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72 of 75 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Terrible name - brilliant game
A brief summary of my experience with Bioshock to date.

Firstly, installation - this worked fine for me, but the game must be activated each time it is installed via an online registration process. Internet access is required. There is also an auto-patching mechanism that updates the game to the latest version as part of the install - this took around 5...
Published on 6 Sep 2007 by ry19

versus
25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great game - wait for DRM-free release though
The game's great fun, but I'll come to that in a minute.

Firstly, the game installs SecuROM on your system. You cannot remove this from your system. You must have an internet connection to activate it, and you are limited to 5 installs of the game. Google the forums about this if you want more info, but 2k Software are being utterly pilloried about this and are...
Published on 13 Sep 2007 by dogsolitude_uk


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72 of 75 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Terrible name - brilliant game, 6 Sep 2007
By 
ry19 (London, UK) - See all my reviews
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Bioshock (PC DVD) (Video Game)
A brief summary of my experience with Bioshock to date.

Firstly, installation - this worked fine for me, but the game must be activated each time it is installed via an online registration process. Internet access is required. There is also an auto-patching mechanism that updates the game to the latest version as part of the install - this took around 5 minutes for me on an 8mb broadband connection. I understand some people have had difficulty with repeat installations. At present, it seems that customers are limited to five installations per purchase, although supposedly a credit is given for each time you uninstall. This credit system appears to have gone awry in some cases, but Take 2, the publisher, looks to be making appreciable efforts to deal with issues as they arise. Ultimately if you intend playing on more than one machine, or you have a habit of uninstalling and reinstalling, bear this in mind.

Once installed and activated, all ran smoothly until just after the first introduction movie, when the sound almost completely died, to be replaced by strange clicks and pops. I gather this is another issue that many buyers have experienced, and it seems not to be related to any particular model of sound card or chipset. I solved it by switching off "reverb" and "EAX effects" in the options menu - a bit of a shame, but ultimately not a huge loss. There are other fixes being posted on the internet if this doesn't work - and it doesn't seem to be a problem for the majority of buyers.

Technical issues resolved, I cracked on with playing and was stunned. This game has atmosphere in spades and feels more like an interactive story than anything I have yet experienced. The story in question is entertainingly bonkers - a mad scientist's vision of a utopia under the seas gone horribly wrong. The utopia in question, Rapture, is a highly stylised art deco metropolis rendered with stunning graphics and filled with perfectly judged sound effects and music. I haven't felt so engrossed in a world since Half Life 2, which has a very different style but similar overall feel (in the sense that the game is fundamentally linear, but it just doesn't seem to matter).

Probably the standout element of Bioshock is the ability to modify your genetic make-up to develop new weapons and abilities - for instance, early on you gain the ability to fire lightning bolts from your hands, which can then be used on a simple level to stun enemies, rendering them more vulnerable to a solid whack with the wrench, or on a more strategic level to electrify water and take out multiple enemies, fry electrical devices, or enrage the hulking guardians of the city, the "Big Daddies" and goad them into attacking other bad guys. Later on you can adopt more macabre "plasmids", like the ability to fire swarms of bees, and passive skills like the power to tap into electronic devices. I would echo other reviewers' cautions - this isn't a game for kids or the squeamish, as it can be pretty bloody in places and some of the themes dealt with are controversial. For instance, the substance that enables you to develop the above skills ("adam") is harvested by "Little Sisters", screwed-up children that wander the city tapping corpses for their genetic material. Your choice is whether to free them from their gruesome task or kill them to harvest their adam in turn. At least the choices you make have an impact on how the story progresses, and playing the good guy can lead to some welcome surprises!

A quick note on performance - on a Core 2 Duo 6600 with 2GB RAM, an Nvidia 7950GT (512mb video RAM) and X-Fi Music card it runs nicely at 1280 x 1024 resolution with all but a couple of settings on high. Anything bigger than a 19" monitor and an 8000 series Nvidia or equivalent Radeon card is probably the order of the day.

Basically, once teething troubles are dealt with (one star lost for these) it's a gripping, beautiful, atmospheric interactive movie that plays like a dream, given a decent system. Thoroughly recommended.
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75 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Missing the point.., 18 Sep 2007
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Bioshock (PC DVD) (Video Game)
I think the main criticisms of the game have been done to death, so I'm not going to concern myself with copy protection, DRM, Vita-chambers or difficulty curves. To my mind anyway, these are very minor factors when set against how good this game is.

