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Written by  :  Scott Monster (1010)
Written on  :  Jan 17, 2010
Platform  :  Xbox 360
Rating  :  4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars

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The Good

I confess that I bought an X-box 360 for this game. After 2 years of hearing how wonderful it was, I broke down and tried it. I hooked up the unit to my HD TV and experienced something remarkable.

2k studios spent a great deal of effort designing this game. They designed an entire city, sculpted and shaped in the Art Nuevo of the preceding decades. Then they smashed it with blunt objects of war and destruction. The details are astounding, portraying a beautiful gleaming city in the process of an ugly death. Everywhere you look, you see what it was and what it is. Rubble and debris. Surprisingly creepy…

Using the Unreal 2.5 engine, The graphics are detailed, revealing textures and dimensions that add to the feeling of being in a real environment. The sound is equally well done, with subtle music cues. You won’t forget the first time you hear someone sing a gospel in a weary, lost voice. The random pieces of dialogue you hear from the NPCs wandering around only contribute to the sense of madness that has possessed Rapture.

Gameplay is an elaborate gun and run mix up, enhanced by weapon choice, weapon improvement and general collection of supplies. I really like how you can use different approaches to killing your enemies.

One of the biggest points of the game is the story. It’s told through old tapes, ghosts, NPC narrations, and settings in the environment. Its not your run of the mill tacked on adventure. Its critical to the game and how it is played. I was taken by surprise when I saw the rooms that the little sisters were kept in. It was reminiscent of the brutal experimentations that were done by behaviorist in the early 20th century. B.F. Skinner is even mentioned in passing.

Voice acting was pretty good, if not slightly over the top. The accents were heavy and seemed to be coming from a b-movie cast.

It was very cool, how you had a few methods for turning enemies in to allies against their will. It was even cooler, how you could rack up achievement points for Xbox live.

The Bad

For a game based on self-determination, this game is pretty linear. You can find a lot of cool stuff by wandering off the path, but to progress, you have to pretty much follow the directions put before you. The game even alludes to it about 2/3 of the way. You end up normally using 2-3 plasmids for most of the game and the same goes for the weapons.

And its short and a little on the easy side. Replay value is not its strongest point.

The Bottom Line

This game is proof that games can be art and have a meaning to them. And yes, it was worth buying the Xbox 360.