(2K for Xbox 360)
By Mike Delano
It takes all of ten seconds. When you swim through the burning wreckage of a plane crash toward a mysterious stone structure in the middle of the sea in the opening moments of BioShock, you know you’re in for something special.
The game maintains that level of awe throughout the entire experience, making it the must-play game of 2007. As your character learns the secrets of the failed underwater utopia called Rapture through found audio diaries and interactions with the city’s few remaining non-mutated citizens, it becomes increasingly clear that few other games, let alone first person shooters, make this kind of effort to offer something completely new to players. The story, the enemies, the environments: BioShock would’ve been an amazing game even if its concepts were hampered due to audio/visual constraints. Instead, it’s already the defining game of this generation of consoles with an incredible presentation that elevates every spoken word, deserted hallway, and lumbering enemy its creators envisioned.
Is it a perfect game? No. In today’s world of have-it-all games, any experience this good that doesn’t offer any sort of multi-player or post-game experience beyond a single-player campaign just feels incomplete. Instead, BioShock will have to settle for classic status. An instant, modern, all-time classic.