If you pidgeonhole Bioshock into our well-defined PC gaming stereotypes, it doesn't always measure up. As an FPS alone, it isn't HL2. As an RPG or experiment with emergent gameplay, it isn't Deus Ex or indeed System Shock 2. As a survival horror, it isn't Stalker, and as a stealth/exploration game, it isn't Thief. As a game experience, I honestly think it's better than all of these.

Remember when you first played Deus Ex. Suddenly you were faced with decisions you had never made before in a game, along with a reasonably developed storyline that didn't patronise the player. To my mind, Deus Ex was one of the first 'grown-up' games, with a unique sense of place. Since then, only Vampire - The Masquerade has created the same atmosphere, through its setting, storyline and fantastic voiceovers.

Bioshock combines the very best elements of heavily-scripted FPS games with the enviromment and tools to allow emergent gameplay should you choose to play this way. It's possible to blast your way through in a straight line, but play it on hard and approach it like Thief to really feel the intricacies of the game.

But combat gameplay aside, this is a more perfectly-crafted world than a series of environments to kill people in. With the possible exception of Planetscape:Torment, I've never been as engrossed in the multiple, interwoven storylines Bioshock gradually reveals, never felt so moved, never felt so angry. The scripting and voice-acting is exceptional, and moves Bioshock out of the restrictive gaming medium and into some more immersive.

So there you have it - I can appreciate the critisms levelled at Bioshock, but even if there are shortcomings to the individual gameplay components, mix them all together in the most incrediblly-realised virtual world ever made, put some time into absorbing all the background lore, stories, characters and emotions available, and trust me, you'll have a good time.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great game - wait for DRM-free release though, 13 Sep 2007
By 
dogsolitude_uk "dogsolitude_uk" (Norwich, Norfolk United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Bioshock (PC DVD) (Video Game)
The game's great fun, but I'll come to that in a minute.

Firstly, the game installs SecuROM on your system. You cannot remove this from your system. You must have an internet connection to activate it, and you are limited to 5 installs of the game. Google the forums about this if you want more info, but 2k Software are being utterly pilloried about this and are currently being petitioned to release a patch which will remove the SecuROM system. Please do not buy this game until 2K do so: it's not a good idea to encourage software companies to think they can get away with installing all sorts of stuff on our PCs...

The Game...

The game's great fun, but linear. Random enemies spawn out of nowhere, you can shoot your way out of nearly every situation without having to devise the fiendish traps that were hinted at in previews and reviews. Basically it's a shooter with weird and wonderful weapons and a gorgeous setting.

Some aspects of the game are delightfully nightmarish, and it has some of the most beautiful setpieces I've ever seen in a PC game.

Definitely add it to you wishlist, but wait until 2k have got rid of SecuROM first before buying it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Has Never Worked in 5 Years, 21 Jan 2012
This review is from: Bioshock (PC DVD) (Video Game)
I bought this game at retail, a little while after release, when the price had dropped to just over £20. It was so long ago that I cannot remember precisely when I purchased it, but the last time I nearly managed to install it was some four years ago.

I spent a long time in the build-up to release simply basking in the gorgeous concept art and the game's art deco theme. To this date I've not managed to play it, as it will not run on my Vista machine with an nVidia 8600GS graphics card. It used to be that I could run the installer, boot up the menu and click to start a new game, only to have it freeze/crash before it could load the opening cinematic. It did run on my housemate's PC at the time, but would not have any of my hardware. I'd tried contacting 2K Games' support, and after waiting for weeks, I got a couple of to-and-fro responses and no actual progress. As far as I am aware, the game has only been patched once, but somehow the last time I tried to connect to the game's patching server - a vital part of setup which cannot be skipped - it was down.

