Software Review: Super-exciting subterranean city

This first-person shooter is literally a work of art, albeit an extremely violent one.

bioshock 88 (photo credit: )
bioshock 88
(photo credit: )
This first-person shooter video game is literally a work of art, heads above the average fare and a clear favorite for Game of the Year that will set the standard for years to come. Yet, it is so drenched in blood (which cannot be optionally minimized) and driven by violence that it isn't designated for teenagers - who could have enjoyed the challenges, solid story line, diverse choices, raw trepidation and superb cinema-like graphics if the killing had been toned down. The game, whose difficulty level can be changed at any time, begins in 1960, with a man named Jack plunging into the Atlantic Ocean along with his fellow jet passengers. The only survivor, he rises to the surface and sees a lighthouse. With no alternative, he swims toward it, enters and is taken down by elevator into a decaying underwater city with the inappropriate name Rapture: It was meant to be a utopia populated by brilliant and talented people, but they were driven insane or killed by injections of a chemical called ADAM that reconstitutes their DNA. You, playing Jack, also need regular injections of ADAM to give you special survival powers, like shooting lightning bolts from the fingers of your left hand and turning enemies into icicles. You replenish your ADAM supply by capturing or killing barefoot, ghoulish little girls called Little Sisters, who collect ADAM from dead bodies strewn everywhere. But to get near them, you must destroy their protectors called Big Daddies - creatures in old-fashioned metal diving suits. Other menacing enemies that appear in both female and male forms, called Splicers, make your every move risky. You access a variety of weapons with your right arm, and to expand your repertory of skills, you must acquire rare "plasmids." With the game's high replay value, every time you carry out a mission it turns out differently; if you decide to be merciful and spare the lives of Little Sisters, the story line will pan out differently than if you brutally kill them all. The outstanding voice acting, sound, eerie detailed environment and highly realistic shimmering and gushing water will take your breath away - and not only because you're under the ocean.