08-13-2007, 05:58 PM
Im gon start playin it 2 nite - all these reviews got me hype!
BIT OF A SPOILER
BioShock Demo Hands-on
by David Craddock (http://xbox360.ign.com/email.html)
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August 13, 2007 - I've been waiting for the chance to step into Irrational's--sorry, 2K Boston and 2K Australia's--virtual Atlantis since seeing BioShock (http://xbox360.ign.com/objects/793/793105.html) at E3 2006. Another "thinking man's" shooter has been long overdue, and looking at new screenshots and rare video clips just wasn't doing it. This past weekend, the millions of fans frothing at the mouth for the game finally got a chance to step into Rapture this weekend when a demo went live on Xbox Live Marketplace (a PC demo with identical content should be available some time later this month).
Gamers have been holding their collective breath for a chance to play BioShock. Ironically, that's what is required of the protagonist at the demo's start--grabbing a lungful of air and struggling to the surface. A hunk of wreckage is shown plummeting down into the oceanic depths, and is also used as a rather slick method of orienting the player's point of view: if the debris is falling one way, the surface must be in the opposite direction. Upon breaking through the watery ceiling, players are greeted by the sight of the sea, blackened and glittering from stars twinkling down from the nighttime sky--on fire. Control over the hero's fate was placed into my hopefully-capable hands at this point, and I quickly looked around for some sign of relative safely.
A beacon of light shined in the distance. I moved toward it, climbing metallic stairs that seemed to descend from the ocean floor itself. A trip in a bathysphere aided my descent into Rapture, and at first, with glass and steel surrounding me, I believed I'd achieved a brief respite. And I had, until I saw--and heard--a murder take place outside the sphere. A hideous creature, flickering lights revealing scarred and twisted features, was bent over a fellow human.
Just as the creature turned toward me, a massive spotlight illuminated it, sending the thing skittering away in fear, and possibly pain. My savior was nowhere in sight, but his voice served as a guide for the remainder of my adventure. He introduced the creature that had almost attacked me as a Splicer, a creature whose blades are used for dissecting in the worst possible way. Following my guide's voice, in addition to red light spilling out from a ruined doorway, I soon had a wrench in my possession, though I wouldn't be fixing any pipes with this bad boy. No, this was used to smack away the many Splicers intent on spoiling my time in Rapture. Oh who am I kidding, batting those things away with a wrench was awesome, and I can't wait to do it again.
Though the wrench is mightier than the sword in BioShock, I quickly found more tools of destruction. The most interesting was a bolt of electricity able to be fired from my palm. don't want to spoil anything for those who want to go into the full game completely fresh, so instead of explaining how the main character comes by this power, allow me to instead gush about the ways it can be put into practice. Blast a Splicer with lightning, then put it down with the wrench. Given that Rapture is in a state of disrepair and is settled underwater, it would make sense to assume that there will be plenty of instances where water can be found flooding formerly beautiful areas. Sure, water and lightning aren't normally a safe combination, but when a Splicer is splashing toward you, ankle-deep in H20, a blast of electricity is exactly what is needed.
A better strategy, and one detailed in the gameplay montage shown at the demo's conclusion, is to first catch a monster on fire. Since they still retain a bit of human thought, and because they still feel pain, their first reaction will be to douse the flames. Set them on fire; let them dive into water and then blast them with a bolt. Problem solved, ammo conserved. Speaking of ammo, other common weapons can obviously be found throughout Rapture, though I suspect the developers have allowed players to keep the use of conventional weapons as minimal as possible, if they so desire. During the demo, gamers will get their hands on a pistol and Tommy gun, both of which operated as expected.
Control-wise, I found BioShock to be perfectly smooth. The control scheme will be familiar to anyone who's played a console FPS game before. Switching weapons is easily accomplished by holding the Right Bumper, and certain actions such as using First Aid kits have been set to buttons for quick and easy access. I would assume mapping keys will be more flexible in the PC version, but the 360 controls just fine.
In terms of atmosphere and overall graphical quality, BioShock is sexy. Atmosphere steals the show, with scenes such as the silhouette of a female splicer standing over a baby carriage, ostensibly lulling it to sleep, only to turn around and open fire on players as they draw near. And the Big Daddy? Wow. First introduced in a scripted event, a Big Daddy appears to defend a Little Sister from a Splicer, and does so by grabbing the Splicer, drilling it--literally--in the chest, and slamming it into the wall several times. Owned. I'm looking forward to facing one of those Big boys, and yet, I'm relieved I didn't have to confront one in the demo.
Yes, it's dilapidated and filled with psychotic former-humans capable of rending me into scraps of flesh, but I want to go back to Rapture. Nay, I need to go back. One week away? One week?! That's too long, my friends, far too long.
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