TODO alt text

BioShock review

We can hardly Adam and Eve it

So that moment, the dark contortions of the plot at large, is the third and final triumph that makes BioShock an instant classic. But it also precedes the third and final problem. This is a short sequence, and not a very difficult one, but its mediocrity is hard to stomach because of when it occurs. It’s the end. After a game so singularly smart and beautiful that it makes others seem laughable, we get a final level that could have been pulled straight from the tripe BioShock puts to shame elsewhere. It doesn’t negate how wonderful the preceding experience has been, but it does rather spoil the mood.

So that moment, the dark contortions of the plot at large, is the third and final triumph that makes BioShock an instant classic. But it also precedes the third and final problem. This is a short sequence, and not a very difficult one, but its mediocrity is hard to stomach because of when it occurs. It’s the end. After a game so singularly smart and beautiful that it makes others seem laughable, we get a final level that could have been pulled straight from the tripe BioShock puts to shame elsewhere. It doesn’t negate how wonderful the preceding experience has been, but it does rather spoil the mood.

Regardless, BioShock is a dark and astonishing masterpiece. It might not be as flawless as Half-Life 2, but it bites off so much more and accomplishes it all magnificently. Even if you’ve soaked up every preview and trailer with relish, you haven’t scratched the surface of how deep this unsettling meditation on hubris and insanity actually goes. If it were just a thrilling ride through a twisted and remarkable plot, BioShock would eventually get old. But there’s a physicality and openness to its richly systematic combat that suggests it’ll stay fresh for a very long time.

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)