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Bioshock

BioShock

Video Game Cat Review

Date of Review: April 14, 2012
Format Reviewed:   Xbox 360
Language / Country of Origin:   English / USA
Online Capability: 
None.
Sequels: BioShock 2, BioShock Infinite.
Equipment Needed: None needed.
Maintenance Required:  None required.

Review:

Plot:  
Behold the great city of Rapture, an underwater utopia turned upside down by scientific indulgence, genetic warfare, and relentless insanity.  Rapture was a city constructed beneath the Atlantic Ocean, completed in the year 1946 by the magnanimous visionary, Andrew Ryan.  The city was built for the world’s elite to escape scientific and religious oppression and to experience unbound laissez-faire economics.  Ryan’s utopian vision soon crumbles under the pressures of corrupt black markets, gangsters, unsanctioned genetic experimentation, greed and gluttony. Fast forward to 1960, where players watch a man’s plane crash into the Atlantic Ocean.  Jack, the plane’s only survivor, must swim through the burning debris to make his way to a lighthouse which leads to Rapture.  In Rapture, Jack’s life is in imminent danger due to the thriving chaos around him.  His only hope is to work with Atlas and Brigid Tenebaum, a psychologist, to survive the haunted world and put an end to Andrew Ryan’s nightmare.

Cultural / Historical Value: 
BioShock is the first game of the BioShock series.  Sequels to this game include BioShock 2 and Bioshock: Infinite.  The game was inspired by and is considered the spiritual successor to the System Shock series.  Despite its intensely violent content, Bioshock has been praised for its morality-based storyline.  This game explores Ayn Rand stylized objectivism mixed with raw horror, revealing a world of dark rhetoric to the extreme with intense graphics, innovative realism, and respective story telling.  Bioshock has been nominated for and won numerous awards due to groundbreaking plot and gameplay.

Teaching / Learning Characteristics: 
BioShock has amazing graphics.  Very few games take place in underwater environments and this simulates what an underwater city might look and feel like.  The work that went into building this lifelike, but artificial, environment cannot be undervalued.  BioShock also discusses the implications of genetic manipulation and explores the possible consequences of unbridled scientific experimentation – forcing people to evaluate their own beliefs about this difficult subject matter.  Overall, the game is designed for entertainment, but offers the player some intriguing moral decisions to make, introducing ethics and philosophy into gaming.

Replay Value:  
Depending on one’s choices throughout the game, BioShock offers several different outcomes or endings.  The goal of the game is survival, but in the midst of surviving our hero is given options to save others, choose sides, and determine the fate of Rapture.  This, coupled with the fact that BioShock is highly entertaining and fun to play, makes the replay value of the game high.

Likely Audiences:
BioShock, like most other first-person shooter games, has somewhat difficult controls.  Players have to keep track of numerous weapons and battle tactics in order to defeat various foes and puzzles.  Therefore, casual gamers might find this game too complex for them.  Those comfortable with first-person shooters and those who like dark, disturbing plots in the horror genre will like this game.  As expected, BioShock is incredibly violent and only appropriate for mature audiences.

Overall Score:
90/100

Other Reviews:
1up.com
Gamerankings
Gamespot
Metacritic
MobyGames

 

About the Author:
Ben Bigalke is an avid traveler, bicycle enthusiast, lover of animals and video gamer extraordinaire.  He grew up taking the stories and virtues told by the Nintendo of his childhood to heart.  As an adult, he continues to appreciate the entertainment and learning experiences that videogames offer and studies the technological and artistic advancements they have made throughout his lifetime.  As a videogame reviewer, he enjoys both observing and experiencing the cultural impact that these games have on his generation.

Awards

Award Giver Category Verdict
GAME British Academy Video Game Awards 2007ARTISTIC ACHIEVEMENT Nominee
GAME British Academy Video Game Awards 2007Best Game Winner
Golden Joystick Awards 2007One to Watch Award Nominee
Spike Video Game Awards 2007Best Graphics Nominee
Spike Video Game Awards 2007Best Original Score Winner
Spike Video Game Awards 2007Best PC Game Nominee
Spike Video Game Awards 2007Best Shooter Nominee
Spike Video Game Awards 2007Best Soundtrack Nominee
Spike Video Game Awards 2007Best Xbox 360 Game Winner
Spike Video Game Awards 2007Game of the Year Winner
Spike Video Game Awards 2007Studio of the Year
(2K Boston/2K Australia)
Nominee
Interactive Achievement Awards 2008Action Game of the Year Nominee
Game Developers Choice Awards 2008Audio Winner
Interactive Achievement Awards 2008Computer Game of the Year Nominee
Interactive Achievement Awards 2008Console Game of the Year Nominee
Game Developers Choice Awards 2008Game Design Nominee
Game Developers Choice Awards 2008Game of the Year Nominee
Interactive Achievement Awards 2008Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction Winner
Interactive Achievement Awards 2008Outstanding Achievement in Game Design Nominee
Interactive Achievement Awards 2008Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Composition Winner
Interactive Achievement Awards 2008Outstanding Achievement in Sound Design Winner
Interactive Achievement Awards 2008Outstanding Achievement in Soundtrack Nominee
Interactive Achievement Awards 2008Outstanding Achievement in Story Development Winner
Interactive Achievement Awards 2008Outstanding Character Performance Nominee
Interactive Achievement Awards 2008Outstanding Innovation in Gaming Nominee
Interactive Achievement Awards 2008Overall Game of the Year Nominee
Golden Joystick Awards 2008PC Game of the Year Nominee
Golden Joystick Awards 2008Soundtrack of the Year Nominee
Golden Joystick Awards 2008Ultimate Game of the Year Nominee
Game Developers Choice Awards 2008Visual Arts Winner
Golden Joystick Awards 2008Xbox Game of the Year Nominee
Game Developers Choice Awards 2008Writing Winner
International Mobile Gaming Awards 2009Excellence in 3D Nominee
Golden Joystick Awards 2009Playstation Game of the Year Nominee
Golden Joystick Awards 2009Soundtrack of the Year Nominee
Golden Joystick Awards 2009Ultimate Game of the Year Nominee

Additional Info

ESRB Description:
Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, Strong Language

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