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3.7 out of 5 stars
BioShock - Limited Edition Tin Case (PC DVD)
Platform: PCEdition: Special EditionChange
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 8 September 2007
Let's keep this sweet, organized and fair.

BIOSHOCK will only install for a limited number of times (it was 3 but - after a deluge of eMails and bad reviews - it was upped to 5). So, if you install it you will be reluctant to uninstall once finished and will have to carry those 9GB on your HardDrive for a long time. On top of that, its resale value is down the drain the moment one pops the box open...
One has to ask: even after paying £30 for it, WHO ACTUALLY OWNS MY COPY?

The game utilizes an overzealous version of SecuROM 7. They either activated all its available options or had a special version custom made. No other game company dared behaving in such heavy-handed way. This means that the game will not even install if you operate virtual drives and will block certain non-DRM certified Drives.

It has been widely reported that BIOSHOCK installs a RootKit. Both MICROSOFT's ROOTKIT DETECTION TOOL and AVG ANTI-VIRUS detected either the RootKit or its actions. Recently, AVG was made to release a special update (just for BIOSHOCK) to ignore this alert.
In hacker lingo, to "take someone's Root" means to insert a procedure that "will allow the intruders to maintain root access (highest privilege) on the system without the system administrator even seeing them" (Source: WIKIPEDIA).
Official BIOSHOCK announcements (and their "unofficial" reviewers here at AMAZON) will try to persuade everyone who would listen that there is nothing there, so stop looking and don't even mention it.
Understandable reaction since, the existence of a RootKit would be a solid basis for class-action litigation.
Weight the facts and judge for yourself.

BIOSHOCK effectively revokes our Administrator rights on our own computers. Here is what happens: even after completely uninstalling the game there is a mystery folder that canNOT be removed, no matter what!
On WinXP it is located here:
"C:\Documents and Settings\[User Name]\Application Data\SecuRom"
As administrators, we could (unwisely) delete even Windows System folders - yet BIOSHOCK's mystery folder apparently claims a higher authority level? What this folder does and why should it get placed into OUR computers so that we cannot remove it even as Administrators, is beyond me. And I, for one, do NOT appreciate it one bit. (A quick internet search revealed a number of suggestions on how to get rid of it, ranging from clearly unsafe to catastrophic...)
True, almost every game leaves one or two folders behind after uninstalled - but this NEVER REVOKES OUR ADMINISTRATOR RIGHTS to delete them!

I do understand that there are production and publishing costs to get recovered as well as profit projections to be reached. Companies that wish to protect their investment will always try to fight piracy. This is only reasonable and expected.
However, with BIOSHOCK, as it is currently available by 2K GAMES, it gets WAY OUT OF HAND & WELL BEYOND RIDICULOUS!!

No one in the game-publishing industry seems to learn from past mistakes: every security system eventually gets cracked and every "OnLine activation requirement" eventually gets bypassed. So, utilizing an overly intrusive, inconvenient and possibly dangerous security kit only serves in penalizing the people who actually paid good money for their product - and manage to shoot their sales in the foot at the same time.
Look what happened with HALF-LIFE 2: legitimate buyers still have to put up with activating the game every time we want to play - and of course VALVE paid the price: unprotected HL1 had sold TWICE as many units as STEAM-"secured" HL2 ever did (8million and 4million respectively, Source: THE WASHINGHTON POST)

Since I would NEVER install a contraption such as BIOSHOCK onto my computer and wished to have hands-on experience before I reviewed the game, I asked around and a colleague of mine had already made the mistake of purchasing it and installing on his laptop.
The environments are well designed and have a pleasant retro patina; the graphics are very nice, even though they do not meet the hype. They are subpar even to older games such as HL2 (not to mention STALKER).
You see, dark is not always moody, and blurry cannot always be mistaken for dreamy.
I did love the music though! Both the collection of happy-go-lucky and romantic 1940's songs (contrasting with the bleak environment) as well as their smart timing, added to the overall experience.

