Bioshock PS3 Demo Review

By Mike on 7:39 pm

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Well, here we are again back at Bioshock. One of the Xbox 360's top games of the year for 2007. People ranted and raved about that version. The PC one, however, was like a dog's breakfast, encumbered by the intrusive SecuROM copy protection scheme and numerous bugs that caused the game to frequently crash. For some reason, Take Two thought it would be a good idea to finally port the game to the Playstation 3 one year after it appeared on these other two systems. Does Bioshock for the PS3 match the 360 version? Does it live up to the hype? Lets take a look at the demo.

Bioshock tells the story of an unnamed man who in 1960 has just survived a plane crash in the ocean. While swimming for his life, he discovers a tower in the middle of the sea. Investigating, he discovers it is owned by an Andrew Ryan. You discover a sub in the tower which takes you to the underwater art-deco inspired city of Rapture. After watching a quick movie telling of Ryan's dream, you soon discover that something has gone horribly wrong. The city is infested with crazed mutants, who are of course the city's former residents. Ryan had developed Plasmids, drugs that alter human DNA to give them super powers. The Plasmids, however, ended up corrupting Rapture's citizens into the state they are now. These mutants will attack you on sight. However, you do have one friend, an Irish fellow named Atlas, guiding you through the city by radio as recruits you to searche for his family.

BioShock is a first person shooter. The demo offers three weapons: a revolver, a Thompson sub-machine gun, and a wrench which is used as a club. You can use your weapons by hitting the R2 trigger. You can cycle your weapons using R1. Movement is pretty standard. You can look around with the right stick and move using the left stick. Triangle is used to jump and L3 is used to crouch. Your other offensive weponry includes Plasmids. You encounter your first one pretty early in the game. It allows you to shoot electricity from your hand. Another one found in the demo allows you to shoot fire from your finger tips. Plasmids are controlled using the L2 trigger and are cycled using L1. The closest game I can approximate this system to was the Jedi Knight series as it too combined super powers with shooting. There's not a heck of a lot to say on gameplay since it's pretty much like every other shooter out there.

While moving around rapture, make sure to search areas for items. You can find health packs and Plasmid recharging injections (containing a serum called "Eve") littered around the city. Search your victims too for items. Items can be picked up with the X button, which is also your action button. Health packs can be collected and you can use them with the Circle button. Eve power can be topped up using the Square button. You can also find food and drinks lying around which provide an small but instant health boost. Also, make sure to find the Vita-chambers. If you die, this is your respawn point.

The level designs are good. Everything is done in a 1930s art-deco style, even though that design style went out by the time the city was supposedly built in the mid-40s. It has a distinct 1930s feel about it, which is interesting, though not entirely unique. However, levels aren't entirely inspiring since they're pretty typical for this kind of horror shooter.

One last note is that Take Two has promised downloadable content and gameplay modes that are unique to the PS3 version.

Bioshock is a year old and really shows its age on the PS3. It's not as well polished and detailed as some other recent PS3 titles. I found the graphics to be a bit blurry. The main problem being that the texture resolutions are quite low compared to many other PS3 games released in the past year. Still, they do look ok and the art-deco theme is interesting. The game appears to run at a maximum resolution of at least 1080i. The technical flaws present in the 360 version have not entirely been fixed though. I noticed some frame rate drops during cinematic scenes. Audio is decent enough though its pretty typical for a horror FPS. The game does run fairly smooth and the console versions are definitely better than the hacked together Windows PC version.

Bioshock on the PS3 is an interesting game but I'd hardly call it the masterpiece that the hype machine had labelled it as. It was not 2007s best game. The content and level designs is pretty similar to other horror shooters. The colourful art-deco styling of the game adds some flare to it but not enough to rescue it from being another bland FPS. Bioshock seems to be directly ported from the 360 version and is really starting to show its age. The graphics are stylish though they are quite blurry compared to other recent games. If you've played Bioshock on the 360, or managed to get it to run on the PC, there's really no reason to buy the PS3 version. It's just another generic horror shooter. There's nothing really original about this game at all. Even the much touted moral system is not original as it's been present in games like those based on Star Wars for years. I personally won't be buying it on principle just due to the disgrace that was the PC version.

What Works
-Art Deco inspired world
-Super powers with Plasmid weapons
-Interesting story concept
-PS3 exclusive content

What Doesn't Work
-Blurry, dated graphics
-Some frame rate issues
-Unoriginal, cliched, generic horror shooter.

Score: 7 out of 10

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