Bioshock Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | PC
Bioshock box art
System: X360, PS3, PC Review Rating Legend
Dev: 2K Games 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: 2K Games 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Oct. 21, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Mature 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Trophy support is also a novel addition, though 360 owners used to achievements won’t find any bonuses here. Nevertheless, considering the lack of Trophy support for PS3 software, it’s great that 2K Games was nice enough to oblige our Trophy addiction. For those who already know their way around Rapture, you might want to show off to your friends and go for a Platinum.

Bioshock screenshot

The biggest addition to BioShock has to be that of Survivor difficulty. The subtext associated with this difficulty choice says it all: “Survivor - Every Bullet Counts.” This difficulty setting remains largely the same as Hard, however, you will not be coddled by frequent ammo, health, EVE, and cash drops. You will have to make do with much less, and, as a result, will suffer your way through fights, relying heavily upon Plasmids and liquor (alcohol slightly buffs your EVE meter at the cost of Health). This difficulty setting can get very frustrating, but is definitely a nice challenge.

The most disappointing aspect of BioShock for PS3 has to be the inexplicable absence of the touted Challenge Rooms. At E3 2008, I sat in on 2K Games’ presentation of the Challenge Rooms, and I was really impressed. Challenge Rooms, according to the presentation, were extravagant mini-levels. The Challenge Room featured at E3 had Jack trying to free a Little Sister who was stuck at the top of a Ferris Wheel. The goal in the room was to find a way to get her down before it was too late. The demonstration had players seeking out various electrical sources and items strewn throughout the level. However, Jack was never directly given the Electric Plasmid. Nevertheless, with the meager tools provided, he was able to dismantle traps and get the job done. The demo took us about half way through the level when, all of a sudden, a ton of Splicers flooded the room right before the demo ended. This hinted at a huge amount of variety and replayability for the PS3 version that is simply not available out of the box. This is very unfortunate, as Challenge Rooms seemed like a dynamic feature that was truly going to set the PS3 version apart. Consequently, I would venture to speculate that the Challenge Rooms will no longer be free or exclusive to the PS3. Challenge Rooms will likely be a tacked on DLC with a limited window of exclusivity. We’ll have to wait and see, but the grayed-out “Downloaded Content” option on the main menu seems to confirm this assumption.

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In conclusion, BioShock for PS3 may not be as impressive as I thought it was going to be, but that’s not to say it isn’t the definitive version; it is. And the definitive version of one of the best console games ever made spells “must-buy” for the uninitiated. Nevertheless, the lack of Challenge Rooms was rather disappointing, but, thankfully, many of the glitches have been resolved. Additionally, the visuals are even better than ever (if that’s possible), and the Survivor difficulty setting should have Sony fans tearing their hair out.

By Jonathan Marx
CCC Editor / News Director

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.8
Graphics
The visuals are absolutely stunning! Although, framerate issues are still a problem if you don’t unlock them in the options menu, which then leads to reduced quality.
4.8
Control
Controls are excellent, as they are unchanged from those of the 360.
4.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
As with controls, the mid-20th century tunes, creepy voice work, and gory and powerful effects are as good as ever.
4.7
Play Value
If you’ve never played BioShock, you’re in for a real treat. However, the absence of the touted Challenge Room feature was very disappointing and hurts replayability.
4.7
Overall Rating - Must Buy
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • All-new PlayStation 3 system exclusive content: In addition to the original game experience, PlayStation 3 system fans can enjoy a brand new difficulty mode – Survivor – as well as enjoy Trophy support as they explore Rapture.
  • Choices and consequences: Make meaningful choices and mature decisions, ultimately culminating in the grand question: do you exploit the innocent survivors of Rapture...or save them?
  • The world is your weapon: Take control of your world by hacking mechanical devices, commandeering security turrets and crafting unique items critical to your survival.
  • Weapon upgrades provide ammunition for every situation: Upgrade your weapons with ionic gels, explosives and toxins to customize them to take advantage of your enemies’ weaknesses.
  • Gameplay that evolves to your playing style: Customize your experience by genetically modifying your body through dozens of Plasmid Stations scattered throughout the city and turn your body into the ultimate weapon.
  • Adaptive A.I. provides challenges around every corner: Explore a living world where the inhabitants have interesting and consequential relationships with one another that impact your gameplay experience.
  • Immerse yourself in Rapture: Experience breathtaking visuals that vividly illustrate the forlorn Art Deco city, highlighted by strikingly realistic water effects and meticulously detailed environments.
  • Screen Resolution: Up to 1080p (Full HDTV).


  • Screenshots / Images
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