Last Saturday I completed Bioshock. I think this is the last horror game I am going to play on this and next hardware generation. It is becoming way too scaring. This game is rated 18 and it really is – the second level, set in a hospital, is also quite disturbing. The overall atmosphere is dark and chilling.Despite this, the game is great, immersive and thought provoking. That’s quite odd for a game especially if you consider that I wrote that not meaning the alienation you get after too many hours spent on Tetris, when you start thinking in boxes and shape pluggings.
The game has been widely reviewed and advertised, so I think that the scenario of the game is no surprise for you. Bioshock is set in an underwater city – Rapture. Built here by a (filthy) rich scientist and ideologist, Ryan, upholding the principle of extreme freedom, so that the great is not limited by the small, the scientist is not withdrawn by moral or religion. It is a great vision, then something went wrong, terribly wrong. It is interesting what a FPS videogame can move, whether is necessary or not that such unlimited and unconstrained utopia had to fail; what is the extent for those premises.
The player himself (or herself) is faced with strong questions. You have the chance of saving an innocent children or killing a terrible monster, you just don’t have enough clues to determine whether the small girl is one or another. You have to take a choice.
The story is good, the player is tied to the game not just by the game itself, but for the compelling story, to discover what’s next. Will the player be able to help Atlas to save his family? What will happen when the player will face Ryan? Is Mrs Tanenbaum really redeemed?
From the technical viewpoint the game is based on the Unreal Engine, the same used by Gears of War. This engine is capable of delivering complex sceneries to an outstanding level of detail. For this very reason artifacts of artificial behaviors clashes hardly on the suspension of disbelief. This seldom happens, just don’t look for your body, you have just a disembodied arm. Occasionally you may find a lighting problem or some iterations of the physic looking for the right place where you have to be positioned. But these are just minor flaws. This is a great game.