The year is 2007, the Xbox 360 has been out for around 18 months and the PS3 is still under a year old and settling into the space under the old standard-definition television.
August comes around and BioShock is released by Take Two to universal critical acclaim and ushers in a new era of unconventional first-person shooters.
Fast forward 7 years and we’re in a similar position, except instead of BioShock being released on the new consoles it’s being released onto mobile iOS devices, something we would have not though possible back when the title originally launched all those years ago.
So how does the pint-sized port of one of the highest rated games of all time stack up? Surprisingly well actually. Ken Levine’s bio-punk world manages to squeeze onto the latest mobile devices with little difficulty and is a satisfying time-killer.
The story throws you in the shoes of Jack and then throws you further into the 1960’s and for good measure gives you a kick up the arse down to an underworld city, Rapture. Everything, literally everything from the original is here. Weapons, environments, the lot. There’s a lot of fun to be had poking around and seeing what you can find, as well as the series signature combat.
The environments are what make the game, the blood spattered girls, the creepy ambient music as you pass through Rapture to the equally disturbing characters you encounter along the way. The creepy aesthetic and atmospheric gameplay complement each other and form a world that you totally believe in, despite the fact one could never truly exist.
The run-time for BioShock iOS is roughly 10 hours, depending on how fast you progress through the story. If you were speedy on the consoles or PC, you may be in for a bit of a stumble when you load up BioShock iOS, but more play time for your money right?
As with most ports to smartphones and tablets, the controls are the real let down. Whilst the graphics are nice, they’re far from the best seen on the platform but are perfectly serviceable and bring to life the seedy world of Rapture.
The on-screen controls are simple enough in practice, but the sizes of the virtual buttons are a hindrance as are the lack of response when things get heated in the fray of battle. This can be remedied by using a third-party controller, however they don’t come too cheap and it’s a hefty investment.
Aside from the control issues BioShock iOS achieves what it set out to do and it does it pretty darn well, resulting in the best first-person shooter currently available across all mobile platforms. The price-tag may be a deterrent as it’s currently going for $14.99 and £10.49, considerably much more than you would pay for a second-hand copy or even a digital version on the consoles or PC. Still, you are paying for the convenience of playing on the go, so keep that in mind when you doubt its worth.
Have you played BioShock iOS? Agree with our review, or do you think we’ve got our heads on wrong? Let us know down in the comments section below.