Brilliant, astonishing, just plain amazing!
Wow. Once in a while, there will be this one game that is so astonishing that you feel lucky just being to play it. Since Resident Evil 4 debuted on Gamecube two years ago, there has not been one game that I feel has matched it. No I am wrong. BioShock is not only the game of the year, but one of the best games ever. BioShock will be talked about for years to come and anyone that owns an Xbox 360 or decent PC should buy it without a question. Immersion is not always the most successful element that games can convey, but BioShock will make anyone that plays it feel as though they are in this horrible world of Rapture. What is this game about, anyway? I won't give much away, but the game takes place in the 1960s, but in a 1940s era world, at the bottom of the ocean. Sound strange? Well, it is, in a way, but everything comes together and reveals itself without cutscenes, instead using a first person perspective throughout the whole game and using "audio diaries," which are recordings of previous inhabitants telling their horror, comic, and sometimes irrelevant, stories of the downfall of this magnificent utopia at the bottom of the sea. I won't give any more plot details away; it is best left for the player to find out by himself or herself.
Still, this game is a shooter, requiring players to find ammo around the world and use "plasmids," which are genetic enhancements to your body that can make electricity, fire or ice shoot out of your hand, sometimes even bees, as well as telekinesis abilities. This all makes to some visceral combat, that is extremely intuitive and innovative at the same time.
BioShock is not Halo 3, which is actually a good thing. Brains will be required to get through the whole game, and puzzles are abounding in BioShock. Still, almost anyone who is experienced with a gamepad or the WASD keys of a keyboard can beat the game (note: do not play on easy difficulty; you will not have respect for yourself if you only beat on easy. Normal is ideal). There is no multiplayer mode, which is fine, because this game would not have worked with more than one player at a time. The only complaint that I have with this game is that it ends. That is it. In conclusion, you cannot call yourself a gamer without playing BioShock. It is a wonder to behold and a masterpiece. Roger Ebert is wrong, video games can be art, and this game is why.