It was the gameplay I was the least impressed.
Totally linear - as it is has come to be expected from any FPS today I am afraid. To be fair, I cannot imagine a Single Player holding a storyline without being more or less linear (even "free"-roaming FAR CRY did not escape this curse) - but then again, that is why I am not a game designer. And unless the publishers release their creative suffocation of the true game artists, there is no hope for a worthy successor to SYSTEM SHOCK 2.

The controls are not hard to get used to; if not, they are remapable; nevertheless, I would love to have an inventory: cycling between which plasmid and which ammo for which gun can get pretty frustrating. Fast.
And, finally: dying. Regeneration chambers turn the game into a check-point one - and I hate checkpoint-games. Most often than not, they are chosen in order to artificially augment the gameplay duration (having us replay the same segments over and over - instead of saving wherever we feel like it). Moreover, when progressing, you usually end up getting killed just before the next regeneration chamber (and having to repeat quite a distance from the previous one) whereas, when facing a Boss, regeneration takes away all the suspense. Keep respawning, you will eventually get him, his health does not increase if you do.

It is only a slightly above-average game; and if 2K GAMES did not have the guts to publish it for PCs (and is hiding it within an intrusive security Kit) it should have stuck with X-BOX.

Even BIOSHOCK designers acknowledge there is a serious issue with the security measures forced upon them by the publisher. These measures are hurting their game and, so, THERE IS AN UPDATED VERSION COMING IN THE NEAR FUTURE TO FIX THIS!
Don't take my word for it. Google for "Ken Levin-Interview" and "BIOSHOCK-Fixed-Version" and see for yourself. (I tried to add links but Amazon, apparently, does not allow them)

BIOSHOCK has it all: temperamental and Limited number of Installations, overzealous Drive-Blockers, possible cloaked RootKits, irremovable folders...NONE of which is Clearly marked on the product description!!

As it is, it will come NOWHERE NEAR MY SYSTEM!

I would advise waiting for 6 months, they will either clear it up or it will find its way to the clearance bins...Just last week I bought RISE & FALL: CIVILIZATIONS AT WAR for £0.99 (less than 8 months after its release) - and that nugget featured STARFORCE of all things!
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 28 August 2007
The game itself is excellent, but the copy protection stopped me from playing it for a day. Their support line was never answered and when emailing support as directed by the software you just wait 4 hours for an automatic reply saying that if there is a problem you should contact them again. Oh yeah, you can only install it a few times before you'll have to call that support number...

It's a shame as this really spoilt the game for me. Once it was working I've loved every minute of it.
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52 of 61 people found the following review helpful
on 27 August 2007
Before buying this product look up carefully how restricive the publisher is being.

At the moment (27th August 2007) you are only allowed to install it a maximum of 5 times (per PC) and on a maximum of 5 PCs.
Want to replay it a couple of times in the future (as was the case for System Shock and SS 2)? Then you'll hit that limit and probably have to buy a new PC or a new copy of Bioshock.
Upgrading your PC? There is no clear policy as to when it defines your PC as a new PC. Upgrading your processor (which changes its serial number) may well turn it in to a new PC - so may new hard drives, changes in memory etc.

If the company closes down, you won't be able to install it anymore - effectively you are not buying this software but renting it.

After reading the fine print and online information I've decided to do as the manual says and send it back to Amazon instead of installing it.

I don't mind copy protection, I don't mind registration - I do dislike online only activation (though I can live with that) and I will not "buy" something and then have major restrictons placed on how I can use it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 30 August 2007
There's been problems with AVG anti-virus incorrectly thinking the bioshock.exe has a virus, this results in the auto-updater failing and you therefore not being able to install the game. Also it's fussy with your graphic card drivers and nvidia users may find themselves being directed to download new beta drivers (which you do at your own risk). I've tested it out with the latest normal nvidia drivers and it seems to be working fine. Thankfully the online code authorisation worked fine for me.

So far I've found the game itself to be great fun. Beautifull graphics and extremely atmospheric, it features one of my favourite ever intro sequences. Turn the lights off and put some headphones on, it will give you the odd jump ;)

Just be warned, you may not get this installed in a hurry.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 24 September 2007
First off, the game design is outstanding. Throughout my journey through Rapture, I was always looking around and appreciating the details. Having said that though, the texture detail itself seemed low, almost as if the PC users are forbidden from getting anything better looking that the 360 version - despite our (often) superior hardware.

