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Parent reviews for BioShock

Common Sense says

Superb but gory gameplay in first-person shooter.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 47 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 102 reviews
Adult Written byConcerned.Citizen June 6, 2012

Fantastic Concept, Well Executed, and A Great Model For Society!

In my opinion, BioShock is what we should be basing our society on. It takes place in an underwater city that is falling apart, and our protagonist, Jack Ryan, comes in and saves the day. He singlehandedly transforms this once decrepit city into a glorious pillar of civilization... If you make the right decisions in life. If you SAVE the Little Sisters, then they come to your rescue when you need them (thereby teaching children "The Golden Rule") and you see them caring for you and being good citizens in the closing cinematic. If you make the wrong choices, however, you see your demise at the hands of the people you were annihilating earlier. This game goes to prove that if you do what is right, you will benefit in life, and if not, you will suffer in life. Now some may argue that this game is "inappropriate" or "bad" because of a few things. I would like to stop those rumors right now. First off, the game is not "bad" just because it has cigarettes and alcohol as consumable products. The game is set in the 1960's, when it was socially and medically acceptable to smoke and drink to your heart's content. Saying this game is "bad" because of that would be like saying a rated E10 game set in the 1820's is "bad" because they reference slavery. And smoking and drinking have adverse effects on the player. Cigarettes take away a good portion of your health, warning you that if you continue on this path, you WILL die quickly. Alcohol makes the screen shift rapidly, thus leaving you open to attack, showing the dangers of being inebriated. Second, some people would say that this game is overly gory, but, in actuality, there is a very reasonable reason it would seem like that. Rapture, the underwater city the game is set in, is around 200 leagues under the sea, which, as any SCUBA diver will tell you, will create a lot of pressure. The citizens of Rapture are being subjected to TONS of pressure, and are without any kind of pressure regulating apparatus. Being such, of course this phenomenon occurs, and the citizens can do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about it! Saying this is overly gory is like saying a hemophiliac with a laceration is overly gory because they won't stop bleeding. Third, people say that being able to "dispose" of the Little Sisters is inhumane. I say, one, this is a choice, and not exactly an optimum one. This game teaches the importance of life and helping people. If you choose to rescue enough Little Sisters, they, being the kind children they are, decide to leave you a gift, full of much more ADAM than you would get by disposing of them. This is a great game!

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byredcommander27 June 23, 2011

No educational value?

I'm quite surprised the viewer failed to mention the underlying themes of the game. Bioshock is unbdoubtably gratuitously violent, but it is not without educational value. While I don't think its necessary healthy for immature players, Bioshock has a convoluted, character driven colorful story depicting a would-be-Randion utopia gone horribly wrong. The game was meant to be a critique of Ayn Rand's novel Atlas Shrugged, with Andrew Ryan representing Rand's ideas and her character of John Galt. The game explains the political contexts of Marxist revolution and government economic intervention that motivated self-made entrapenur Andrew Ryan to construct a hidden laisezz-faire capitalist utopia for individualists concealed from the "parasitic" societies on the surface which have the power to destroy anything they don't like with nuclear weapons. However, Ryan's philosophy of unfettered markets without regulation runs amok when bio-modification is introduced, leading to the degradation and collapse of his society. Even emergency medical care costs money in Bioshock, and the complete lack of regulation led to the insanity and violent mutation of so-called "Rapture"'s citizens, leaving Ryan a pitiful recluse who violently takes out his anger in vain on his former compatriots. The game leaves much potential intellectual discussion, what brought down Rapture, was it Ryan's (or rather Rand's) laissez-faire egoist philosophy, or was it the irresponsibility of some of its citizens? Is Bioshock an accurate critique of Rand's objectivist philosophy, could something like this happen with the introduction of genetic engineering to madly-consumer driven society? The game also makes references to eugenics. The Reviewer also fails to note the heartwarming ending of the game if the player follows a moral path, an ending where he find's something he never had. I will admit the unecessary and slasher flick level of violence detracts from the positive aspects as it takes attention off the story, and while I'm not the least bit squeamish, I think the game could have been more down to earth with a more realistic level of violence rather than the ridiculously over the top bloodshed it has. Bioshock is an extremely violent and moderately explicit game, but if one is mature enough to wade through it for the story's sake, they can find an intriguing ethical thriller.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Violence & scariness
Adult Written byPvt. Sokolva January 5, 2011

Great game but....really creepy!

