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BioShock Xbox 360 Review: Shockingly Good!

I had no intention of buying Bioshock. Yeah the graphics looked great and it was getting some buzz, but it had no multiplayer and Halo 3 is coming out in a month or so. Then I played the (painfully short) demo and wanted more, and when the first stellar reviews started coming in, I was sold. Bioshock is a great single player experience, probably the best FPS single player experience I have ever had. Yes, it's that good.

Gameplay: 10/10
Pros: A perfect blend of RPG elements into a FPS. Extreme flexibility in the way the game is can strategize and set traps, use plasmids (magic attacks), hack machines to do your dirty work, research every creature as a photographer, specialize in weapons, or just go guns blazing and focus on twitch gameplay. It is absolutely fantastic. Add in amazing enemy AI, a fantastic story, and stat building and you have an incredibly addictive and fun game.

Graphics: 10/10
Gears of What? Bioshock is a gorgeous game...simply play the demo and by the time the tail of the plane crashes into the tube spraying water everywhere (see video above) you should be convinced. It uses the same Unreal engine that every graphic gem seems to use on the 360, but has so many effects, subtleties and touches that it just outshines them all. The art style is truly one of a kind and the futuristic underwater city is both futuristic, yet horrifyingly familiar and historic as well since the game is brilliantly set in 1960.

Sound/Music: 10/10
The Voicework is top-notch and film quality. In fact the music, score, and voicework is so excellent that you cannot help but think Bioshock film. Like all other aspects of the game, the polish and detail is just exceptional...even the piano notes played when you cycle the start menu, capture the tone and immersion of this game.

Lasting Appeal: 9/10
Pros: The single player experience is a long and investing one. The world encourages you to explore and learn more about it. The gameplay is great and it encourages more play throughs just playing around in the world. The game is never frustrating...even when you die against a tough boss, you're instantly revived at a chamber nearby and your enemies are as hurt as they were when you left them...unless they heal at a health station...this aspect makes you lose yourself in the game and literally lose hours immersed in the city of Rapture.
Cons: There is no multiplayer experience and while this is understandable due to the depth of the single player experience, one can't help but wish that multiplayer was included. I imagine the multiplayer would have been reminiscent of shadowrun...or how shadowrun should've been executed. This game is so good that any end to it is a con.

Average: 97.5%
Tilt: +2.00%

When all is said and done, this game is a work of art. Every aspect is cohesive, immersive, intriguing, and ultimately satisfying. This game is like a fantastic book that you curl up with, get immersed in, and then go to bed with nightmares about. A definitive gaming moment in the era of next gen gaming.

Verdict: 99.5%

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