(To be clear, I have the 360 version)
My view on BioShock?
Honestly, that's the best thing I can say about it, and in reality is the highest compliment you should be able to pay a game. That it's fun. I played it, loved it, came onto here to see what the view of the title was and found that a disturbingly large number of people seemingly dislike the game. Why? Because they feel it doesn't live up to the legacy of System Shock, and as such, fails as a game period apparently. Well, guess what.
I liked it better than System Shock 2. A lot better.
Was BioShock perfect? Hell no. Even on Hard, I find it way too easy. These splicers walk around all the time looting corpses and boxes, trying to find items, food, money, ADAM, yet there's a ton of shit laying around EVERYWHERE. Health packs and EVE hypos scattered in plain sight, weapons and ammo crying to be picked up. This meant that you would almost always have a ton of ammo, making any encounter (even with Big Daddies) too easy. Hell, I didn't even use the Vita Chambers (I just reloaded every time I died) and it still wasn't tough.
Then there's the customization problem. By the end of the game, you can have almost every plasmid and tonic (or all of them if you play your cards right) regardless of whether you harvested or saved the little sisters (which in the end, besides a few plasmids, makes little difference, almost insultingly so to the storyline).
Then we'd got the final bit of the game with escorting the little sister and the Fontaine fight. I can finally say I've beaten the crap out of an giant, weak Emmy statue.
Now after all that, you'd figure I'd hate the game right? Wrong. Because despite all that, it's FUN. The storyline is fantastic, the graphics and art direction amazing, the sound seemingly flawless, and the actual use of the weapons and plasmids enjoyable. It's a good length, with lots to see and do.
Why do I like it better than SS2 though? Because as a game, to me, it failed in places. Even on the lowest difficulty, it made you work too hard to get anywhere. Hacking was terrible, it was more or less a guess game (unless you were a much higher level, but that required a lot of work for what was sometimes little payoff). Weapons broke after two shots and the actual shooting was boring as hell, meaning most of the time I personally relied on the wrench. And despite claims of it being a terrifying game, I rarely was ever scared by it. I was more scared of the constantly respawning enemies and my poor condition shotgun that was one blast away from needing to be repaired.
Frankly, overall, I found System Shock 2 a bit boring. I've never regretted playing it though, mostly because of the excellent plotline. No question it was great there. But as a gamer, I found I spent too much time stressing over very limited ammo, trying to sneak around everything in un-sneak friendly environments, and in the end putting too much work and frustration into getting to any fun points in it.
So does me liking BioShock more than System Shock 2 make me just another stupid console gamer who'll never understand intelligent design? I dunno, seems to be the view of some around here (though not all). So far for me, personally, BioShock's the best game I've played this year. I found myself getting angry, happy, and sad at the plot. I found myself sitting and listening to the sounds of Rapture, and grinning and I sent splicers flying with my cyclone traps. And while playing it, I was always having a great time. And for me, when it comes to games, that's the most important thing there is.