This is one of those games that might get hard to play in the dark after an hour or two. It gave me chills when I first started playing it, and there are times when my heart starts beating really fast! This is also quite a difficult game. I don't think most kids younger than a teenager or older preteen would be able to figure this out/have the skill to play it without getting frusterated. The main thing is, its very gory but in a distubing way. You see dead bodies everywhere; on the floor, rotting in coffins, bleeding underneath desks, lying on abandoned operating tables; and you really have to search every dead body you come across in order to have enough supplies such as bullets and money to survive the game. Every inhabitant of the world of Rapture (which is underwater) has gone completely insane because they are addicted to a drug that gives them powers. They run around like wild junkies and attack and attempt to kill you, and you have to either kill or be killed.
There are also little girls called Little Sisters that have parasitic slugs in their stomachs and gather fluid from dead bodies called ADAM, which they drink and collect in order for it to be sold again to the junkies. You have to defeat their body guards and you either get the option of ripping them open and taking the slug to pump the substance into your own veins, or you can save them and get significantly less ADAM so that your character is very weak and its difficult to survive the other crazed inhabitants of Rapture. This game is intense...there are levels in which you travel through operating tables and have to kill a crazy doctor who is dissecting long dead patients. The whole world is very disturbing and incredibly made, the game is excellent, a triumph in gaming really, but....not for most kids. This is really a teenagers only game. Its just too chilling for most kids that are younger.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Adult Written byJordan T. June 22, 2019

My Favorite Game of All Time

Bioshock is an older game, however it is my indisputable favorite video game of all time. It does, however, deal with some very dark themes. The protagonist consumes a lot of alcohol and cigarettes (however it kind of teaches you to avoid alcohol because if you drink too much it becomes hard to see the game for a bit) and there are many mentions of sex. It is definitely an adult game. However the story and the characters are very likable and interesting.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written byDoomsdayguy April 23, 2019

These common sense morons know nothing

I mean seriously rambling on and on about our moral choices are bad I mean seriously shouldn't gamers get a little choice in how they play
Adult Written byThe gamer dad January 26, 2019

Mature, but appropriate.

This game is dark in every way, the lighting is dark in most places so it increases fear by the fact the splicers jump out from various areas (splicers are the main villains). The world of rapture (where the game is set) is violent, full of a made up drug and swears, but this game is appropriate for teens depending on what they are exposed to. The fictional drugs are called Adam and Eve (ironic as the main character does not support religion) that give you plasmids (super powers!!)! There are three endings, throughout the game you have the choice the save or rescue little sisters (little girls turned to monsters)if you kill them you get more power, if you save them you get less power but get one step closer to a good ending. The endings consist of good and bad (the third is neutral only it’s the same as the bad ending but with a less angry monologue).

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Ease of Play
Violence & scariness
Language
Adult Written byTheLegend69420 December 3, 2018

Best game of all time, Gory violence

AMAZING GAME. Great narrative and some of the best gameplay. Very gory and violent.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written byEnclave May 2, 2017

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Adult Written bySilbert P. March 9, 2017

Kids can handle this

The violence is overrated in the review. This is widely regarded as the best game of all time, and it is more like a story with violence in it than violence being the main point. Kids have seen movies far scarier than this.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Adult Written byLupus November 16, 2016

