BIOSHOCK PS3 Video Game Review

     November 7, 2008

Reviewed by Paul Stuart

I’ll just go out and say it: I’m no fanboy. Nor do I give a rat’s behind of what other gaming sites feel about a particular title or studio. I’ve been playing games for twenty years’ time to know a good title when I see it, regardless of hoopla-attached or lack thereof. Whine, bitch, moan.

Well spank me upside the bottom and call me ‘Sparky’: ‘BioShock’ for the PS3 really is as good as advertised. So much so, it may very well be the best game to date on the PS3. (Sorry, Altair.)

Related – and while I never played the original XBOX 360 and/or PC versions – this has got to be a near-seamless port. The graphics and sound are world class. (I can’t even fathom the experience backed by a premium surround sound system with mid grade acoustics.)

Moreover – and to do PS3 users justice, this version of ‘BioShock’ features trophies, and add-on gameplay content (available for purchase via the PlayStation network). Happy times.

Now I’m not going to spoil the opener (hell, Google it if you need to know) because it ranks among the best I’ve ever seen in a game. Only seconds in, ‘BioShock’ unleashes a heart-pumping, mind-bending experience, one that grabs you like a vice grip and refuses to let go.

On a simplistic level, ‘BioShock’ can be described a first person shooter (FPS) set in an underwater world (‘Rapture’) created by a madman and gone horribly awry. The game features a wonderful mix of science fiction themes, Ayn Rand philosophies and 60’s imagery, resulting in an artsy yet simultaneously intelligent and futuristic feel that simply works.

With apologies to ‘Halo,’ ‘Unreal Tournament’ and ‘Half Life 2,’ I’ve never played a FPS with such an intuitive control scheme and interface.

As robust a world ‘BioShock’ offers, jumping in is seamless. While the game is harder than piss, you never feel cheated by shoddy controls or idiotic cheats stemming from sloppy background, menu systems and/or enemy AI. This is echoed in ‘Bioshock’s save system, one that doesn’t feature excessive backtracking and/or enemy respawn.

While on the topic of enemy AI, this game is going to give you nightmares. The mutated, drugged out characters are creepier than all hell, and sport disturbing outfits, dialog and killing tactics.

Let’s just say that the first time a Big Daddy killing machine rampages a guy in defense of a demonic little girl (‘EVE’) hording uppers, you know you’re no longer in Kansas.

Your ultimate weapon – it turns out – if you. ‘You’ as in visually injecting freakish plasmids into your arm to create an electric shock weapon. Zap ‘em in puddles of water and they fry to death. (Love the trophy I got for that kill!) Finish the deal by clubbing crazy chick with cat mask over the head with a wrench. Ah, all in a day’s work down in Rapture.

There’s so much depth to ‘BioShock,’ it’s almost impossible to fit it within a simple review. Bad guys seem like good guys and vice-versa, resulting in both semi-constant ‘WTF’s?!’ and questioning of moral decision-making. The game also features a cool hacking system, where clever minigames (punishable by health loss when failed) open up pathways and options. ‘BioShock’s attention to detail is confounding and astounding.

I left my first gameplay experiences with ‘BioShock’ in awe of a fantastic title and storyline, a game of which has few equals. ‘This would make a great movie!’ I proclaimed ingeniously. Universal and Gore Verbinski already beat me to the punch.

SUMMARY: ‘BioShock’ for the PS3 is arguably the best sci-fi themed FPS to date. It’s magnificent storyline, gameplay and presentation make this a must-have for PS3 owners late to the XBOX 360 and/or PC party. Trophies and additional (for purchase) content only second this notion.


Latest News