I've been loathe to buy the Steam version of this game because although most of that platform's titles work without issue, I've no guarantee, and it means me buying a second copy of a game which should have worked from the start. I did manage to install its sequel without any issues during Steam's winter sales, however.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best game ever!, 25 Feb 2008
By 
N. Kay "iamagoblin" (york, Britain) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Bioshock (PC DVD) (Video Game)
Well what can i say? Just finished this wonderfull game. I've been playing games for a few years now and up until this point would have said half life two was the best game i've played. Bioshock has changed that view. I have never played such an immersive game before. Not only does it look and play beatufully, it involves you deeply. The storyline is fantastic, getting you emotionaly involved. The story twists and turns all over. You have to make moral decisions which affect the outcome of the game. The voice acting is superb as well, even the repeated phrases don't grate. Visualy it is stunning with gorgeous design. In fact i can't think of any nagatives! well you do need a powerful system....
If you like gaming your life will not be complete without playing this little gem! well not so little, it's bloody long! :-) Go on, buy it! you know you want it!!!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awarded game of the year for good reason., 20 Nov 2007
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Bioshock (PC DVD) (Video Game)
Ignore the naysayers - this is truly a great game, and comfortably one of the best shooters on the PC this year. Let's deal with a few of the issues mentioned by other reviewers first of all...

Yep, OK, SecuROM is a pain in the bum. But, anti-piracy software is a given these days - there's no getting away from it so let's all just make do. I'm not going to be re-selling my copy, so I can't say I'm too fussed about that.

I did get a Huge problem with my anti-virus (AVG) believing Bioshock to be a Virus. But then, AVG is Free, and you get what you pay for. As soon as I junked AVG (which was rubbish anyway) and installed a new, purchased anti-virus,, it worked perfectly. Result? Bioshock is fine, my anti-virus was the problem.

2K Games' Support is lamentable. I agree - it's pretty awful, but there are enough knowledgeable people on the various forums that I didn't need 2K Support in the end to fix the problem above.

OK, those are the downsides. Can you live with those? If so, then good for you! Enjoy the game for what it is, and I promise, you do not want to miss Bioshock...

This is simply one of the most compelling involving and affecting games I've played. Ever. It's the kind of game that gets into your head, and you'll be hearing the Big Daddies' whale-song calls even while you sleep.

The crumbling, Art-Deco setting of Rapture is a phenomenal place to roam around, and the game gives you the freedom to wander to any corner of it in almost any order you like, and while it's not as big as Oblivion, for example (obviously...), there's still a lot to see in the dark reaches off the beaten paths.

The atmosphere is exceptionally rich and colourful, even the splicers look good (but horrible, of course) and you do start to dread what might be around each corner as things get worse.

The plot is best left well alone in any review, rest assured that it's outstanding, although I will admit that you do find yourself slogging forwards at times just to progress the story. It's so much better and has much more impact if you just find out for yourself. In terms of brief scene-setting, you are alone and stranded in a dilapidated underwater city where all the inhabitants are now insane mutants, hell bent on murdering anyone who strays into their home. The city is also home to Little Sisters, little girls with piercing red eyes and their own agenda, and their protectors, the deep sea diving suited Big Daddies.

Interestingly, the Big Daddies are just about the only things in the game that are not hunting you. You can just quietly walk past one of the big chaps, utterly unharmed, and he will either ignore you, or just shake his fist at you threateningly if you're a little too close the child in his care. But get even a little closer to her and he'll go totally Wild, Ape even. And then you're dead. You have to deal with them though, as you can't finish the game without getting hold of the Adam chemical, and you can't get that without saving or killing little sisters. The only way you can deal with the little girls though is to see off the Big Daddy guarding her. Quiet and gentle the big fellah may be, but rouse him and it's like a building coming down on you.

And I can guarantee that the first time you bring down a Big Daddy to get at the Little Sister he protects will be the most heart-rending thing you have ever experienced in a game. If you can ignore a little sister's wails of despair ("Please, Mr Bubbles, PLEASE get up!") just after you have minced her only protector, and her feeble, childish attempts to fight you off as you bear down on her don't move you and fail to instil even a bit of guilt, then I can't imagine what sort of person you must be. And, of course, then you have to make the choice to be a hero and save her, or to silence her forever. The choice you make directly affects the outcome of the game and how you are treated as you progress. Personally, I finished the game without "harvesting" a single little sister, but I will have to play it again and see how that changes the outcome. I don't know if I am the kind of bloke who can murder little girls though...

