If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of genetically modifying yourself in order to fight mutated enemies in a mostly abandoned underwater city, you’re either not interested in first-person shooters, or you were just patiently waiting for BioShock to release on PS3. More than a year ago, this Ayn Rand–inspired adventure earned rave reviews on both Xbox 360 and PC, and now it’s time for Sony fans to have a turn.
In the aquatic city of Rapture, set in an alternate-history 1960, players battle their way past mechanical drones, bloodthirsty little girls and deranged freaks by injecting themselves with “plasmids,” which temporarily grant abilities like electroshock or telekinesis. The strategic combos made possible by the weird weaponry are cool, but the experience is elevated by the immersive story line and downright creepy sound and art direction, including new load screens that further develop the backstory. What makes BioShock unique among similar games, though, is the moral challenge it presents: Your choice about whom to kill, whom to save and how to play actually determines the outcome of the game.
In an effort to justify the long wait for the PS3 version, 2k has included some exclusive goodies. A wholly new “Survivor” difficulty mode ships with the game, and this month PS3 users can download new “Challenge Rooms” (side missions outside of the story arc) to extend gameplay. While some of the graphics aren’t as rich as in earlier releases of the game, Sony users will find it worth their while to plunge into this dystopian masterpiece.