|By date||Most helpful reviews||By my score||By metascore||By user score|
Average User Score: 8.7Dec 18, 2011Very scary. The most tense and unpleasant (in a good way!) atmosphere of any game I've ever played. It's not perfect - the story tries to beVery scary. The most tense and unpleasant (in a good way!) atmosphere of any game I've ever played. It's not perfect - the story tries to be mysterious but instead feels muddled (and the ending is massively disappointing), the puzzles are quite arbitrary and "computer-gamey" (I need some rope. Why do I need a particular special piece of rope which is miles away? Why not one of the bits I can see hanging on the wall right in front of me?), and the scares really drop off towards the end because the writers make the mistake of being too explicit and going down the ultra-gore route rather than leaving it all to our imagination. BUT... the prison level makes up for it all. I played it in the middle of the night when I was on my own in a big, old house in the middle of nowhere, and it was one of the best gaming experiences of my life. If you like horror games, you must, must play this.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.4Dec 18, 2011If ever a game needs mods, it's this one. The atmosphere and setting are absolutely incredible, but the whole thing feels like an alphaIf ever a game needs mods, it's this one. The atmosphere and setting are absolutely incredible, but the whole thing feels like an alpha release. The balancing is all over the place and there many serious bugs and annoyances that really should have been dealt with before the game hit the shelves. And forget all the talk of RPG elements - this is a straight up FPS set in larger than usual environments. Yeah, you have an inventory and there are side missions you can do in any order, but if you're hoping for character development or flexible ways to complete objectives, you'll be disappointed. It's like Far Cry in the sense that you have these big open levels, but you can only ever play one way; in the end you always have to go in guns blazing. It's a waste really, because the Zone is the true star of the game, yet there's rarely a reason to just go and explore it. I do recommend the game for the atmosphere alone, but with serious reservations about the rest of it. Wait until it's on sale before putting your money down...… Expand
Average User Score: 8.7Dec 17, 2011Very solid. Extremely high production values and lots of fun. The stealth bits in particular are fantastic. I didn't particularly like theVery solid. Extremely high production values and lots of fun. The stealth bits in particular are fantastic. I didn't particularly like the hand to hand combat - it looks good, but all you have to do is click the mouse button repeatedly and you win. Not much skill required. I also would have loved to be able to stealth my way through the whole game. Being forced into distinct styles of play felt quite arbitrary at times - Now You Will Fight A Big Bunch Of Dudes That You Cannot Avoid. Now There Is An Annoying Boss. Now There Is A Short Stealth Section Where Fighting Is Not Allowed. But a great game, albeit one I've got no desire to revisit. And I hate Games For Windows Live as well. Just had to get that in there!… Expand
Average User Score: 8.1Dec 17, 2011This is a bland and soulless game. The world is huge, but there's little variation throughout and it all feels oddly empty (contrast with theThis is a bland and soulless game. The world is huge, but there's little variation throughout and it all feels oddly empty (contrast with the fantastic weirdness and variety of Morrowind). The level scaling takes away any sense of danger. The badly animated characters are ugly beyond reason. The voice acting is truly, truly miserable (think Aribeth in Neverwinter Nights levels of bad). The developers clearly used their whole budget hiring Sean Bean and Patrick Stewart and then had to resort to getting random people in off the street. There's no emotional engagement at all because not one of characters has any personality - they're all just generic, interchangeable quest dispensers. The setting has potential though. I understand the modding community has done some great things, but for me the days of spending a whole weekend auditioning mods are long gone. I don't recommend the vanilla game.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.5Dec 1, 2011I seem to be way outside mainstream opinion on this one. I was a huge, huge fan of System Shock 2 and I was so looking forward to playing itsI seem to be way outside mainstream opinion on this one. I was a huge, huge fan of System Shock 2 and I was so looking forward to playing its 'spiritual successor'. Maybe I was expecting too much, but BioShock did very little for me. I feel a bit bad criticising it because it's obvious that a lot of love and care went into making it, and while it isn't a bad game, for me it never got above mediocre.
It's just a formulaic run and gun shooter. The missions often feel contrived and arbitrary, and are almost entirely based around finding random widgets in some far corner of the level (and there's an escort mission in there as well, ugh). While you're doing that you blast your way through waves of interchangeable enemies - almost all of whom run straight at you - using the usual array of FPS weapons. That's it. For all the game's highfalutin' concept, there's no depth whatsoever to the gameplay - just strafe and fire, strafe and fire. The much-heralded plasmids add very little. They're just guns with different animations. Shoot someone or set them on fire, it makes no difference.
The setting and story are above average, although the levels all look very similar and the Objectivism stuff is a bit undercooked - it's really just a standard trouble in paradise thing with some Ayn Rand inspired sound bites over the top. The diary tapes add some colour, but for some reason I couldn't make myself care about any of it. I found the twists predictable, and the single moral choice you have to make in the game (whether to harvest the little sisters or rescue them) has no bearing at all on the gameplay, only on which ending you get. It feels utterly meaningless.
There's nothing terribly wrong with the game and I so desperately wanted to love it, but its lineage can't hide the fact that it's just another bland FPS. I cannot understand what these huge scores and breathlessly uncritical reviews are based on. I almost feel like I haven't been playing the same game.… Expand