BioShock

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You are the sole survivor of a horrific plane crash that leaves you stranded in the cool waves of the ocean. You are lost, alone, the fear of death slowly creeping into your body as all seems lost. A nearby lighthouse bathes the surroundings with your only source of light. You calmly swim toward it, avoiding the debris of the destroyed aeroplane around you, drawn to the mysterious structure that stands alone amidst the chaos. Reaching it, you open the door, noticing a long staircase leading down, down, down to the darkness below. You have no choice; you can either stay here among the wreckage or test your luck (as if you had any left) and follow the path to what lies before you.

You traverse the staircase down until you come upon a bathysphere, of which you discover a decaying corpse sitting inside, the remains of the body reaking with a terrible odor. Having removed the body, you enter the submersible, traveling down to the ocean floor and come upon a vast crumbling underwater utopia. The plot unfolds before you, where you discover that this desolate city is actually a failed experiment that was meant to house the genetic material of mankind's greatest minds, built by a former Soviet citizen by the name of Andrew Ryan in 1946. A conflict arose among the citizens of the city through on outbreak of Civil War, causing much destruction and mayhem to wreck the city into disarray, and the result is a loss of humanity.

The sense of dread in Bioshock is daunting.

Stumbling over dead corpses and splashing through leaking walls, you come upon two of the integral characters in BioShock, "Big Brother", a large creature dressed in an old-fashioned deep-sea diving suit and a protector of "Little Sister", a young six-year old girl that looks much more dementing than on first glance with her pale complexion and oversized syringe in her hand, who are roaming around trying to harvest DNA and extract this 'Adam' substance ('Adam' is the stem cells extracted from a species of sea slug that can be used to greatly enhance one's physical and mental capabilities, or even cure diseases and injuries). Due to the fact that since the Civil War, 'Adam' sources have depleted dramatically, Rapture founder Andrew Ryan discovered that the only way to keep a supply of the substance is by extracing it from dead bodies, therefore preserving the future of the city.

"Little Sister" harvesting DNA from a lifeless corpse.

One of the best parts of the game is how you can affect the way the NPCs approach your character. Instead of relying on scripted sequences to push the story along, the developers decide to go with their own created behaviors for the Artificial Intelligence, which allows you, the player, to outthink your Adam-starved (once-human) mutant adversaries in numerous ways. Do you shoot them using different types of ammo modified with harvested Adam - called plasmid - to attack, or do you use one of the plasmids to confuse the "Big Brother" into defending you? Utilizing player choice as a key ingredient, developer Irrational Games certainly knows the direction that gaming should be heading.

You will be swallowed whole by the chill factor this game should deliver.

This hybrid FPS/RPG/Adventure thriller is built using a modified version of the Unreal 3 engine, and the results are stunning, making this game one of the most beautiful games yet to grace the console. The player will be able to discover the living, breathing vibrant 1950's Art Deco-style environment set underwater, where there is no way to escape the place you're in, and there is no one around to hear you scream. With seventeen E3 awards bagged to date, we'll keep a close eye on this title and a firm grip on the edge of our seats as we wait for this highly-anticipated title to hit the store shelves for the PC and Xbox 360 in Spring of 2007.

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