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Bioshock

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BioShock was released on August 21, 2007 in North America, and on August 24th in the EU and Australia, with a standard edition and a limited edition. BioShock is the "genetically enhanced" action-adventure, survival horror first-person shooter by Irrational Games/2K Australia (Now known as Irrational Games, again.[1]). While exploring the underwater dystopia, Rapture, the player is urged to turn everything into a weapon: biologically modifying their own body with plasmids, hacking devices and systems, upgrading their weapons, crafting new ammo variants, and experimenting with different battle techniques are all possible. The philosophy, architecture, and society of Rapture were strongly inspired by the works of Ayn Rand, especially the novel Atlas Shrugged. The game itself is described by the developers as a "spiritual successor" to their previous PC title System Shock 2. BioShock received high praise in critical reviews for its audio and visual quality, and its unique gaming experience.

StoryEdit

At the start of the game, Jack (the player protagonist) is a passenger on an airplane that goes down in the Atlantic Ocean in 1960, some time after ordered society in Rapture has collapsed. After surfacing, Jack finds himself the only survivor of the crash, and swims to a nearby towering lighthouse on an island, where he finds a bathysphere which he uses to descend into the ocean and enter the city of Rapture. An Irishman, Atlas, via the service radio found in the bathysphere, assists Jack in making his way to safety, while Andrew Ryan, believing Jack to be an agent of a surface nation, uses Rapture's automated systems and his pheromone-controlled Splicers against him. Atlas tells Jack that the only way he can survive is to use the abilities granted by plasmids, and that he must kill the Little Sisters to extract their ADAM. Overhearing Atlas' words, Dr. Tenenbaum intercepts Jack, and urges him to save the Little Sisters instead, giving him a plasmid that will displace the embedded sea slugs in each Sister. Atlas says his wife and child have been hiding on a submarine and directs Jack towards it. Just as Jack and Atlas reach the bay where it is located, Ryan has it destroyed; an enraged Atlas asks Jack to kill Ryan.

Eventually, Jack confronts Ryan in his office, where the latter is casually playing golf. Ryan reveals a truth that he has pieced together. Jack was actually born in Rapture a mere two years ago, genetically modified to mature rapidly. He is Ryan's illegitimate son by an affair with Jasmine Jolene, an exotic dancer. Ryan further reveals that, after purchasing Jack's embryo, Frank Fontaine designed him to obey orders that are preceded or followed by the specific phrase "Would you kindly..." Jack was then sent to the surface when the Civil War started to put him beyond Ryan's reach. When the conflict between Fontaine and Ryan reached a stalemate, Jack was sent instructions to board a flight with a package and to use its contents, a revolver, to hijack and crash the plane near the lighthouse; enabling him to return to Rapture as a tool of Fontaine. Because Jack was Ryan's son, he could freely use Rapture's bathysphere network, which had been locked out to everyone except those within Ryan's "genetic ballpark". Finally, Ryan has Jack kill him, wanting to die on his own terms. With Ryan's death, Jack realizes too late that Atlas has also been using the trigger phrase to control him. Atlas reveals himself to be Frank Fontaine, who faked his death to throw Ryan off his trail and take control of the city, leaving Jack at the mercy of the reactivated security systems. Dr. Tenenbaum and her Little Sisters help Jack escape through the vent system, where he falls and loses consciousness.

When Jack awakens, Dr. Tenenbaum has already deactivated some of his conditioned responses (such as the trigger phrase itself) and assists him in breaking the remaining ones, among them one that would have eventually stopped his heart. When it becomes clear to Fontaine that he is losing control of Jack, Fontaine points out the peculiar fact that Tenenbaum has survived both World War II[5] as a Holocaust victim and the battle in Rapture, insinuating that she has a secret agenda of her own. With the help of the Little Sisters, Jack is able to track down Fontaine. Fontaine, having been cornered, injects himself with vast amounts of ADAM and becomes an inhuman monster. Jack battles Fontaine, eventually prevailing and allowing the Little Sisters to subdue and extract the ADAM from Fontaine, killing him.

Three endings are possible depending on how the player interacted with the Little Sisters, all narrated by Dr. Tenenbaum. If the player rescued all of the Little Sisters (therefore saving their lives), the ending shows five Little Sisters returning to the surface with Jack and living full lives under his care, including their graduating from college, getting married, and having children; it ends on a heart-warming tone, with an elderly Jack surrounded on his deathbed by all five of the adult Little Sisters.

If the player harvested (and therefore killed) all of the Little Sisters, the game ends with Jack turning on the Sisters after defeating Fontaine, presumably killing them all and taking their ADAM. Tenenbaum narrates what occurred, condemning Jack and his actions, voice thick with anger and contempt. Later in the second ending, a ballistic missile Submarine[6] carrying a nuclear missile comes across the wreckage of the plane and is suddenly surrounded by bathyspheres containing Splicers. The Splicers kill all hands aboard the submarine and take control of it. If the player saved some of the Little Sisters, but killed a fair few as well, the ending is visually identical to the second one, though the tone of Tenenbaum's voice is a sad one, as opposed to angry.