While it's certainly got eye candy, everyone knows these days that pretty graphics are about as useful as eye drops for fish when the gameplay is not there to back it up. So, is the gameply there to back it up? Well, yes and no.

The game runs on rails. What that means is there will be very little in the way of diversity, limiting replay value. Your main choice is whether to save the "little sisters" or harvest them, but this has very little impact on the outcome of the game.

Other choices are the types of plasmids (special powers) you will get. I found most of the plasmids to be largely useless and was using the same ones through most of the game. Still, they were fun to use.

I guess I was hoping to be able to explore rapture a lot more. The ability to have to make your way from one setting to another yourself would have been, in my opinion, far more rewarding than the 8 or so environments accessed only using the bathysphere. I imagine some people would have found this boring, especially the console, ADD afflicted members of the game-playing population.

One more drawback is the lack of variety in bad guys. The splicers get a bit dull after a while. Even the big daddies, while challenging to despatch, become more of an annoyance than a threat. Possibly the most irritating threat comes from the security bots.

There are a few added puzzles and games in the way of "hacking" safes/security cameras/etc, which coud more accurately be described as pumbing rather than "hacking". These can be fun a few times, but you will soon rather be making a lot of auto hack tools, so you need not bother plumbing each time.

Technically, I had absolutely no problems installing or playing the game. I don't think it crashed on me once. Quite an achievement these days. The main technical problem I found was the reduced FOV for widescreen users - you get the same size view as 4:3 users, with the tops and bottoms cut off. Not good, but not the end of the world.

In the end, it is fun, despite it's flaws. Certainly more fun than some other shooters I have played. I do recommend for people looking for a fun single player game to keep them busy for a little while.
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on 30 August 2014
Both game & tin arrived quickly & in great condition.
Game itself is fantastic.
Brilliant gameplay, plot, scripting & graphics.
You can tell alot of effort & passion went into making this game.
Graphics are gorgeous, unique game design & brilliant story.
It may be a little linear, but what game isn't & the sheer array of weaponry, powers & scary bad guys never let's the game loose pace or appeal.
A truly great game when it was first released & still is.
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25 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on 11 September 2007
Boy, did I go through some trouble to get this game and oh boy, was I dissapointed. First my Amazon order failed to come through, then when I finally had it in my hands it refused to run.

Oh yes, that's the first big problem with Bioshock: a quick look at the official forums shows that there's a huge amount of people running into similar problems but they all seem to have different reasons which is not a good sign - Bioshock seems to be hyper sensitive - it doesn't like the anti-virus program AVG, needs the absolutely latest DirectX10 (the one on the DVD is apparantly not new enough when combined with certain Nvidia or ATI drivers), and also new graphic card drivers are wanted, or it conflicts with soundcard drivers, doesn't like certain codecs, etc. etc.

After about 4 days of intensive searching I discovered that Securom was the cause of the crashing - it had a corrupted install and I had to completely remove every trace of it, reboot, reinstall Bioshock, and then finally it worked.

When I finally got to play the game, it only took a few hours for me to discover some big flaws in the game already.

1. While the world is gorgeous, it's very linear which is a terrible shame for such a great setting.

2. splicers are just too easy and the way a whack of the wrench will kill them just as easily as using plasmids (which often doesn't kill them instantaneously anyway) it makes the whole plasmid system feel overkill

3. The world feels too artificial in its design - puddles of water in the right place, oil spots to put on fire, etc. It feels too constructed and takes away from the immersion of the world

4. The game is too simplistic in design - System Shock 1&2 were far deeper and gave you an inventory, etc. but in Bioshock, it seems all you can carry is money, ammo, plasmid injections and health injections. Can you say "dumbed down"?

There's far more, but in the end, Irrational went the wrong way by trying to tie a basic FPS to a great idea that is Rapture. A RPG would have been far more fitting. A game like Fall Out or Baldur's Gate combined with this story would have been a killer. But right now we have an average FPS with some RPG elements but not enough to make the game interesting.