An exceptional FPS

Despite BioShock's M+ ESRB rating, commonsensemedia's 18+ is a little overkill. Of course BioShock is violent--like most first person shooters, enemies are defeated in spurts of blood and accompanied with gruesome sound effects. You have access to a wide array of weapons, including a wrench, a shotgun, a crossbow and more, as well as special powers you can equip, such as the abilities to kill your enemies with magical bursts of fire or electricity. BioShock's general tone is dark and nerve-wracking, not to mention claustrophobic: its entire premise revolves around your character trying to escape an underwater hell crawling with wrench-wielding enemies, powerful robots and creepy girls called Little Sisters. Advertisements across the locations have slight sexual overtones--an advertisement to a strip club called Eve's Garden titled "Come bit the apple!" and showing a naked woman with strategically placed hair. You can visit the strip club in-game but its insides are deserted except for a disemboweled stripper. Your character is able to pick up cigarettes and alcohol to the point of intoxication (your screen is blurry for a few seconds) and you'll hear several F-Bombs. Age aside, BioShock is a well-made game with stunning and immersive graphics, a unique storyline and engaging gameplay. It's a great experience for those mature enough to play it.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Language
Adult Written bytairabiteru March 9, 2015

Exceptional game with very mature themes.

I was recommended Bioshock by a friend of mine. I was a bit worried because Bioshock didn't seem like the type of game I'd enjoy, but I was delightfully mistaken.
The mechanics of the game work very well with each other, and the game has a very compelling story which leaves you wondering what will happen next. However, this is a game that I feel deserves it's rating. Your milage may very of course, but this is definitely intended for adults, or very mature kids. The main issues include graphic violence and drug use, as well as fairly frightening scenes that could definitely be seen as scary by smaller children. There's also the matter of the *AHEM* "option" you have with the little sisters in the game, which I won't delve in to.
That aside though, Bioshock is an excellent game which will definitely make you think not only about how to complete the game, but the moral questions it puts forth as well.
Adult Written byBjenner1357 September 28, 2014

Very good but violent

This game is great. I am 13 and I got it and love it. It is very difficult and involves thinking. There is some gore and blood in it but most kids at this age have seen worse. The story is great but the little sisters may scare some younger players. Over all this is a great game.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Violence & scariness
Adult Written byRetroRample April 17, 2014

Amazing game, appropriate for kids 11 and up.

The game is amazing, with lots of cool features and strategy. However, there is lots of violence, gore, blood and at certain times there are swear words. It is very creepy and scary throughout the interior, as there are corrupt creatures, terrifying sounds and very, very abnormal events, like one time when a man was calling out "Jesus loves me... Jesus loves me" in a very uncomfortable way. The game is appropriate for mature 11 year olds, However, keep in mind that the game can cause nightmares and give paranoid feelings to young kids who play this game.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Adult Written bysipinii October 17, 2013

violent but VERY thoughtful game about politics, freedom and greed

I played this game when I was 15 and I was instantly integued by it's world and ideas. It's violent and scary. Lots of blood and gore although no guts are shown flying in the air or such, it's just blood. Player gets to kill mutated people called splicers who appear evil, ugly and insane. The much more controversial part of the game is the choise to kill or not to kill mutated little girls who first appear scary but are later shown to be normal girls and the game's ending varies depending on did you save the girls or not - if you save them you'll have a very happy ending. The game deals with politics and shows a destroyed utopia of a extremist capitalistic political party. It'd deals with themes of freedom and the utopistic ideas of extermist political parties, it shows how greed destroys the most astounding achievements of man and that only way to live happily is to have people you care about and who care about you. If you use and abuse other people for your utopistic dreams, your life turns into a bitter mess. You also use a drug called EVE which gives you unrealistic powers like shooting fire out of your arm but the game shows many times how EVE has got everybody mad and the ugly and evil splicers who use EVE are actually caricatures of drug addicts. EVE drugs are used to comment on the greed of men and how the hunger for freedom can overthrow all moral codes and turn a human into an ugly monster.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Violence & scariness
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written byDean Agulare July 7, 2013

11 and up!

