IMG Archives
Archives  Reviews  BioShock  



Genre: Adventure & RPG
Min OS X: 10.4    CPU: Intel @ 1800 MHz    RAM: 999 MB    Hard Disk: 8000 MB    DVD-ROM

December 11, 2009 | Franklin Pride

Click to enlarge

Electro Bolt Hand
Editor's Note: Due to current limitations in our authoring system, we are unable to list system requirements higher than OS 10.4. Please be aware that the minimum system requirement for BioShock is OS 10.5.8.

When BioShock was released in 2007, it was met with highly positive reviews for its combination of casual gameplay, immersive atmosphere, and solid mechanics. That was for the Xbox. It's not unusual for Macintosh ports to be produced years after the original game came out, and this is particularly the case with console games. BioShock has finally arrived, so it's time to load it up, stab yourself in the arm with a genetic virus, and start exploring.

Upon beginning the game, you find yourself taking a plane flight. Then it crashes. You don't know why it crashes into the water, or even what happened to everyone else after the crash, just that you need to get out of the water. Well, you might, as the game doesn't prompt you to move in any particular direction after the game starts. You might end up finding yourself swimming in circles for a little while until you spot the only way out: an island with a lighthouse. Naturally, the first thing you find inside the building is a submersible that takes you to an underwater city. Instead of waiting to dry off and check for phones or anything to report the accident, you happily enter the submersible, thus leaving any other surviving passengers out to fend for themselves.

Soon after arriving at Rapture, the underwater city you'll be spending all your time in, you are contacted by your good friend Atlas and meet the local splicers. The first thing you'll notice is that your character is very much like a nameless Gordon Freeman. Everyone talks to you and about you, but your character never responds. (You also gulp down first aid kits like popcorn, but that's another issue.) This doesn't hinder the story progression whatsoever, though, as you will kindly do pretty much anything asked of you by your friend on the radio.

This usually involves finding an item, killing a certain type of splicer, interacting with one of the slightly more sane individuals in the city, or upgrading yourself in some way. No matter what you do, you'll get regular voice messages from your benefactor as you complete objectives and explore the city. You'll also find various audio diaries left by the previous inhabitants which provide a little background and flavor to the story. Some of them even hint at the identity of the final villain of the game, so they can give you an early heads-up to the big reveal.

The twist will be obvious to those who are used to literary twists, but might surprise you if you haven't been reading the audio diaries on the way by. The scenes that follow are very engrossing and reveal a lot about what happened before you arrived and why your plane crashed. Depending on how you played the early parts of the game, the scenes will change slightly, but not significantly. It's all very well done aside from one gaping flaw: the endings.

The endings don't really have much to do with the city itself, and are blatantly good or evil. Without giving any details away, suffice to say you're hugging trees in one and burning those trees with sub-atomic fire in the other. They don't really make much sense in the context of the story and build-up, which is very disappointing. The determinant of which ending you get is also extremely straightforward, and there is no middle ground. It would've been nice to see a neutral ending.

Putting all that aside, there's really nothing to complain about with BioShock as a first-person-shooter. It's extremely atmospheric at all times, provides you many jump scenes and tense situations, and gives you enough to think about to keep the game from getting monotonous. As an example, there's a sequence later in the game that allows you to find a camera. This camera is used to gain certain advantages like higher max health, higher max EVE (mana), and plasmids (spells) that you can't ordinarily get. You can spend the entire game without taking any pictures but the ones that are required by the plot, but the advantages are significant.


Archives  Reviews  BioShock