Too linear, too simplistic and not enough balance. More opponents, tougher opponents, more unlinear areas, etc. - it would have made this game much better.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 24 August 2007
Im sure from all the previews that Bioshock is a great game. Trouble is, I havent been able to play it yet, and Im unsure if I will.

Nowhere on any review sites or even here on Amazon does it show that this game NEEDS AN INTERNET CONNECTION to COMPLETE INSTALLATION.

Now obviously, I have an Internet connection (otherwise you wouldnt be reading this :P), but I have 2 PCs, one a custom built gaming PC, and the other a bog-standard min-spec internet access PC. My custom PC never touches the internet- The standard PC is if you like, a safeguard- Any downloads are done there, then transferred to the custom.

So the issue of needing an Internet connection causes problems to say the least!- Right now, Im having to totally reboot and reformat the custom PC, thanks to an over reactive Anti-Virus programme, and the standard PC wont run it.

So BEWARE! And Amazon, game publishers et al, please, please, please, list Internet connection required if it is!
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 4 September 2007
Established FPS players will no doubt be tired of the run-of-the-mill and unoriginal FPS games that seem to be regularly churned out these days. This game is refreshingly different, and one of very few that has not only managed to keep my attention but has left me looking forward to playing it between sessions. The atmosphere and styling is top notch and the story immersive. Exploring the incredibly detailed and well sculpted environment is just plain fun, especially when you have a few hacked security bots for company to fight your battles for you. While the combat is pretty much what you'd expect, it has a few interesting twists. The iconic Big Daddies are strangely loveable, stomping around the place protecting the Little Sisters. I always feel slightly guilty for defeating them, not least of all because of the way that Little Sisters cry for their fallen protectors.

In summary, if you just want to run and shoot you're probably better off with Unreal Tournament 3 - this one isn't for you. If you like exploring and want a game with plot and character, you'll love this FPS - it's not one to be missed.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 26 August 2007
I'd been waiting for this game since I heard about it years ago so I was rather excited to get my hands on it.
One thing that had been bothering me though were the spec's required to run this game, my PC's a Pentium 4 3.4Ghz, nVidia 7600GT, 2Bg RAM so I'm somewhere just over minimum req'd specs. But as with most new games I envisaged a LOT of tweaking to get it run (especially after having seen the screenshots).
Well? Not a bit of it.
After installing (key code activation can be a bit of a pain, took me a dozen attempts) the game updates graphics drivers etc and a couple of (and I MEAN two) tweaks of the graphic settings, I was sorted.
And, OH MY WORD!!! This game is quite simply THE most beautifully designed game I've ever played. Right from the word go, you just KNOW you're playing something VERY special. The art deco interiors are simply stunning, SO imaginative. The sounds (the old gramaphone 40s and 50s "78"s playing here and there) together with the ambient sounds of the "city" immerse you in such a believable world.
I'm not going to go TOO much into the actual gameplay as I think it is best experienced fresh. Suffice to say there ARE vague similarities to HalfLife 2 but the one thing Bioshock has over HL is the freedom to play the way you want to play. Yes you're still being guided toward a final objective, but it's the way it's executed the stands Bioshock apart from HL. There are SO many ways of defeating your foes in Bioshock (EG, I just won my first fight with a major character without lifting a finger...just a little "pre-planning") and I haven't played long enough to recieve all of the available weapons and "powers".
But also, unlike 99% of other games I've played, once you've been to an area of the city, the door isn't closed behind you during some highly coincidental/unlikely occurance, you're free to go back there as much as you like (which IS handy if you've left something there you were unable to carry) but, things might not necessarily be the way you left them.

So is this a HalfLife beater? It's a VERY close one but I think so, yes. It does, I think, feel less funnelled and whilst it may not have the strong character cast of HL, the city itself and all the weird and wonderful enemies and gadgets and the sheer atmosphere created, JUST help Bioshock pip HL to the post.

Sorry Gordon.
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