Stephen King has what is called “trunk novels” — subpar books he’s thrown in a trunk for years when he didn’t have anything else to publish. Bioshock is a trunk game. Why? It’s not bad enough for a negative review, not good enough for a “must buy.”
First person shooter
Xbox 360, PS3, PC
The player begins in a crashed plane, marooned at a lighthouse. Going through the bronze doors, the only thing to be found is a pathway into an underwater distopian nightmare, and a friendly voice on the radio leading the player through this hellish world. Set several years after a civil war, the city of Rapture is rampant with “splicers,” who have messed with their genetics so much they hardly look human. Behind all of it is Andrew Ryan, founded of this little world, and he seems to be the only thing between the player and freedom.
This is your standard shooter, with some superpowers thrown in. Each weapon has its own customization tree, and an interesting array of ammunition. There is a “gel thrower,” that fires everything from electric gel to napalm. There is a standard Thompson submachinegun, which is par for the course. The sniping weapon of choice is actually a crossbow, with everything from arrows that lay down electrified tripwire to arrows that explode. The up close and personal weapon is a wrench, which can come with its own freezing ability.
The graphics are okay, nothing groundbreaking. The music … honestly, thinking back, I don’t think I noticed a soundtrack.
Then it gets worse. Remember that part about Ayn Rand taken to extremes? This includes Andrew Ryan referring to the Bible as “The Book of Lies,” or having a missionary strung up in a makeshift crucifix with live wires. Charming, right? I don’t classify this as an automatic strike against the game because, well, the graphics make it look more like a statue than anything that was a living person, and I walked past it twice before I even noticed it.
I think that wraps it up, yes?
Eh. I can’t see it. By the time the player gets to the third act, the story has slowed to a crawl, and most of the momentum is shot. If anyone finishes it, it’s an accomplishment. Reputability is low, since there’s a “good” ending, and three bad endings, with little difference between them.
ESRB Rating: M for Mature, 17+
My Rating: 7/10. An above average game, though probably average, if it were released today.
Copyright 2014 John Konecsni