Metascore
96

Universal acclaim - based on 44 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 2873 Ratings

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  • Summary: Going beyond "run and gun corridors," "monster-closet AIs" and static worlds, BioShock creates a living, unique and unpredictable FPS experience. After your plane crashes into icy uncharted waters, you discover a rusted bathysphere and descend into Rapture, a city hidden beneath the sea. Constructed as an idealistic society for a hand picked group of scientists, artists and industrialists, the idealism is no more. Now the city is littered with corpses, wildly powerful guardians roam the corridors as little girls loot the dead, and genetically mutated citizens ambush you at every turn. Take control of your world by hacking mechanical devices, commandeering security turrets and crafting unique items critical to your very survival. Upgrade your weapons with ionic gels, explosives and toxins to customize them to the enemy and environment. Genetically modify your body through dozens of Plasmid Stations scattered throughout the city, empowering you with fantastic and often grotesque abilities. Explore a living world powered by Ecological A.I., where the inhabitants have interesting and consequential relationships with one another that impact your gameplay experience. Experience truly next generation graphics that vividly illustrate the forlorn art deco city, highlighted by the most detailed and realistic water effects ever developed in a video game. Make meaningful choices and mature decisions, ultimately culminating in the grand question: do you exploit the innocent survivors of Rapture...or save them? [2K Games] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 44 out of 44
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 44
  3. Negative: 0 out of 44
  1. 100
    The hours spent playing this masterpiece were the perfect encapsulation of why videogaming is such a favourite waste of time for so many of us. Thrilling, terrifying, moving, confusing, amusing, compelling, and very very dark. BioShock isn't simply the sign of gaming realising its true cinematic potential, but one where a game straddles so many entertainment art forms so expertly that it's the best demonstration yet how flexible this medium can be. It's no longer just another shooter wrapped up in a pretty game engine, but a story that exists and unfolds inside the most convincing and elaborate and artistic game world ever conceived.
  2. A technical masterpiece with a story that reaches too far—but Andrew Ryan would have it no other way.
  3. 100
    The truth is, I've never been so emotionally involved in an escort mission before. Games don't normally warrant the kind of discussions I've had about BioShock. This is something special.
  4. The atmosphere, the water, the story, the architecture, and the perfectly tuned challenge all come together to create one of the greatest experiences of this generation of consoles. Rapture is awaiting. Bliss is inevitable.
  5. No gamer should miss out on this one.
  6. Without a doubt, BioShock is a shoe-in for hordes of Game of the Year nominations. It’s certainly among my favorite titles of the year, and I highly recommend it to all gamers, whether you’ve got an Xbox 360 or a gaming PC. If you haven’t played it yet, then I suggest you at least go out and give the demo a try.
  7. So BioShock is not a revolutionary game, or even a particularly innovative one; by the time I reached the end, I felt as though I had played a rather standard and predictable first-person shooter.

See all 44 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 90 out of 664
  1. Oct 7, 2011
    10
    Spectacular game. One of the best game storylines in ever, extremely fun gameplay, really good dialog, and while it's not entirely horror, it definitely sent some chills down my spine. It's also really creative, little sister & big daddies, the plasmeds, all of it. It's a truly perfect game. Expand
  2. Jul 29, 2014
    10
    This game is most likely the best best story driven game made mainstream, whose shooting mechanics are little more than a tool to advance the story, the main star of the game.
    Setting, music, ambiance, background art style, pacing, cast. all of these attributes are far more important than the action that takes place in the game.
    Far from it seeing as how the action drives all of these key components along at a great pace. You could look up online the perfect builds and upgrades that make even the toughest sections a cake-walk, but in doing so you would rob yourself of one of the best interactive "novels" in gaming history.
    Every cast member, good bad, grey area, even the name-less splicers and long dead apparitions have a story to tell if your patient enough to listen and find it.
    adding to this are "diaries", lost recordings scattered throughout that clue you into what brought about the disaster and chaos you are attempting to undo.
    My only complaint is that at the last moment(or so it goes in story) the publishers(suits) stepped in and forced Ken Levine's hand in changing the outcome of the story to make it more "player" friendly. I would have very much liked that not to be the case
    Expand
  3. Dec 4, 2012
    10
    It is a beautiful but strange world. Fascinating environment that is eerie, elegant music that is mysterious, lovely children that is under external control, dramatic plot and touching ending depict a unprecedented world in the game of bioshock. Maybe, this is the most artistic violent game, almost all would be "shocked" after finishing this game. Maybe, this is the game with the deepest content. 9.7/10 from IGN really says it all.(My rating: 10/10 absolutely) Expand
  4. Mar 26, 2013
    9
    I know I'm late in the game but I have just recently got back into gaming. Back in the days when I used to play console (before switching over to Computer), I downloaded the demo for this game for xbox360. Never got around to buying it or playing it because it was too scary for me. However, I have grown up and I am now a big boy...

    This game is for big boys (and girls). It's fun, tough, exciting, and gets your adrenaline going! I may not be an expert or veteran with the Bioshock series, but I can't wait to play the next two
    Expand
  5. Nov 20, 2012
    8
    Bioshock is both overrated by critics and underrated by users. In my opinion it's too flawed to be scored a 96/100 but it's definitely not a terrible game like most people will tell you. I like the setting, the story, and the gameplay for the most part, except I have one major problem. The vitachambers make the difficulty balance seem a little lazy. You can turn them off, sure but I don't think they should have built a game surrounding a concept like that. Otherwise I feel the gameplay is strong, the weapons are cool though there could have been more plasmids, and it's rather lengthy too, around 12-15 hours your first time. The story is surprisingly deep but it's unfortunate that most of it is told only through dialogue. Worth a play if you ask me. Expand
  6. TinkulA.
    Sep 23, 2007
    7
    I think a lot of Bioshock's high popularity is due to hype. In the end it's not anything groundbreaking, just another shooter. The UT3 engine does allows some really cool looking stuff and the graphics are great, but there is very limited amount of monsters and all the splicers-types are pretty much the same: just shoot em in the head. There are no choices you can make in the game except whether to kill or save the little girls, so it makes this game just another pipe-run. The plasmids are very ineffective or awkward to use, much easier to just shoot your target rather than try to lure it in a trap or throw stuff at it. The ammo conservation which is supposed to be a key feature of the game means that you try and wrench your targets all the time, after you get a few plasmids it's even better to wrench cause it's the most efficient way. The plot is thought through, but it doesn't really capture you in it. Like Steve W. said, this game is nowhere near classics like Deus Ex or Half-life, but it's better than average still. Expand
  7. RobertG
    Aug 28, 2007
    0
    I'm sure the game is great, if you get it to start. The 1000+ posts in the "outstanding pc problems" thread on 2k:s support forum bears witness to major problems though. In said thread not a single reply from 2 k can be found. In short - no game performance can nullify the complete and utter disregard from 2k against the thousands of buyers that are reporting trouble even getting the game to start (on more than adequate machines, I might add). Nope, sry - 2k flunks in my book. Expand

See all 664 User Reviews

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