you in the core of the experience without once letting go. Not ever. You almost feel the pressure of the in-game ocean, pushing down on you and stopping your mind from wandering or wavering as it locks you in for the ride of your life.

BioShock Gameplay Review BioShock Gameplay Review
Click to enlarge

Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself here and I should tell you a little more about the game before I summarise my thoughts. The reality is though that none of the usual information matters and the usual roles of journalist and PR agent have been turned on their heads. So, instead of the usual formula, I find my role is now dramatically changed and instead of telling you what’s wrong with BioShock, I can only find reasons to love it.

BioShock is out soon. You should go buy it and I’m here to tell you why.