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BioShock review

We can hardly Adam and Eve it

There are two or three Daddy/Sister partnerships trudging and pattering around each of Rapture’s seven districts, and attacking them is more of a profitable hobby than the objective of the game. Your motive to do so- and it’s a compelling one- is that the Sisters are the only source of Adam in the game, the currency you need to buy new Plasmids, Tonics and slots. And so, inevitably, you’ll do it.

We shotour first from 30 feet away, figuring that he was tough and powerful but essentially a big ball of metal, and therefore slow.We can now report that Big Daddies are not slow. The instant- the instant- you become a threat to the Little Sister, you’re smashed to the floor by their vast bulk, their face-lights flaring a livid red. This thing closed the distance between us in a fraction of a second, flooredus so suddenly that we thought we’d died, then impaled me on a four-foot drill bit beforewe could get up. They hammer you; the disorientation effects are nauseatingly good, and you can’t walk or shoot straight even if you do manage to escape their raging metal fists for a minute. The Splicers are certainly fierce, but we’ve never seen anything in a game look so angry as a Big Daddy when provoked.

Controlling, containing and defeating that explosion of rage within these volatile environments makes for some of the best boss fights in gaming. But because Big Daddies aren’t immediately hostile, you instinctively clear the whole area before taking them on. You’re then left with three to take down one after the other, and the prospect is daunting. Plenty of different ways exist to do so, but any fight with one of these things exhausts: you don’t feel like going two more rounds immediately afterwards. It’s a minor complaint- you can take them on as you find them, come back later, or leave them in peace- but it’s still an odd decision to pack in so many. One per area would have been just right.

The Big Daddy dealt with, there’s the much-previewed dilemma of whether to "Harvest" or "Save" his Little Sister- there’s a dedicated key for each choice. With the former you get more Adam, with the latter the girl survives. And yet surprisingly, the decision is hardly relevant. You don’t see what it is you do to the poor child either way, and the material reward is ultimately almost the same.

A lot of fuss has been made over the fact that you can’t just shoot the Little Sisters- the sea-slug parasite inside them heals the damage instantly, says the game fiction. But in practice, you get used to the idea very quickly.We mean, hopefully your desire to headshot a toddler is fairly low to begin with, so discovering you can’t do it anyway is not exactly the end of the world.

There are two or three Daddy/Sister partnerships trudging and pattering around each of Rapture’s seven districts, and attacking them is more of a profitable hobby than the objective of the game. Your motive to do so- and it’s a compelling one- is that the Sisters are the only source of Adam in the game, the currency you need to buy new Plasmids, Tonics and slots. And so, inevitably, you’ll do it.

We shotour first from 30 feet away, figuring that he was tough and powerful but essentially a big ball of metal, and therefore slow.We can now report that Big Daddies are not slow. The instant- the instant- you become a threat to the Little Sister, you’re smashed to the floor by their vast bulk, their face-lights flaring a livid red. This thing closed the distance between us in a fraction of a second, flooredus so suddenly that we thought we’d died, then impaled me on a four-foot drill bit beforewe could get up. They hammer you; the disorientation effects are nauseatingly good, and you can’t walk or shoot straight even if you do manage to escape their raging metal fists for a minute. The Splicers are certainly fierce, but we’ve never seen anything in a game look so angry as a Big Daddy when provoked.

Controlling, containing and defeating that explosion of rage within these volatile environments makes for some of the best boss fights in gaming. But because Big Daddies aren’t immediately hostile, you instinctively clear the whole area before taking them on. You’re then left with three to take down one after the other, and the prospect is daunting. Plenty of different ways exist to do so, but any fight with one of these things exhausts: you don’t feel like going two more rounds immediately afterwards. It’s a minor complaint- you can take them on as you find them, come back later, or leave them in peace- but it’s still an odd decision to pack in so many. One per area would have been just right.

The Big Daddy dealt with, there’s the much-previewed dilemma of whether to "Harvest" or "Save" his Little Sister- there’s a dedicated key for each choice. With the former you get more Adam, with the latter the girl survives. And yet surprisingly, the decision is hardly relevant. You don’t see what it is you do to the poor child either way, and the material reward is ultimately almost the same.

A lot of fuss has been made over the fact that you can’t just shoot the Little Sisters- the sea-slug parasite inside them heals the damage instantly, says the game fiction. But in practice, you get used to the idea very quickly.We mean, hopefully your desire to headshot a toddler is fairly low to begin with, so discovering you can’t do it anyway is not exactly the end of the world.

More Info

GenreShooter
DescriptionDive beneath the ocean's surface for a dark masterpiece of gameplay design. Scaring you is just the first of many, many things BioShock does spectacularly right.
Franchise nameBioShock
UK franchise nameBioShock
PlatformXbox 360, PC, PS3
US censor ratingMature
Release date21 August 2007 (US), 24 August 2007 (UK)