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WELCOME BACK! BioShock nothing new, but all good
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Arts & Entertainment Staff _
After so much hype and drippingly
sweet reviews, someone needs to say
it: BioShock is not the best game ever.
That said, it’s a pretty damn great one,
albeit without major innovations.
This review could regurgitate all the
inordinate praise that lias been lieaped
upon the new Xbox 360 and PC title,
but that would lie redundant. If you
haven’t already bought the game, you're
probably planning to once you've fin¬
ished the slew of titles you didn’t com¬
plete during the past four montlis of
academic liberation. If you somehow
aren't interested in BioShock, you're
probably waiting for Halo 3. In that
case, you probably don't care about epic
single-player games that make a legiti¬
mate case for games being art.
Set in 1958 in an twisted underwa¬
ter paradise called Rapture. BioShock
puts you in the shoes of a nameless
protagonist whose plane crashes
in die middle of the ocean, with
Rapture lieing the only refuge within
a thousand miles. Through the game’s
20-some hour campaign, you’ll come
across numerous memorable char¬
acters good, had. and somewhere in
between—in the process of solving
the mystery of Rapture: what went
Where BioShock excels is in evok¬
ing emotions that few other games
are able to hint at. While it doesn’t tra¬
verse the postmodern political heights
of Metal Ciear Solid 2. BioShock is a
steady game with a steady story, tliat,
while smattered with twists and niras
for gamers to manoeuver themselves
around, doesn't pull too many gra¬
tuitous hairpins just for the sake of
another plot twist.
The story tugs at heartstrings usu¬
ally reserv ed for sappy chick flicks and
miracle touchdown throws: watching
a Big Daddy—the game’s iconic and
intimidating foe—knock futilely on
walls in hopes of coaxing a I Title Sister
out of a drainpipe is heart-breaking.
A tale of twisted ideals and utopian
misdirection, BioShock asks some
compelling questions about human
nature, and some pretty relevant ones
at that, alluding to modern-day issues
such as stem-cell research.
But games are about one tiling first
and foremost—how they play—and
the developers are well aware of this.
BioShock is a technically a first person
shooter, but it’s just as much an adven-
turegameand an RPGasa Doom-style
It also just happens to lie really,
really good at being all three. The
enemy AI is balanced to perfection;
die weapons are of the run-of-the-mill
variety but still manage to feel differ¬
ent from other sets of killing devices
in other games, and the level design is
What separates BioShock from other,
more traditional, shooters are its plas¬
mids—essentially, genetic enhance¬
ments that allow you to wield jiowers
ranging from the ability to sIkxji
flames from your bare hands to lifting
lift objects tiirough mind control. The
gameplay possibilities plasmids open
up are nearly endless.
BioShock is quite easily one of die
best games oft his new generation, and a
breath of fresh air in the gaining indus¬
try, even with the game's claustrophobic
atmosphere Nothing in the game is
that innovative—many, if not most, of
its elements are lxirrowed from odier
games—but few games are diis finely-
tuned. And just plain fun.
you don't have to be a
starving student to have the
full university experience.
040J SUB, open M-F 10-6