Editor’s note: the following is the first in a series of guest articles from the esteemed James Verbalist, inane games journalist, in which he selects unsung treasures of our format. The following post contains spoilers for Bioshock, Fight Club, The Sixth Sense, The Usual Suspects, and Se7en.
2007 was such a vintage year in PC Gaming that it’s entirely possible you missed its biggest treat and most unsung hero. If you’d stepped into a videogame store that year, you’d have at once been greeted by now iconic titles like Shadowgrounds Survivor, Viva Pinata, The Sims 2: Bon Voyage expansion, Aquaria and RACE 07: Official WTCC Game. We’ve all read plenty of over-wrought, navel-gazing critiques about each of the aforementioned games, but today I want to talk about an ambitious first-person shooter from 2K Boston released that same year.
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The few people who played Bioshock at the time often wax lyrical about its badass array of weaponry; an arsenal of shotguns, machine guns, chemical throwers and grenade launchers to rival even Doom’s. Prod them further for deeper analysis of the game’s qualities, and they’ll often move towards Bioshock’s high levels of visual fidelity: ‘mental water effects’, they’ll say. And ‘Brilliant graphics.’