My BioShock 1 review

OverviewBioshock is a semi-open world FPS set in the 1960s, inside an underwater city called Rapture. As the only survivor of a plane crash, you barely make your way to this surreal city, only to find out madness and carnage reign supreme all around. Guided only by your friend Atlas on the radio, you’ll have to make your way through the ruins of Rapture, fighting insane citizes and mechanical monsters, while finding out the truth about many things, yourself included.

🟩 The Good Side

  • By this beauty I was enraptured
    Bioshock created one of the most iconic, original settings of all gaming history by forging the city of Rapture. Aside from the amazing aesthetics, it is rich in allegories, symbolism and implicit meanings that perfectly incorporate with narration, context. Each area is markedly unique, dotted with indirect narration and regular lore pieces to immerse yourself fully in its events, which can be only understood fully by the methodic, thorough player willing to explore everything.
  • Homo Homini Lupus
    “Man is the predator of other men”. An old Latin saying that perfectly encompasses the nature of Bioshock’s story. More than a simple tale of survival, this title creates a deeply layered narrative aimed to showcase both best and worst of human nature. To what extent is freedom justified? How far can science go before becoming immoral? Is free will real or an illusion? These are only some of the themes covered by this masterfully crafted story.
  • A Man Chooses
    There are many gameplay styles, all equally viable, when approaching situations. From stealthy tricksters turning machines and men onto one another, to armored brutes powering through with heavy weapons, or genetically superior casters using advanced powers – anything is possible in Bioshock with the proper build. The great variety of weapon types, powers, passive abilities united with endless secrets and alternative ways create a huge array of possibilities.
  • Genetically Enhanced
    The remastered version not only improves visuals significantly, but also adds new content such as Challenge Rooms, a new hardest difficulty to truly test yourself, and extras such as developer commentaries, other than fixing issues the original version had.

🟥 The Bad Side

  • Technical problems
    The remastered version also does add some inconveniences, such as UI scaling problems, audio glitches and bad rendering of cutscenes. Luckily the Community did make fixes for these problems, and you can find them in the Hub, under the Guide Section. After using those, this isn’t an issue anymore.
  • Peak of Human Evolution
    Even on the hardest setting, balance in late-game favors the player too much, as the ability to stack multiple passives together, along with some quite too powerful weapons and Plasmids, will make you an unstoppable force. For most part of the game challenge balance is alright but does degrade in the latest 2-3 chapters. Also, there is no penalty for death.
  • How do I read this damn map again?
    Bioshock has one of the ugliest maps I have ever seen. Instead of a normal multi-layer map of the level, you will have a bunch of rooms linked by inaccurately drawn arrows, all scattered randomly on the same sheet. This creates confusion as to what is higher or lower, and what leads where – especially in more complex levels.

Rating: MasterpieceClick here for the complete Rating Chart
It took me around 15 hours to complete the game on Survivor difficulty, while exploring each level thoroughly and taking time for secondary tasks. For the current price of 20€ and exceptional quality, I can recommend buying for full price.

In-Depth Breakdown🎮 Gameplay Analysis
Gameplay is divided into Exploration, Combat, Hacking and Quests.

Is performed on foot, roaming the vast and intricate areas of Rapture, ranging from market districts to engineering rooms. There is a myriad of rooms, ducts, offices and locations to explore, most having items hidden in many places. Lore diaries, documents, codes to open doors and new powers are only some of what you’ll find by being attentive and looking behind every corner. The game is structured to heavily reward exploration, rushing is instead penalized.

A handy map will already show all the level’s layout, albeit in a confusing way. Most of the time your objective is also marked, but on occasion you’ll have to figure it out yourself. Each level is often a one-way drop when leaving for another major area, and there is no major backtracking. Each level has a certain number of Sisters, each guarded by a powerful Boss, which can be saved or killed for ADAM, a unique currency used to buy critical upgrades.

Plays out in FPS fashion, with the option to use ADS if needed, which sadly does not improve accuracy in the slightest. Weapons range from old-fashioned machineguns such as M1919 Thompson, to more exotic ones like Chemical Throwers spewing out napalm or nitrogen. Each weapon can be upgraded twice at specific stations, improving damage or other stats significantly.

Plasmids are genetically-engineered powers, both active and passive, progressively gained, crafted or bought. They enable you to consume EVE (mana) to shoot lighting bolts, become invisible, hypnotize enemies – and much more. The amount of builds you can create to suit any playstyle is great, and adaptable since plasmids can be switched at Gene Banks anytime. Enemies also have such powers, and become more mutated – and dangerous – as you progress.

Is an optional but highly rewarding puzzle minigame, which entails using the correct pieces to flow liquid to a destination. Being successful in this reduces vendor prices, opens locked doors, and permanently turns security machines into your allies even. Failing means damage, death or more enemies! Needless to say doing so is very profitable in the long run, so you’ll find yourself hacking a lot, ideally.

Are main only, and generally entail finding a specific item, or several ones to combine together. Other times you’ll need to photograph certain things, or complete other assignments depending on the situation. Objectives are not always indicated and sometimes it may be needed to listen again to diaries you found, to know what to do.

Technical BreakdownPC Specs: RTX2080Ti, Ryzen 3900X, 32GB RAM DDR4

  • Critical Problems
  • Optimization
    Good. Normal usage of resources.
  • Performance
    Runs without issues in 1440p, 85hz.
  • Bugs
    Some, detailed above.
  • Other Issues
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