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

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 2690 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 637
  1. Dec 4, 2012
    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
  2. May 2, 2013
    Having just finished BioShock for the first time, I am upset that I didn't give this game a proper chance sooner. While the graphics are still pretty good for today the gunplay, plasmids and enemies can get pretty repetitive, and there isn't a ton of strategy. However, that isn't what this game is about. Its not just that the story and plot are great (they are) but I honestly felt like I was the character. At the beginning I was scared and confused, I didn't know where I was or what the heck I was doing. As I progressed I began to feel comfortable with the game and started to feel super powerful, only to have that all torn away. The ending is one of the most compelling of any game I have ever played, and this game is well worth the 10 hours it will take to finish. Expand
  3. May 31, 2014
    The Ocarina of Time of First Person Shooters.
    I've played lots of games over the years and very rarely has something stood out like BioShock.
    I was late to the game on this one, playing it years after it came out, but the incredible amount of work put into it made it stand out, even against better looking games.
    It will always be timeless. Goldeneye, halo and call of duties will come and go, but Bioshock deserves to join the ranks of Half-life 1 as one of the greatest games in which one shoots other people.
    Story doesnt matter. Characters dont matter. Graphics dont matter. Only what you feel with the gun floating in front of your face matters.
    Very few games give me what I call the Ocarina of Time paradox--I want to play them over and over in order to re experience them, but it becomes less special as I play it more times. I can't wait until enough time has passed for me to play this game again.
  4. Apr 20, 2011
    Very good game, a fascinating environment and many chilling moment throughout the game. There are many funny things gamer could do in the game, especially with the plasmids. combat system works well, too. Nevertheless, the sound in the game (the gunfire, the noise, the voice...) is just mediocre. But this little issue cannot reduce the value of the game. An awesome game that every gamers should play! Expand
  5. Mar 30, 2014
    BioShock spoiler-free review:
    BioShock is an outstanding first person shooter that introduces world, characters and mechanics like any other.

    Of course the most talked and revolutionary thing BioShock does, is introducing the world as it's own character. Rapture is a dark, disturbing and forgotten underwater city that sucks you in, making you truly believe you're there. It also mantains posters, audio files and images of what the great city once was, making it a lot more inmersive. The story is extremely well written with deep, three-dimensional characters. However, I found myself rushing through the last 2 hours, just so I could get to the end credits after spending more than 15 hours in the game. Both sound and music are superb, creating an incredibly inmersive and suspenseful world. The mechanics/gameplay in this game are really good, and though the game encourages you not to engage in a battle with multiple oponents (cause you'll die), the A.I never encourages stealth, considering they spot with extreme ease. The plasmids in the game are very well integrated with the shooting mechanic. They bring an estrategic side to the combat, with the player thinking how to set traps and how to use in advantage in really tough fights. The graphics are great and they trully help with the inmersion to Rapture. There's a hacking mini-game that is really simple and well thought, but it gets old pretty easily, considering how much you use it. The Big Daddies. These guys really bring a challenge and satisfaction when defeated. Though the satisfaction doesn't last long, after you see a Little Sister (the ones they protect) crying for their Big Daddy. The little sisters carry ADAM, which you'll need to upgrade your plasmids, and you can either harvest them (you get more ADAM and they die) or save them (you'll get less ADAM and they come back to being little, normal girls). That decission changes a few plot points, but not too much.
    In the end, BioShock manages to step out of the box with deep characters, strong mechanics, reallistic sounds and graphics that will make you want to replay the game quite a few times.
    Average Score: 9.2
  6. Dec 26, 2010
    A great game, though the pacing is crazy fast and you never really "get a break" for the longest time. Everyone that played it on a console thinks its the best thing ever, though you'll be thoroughly unimpressed if you've played pc games for years (especially System Shock 2 since this is just a dumbed down version that was made way too easy). Expand
  7. Jul 12, 2014
    Bioshock is not a good game.

    It's not at all a good game.

    Bioshock has focused nearly all of its efforts on tricking the gaming public
    into thinking it's a good game, which is why it is one of the worst games in all of history.

    I am a person who is all about immersion, but the immersion in Bioshock is intensely contrived. In other words, it knows you like immersion, and it's trying to manipulate you based on that. The people who made Bioshock don't like immersion, they just knew they would get awards and critical acclaim for it. Every 'great moment' in Bioshock is not Bioshock saying it thinks it's a great moment, it's Bioshock saying 'You'll probably think this is great.' I don't know how that passes for the public, but it doesn't pass for me. I want some honesty. If I'm not hearing what actual human beings think about something, then it's a waste of time

    The gameplay is geared to a mind of about 3 years of age. You walk around, you shoot things... the end. A few extra bits like magic, minigames and photography are in there, but they add nothing interesting and just serve as a waste of time. Normally if your game is all about walking and shooting, it is made up for with interesting level design, interesting enemy behavior, or something like that. Not so in Bioshock, that's the whole game. You walk, you shoot, you walk some more, and then you shoot. You listen to some bad voice actor reading some boring dialogue about something you don't care about, then you watch a cinematic with some of the most shallow pointless characters ever, TELLING you you're supposed to care, but really truly finding that you don't.

    This is the most shallow game I have ever played. It makes almost zero attempt to present the player with something true and good, something that someone worked their heart out on and truly believed in, Instead you can sense the developers behind the scenes thinking, "The inferior masses will eat this up." And you did. Nobody at 2K Games cares one iota about Bioshock. They care only about money and prestige. It's not a game made by people for people, it's a game made by people for mindless zombies who have no respect for their own views on important issues.

    Oh! It's a game with MORALS. Good, because I'm too much of a child to figure that stuff out on my own. Thank you 2K Games, for treating me like I'm stupid and morally bankrupt. Thank you for standing up as the standard of goodness so that we know that anyone who disagrees with you is evil

See all 637 User Reviews

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