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Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

I have just completed BioShock for the first time, and I just have to share my thoughts about this game.

First of all, as it is a 2007 game, I have missed it before as I have missed other titles of that period.
Why? Because it was a time where I constantly played my favorite older games, especially San Andreas and NFS U2.
It was not until late 2008 when I finally started playing new games, starting with Fallout 3. In January 2009 I got my first Xbox 360, so I finally started to catch up on my gaming.

Anyway, it was last year when I heard more about BioShock. I watched many videos, and I got really attracted to this game. It still took me a few months to get around to finally playing it, and I just cannot believe I lived for so long without playing this wonder.

1) Atmosphere, atmosphere, atmosphere!!! Not only is the game set in an underwater city, but it is also built around a mid-20th century setting with futuristic elements, which is simply brilliant.
2) While playing this game I regularly felt like I was playing Fallout 3, as far as gameplay is concerned. It is not a sandbox, but the level design is great, and exploration actually makes sense. I looked around every corner collecting all the crap and loot I could find, dealing with a few enemies from time to time.
3) The shooting mechanics feel very at ease. There are no hordes of enemies, we have small groups of splicers or even many lone wolves. I love the fact the shooting is very oldschool, there are no pointless iron sights, just a circle so we can simply point and shoot, which is a lot of fun.
4) The game was even a bit scary in the beginning. I was not familiar with the game at all, so I had no idea what awaited me around the next corner. Using headphones made this feeling even more intense.
5) The sound is awesome. It is one of the major creators of the game's atmosphere, as well as the scary feeling in the beginning. I loved the moans and growls of the Big Daddies, as well as their footsteps.
The whole environment produces a very nice sound scene.
6) Graphics - considering it is a 2007 game, using the Unreal Engine 2.5, it looks really good. Apart from the textures, there is not a lot I could put my finger on. The overall design is really cool. I also liked the animations. They are really nice, especially compared to Bethesda's games, where animations are utter crap.
7) During the whole course of the game I was not annoyed EVEN ONCE, not even a little bit. The only thing that bored me after a while was the hacking. About halfway through I started using auto-hacks or buyouts. Other than that, pretty much everything was a lot of fun for me.

It seems unbelievable, but I have been thinking for 5 minutes, and I really have no idea what to say.
Can I really come up with a con when I was not annoyed by anything in the game? The story? Nah. It is not an RPG, so for a shooter it is very much okay. It is a very interesting story, and the idea of the diaries uncovering the history of Rapture is very cool.
I cannot write a single con here, because I would have to try really hard, and it just seems pointless.

How to sum up this game? Well, BioShock is a nearly perfect game. It has now officially taken the third place on my top-games-of-this-generation list, and the tenth place on my all-time top 10, which is a real honor, considering only three other current-gen games made the top 10. Relegated from tenth place to honorable mentions is GTA IV. It is a very good game, but it is not the kind of GTA I have grown to expect.
I think BioShock can hold this place for at least a year. I do not think any of this year's releases could be so brilliant, and I do not expect BioShock 2 to be as good as the original, as it is a very similar sequel.
I expect it can be knocked down from the list by GTA V or Fallout 4, which (hopefully) seems probable.

Come to think of it, BioShock is even closer to perfection than all the games holding higher places on my top 10 list. Even so, it cannot do any better than 10th place, mostly because of the time spent with the game. As it is not a sandbox, there is nothing to do in the game after having finished it, except for completing it again, which I will of course do one day. The times when I played the same games over and over again are long gone. Quake II is a very good example of this, because I probably completed this game more than 50 times, but it is all in the past.
Sandbox games are my favorite kind, and even though all the GTAs got on my nerves many times, as did Fallouts and RDR, these are the games I spent an enormous amount of time with, and you can always come back to them in order to do something new. Nothing happens twice in a sandbox.

Congratulations to 2K for this game, for the world of BioShock. Creating a nearly perfect game is not an easy task. I cannot wait to play more games in the BioShock franchise, but I am taking a break for now. Max Payne 2 and Alan Wake await, and when I really start missing Rapture, I am sure I will enjoy BioShock 2 even more than I would now.

It has been a long time since a singleplayer game has made such an impression on me (not being a Fallout or a Rockstar production). I hope it will be a more common occurrence in the future.


Top 5 Games:

1. GTA San Andreas
2. Red Dead Redemption
3. Fallout 2
4. NFS Underground 2
5. Fallout 3

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Top Games of 2018:

1. Red Dead Redemption II
2. Forza Horizon 4
3. Shadow of the Tomb Raider
4. A Way Out
5. Gravel