My First "Real" Game Review Is Now Live!

29 01 2009

As you may remember, I am beginning to write reviews and commentary for an upcoming site.  The site isn’t yet live, but my first professional review (For Bioshock) is being posted at the upcoming gaming site’s sister site, TerrorTube.  I’m not a horror fan, actually, so it’s funny that I was chosen to write there (Thanks, Heather!) but I’m happy to find a home for my reviews and I’m excited for the opportunity to write in a more professional manner.  It would mean a lot to me if you would check it out (and tell your friends, especially those into horror film, I suppose)!  Click the jump for an excerpt and a link to the full article!

Bioshock, developed by 2K:Boston and created by Lead Designer Ken Levine, is the story of a man who crashes into the ocean from an airplane in 1960, and discovers a strange and disturbing world underneath the water, called Rapture.  Created by entrepreneur and social revolutionary, Andrew Ryan, Rapture was to be a Humanistic wonderland where there was no religion, no government, only the fruits of a men’s labor.  However, Rapture is not as was intended.  In fact, Andrew Ryan’s utopia under the sea has become a dystopia filled with mad men and women, disfigured from gene splicing and modifications that have altered their minds and bodies to grotesque caricatures of their former selves. 

After an amazing opening sequence, you meet Atlas through the radio, a mysterious figure who enlists your help to save his family and to help him (and yourself) escape Rapture and the clutches of Ryan’s megalomania. 

While the game is out on the Xbox 360 as well as recently for the Playstation 3, I played the PC version, which can be purchased at retail or as I did, through Valve’s Steam service.  Therefore, I cannot vouch for the controller gameplay, but if it is anywhere near the control given through mouse and keyboard, I am certain it is more than adequate. 

First thing to know: The visuals are gorgeous.  When you first enter the bathysphere and descend into Rapture, it’s an amazing sight to behold.  The Art Deco underwater world is finely detailed and really immerses you into the character, the setting, and the tension that is all around you throughout the game.  While the graphics may not quite have the same polish as some newer high-definition games, the style complements the gameplay and the overall world that Levine and 2K have created in Rapture.  Exceeding the visual presentation still, is the amazing care taken with the audio production.  Every sound, every character’s cry, moan or utterance is perfect for the world.  Even the audio used to establish the setting is wonderful and creepy at the same time, be they tracks created for the game, or the handful of licensed tracks from the era.  The foley work is excellent and appropriate, and the voice acting is stellar.  As far as immersion goes, the game developers demonstrated absolute mastery of their craft, really giving the player ample opportunity to place themselves in Rapture, and lending ample reason to come back again and again…

For the full review, and a place to add comments (please do!) of the story, check it out HERE.

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