GameplayEdit

BioShock is an FPS[7] with some RPG[8] customization elements to the game. The health/mana system functions similar to System Shock 2. Health and EVE can be replenished with First Aid Kits and EVE Hypos, of which the player can carry a limited quantity. Alternative methods of replenishment are use of Health Stations and consumable items scattered around Rapture. The main currencies used in the game are ADAM and Rapture dollars. ADAM is used to purchase genetic upgrades from Gatherer's Gardens, while monetary funds are used for vending machines and various other purchases.

Conventional weapons are collected and upgraded throughout the game, in addition to unconventional genetic weapons and upgrades. Plasmids give the player special powers such as Telekinesis or Electro Bolt, which are used in fighting off the deranged population of the underwater city of Rapture. The plasmids are active offensive and defensive weapons, while Gene Tonics function as passive bonuses to combat and other abilities. Genetic upgrades are grouped under three types: Physical Tonics, Engineering Tonics, and Combat Tonics. The player at times will need to use stealth to slip by security devices and enemies, and can also hack into security devices to turn automated defenses to his side.

BioShock expands beyond the normal realm of FPS games, providing the player with the ability to craft items combining various items and components found around Rapture to create ammunition, traps, hacking devices, and even some gene tonics. The player can hack safes, vending machines, and mechanical devices. Weapons can be loaded with three different kinds of ammo that provide an advantage against some enemies, while forming a disadvantage against others. The Research Camera allows the player to learn and exploit enemy weaknesses, yielding damage bonuses and other exclusive rewards. Upon dying, the player will respawn at the nearest Vita-Chamber at no cost.

Achievements and trophiesEdit

There are 50 achievements for a total of 1000 points, ten of which are secret. There is also a new achievement added when the game is updated with DLC from Xbox LIVE. This achievement is secret and is worth 100 points, taking the grand total to a possible total of 1100.

The Playstation 3 Version of BioShock contains all of the content added to the PC and Xbox 360 versions with later downloads. There is also an additional difficulty level that was added, and the PS3 DLC adds new Challenge Rooms. The trophies for the PS3 are the same as the Xbox 360 achievements, but new trophies are added for PS3 exclusive DLC.

CharactersEdit

Main charactersEdit

  • Andrew Ryan
  • Atlas
  • Brigid Tenenbaum
  • Frank Fontaine
  • Jack Ryan

Minor CharactersEdit

  • Albert Milonakis
  • Angelina
  • Anna Culpepper
  • Anton Kinkaide
  • Anya Andersdotter
  • Augustus Sinclair
  • Bill McDonagh
  • Brenda
  • Charlie
  • Diane McClintock
  • Dieter Sonnekalb
  • Hector Rodriguez
  • Jasmine Jolene
  • Johnny
  • Julie Langford
  • J.S. Steinman
  • Kyburz
  • Kyle Fitzpatrick
  • Lloyd Webster
  • Marianne Dellahunt
  • Mariska Lutz
  • Martin Finnegan
  • Masha Lutz
  • Pablo Navarro
  • Paparazzi
  • Peach Wilkins
  • Pierre Gobbi
  • Roland Wallace
  • Rose
  • Rosenberg
  • Sammy G.
  • Samuel Lutz
  • Sander Cohen
  • Silas Cobb
  • Steve Barker
  • Sullivan
  • Tasha Denu
  • Timmy H.
  • Winston Hoffner
  • Yi Suchong

WeaponsEdit

WrenchEdit

The Wrench is the first weapon and the only melee weapon Jack acquires in the game (unless the golf club used in a single cut scene is counted). The design is based on a 2.5" pipe wrench and works very well with Winter Blast and Electro Bolt. It is the only weapon in the game that cannot be upgraded, but there are a number of Physical Tonics and Combat Tonics that enhance Jack's combat ability with the Wrench. When properly equipped with these tonics, the Wrench has the highest damage per second of any weapon in the game. Big Daddies can also be successfully defeated with it, but they are highly resistant to melee damage. Some Splicers also carry a wrench and will drop it when killed. These wrenches can then be picked up like any other weapon a Splicer drops. However, there is no apparent reason for doing this, as the Wrench has no ammunition. The Wrench is also an excellent weapon choice in order to conserve ammunition for other weapons.

PistolEdit

The Pistol is the first ranged weapon acquired in the game. It is based on the Webley Mk IV revolver[1], chambered in .38 S&W. It has a good rate of fire, good range and accuracy, and does a moderate amount of damage. Its main weaknesses are small clip size and low ammo reserve capacity. However, the damage and clip size can both be increased with upgrades at a Power to the People station, making the Pistol a far more effective weapon. Ammo for the Pistol is abundant for the first half of the game, making it a choice weapon for many scenarios.

