Bioshock, the long awaited sequel to System Shock 2, is within our reach. By August 21st, we will finally be able to visit the city of Rapture, an underwater world that would have been a utopia if genetic alteration hadn’t become the in-thing for the season. Here is my list of why this won’t be just another FPS to get dusty in your game collection.

1. The Story

When you first start the game you’ll be shown the city of Rapture and you might get the hint that genetic alteration has mutated the residents, and that’s all. There is no explanation as to why these genetically-altered people are attacking you or what happened here that collapsed the city into the ruins that you’re faced with. And if you don’t care about those things then you never have to worry about them. But if you do care then you can find out. Messages have been left for you by residents, smeared along walls in their own blood. You can decipher them all or just focus on beating the game, leaving it up to you how much you want to know.

2. The A.I.

Yes, each type of enemy will attack you in its own way. And yes, there will be plenty of enemies for you to kill. But the important piece here is that the enemies will add realism to the game that has been seen in few other titles to date.

Enemies who are set on fire will run for water (which is plentiful in the underwater city). It is a nice touch which allows the player to understand that your enemies are people and not just angry puppets. They have nerves and at least enough rationality to understand that water will put out fire. Something so simple is also so brilliant.

Some enemies won’t attack you if you don’t bother them. Did you ever play a game where you entered a room and were bombarded by a man to whom you did nothing to deserve such ire? Did you ever ask yourself Why is this guy attacking me? I didn’t do anything to him. Well, you’ll still get some of those guys because in Bioshock, those guys are clearly insane. But some of them will just leave you alone, because they’re on their own private mission just like you are.

3. The Setting

It’s really creepy in Rapture. Imagine going back to the 1950s, when art deco was all the rage. Now imagine that the city you visit has been ravaged by a nuclear holocaust, leaving only a few insane survivors and a half-working neon sign advertising Moxie cola. There’s something about the juxtaposition of the remnants of a civilized society with the attacking residents of said society that sends shivers up my spine.


4. The Gameplay

I suppose, once you get through all those things, you might be excited by the first-person shooting elements too. The fact that you get powers by genetically altering yourself just as the people you are fighting did before you, may make you feel just a little more tied in with the game...since you are in some ways becoming what you are fighting. All in all, you are going to be totally involved with every aspect of the playing. You will get to make moral choices, decisions on how to alter yourself or even if you should alter yourself at all.

5. The guns.

You will get plenty of guns. Don’t worry.

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