E3 06: BioShock surfaces

Why syringes? The freaks that live in Rapture are also genetic engineers, but the magic stuff of life, Adam, is no longer available... unless you can scavenge it from the bodies lying around. Over the course of the game, you too wind up needing Adam to genetically alter yourself and upgrade your abilities with things like speed boosts. But what will you do to get Adam? Will you sink to their level of hostility? Unlike most first-person shooters which give you a military-grade arsenal, here you're a desperate, essentially powerless person in a hostile, unfamiliar environment - and that's what makes it scary.

In the booth, the game was running on a 360 development kit and the water effects already looked fantastic - as they should, in a game that uses the ocean itself to make the player feel trapped and isolated. At any point, the ocean could crash in and destroy what's left of Rapture, and you along with it. The game's art deco stylings make it look completely unique among shooters and the use of music from the era sounds completely spooky when piped through abandoned hallways. We say 2007 can't come fast enough - BioShock has all the hallmarks of not just a good game but a landmark, nightmare-inducing experience.