I’ve been playing Bioshock on the 360 for the last few days, and yes, it is ‘just a shooter’, but the style of it is very well executed – an alternate reality 1950s gone amok with DNA splicing at the bottom of the ocean, in Rapture.
Perhaps somewhat steampunk in attitude, mixed with art deco architecture, a hint of Edgar Allen Poe, and some downright eerie sound effects which really add to the tension. In all the graphical blaze which adorns most games now, I suppose I’m in the minority to appreciate the sound of a game, perhaps because I play on headphones; the sound effects, voice acting and everything are superb, better than the graphics for impact.
That said the water effects are very impressive if a little uneven – for every impressive cascading torrent of water down a staircase, there’s a rather dull looking ‘wave’ effect through some of the windows. Anyway, I’m about three hours into it and we’ll see if they’ve managed to keep it as taught till the end. I’m kind of hoping to see Cthulu in the last level as some kind of demented boss, but maybe not.
Parallels may be drawn to games such as FEAR, but this takes it much further than that game, which I found a rather overrated, one trick pony. Still the two games, on the PC at least, share the loathsome SecuROM system of copy protection.