Let me start by saying, or writing, that this is a fun game. That being said, or written, it is not wholly original. Those who have played System Shock 2, this games predecessor, have played it before. The hacking, the security systems, the advancing of the story vie recordings are all rehashed from SS2. Even the swapping of plasmids at Gene Banks is similar to skill advancement at computer terminals from its SS2. Instead of SHODAN, we have Ryan. Instead of the Many, we have Splicers. Instead of being on a space ship, we are in an underwater city. But it’s still the same game. If you haven’t played SS2, this will all be new and you should enjoy the crap out of it. If you have played SS2, you should still play Bio Shock, you will enjoy the crap out of it.
Graphics - A-
The environment is incredible. If there were no enemies, I could spend hours just walking around this game just to see the sights. It really does look like a dilapidated city falling apart before your eyes.
The enemies are a mixed bag. Big Daddies are some of the best looking antagonist I have seen in a video game in quite some time. The splicers however did not get the same graphical treatment. I understand that they should all look mostly human, but it seems like there are only 4 or 5 different models for each type. They also just didn’t look that great, almost like marionettes with a couple of different mutated heads they could put on. And when they die they still appear to be made out of wood. Body parts don’t drape over boxes, they just kind of lay atop of them with and twitch like they are hooked to some kind of metronome.
Sound – B+
The music was great. It gave the game a very 1950’s kind of feel. More impressive was the occasional lack of music, which gave the game a very ominous feel. I think sometimes that games try to hard to immerse you with sound, where this game immersed you with the occasional lack of it. Add to that the insane rambling of the Splicers and you have a very creepy game.
The weapon sounds were nothing special, and sometimes if seemed that the sound footsteps did not match the ground you were walking on.
Game play – B+
I really appreciate the effort put into the control scheme on the 360. Switching between plasmids and weapons was a snap. Movement and aiming all felt natural on the default control set-up. Jumping was far from impressive though. It feels like you have a vertical leap of about 7 inches, and you do run into the occasional invisible wall, (for example at the end of the pier by the submarine holding Atlas’ family).
Story - ?
I am not very far into the game, so I really can’t comment to much on the story. The atmosphere of Rapture, and the drive to escape from it, is entertaining enough to make this a very fun game. I will say that the voice acting in all of the recording is very well done.
Overall, if your goal is to play a top notch run and gun FPS, this is not the game for you. If you enjoy taking your time to really see the environment, getting totally absorbed into the atmosphere, and appreciating the artistic side of a game, then this is definitely your cup of tea.