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Some things are worth waiting for. In the case of BioShock--released on Windows and Xbox 360 in 2007, the PlayStation 3 in 2008, and now finally ported to the Mac--patience yielded something great.
Set in an alternate universe circa 1960, BioShock puts you in the role of Jack, a lone plane crash survivor stranded in the dystopian underwater city of Rapture. Your mission is to fight psychotic mutants and robot drones, all while figuring out what happened to bring the city to its knees.
The game functions as a first-person shooter with real-time strategy elements. While conventional weapons such as wrenches, pistols, shotguns, flamethrowers, grenade launchers, and crossbows are available, you can also collect plasmids, which let you launch organic weapons (bolts of electricity, fire, ice, and so on) from your body. By the time you’re able to hurl swarms of bees at your enemies, you’re really getting somewhere.
You’ll also pick up cash, food, ammo, and tonics throughout the game. Tonics give Jack extra power, such as the ability to avoid detection by security systems for longer periods of time or the knowledge to hack an enemy gun turret to make it fight for him. Unconventional strategic elements pull BioShock out of the mass of conventional first-person shooters--you’ll find yourself solving puzzles to hack vending machines to get lower prices or previously unavailable items, photographing enemies to learn their weaknesses, and collecting a fuel source known as ADAM to buy upgrades to suit your fighting style.
The developer put a good amount of work into this port, and it shows. Outstanding graphics and sound meet top-notch voice acting, and the dark tension created by the environment and storyline almost never fades. Add in frenzied, inventive combat and clever enemy AI that switches fighting tactics on the fly, and you have a game that stays interesting for more than 12 hours of play. We did see a few small bugs, namely some grammatical errors in menu screens and choppy framerates in the end sequence, but these could all be fixed in updates.