OK, your arsenal of weapons feels a bit puny and uninspired, even after you've done numerous upgrades to your stock guns, but that's not why you're here, is it? The main thing that's "new" here are the Plasmids. Funky Bio-weapons that you can use to upgrade yourself, resulting in remarkably cool abilities like flames, ice, electricity and indeed an army of bees that crawl out of your skin before launching themselves at your now terrified enemies (well, you would be, wouldn't you?). In practise, the plasmids work a lot like magic in a role play game, but there's no denying how ace they feel.

So all in all, buy this game and play it. It's difficult to imagine a richer FPS gaming environment on the PC today.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 24 Aug 2007
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Bioshock (PC DVD) (Video Game)
Well its great, plain and simple. Although i haven't played it long I'm already really into it. Firstly the graphics are really amazing, when i first gained control of my character i didn't realise as i thought i was still i a cinematic clip. Water and fire look great and the textures are really detailed and nice. I'm playing on a 7600gs and have everything on high and it runs really well. As all know it support DX10 and i can only boggle at the concept of how it would look then.

As for the gameplay movement is really nice, the switching between ur bio upgrades and ur weapons is smooth (although because its mouse 2 to switch between bio/weapon i keep pressing it by mistake trying to bring up a non-existant ironsight). The guns feel nice and balanced and don't take up to much of the screen. The bio upgrades are really well animated and add a new level to gameplay. Although as I've only played for a bit i haven't even begun to collect and use them.

The atmosphere is creepy with scary lighting and nerve jangling sounds. The enemies are so bizarre that I'm a little freaked out by them. The post modern feel of the game with its 40's architecture also combines to make this a very atmospheric game.

Overall i give this 9/10, its losing 1 for not have multi player.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth Completing Once Only., 18 Sep 2007
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Bioshock (PC DVD) (Video Game)
I know you all love your Percentages here it is for Bioshock

Graphics 93% Better water than Oblivion, lovely 1950s decor style to the levels.

Sound 97% - Best use of sound in a game imho. The haunting music, insane laughter of the crazed doctors, the little commentaries enemies give when attacking you, the groans and heavy footsteps of Big Daddies, the Little Sisters...i could go on but it is very well done nuff said.

Gameplay 85% - On your first few levels you'll love it you'll love the plasmids, the hacking, the fighting Big Daddy's, Setting splicers on fire, freezing enemies etc etc

Lastability 70% - About halfway through the game you'll realize it doesnt get any better in terms of actual gameplay and now you're just playing to complete the story, which admittedly is quite good. The levels are very repetitive. You will end up not bothering using hacking anymore because its time consuming, boring and you can make and buy lots of autohack tools for it.

Overall score 85% - Minus another 5% if youve played System Shock 2 because they are very similar games.

Also this is quite an easy game - vita chambers all over the place, ammo, health and eve packs litter each levels in abdundant supply. This detracts from the tension and atmosphere of the game.

Its a good game just dont expect it to be a Deus Ex beater - all hail the King
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!, 18 Nov 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Bioshock (PC DVD) (Video Game)
Played this game once or twice in the past month. Not had alot of free time however iv got a relatively low spec computer and this runs on high graphics which is great for me! Love this game and will complete it when im free. Such a bargain too!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hopefully the future!, 6 Feb 2008
By 
Oj Wakefield "Musketoon" (Cornwall, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Bioshock (PC DVD) (Video Game)
Looking through these reviews all the critisisms seem to be primarily technical - fair enought it is annoying but can be sorted and if ure gonna pick it up now the patch and drivers should have sorted it.

This game is hopefully the future! Its sales prove that the console crowd at least in part appreciate depth. Admittedly this game isnt what id call hardcore - compared to deus ex and system shock 2 the RPG elements are much simpler and more streamlined with arguably less depth. None the less the combat is superior to both these games in its excitement and visceral nature. What is more important is like the forementioned this game has themes, ideas and good characters. The setting is beyond beautiful and despite the graphics engine being jus below the cutting edge it is still the best looking game out there due to the meticulous art design. Sadly the last sequence feels rushed and the multiple choice thing is forced but still lets hope that theres more to come not just from 2K but from other developers. Its about time someone put depth back in games!
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Bioshock (PC DVD)
Bioshock (PC DVD) by Take 2 Interactive (Windows Vista / XP)
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