This is perfect for 11 year olds. It has some language and gore, but that's all. It is very fun and creative, and it has hours of game-play. I definitely recommend Bioshock for 11 and up.
Adult Written byHarry Carmed April 12, 2013

Bioshock

great game! there may be a tiny bit of language but overall its fine.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Language
Parent of a 7 and 12 year old Written byStephen the great January 21, 2013

BIOSHOCK IS OK FOR KIDS

bioshock is a part sci-fi part shooter adventure game. You play as Jack whos plane crashes. You are the only survivor. You go in to a lighthouse and find an underwater city called rapture. There is a liquid called Adam which gives you superpowers. There is a tiny bit of gore but games like call of duty are a billion times worse. There is a couple of s***'s but other then that no language. There are also a couple of SUPER MILD drug references. This is a great game. The only thing i found disturbing was a man singing jesus loves me. Anyway this game is appropiate for 11 year olds. Dont let common sense fool you in to not buying this for your child. Maybe watch your child play for a bit. Its no worse then a game like Batman Arkham City. Thanks for listening
Adult Written byTwixthekitty July 27, 2012

Loved it!

Wow, I was really, really impressed by this game. I was a little apprehensive about playing it, as I'm a little squeamish and pretty easily scared, but I am so glad I did! Yes, it is a pretty violent game - the wrench is probably the goriest weapon, as you're pretty much right in the enemy's face when you use it. However, you get used to it pretty quickly, since the gore is so prevalent. There are some jump scares as well - some enemies crawl on the ceiling out of view, and often you can hear enemies talking somewhere close by offscreen, creating tension and amplifying the creepy atmosphere. Later on in the game, some enemies like to play dead, which scared the ever loving crap out of me. All that aside, the gameplay itself is engaging and pretty easy to get the hang of, even for someone who doesn't usually play shooters (such as myself). The story is incredible, and the audio diaries you collect through the story can be very thought provoking. Had I played this a few years ago, I probably couldn't have handled the gore though, and I wouldn't recommend it to kids who aren't mature enough to actually think about why Rapture is such a violent place. For older teens and adults, this is a must play.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Language
Adult Written byHello Again July 27, 2012

Awesome!

This game is just amazing. The gameplay is awesome, the storyline is great, the graphics are amazing, the Big Daddies are awesome looking. The city is awesome it has a long story so thats good so it does not take short amount time to beat because it does have multiplayer and there are different ways to beat it every time and to beat it takes about 20 hours to beat every time if you don't rush through it every time. It has a lot of different weapons and plasmids. And you have lots of challenging achievements to keep you busy and add to the awesome gameplay. And harvesting Little Sisters is a bad idea in the game because even though you get less Adam you get rewards from Bridgett Tenebaum at a Gatherers Garden, which a Gatherers Garden is where you spend your Adam to upgrade character with Plasmids and Tonics and upgrade your Plasmids and Tonics. Which a Little Sister Gift will be at the Gatherers Garden and have 200 Adam and you a Plasmid or Tonic, Money, First Aid Kits, EVE Hypos, or other items. Little Sister Gifts only appear if you rescue 3 Little Sisters instead of harvesting them. If you harvest a Little Sister you get 160 Adam which is 80 more than rescuing them. And if you rescue a Little Sister you 80 Adam which is 80 less than Harvesting them for 160 Adam. So harvesting 3 Little Sisters will give you 480 Adam 40 Adam more than rescuing 3 Little Sisters and getting the Little Sister Gift at the Gatherers Garden for 440 Adam. And so if you if you rescue 3 Little Sisters and get the Little Sister Gift you will get 440 Adam but it will fun to save up and have your Adam refilled and have a free Plasmid or Tonic and get spend all your Adam at a Gatherers Garden for another upgrade, plasmid, or tonic. So it is better to rescue Little Sisters than harvest them in my opinion. But I have never harvested a Little Sister in the game so I don't know what tactics that harvesting gives you but I just rescue all the Little Sisters because I like the strategy that I use. So I think this game is good and is for any age. And also I am not a parent the Common Sense Media rating system won't let me change if I am a parent or not. And Common Sense Media does not have common sense. Why did I just write down a cheap joke right there? And I am only writing out on Common Sense Media even though no one will probably read this because this game came out in 2007. But I liked the game. And I think the only that affects people is what happens around them. And I think this game is AWESOME!

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byLewis Woodhall May 8, 2012

AGE RESTRICTION =)

MAIN REASONS!
- Occasional Strong Language
- Strong Bloody Violence

OTHER!
- Some Horror
- Mild Alcohol/Drug References
- Two Mild Nude Images

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Language
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

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