Don't Be 'Shocked' By This Halo Competitor

Dennis Faas's picture

Friday, fellow Infopackets writer Marissa Reaume reported on Halo 3's more-than-impressive 1 million pre-order plateau. That's never been seen in the video game world before, even with massive hits like Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Metal Gear Solid (pick one), or, heck, Halo 2.

But, there's one game you shouldn't write off before Halo 3's massive launch in a month or so: Bioshock.

Released in demo-form on Xbox Live last week, it's a tough challenge for Bungie's Halo 3. Both are first person shooters (meaning the player sees nothing but his hands and/or weapon), and both thrust the gamer into a dark world where humanity finds itself on the brink of extinction. (Source:

Despite the similarities, these two games offer very unique experiences. Although neither Bungie nor Microsoft will allow Halo 3 to steer far from its unbelievably popular formula (shoot aliens, then shoot friends online), Bioshock is a much more visceral experience.  Gamers will use special, even mental abilities to cut their way through both freakish and massive enemies, all in painstakingly detailed environments.  These are simply beautiful graphics.

Having played the game's demo myself, I can attest to this. It's also much more adult oriented; although Halo 3 could (and should) be rated 'T' for 'Teen', it would 'shock' me if Bioshock received anything less than a big 'M' for 'Mature'. Putrid enemies attack the player with wrenches, pistols, and machine guns, while the gamer returns the favor by slamming skulls and perforating upper torsos. The entire mood of the game, which actually rewards the player for smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol, is very dark, very moody, and very mature.

Those interested in downloading the demo (and anyone with Xbox Live and a driver's license with a date prior to 1989) can download it now. Coming in at a massive 1.35 GB, it's the biggest playable sampler ever offered on Microsoft's service. It's worth it; gamers will be most impressed with anything this big (it takes 40 minutes to complete) and this free. (Source:

Bioshock ships this Tuesday, August 21.

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