Bioshock (XBOX One) Review
Updated: Mar 26
Game Name: BioShock
Developer: 2K Boston and 2K Australia
Publisher: 2K Games
Date Released: August 21, 2007
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Mac OS X, iOS, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One
I had just finished the Metro Exodus DLC called The Two Colonels. It was much shorter than I expected. So I needed something that could hold me off until the release of new game, The Outer Worlds.
BioShock was a suggestion by one of my followers and subscribers on my Twitch channel called SwitchyStreams. Since I had never finished the game, I figured this was an awesome time to play this. Also, the game is not super long so I could finish it pretty quickly.
The story is pretty interesting.
From BioShock Wiki:
BioShock takes place in 1960 in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, where Jack, sole survivor of a plane crash, discovers the entrance to the recluse underwater city of Rapture, at the end of a civil war which left most of this utopia in disrepair. Finding himself in an alien world, he has no choice but to fight for his survival against the Splicers, degenerated citizens addicted to the genetic material known as ADAM, and all the traps laid down by the city's visionary founder, Andrew Ryan. His only help lies in Atlas, a revolutionary man seeking to escape safely to the surface with his family.
There is more to this story but I did not want to ruin the story in case that you have not played.
BioShock Launch Trailer
This is where the game really surprised me. This game came out in 2007. I have played games that are more recent and the controls have felt dated (Witcher III and Metro 2033). However, it seems that BioShock got it right from the beginning. The controls are intuitive. The learning curve is not very steep. At least it was not for me. So this was a very pleasant surprise.
The game is a first person shooter with elements of RPG games. You play as the character of Jack and you get certain abilities when you obtain some ADAM from the Little Sisters. During gameplay, you can either rescue these Little Sisters or you can harvest them. There is a caveat to your decision though. If you choose to harvest the Little Sisters, you will have some bad karma. This means that you will get the bad ending. If you choose to rescue these Little Sisters, you will end up with the good ending. However, what you choose is up to you, the player.
During gameplay you can obtain and unlock Gene Tonics. These tonics will enhance your abilities. There are 2 tonic categories that you can choose.
Combat Tonics: Combat Tonics improve the player's offensive and defensive capabilities. The player can change their equipped Tonics at a Gene Bank. Those found in the world of Rapture glow in their bottles like Plasmids and other Tonics, and Combat Tonics glow a pale green in color.
Engineering Tonics: Engineering Tonics improve the player's hacking ability and interaction with machines. The player can change their equipped Tonics at a Gene Bank. Those found in the world of Rapture glow in their bottles like Plasmids and other Tonics and Engineering Tonics glow a deep gold in color.
Physical Tonics: Physical Tonics improve the player's physical and physiological properties. The player can change their equipped Tonics at a Gene Bank. Those found in the world of Rapture glow in their bottles like Plasmids and other Tonics, and Physical Tonics glow a bright blue in color.
There are areas where you can swap these tonics for the ones in your inventory. This is useful when you pick up tonics but you do not have enough slots in your inventory to carry it with you. I did not use it very often but it is useful in a few areas.
The rest of the game is pretty linear where you need to defeat different enemies like Splicers and Big Daddies. The Big Daddies protect the Little Sisters while they are under the influence of ADAM.
Splicers are in search of ADAM and they also look for Little Sisters. They seem to not have any control of their senses and demonstrate the same symptoms as a drug addict. They will do whatever they can to obtain some ADAM.
BioShock - Sample Gameplay
I will be honest, I did not expect the game to hold up as well as it did. I played this as part of the BioShock Collection. This is the remastered version.
The one thing that I would like to say is that the graphics still hold up very well. Yes the visuals were remastered but on my XBOX One, it still looks pretty good. It adds to the ambiance of the game and you get immersed in that world.
The voice acting is really well done. You never really see many people talking to you directly like normal RPG's. A lot of the voice acting is done through recorders or through communication devices. However, ever voice actor did its job really well in bringing the characters to life. There are a lot of recordings to find in the game. It gives you that little incentive to search rooms a little more.
The character pictures were pretty sweet. The game developers did confirm that the inspiration for these characters came from modelling after these real life personalities, Ayn Rand, George Orwell, and Aldous Huxley, as well as historical figures such as John D. Rockefeller and Walt Disney. Mr. Fontaine reminded me of Mr. House from Fallout: New Vegas.
Speaking of Fallout,I found a few similarities between BioShock and the Fallout Series. The music for the game for example, is from the same time period. Since the game takes place in 1960, the music is from that era. It gives it that retro feel. Considering that Fallout 3 only came out in 2008, BioShock beat Fallout for that retro feel.
This was newer at the time, but the fact that you get an alternative ending based on your choices was pretty cool. Now most games come with that option but back in 2007, not a ton of games did this. It gives it that replay value.
This is just a fun game to enjoy. The RPG elements are not a chore. You do not feel penalized if you do not choose a correct tonic for example. It just adds flavour to the gameplay. As mentioned before, the story is pretty linear but it does allow you to wander from time to time to discover new tonics and such.
The one thing that I was disappointed was that I could not discover Rapture more. The city seems vast and fun to discover but you never really get to explore other than the first moments of the game.
Having said that, this game has aged very well and I would consider it a modern classic. I would recommend it for players to try this at least once, if not done already. You can get it on most platforms for pretty cheap. I am looking forward to playing the subsequent games in the future.
What do you guys think? Was this is a good game for you? Let us know below.