PS3 Review: Bioshock

Just as fun as the first time round?

I remember the first time I ever played Bioshock, it had everything…gripping story, fantastic visuals, superb controls and a brilliant setting. After a long journey to make it to the PS3, Sony fans will wonder if the wait has been worth it. I can say it has, although I don’t believe that they should have had to wait so long compared to PC and 360 owners. Bioshock begins with your character sitting on a plane over the mid-Atlantic as it crashes into it, you are the only survivor and you stumble across a building that leads to a bathysphere that takes you to Rapture, a underwater utopia that has gone mad.

During your journey in the Sphere to Rapture, you hear some comm chatter between two people saying that there’s company on the way, one of the men comes to meet you but is killed by a splicer, a normal person who has been corrupted by genetic material, which is the focus of Bioshock. The story revolves around you trying to find the creator of Rapture and to silence him once and for all, things aren’t always what they seem and the end result will definitely surprise most, unless you already played it before that is. It feels a little surreal coming back to Rapture for a fourth time (Yes I did play it 3 times on 360) and after getting the Brass Balls achievement for never dying on hard, I swore I’d never play it again. A few months later and here I am, trying to earn the PS3 trophies that the game comes with. It’s actually the first batch of trophies that I’ve got since they were included on the system, so there’s something good too.

Ammo is fairly scarce in Bioshock unless you buy it from a vending machine, there’s also the plasmids to buy which can give you abilities like lightning, freezing, fire and many, many others. But you don’t buy plasmids with money, you buy it with ADAM. What is ADAM? ADAM is the genetic material that Little Sisters carry, they essentially are little girls that are protected by huge metal machines known as Big Daddy’s. You can only get ADAM from a Little Sister by killing the Big Daddy and then approaching her, but then you get a choice…you can either rescue her and make her normal for less ADAM but be rewarded as you go, or you can just absorb her and take it all for yourself. What you decide to do here will result in a different ending to the game. Morality is spun on its head in the world of Rapture and its things like this that I as a gamer, will never forget.

The PS3 version handles very well, it also includes rumble rather effectively…which is perhaps the first PS3 title I’ve noticed that has handled it well apart from MGS 4. There have been a few comparision screenshots and videos floating around the web…some have been trying to say that the PS3 version looks better or the 360 version does. To be honest, I couldn’t notice that much of a difference and it’s not even worth bothering with. They both look fantastic and make good use of the hardware, although the PS3 version has an incredibly long install time to begin with, the load times are shorter. It all comes down to if you’ve played it before, if you haven’t and only have a PS3 then pick it up and play the best game of 2007, just a year later.

With so many great shooters last year, Bioshock was one that stood out from the crowd and while now some people think its over-rated, they couldn’t be more wrong. The controls are solid and in many ways, Bioshock was ahead of its time. It has some great insane characters like Sander Cohen who makes you kill people and take photos of them to display on a masterpiece. Then he gets a little crazy and unleashes splicers on you with classical music playing in the background, it remains one of my best moments of the game and one that I’m sure you will enjoy just as much. The Big Daddy is still incredibly tough to beat and 1000% harder than the final boss, especially on the hardest difficulty…if you attempt that, you need to be prepared with as much health, plasmids and ammo that you can have. If you are unprepared and go to fight them, they will destroy you…make no mistake.

The Verdict

Bioshock makes an excellent conversion over the PS3, keeping everything intact and will soon have its own exclusive content. It may have taken a year to come to Sony fans, but I can guarantee that you will enjoy this one…more than you’ll ever expect to.