Hi all. This will be my first review for CCL Tech and, since I mainly play games, I thought this would be the best place to start. Well, I’ll get the boring bits out of the way first. The system I used to play the game was my own, and the specs are as follows:

CPU: AMD FX6100
RAM: 8GB Samsung DDR3 1333
GFX: ATi AMD 7770GHz Edition
Mobo: ASUS M5A78L-M LX3

I managed to run this game mainly on high settings and AA/AF at 2x each, with a resolution of 1980x1020 and the game never suffered from any slow down. Therefore, it is more than playable and for a system that costs less than £500. I would say that’s pretty damn good. Now, on to the review itself.

Gameplay:

Fun, Fun, Fun! Whilst the initial introduction is very typical of this genre, once it gets going its more than enjoyable. Nothing beats shooting enemies to hell then using a power to fry them or blow them up. The powers this time around are called Vigours, and they vary widely from blowing them up with a bomb type explosion, to electrocuting them or just throwing them around in the air like a rag doll. For the people who like spooky things, you can manipulate people do your bidding via possession. This is where my first gripe with the gameplay comes from. Whilst it’s great having all these abilities, you barely need to use any of them. I managed to get through the game with hardly any use of them what so ever. I can only assume that’s the reason why the developers introduced them slowly, as they aren’t all there from the start.

The gunplay in the game plays out similar to the powers in the sense that there are lots of different types and you don’t need to use most of them. Machine gun and Carbine did it for me with some use of the shotgun when it was close by. Now, I saw with other reviews that people weren’t happy that you could only carry one gun and use one power at a time. This personally didn’t bother me one bit. I mean, I get the game is based in the future so we should have some sort of super hand luggage device that fits in a million things, but can’t we settle for a nice floating city? They had to draw the line somewhere.

Enemy types in the game are very similar in style to the older Bioshock games, in that they’re the same in appearance just with different skins. However, as it’s  only these type of people that are your enemy, except for when you fight a ghost of the past, there is only so much a developer can do. But the art style for each of them is what makes them unique so it never feels overly repetitive.

What makes the combat more enjoyable is the great A.I. I never once found them running into walls getting all confused at how a door operates or something of the sort. The enemies are simple but work so well at what they are there to do and, believe me, simple A.I isn’t always easy. For example, take Aliens Colonial Marines. They can’t even see you when you’re stood on their toes or claws (whichever it is they have).

Story:

Well, this has been out for a while so, by now you really should have finished it. So, let’s discuss! It does make sense, despite people needing to google the ending, like it’s as confusing as the television show LOST.

However, the whole thing does make more sense if you pick up the audio diaries that are scattered around. They are not needed to work it out per se, just a helping hand. I personally wasn’t overly keen on the whole religious idea, but by the end it made sense as to why they took that route. They did it as it fit into whole situation perfectly as, whilst it plays a big part in the game, I always felt it was over looked. It seems to be only about Elizabeth and Booker De Witt. Elizabeth has to be one of the best character partners in a game in a long time. She never gets in your way and, thanks to what is great A.I, she will throw you salts that regenerate your powers or health when you need a pick me up.

You will see how she changes through the story and how Booker De Witt himself seems to realize his mistakes. They become close and it quickly becomes one of the best relationships shown in a game for a long time.

The only problem I encountered was that the middle part of the game seemed to drag on for way too long. It was also a little pointless going back and forth to certain locations, but then again the first part and final few chapters more than made up for it.

Graphics:

Whilst the overall game appears to be of a cartoon effect, cell shaded style, what makes it look so good is the art style the creators went with. It’s bright and visually stunning. The world it is set in is so full of life and all the little details to the different styled buildings and environments really make it stand out. Whilst Bioshock 1 and 2 had the dark grim feeling, this one more lively and colourful, despite it having a sad story to tell.

Even though I didn’t play the game in all its glory, the settings I used made the game a whole lot more immersive.  The characters are designed very well, and the facial expressions of Elizabeth always matched the specific scenarios and never really seemed odd or out of place. The only graphical hitch I did have was at one boot up, where it appeared to be corrupt. However, a restart solved it so was more likely my pc telling me to go and see the outside world.

Conclusion:

This game is worth every penny and I can’t wait to see what the developer does next. The game is fun and keeps you entertained throughout, and the story of Elizabeth and Booker will keep you interested to see it through. The reason I can’t give it a 10/10 is the middle part for me just dragged on abit too much, but I think they did this to make the single player long due to there being no multiplayer option. There is no incentive to go back unless you’re a mad collector and want every audio log.

THE VERDICT 8/10