Friday, May 23, 2008

BioShock Finally Comes To The PS3

Called one of the best games of 2007 by many critics and with an overall score of 96 on both the Xbox 360 and PC by review aggregator, first-person shooter title BioShock has been praised by for its amazing art direction, open-ended gameplay, enthralling story, and its presentation as a whole. Compared to such novels as Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, it has changed the way video games are perceived. It addresses philosophical, psychological, and moral questions and creates such an ethereal experience that many question if BioShock should be considered art.

Taking place in 1960, the game is set in a fictional, fallen, underwater dystopian city named Rapture. Envisioned as a utopia compared to the likes of Eden, you explore the city and learn of its history through audio recordings. As genetic engineering accelerated, resources called ADAM and EVE upset the social balance and created a plasmid industry. “Little sisters” were created to farm these ADAM resources, while “Big Daddies” were made to protect them. As war and corruption changed Rapture over the years, the player controls Jack as he makes his way into the broken city. Featuring RPG-like elements and abilities gained through plasmids and ADAM, the game allows you to make moral decisions such as saving the “little sisters” or collecting their ADAM.

More than just a typical FPS game, it was originally released in August 2007 exclusively on the PC and Xbox 360. Rumors have constantly arisen of a possible PS3 version in development, but 2K Games and parent company Take-Two Interactive have vehemently denied them for months. However, UK magazine PSM3 was one of the first to officially unveil the PS3 version, with more detailed information hitting newsstands on June 5th. People have once again brought up the idea of a possible timed exclusive deal Microsoft may have made with the third-party developer, which created controversy because of the revolutionary nature of the game. While titles such as Halo, Unreal Tournament, and Half-Life come to mind when the FPS genre is mentioned, BioShock brings an entirely different experience to the table. Running on a heavily modified Unreal 2 Engine and featuring Havok Physics, the technical aspects rival its artistic ones.

With the Mac and PS3 being the only other platforms capable of running the game, I’m glad it is getting more exposure. Game developers have constantly ignored Mac gamers, as they’re forced to play their games using virtualization software or install Windows via platforms like Boot Camp or Parallels. But as the PS3 gradually increases its market share and name, PlayStation loyalists and others who missed it on the Xbox 360 or PC will finally get a chance to play this game. Scheduled for a Fall 2008 release date, there aren’t any details yet regarding content or bonus features. Keep checking back as more details come.

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