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     " Despite a fairly simple gameplay style and some quirky technical issues, Bioshock really is the next must-play title for PC gamers. "

      Title: Bioshock by 2K Games

      Format: PC First Person Shooter

      Reviewing Monkey: Dungapult

      The Hype: One of the most hyped, and most discussed, PC games of all time finally arrives on our doorstep. But can a game that's been called "revolutionary" and "groundbreaking" ever live up to the hoopla? Read on, my Monkeys, and find out.

      What This Monkey Thought...

      Graphics: One of the great joys of being a long time gamer is getting to see when technology makes another big leap and Bioshock's one of those games that really makes you go, "wow, we've come a long way." It's pretty, and shiny, and detailed, and all of those things the next generation of games should be. The models are beautifully detailed, the environments are rich and lush, and the effects are downright snazzy. That said, the whole game is presented in a pastel and somewhat cartoony style that won't please everyone. 5 out of 5

      Playability: Contrasting the joys I spoke of in the graphics, one of the worst part about being a veteran reviewer is knowing when you're going to have to write something that's bound to be a hot button. What's worse, sometimes you have to write something that's going to make people on both sides of a game unhappy...and I am so certain this is going to be one of those reviews that I'm going to just going to go ahead and sound the air raid siren on my email account now.
           So here it is: Gameplay wise (and, remember, we're only talking about gameplay here), Bioshock is nothing inherently special. Yup, I said it, it really does play just like any other shooter. Though people will argue that it's hacking mini-games and customizable weapons make it something unique, the truth is it's not markedly different from things we've seen in the genre before. You run around, using an assortment of conventional weapons, and compliment them with an equal array of magical-like special attacks. And, if played like any other shooter, it won't be overly challenging or overly engaging.
           Now, that said, what is special is the way Bioshock lets you creep out of the box and get creative. By combining your conventional and special attacks, or even combining your special attacks with each other, you can do some really darned exciting and entertaining things. You can trick your enemies into attack each other, you can lay elaborate traps, and you can modify your existing weapons into exciting and original super weapons. All of which are a genuine hoot.
           But only if you really want to.
           There is really no requirement for you to do so--hell, if you wanted to, you could go through the whole bloody game using nothing but the wrench you start out with...but if you're so inclined, you can stretch the gameplay out into something very, very fun.
           The other issue with the game, which I will mention here since this is the closest thing I have to a technical/hardware/system category on our review sheet, is that there have been a myriad of technical issues reported, and experienced by us, within the retail version of the game. With problems ranging from random audio glitches to full out failures to load, be advised that there is something of a crapshoot in getting the game to run for some people...though that should be fixed with the first couple of patches. 3.75 out of 5

      Story and Drama: Though the gameplay itself might be somewhat mundane, there is absolutely nothing ordinary about the story in Bioshock. Presented with a depth and style comparable to any mainstream horror movie or novel, the reason to play Bioshock is to immerse yourself in its richly detailed, elaborate world.
           The game opens as you crash land in what should be the middle of the ocean, only to find that your plane has come down next to the aquatic city of Rapture--a man-made utopia that was designed to be a beacon away from the civilized world for humanity's best and brightest to congregate. In Rapture, scientists worked feverishly to design body-enhancing plasmids, life-improving medications, and snazzy robots meant to tend to our every need. Instead, it all went horribly, horribly awry.
           And, unfortunately, that's about all I can tell you about the story without spoiling it. I can relate, however, that what follows is a solid (though somewhat brief) tale of survival, corruption, and a well-intentioned road to hell that is unquestionably worth your time and energy. I can also assure you that, unless you are one seriously mindless twitch gamer who cares more about quick frags than anything else, you'll be thrilled with the change from repetitive online deathmatching. 5 out of 5

      Multiplayer and Replayability: Sadly, there is no multiplayer, online or otherwise, and no real replayability from the linear storyline. That said, don't let it put you off...you've been due to spend some quality time with yourself anyways (and no, not that kind of quality time).

      The Verdict:

       Despite a fairly simple gameplay style and some quirky technical issues, Bioshock really is the next must-play title for PC gamers. It's entertainingly customizable combat gear and killer graphics are probably worth the price of admission by themselves, and the incredible story unquestionably puts it over the top. A feast for your brain as much as your eyes.

      The Good: Very pretty and fantastically scripted.

      The Bad: No multiplayer, a combat system you have to work to find engaging, and some technical problems.

      The Overall Ugly: A great game. Definitely worth playing.

      What it's Worth: Market.

Buy it for PC from Amazon.com

Buy it for Xbox 360 from Amazon.com

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