I'm sure if any of you know me you will know I am fond of computer games. 2 years ago I played a game that knocked my socks of. Bioshock. It is essentially a first person shooter / RPG, but is a whole lot more! You get so sucked in by the atmospherics, the music, the story, the style, it is a creepy mysterious beautifully made game. It manages to be sci fi and scientific whilst staying retro.
In 1960 a man who crashes from a plane and into the North Atlantic Ocean, finds a light house with a submersible inside. What does he do? He goes down of course. The city of Rapture is an underwater haven built in the 1940s for those who do not wish to be tied down by laws, morals or beliefs . . . but it all went to pot and 25 years later un checked genetic experiments, gangster law and riots (mostly against Ryans death penalty which led to pheromone control) have turned rapture to a shell of what it once was. The player arrives to the abandoned city with junkie splicers working as gangsters in the deserted What ensues is a dramatic first person shooter, with super powers you can pick and choose - from the consumers point of view. It has weapons upgrades, parallel story lines, security cameras, gun turrets, genetic modification and creepy little girls with their giant body guards make the game play fantastic, and the whole package is pure brilliance.
The maps are well thought out, inventive and exciting and the characters interesting and engaging. Its not liner like a lot of similar games and I love that you can explore every nook and cranny, leave no stone unturned. The story line is told through a series audio logs, diary tapes from several people played as you play and found throughout the game. Genetically-induced ghostly playbacks of past events, and radio messages with remaining characters. You cant die so that makes the fighting pretty easy but with a wardrobe of conventional weapons (yes I said wardrobe) and a closet full of super powers you can get really creative, like setting boobie traps : D
It won no less than 8 game of the year awards and many more art visual and sound realated awards besides. I suggest you go and at least try the free download demo (if it is still available) or pick up a second hand copy of the game if you see it, it will be well worth your while!