Genre | Shooter
Developer | Irrational Games
Platforms | PC, PS3, XBOX 360, OSX
BioShock is a first person shooter in which the player controls Jack, who must explore an underwater city full of enemies after his plane crashes in the middle of the ocean. The player progresses through the city to discover why it is full of people trying to kill Jack and each other, and eventually the player fights a final boss.
BioShock has seven weapons, which can be upgraded and which can load three different ammo types each. The game has eleven plasmids, which are special powers Jack is able to use that do things like set things on fire, lift up and throw objects, create a decoy that enemies attack, and fire a swarm of bees that cause enemies to exclaim things like “oh the bees!” and “stop!” The game has fifteen levels, and the player backtrack to visit old levels to look for items they missed. The player can equip various tonics to passively add abilities, like a tonic which allows them to turn invisible while standing still or tonics that make it easier to hack turrets, security cameras, and flying security robots.
In BioShock the player uses ADAM to purchase new tonics and plasmids, and to upgrade their health and EVE. EVE is what the player expends to use plasmids and it can be refilled via needles that the player finds or buys with money. The player earns ADAM by defeating Big Daddies, people in large diving suits that are neutral towards the player until attacked. The player can choose when and where to engage a Big Daddy, and can make use of various traps, powerful weapons and ammo types, features of the environment, and other enemies to kill the Big Daddy. Big Daddies come in various types, like the Bouncer, which has a drill on its arm and which can stun the player, and the Rosie, which caries a large rivet gun. Upon killing the Bid Daddy, the player can either kill or save the Little Sister the Big Daddy was protecting. The Little Sister is a small girl who provides some ADAM when saved and more ADAM when killed. Saving Little Sisters also grants the player gifts, which, by the end of the game, add up to more ADAM than harvesting the Little Sisters.
The graphics in BioShock are in a realistic style. The underwater city is designed in an art deco style. Water features in many of the locations, in both puddle and dripping forms. The sounds in BioShock include mechanical noises of the city, yelling and muttering and crying on the part of many of the enemies, recorded audio logs from characters the player does not encounter that describe what the city was like before the player arrived, and radio transmissions from various characters. The Big Daddies make loud, deep noises. The music in BioShock features stringed instruments. There is also music from the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s in BioShock.
In BioShock, one thing the player can do is equip tonics which allow them to cloak while standing still, regain health while attacking with the wrench, do 550% extra damage with the wrench, and freeze enemies with the wrench. This allows the player to complete most fights by standing still and hitting enemies with a wrench when they walk by, then moving to a new location and standing still until another enemy walks by, and so on. The guns have iron sights that the player can look down if they want to.