Of all the things BioShock is bringing to the shooter genre, the most important is the most simple - imagination. Even if it didn't have the back-up of an RPG-style character upgrade system, or artificial intelligence for its creatures that will make them behave like one big murderous, unhappy family, its vision and visuals are unique.
Next-generation power can allow developers to do so much more than render higher-resolution brick walls or shinier metal tunnels, and so BioShock is a flickering '60s neon sign saying Let's Try Something Different. And, for better or for worse, it's going to stand alone from the pack of muddy, bloody WWII battlefields or futuristic space marines in next year's line-up.
BioShock is coming in 2007 to PC and Xbox 360
Above: We haven't heard too many sighs of 'Here we go again - another '60s Art Deco retro-future undersea shooter'