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Previews

First impressions: Bioshock

We can feel it in our water - hot new action RPG gunning for Oblivion's throne demoed backstage at E3

This one wins the 'Best Water At Show' award. Bioshock's set in an art deco underwater complex, one packed with trickling, rippling, dripping and running water.

The underwater setting requires hot water effects - and Bioshock delivers. The shiny tiled floors are coated with layers of reflecting, ripling water. Leaking walls create mini floods, entire rooms are knee-deep in water with dead bodies floating around. It looks great. It's not an action game. You don't shoot people for fun, only when it's necessary. Bioshock's world is full of people. Well, sort of people - everyone's been DNA modified, turning the undersea dwellers into freakish mutants.

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They go about their own business - stand still for a bit and you see the local freaks walking around, collecting stuff from bodies and amusing themselves.

You carry Adam with you. Adam's the game's money. Money can be used to buy weaponry, or to hack security systems to turn off alarms. The preview level we saw had a few secrity cameras in it, ones that summon the still-working attack-bot-things that shoot you rather rudely if an outsider is spotted.

We avoided this by using one the Bioshock's residents, spraying the poor girl with a Plasmid solution designed to trick the camera into making it think she's an intruder. So the attack bots turn on her and we're safe. Sorry, sweetie. You sort of have to think, with loads more Plasmid weapons giving you more options - like a speed boost, or irritant spray that angers your target.

We're thinking it's going to be very good indeed. Look out for BioShock in 2007 and check out our new batch of Xbox 360 screens right now.

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