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

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 2870 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 663
  1. Sep 18, 2011
    This game is not Half Life.
    This game is not CoD or Halo, and therefore does not rely on online play to prop it up.
    This game is not an RPG.
    If you want to play Half Life, Halo, CoD or Oblivion, then play Half Life, Halo, CoD or Oblivion. Some people think that this game is terrible because monsters jump out at you and make you soil yourself. Some people think it's awful that this game is so gripping that they had to force themselves to complete the game twice in one week. Some people think that killing little girls is a bit yawn worthy (personally, I find that a little worrying). Some people can't stand that in this horror game, there is no end to the enemies. Some people complain because 6 weapons (each with two secondary firing modes), 11 varieties of magic spells, and 32 varieties of customisation just aren't enough for an FPS. So given what this game isn't, and all the reasons it's a rubbish game, why should you play? Because it's fun. The storyline is frankly fantastic. It's so simple, yet so horrifying. At times this game makes the player want to throw away the controls and just say "No. No no no no no." because the game makes the player feel like they're the one being controlled. Like you've sat on a rollercoaster ride, been strapped in, then a 300lb pervert with a shotgun sits next to you with a grin. Now for the serious part of the review: The sound's fantastically detailed - everything makes a sound. The artwork is superbly done, with every room uniquely designed so it doesn't feel like walking through the same dungeon over and over again. The game play allows the user to decide how much they want to play this as a straight forward shooter, or explore and find out more about the story. You only ever meet one character face to face in the entire game. And by this point, you really don't want to. Everyone else act as overlords speaking into your radio, manipulating your actions. This once the horror of the game has died down a little, the insanity of the game can become creepily fun. It gets to quite satisfying to beat a splicers face in with a wrench. This game does not in any way lack in detail. While there are only 6 basic enemies in the game, each one comes in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, each wielding something to bash your brains in with. And it has possibly the best nemeses I've encountered in a game. But... The game does, indeed, have no online play. If you don't go out of your way, or don't replay the game, a lot of the plot points will be lost on you (like if you watched Star Wars, and the entire cloud city section were cut). Some of the physics are glitchy (due to minor clipping issues), meaning that occasionally, tripping over a crisp packet will cause it to team rocket into the air. Whilst regenerating health doesn't have a look-in, there is the fact that death on this game is more an inconvenience as you re-spawn instantly [but is this really much different to constantly saving and reloading?] Despite the people who say "I didn't have enough ammo D:", by the end you'll probably have cash and armaments coming out your diving boots, as well as half a dozen secondary fire modes you don't know what to do with. You cannot have both a plasmid and a gun readied at the same time (this is fixed in Bioshock 2). A neat little arrow always tells you where to go next. While this makes the game easier - it sometimes feels more like the game game is a long, long game of follow the sodding arrow. But on the other hand, it does increase the feeling that you're there to do the characters in the game's bidding, and that you've got no real control. So there you have it. 10/10 for graphics. 10/10 for story. 10/10 for fun (I've managed to complete the game about 7 times and it's still fun to send splicers sprawling) 8/10 for QA - there are some issues there. This game isn't perfect. 9/10 for the details (Come on. How many other shooters have a fortune teller, corpses in bathtubs, a forest at the bottom of the ocean, and vast cityscapes complete with individually tailored neon signs out of every window). Much as it's frowned upon to say this - but if you play this expecting a re-run of your favourite railshooter, straight RPG, or online repetitive CoD battle, then expect to be disappointed. If despite instant regenerations, falling into mountains of cash and guns, and the ability to go back and one-hit kill all those wretched first level enemies for goodies, you still don't have enough weaponry. - then the problem is possibly that the player is bad at shooters, rather than a bad game. The difficulty can easily be turned up at any point. Instant re-spawns can be turned off. And if you don't like the plasmids, then don't use them. P.s. Play this game in the dark. And get the sequel. Expand
  2. Jul 14, 2014
    BioShock is my all time favorite game. A lot of people seem to not understand why this game is so great. My answer? The details. Starting from the stunning soundtrack, all the through the little easter eggs ending with the dialogs. Playing through the games roughly 10 times i always find every single time i find something that i haven't seen before. The varieties are seemingly endless when it comes to collecting in this game, a fairly good amount of guns for a single player game, all with special ammunition types and upgrades, then you have the plasmids, the tonics, the extra upgrades from ADAM, crafting, hacking, researching. and of course little sisters. Still some people claim that the gameplay is monotone and is only shooting stuff, well my friend that is because you play on too low difficulty. On higher difficulties you really gotta make a plan and use all resources you can find in order to succeeded. There are amazing gameplay mechanisms out there in Rapture: applying sticky mines to objects (corpses, even explosives barrels) then using telekinesis to throw em onto beefy enemies; setting up huge traps to big daddies paths with the crossbow for instance; camouflage, security bullseye and enrage are art to themselves and the list goes on. But i do give a point to people saying gameplay is still not the main thing making the game, it is arguably the story and the characters. The story as it is is absurd yet really captures one's imagination. But the characters are easily the best one's ever in any video game. The insanity is so well represented, it's literally art. The audio logs are amazing idea, the character development gives you exactly as much inside at a time as you need to have dozes of unique personalities expand before your own eyes.
    To sum up this is one of the very few games in the 21th century where i actually think that the credit list is reasonably long, and you can tell everyone was paying a lot of attention creating this piece of art.
  3. 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
  4. Mar 26, 2013
    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
  5. Nov 20, 2012
    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
    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
    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 663 User Reviews


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