Video Game Review: BioShock (2007)
Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, PC
Developer: Irrational Games
Official Website
Plot: Set an an alternate reality 1960s, you play as a plane-crash survivor named Jack (seriously, the opening scene is in the ocean surrounded by burning plane pieces) who swims to a nearby light house and takes an elevator down “into the rabbit hole” to an underwater facility called Rapture.

Rapture is a place where scientists wanted to be able to experiment without the restrictions of regulations, and have developed abilities with the help of something called “plasmids.” However, these powers have driven most of the people mad and they run around trying to collect ADAM – which is something in everyone’s body that powers plasmids.

There’s also a force that’s sole purpose is to collect ADAM, called “Little Sisters.” These little girls run around collecting ADAM from dead bodies, and they are protected by “Big Brothers” – giant armored protectors who are tough cookies to beat.

Once you arrive in Rapture you’re contacted by a man named Atlas. He directs you through the labyrinth of Rapture as he opposes the leader of the facility, Andrew Ryan. You have some morality choices to make throughout the game – namely whether or not to harvest the ADAM from Little Sisters, thus killing them, or setting them free.

However, upon reaching Andrew Ryan you have a startling discovery: You have more in common with this strange underwater city of Rapture than you realized.

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This game was the highly anticipated “spiritual successor” to one of the greatest first-person games of all time, System Shock 2. Unfortunately due to a legal snafu, we didn’t get System Shock 3…we got this game.

It’s not a bad thing, it’s just more of the same with better graphics. The same character arch-types, the same twists. Again, I’m not complaining about this, but for someone who wanted System Shock 3 I couldn’t help but be a little disappointed that I’ll never see that game. And BioShock just made me want it to come out that much more.

As mentioned, this is a FPS (first-person shooter) game with some minor RPG elements thrown in for good measure, as you can customize your character’s abilities and weapons a bit in the game. There’s also the 50/50 decision you get to make every time you encounter a Little Sister on whether to harvest their ADAM, or let them go.

Overall the game is a fun experience, and has some nice plot twists (again, almost redundant from System Shock 2), and the graphics are pretty sweet to boot.

So why review an almost 4-year old game now? Because I honestly thought I already had, but didn’t find it in the archive.

The game’s already spawned a sequel (which I’m told improves upon the gameplay, allowing you to wield a gun and plasmid powers at the same time), and they’ve announced the third game in the series called BioShock Infinite – which takes place in a floating city.

But I digress. Since the sequel is already out (and both are very affordable), I’d recommend at least renting the title if you haven’t played it already. For people unfamiliar with System Shock 2, this is going to be your System Shock 2. It’ll be a fun experience twisting through the mind of a mad man, and allow the combination of horror, classic sci-fi, and shooting elements all rolled into one.