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September 21 2008
BioShock - PS3 Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
17/10/20082K Games2K Games2K Marin, 2K Boston
2K Australia, Digital Extremes
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation
1None$109.95
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Graphics in PS3 Bioshock are moody!
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The PS3 exclusive Bioshock Carnival area.

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That's a fist you don't want in your face!
BioShock. When the game was first unveiled in 2004 many expected the game to be released on three systems; PC, XBox 360 and of course the PS3. But then, even as the game was released on PC and XBox 360, the game disappeared off the PS3 radar with the developers and publishers remaining quiet on any port to Sony's system. It has since been revealed that Microsoft paid for the game to be an exclusive on the XBox 360 (and obviously that included complete silence on any potential PS3 version), but that time is over, and 2K games are more then willing to talk about the, much improved, PS3 version.

As you may have noticed from the table at the top of this preview there are a lot of people involved with the development of this game. 2K Marin (which was formed from staff from 2K Boston and 2K Australia) are handling the bulk of the work which 2K Boston did on the original (that team, while assisting with BioShock on the PS3 is also working on BioShock 2) while 2K Australia and Digital Extremes are also assisting development. That's a lot of teams working on the game, but it can only assist in bringing us the best game possible. Not only are PS3 owners getting a port of the original game, but several enhancements which we'll look at as well...

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Another impressive PS3 BioShock screen.
So what is the game about then? BioShock takes place in an alternate-reality 1960s, in which a segment of humankind nestled itself far underwater in a utopian sea lab. However, the sea lab begins to crumble, even as genetic mutation brings the populace of the place to the brink of extinction, or complete metamorphosis. After your plane crashes into icy uncharted waters, you discover a rusted bathysphere and descend into Rapture, a city hidden beneath the sea. Constructed as an idealistic society for a hand picked group of scientists, artists and industrialists, the idealism is no more. Now the city is littered with corpses, wildly powerful guardians roam the corridors as little girls loot the dead, and genetically mutated citizens ambush you at every turn. The object is simple: Escape!

Playing the role of Jack this game is a first person shooter with a number of unique elements. The big one of these is the use of the 70 or so different plasmids which gives Jack special abilities such as changing his appearance, giving him powers such as fire, electricity or telekinesis among others. Jack is also able to hack into systems such as weapons and security cameras through a mini-game similar to the classic Pipe Dream. To add longevity to the title, and indeed increase the replay value, there are three different endings for the game depending on your performance.

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One of the new BioShock challenges.
It has now been a year since BioShock was released on the XBox 360 and PC to much critical and commercial success, but the additional year of development time is being put to good use on PS3. One of the main additions to the PS3 version is that of an entirely new difficulty level called Survivor. In addition to this it is believed (thanks to early box art which showed the logo, but which has since been removed) that the game will support Playstation Home whenever that launches (which is now rumoured for late October as well!). Exactly how it will link into this service remains unknown. Exclusive downloadable content will be made available for the title including several challenge rooms (designed by original developers 2K Boston) and extra places within Rapture to do side-quests. Finally, the PS3 version of BioShock will include support for Trophies. Sadly, as with the original game there will not be a y online multi-player modes in the game.

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Check out the stunning water effects.
Graphically BioShock looks just as impressive as the XBox 360 version with a rich, detailed environment, great visual effects and superbly designed characters. Comments posted in EGM which first broke news of this game point to enhancements to the PS3 title although nothing has actually been confirmed from 2K Games as yet and, in fact, the developers have since clarified they are aiming to make the game look 'identical' to the 360 version..

With the Australian release set for October 17th there isn't too long to go until we can check this game out. We're expecting big things too and while we would rather not have waited the extra year, it looks to have paid off for PS3 owners.