Machine GunEdit

The Machine Gun is the second ranged weapon acquired in the game. It is based on the 1921 Thompson "Chicago Typewriter" submachine gun[3]. It fires a rapid spray of bullets, each doing a moderate amount of damage. Its main weaknesses are heavy recoil and low accuracy at long range. However, the damage can be increased and the recoil reduced with upgrades at a Power to the People station, increasing the Machine Gun's effectiveness. The Machine Gun has high clip and ammo reserve capacities, and ammo is widely abundant throughout the game.


ShotgunEdit

The Shotgun is the third ranged weapon acquired in the game. It is based on 1950 Remington 870 shotgun[4]. It fires a wide burst of pellets with high damage that are most effective at a short range. Its main weaknesses are ineffectiveness at long range, a low magazine capacity, and a slow rate of fire. However, the damage and the rate of fire can be increased with upgrades at a Power to the People station, making the Shotgun even more powerful. The Shotgun has a high ammo reserve capacity, and ammo is common throughout the game.

Grenade LauncherEdit

The Grenade Launcher is the fourth ranged weapon acquired in the game. It is a custom assembly of household and commercial parts. It fires grenades that do high damage and have a wide splash damage radius. They are fired at an arc, making targeting at long range require some estimation. Its main weaknesses are a low ammo cartridge capacity, a slow rate of fire, and the potential for collateral damage. However, the damage can be increased and immunity to collateral damage can be gained with upgrades at a Power to the People station, further increasing the usefulness of the Grenade Launcher. The Grenade Launcher has a low ammo reserve capacity, and ammo is somewhat rare throughout the game.

Chemical ThrowerEdit

The Chemical Thrower is the fifth ranged weapon acquired in the game. It is a custom assembly of household and commercial parts. It fires a straight, continuous stream of chemical substance as ammo is consumed. Its main weaknesses are a slow reload time, ineffectiveness at long range, and a very high rate of ammo consumption. However, the effective range can be increased and ammo consumption rate decreased with upgrades at a Power to the People station, making the Chemical Thrower a highly efficient weapon. The Chemical Thrower has high ammo cartridge and reserve capacities, but ammo is somewhat rare throughout the game, particularly Electric Gel.

CrossbowEdit

The Crossbow is the final ranged weapon acquired in the game. It is constructed out of household items, including several rulers. It fires single bolts with high damage that are effective at any range. Bolts that are fired sometimes do not break on impact, allowing them to be recovered and reused. Its main weaknesses are a slow rate of fire and reload time. The damage can be increased and the chance that a bolt will break can be reduced with upgrades at a Power to the People station, making the Crossbow an efficient weapon with nearly limitless ammo. The Crossbow has a high ammo reserve capacity, but ammo is rare throughout the game.

Research CameraEdit

The Research Camera does no damage itself, but it is a deadly addition to the arsenal. It is equipped the same way as a weapon, and uses film to take pictures that unlock biological weaknesses and hidden secrets about every Splicer, security device, and Big Daddy. In each tree, there are five levels of research that require increasingly more photos to complete. On the first, third, and fifth levels of completed research, a permanent damage boost is applied against the researched enemy type. The second and fourth levels of completed research yield various Gene Tonics and other bonuses that are extremely useful. Little Sisters are the exception, as a permanent increase to health and EVE is given for each completed level of research.

VideosEdit

BioShock Launch TrailerEdit

The trailer debuted on August 12, 2007, on Spike TV, along with the announcement of a BioShock demo to be released on the Xbox Live Marketplace. Showing Jack facing Rapture under the sea, the trailer has him go head to head with a Bouncer, and introduces some of the enemies in the game.

Hunting the Big DaddyEdit

About seven minutes of BioShock gameplay, this is an earlier version of the game showing many of the plasmids, Splicers, turrets, Big Daddies, Little Sisters, and fighting tactics throughout the halls of Rapture.

GTTV Bonus Round Episode 10Edit

Released on August 26, 2007, we sit down with two of the driving forces behind one of the years biggest games, Bioshock.

BioShock TrailerEdit

On September 28, 2006, this trailer was released introducing the creator of Rapture, Andrew Ryan, and how splicers should never mess with the Big Daddy.

PS3 TrailerEdit

The first official trailer for Bioshock on Playstation 3. After the game wowed critics and gamers alike, 2K Games brought the underwater spectacle to PS3's around the world.

DLC: Challenge Rooms TrailerEdit

Before 2k Marin's project on Bioshock 2, they started working on challenge rooms that contain additional content to the Rapture universe, but out of the Bioshock storyline. This DLC is for the PS3 only.

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