So I FINALLY got the game and well I'm enjoying it a lot. I've played for a few hours (maybe 4-6 ) and I'm on the Arcadia level and its definitely surprised me. The story is engaging but the amount of diaries is overwhelming, with all the sound effects sometimes its hard to understand what they are saying and subtitles are out of sync, sometimes you'll find one or two more diaries before the one you are currently listening to is finished. Characters are pretty well done and voice acting is good, I haven't heard any cheesy lines yet. The demo really doesn't do the game justice. The demo is incredibly linear and boring but the full game is a lot more open (I HIGHLY recommend you disable the quest arrow, makes the game linear) and there are tons of things to uncover and interesting places to roam, this is as much as an adventure and exploration game as it is a shooter. Combat is incredibly fun, I was very disappointed with the demo but the full game really gives you a lot of room for you to decide your fighting style and you'll quickly discover new weapons that really flesh out the game beyond the bland pistol + machine gun combo from the demo. I played the game knowing as little about it as possible and there are tons of things I never imagined could be in this game so I definitely recommend playing this game knowing as little about it as possible. I'm playing on hard without quest arrow and rescuing the little sisters, its just the right amount of challenge and I'm just an average player so I think Hard would be the most appropriate difficulty if you play a lot of shooters. The role-playing aspects of the game are excellent, there is so much possible customization. There are plasmids (basically "unconventional" weapons like lighting, fire, etc) and then there are a myriad of different power-ups that boost different aspects of your character or your character's abilities. Additionally weapons can be upgraded and have three ammo types and the amount of weapons is pretty diverse. What I liked best though is that ALL weapons are useful throughout the game (well at least thus far for me). The game is really fun, it is NOTHING like the demo so if you didn't like that or thought it was just ok you still need to try the full game, the demo really feels like its an entirely different game. It is not even a good performance measure since the later levels are pretty open and full of enemies (and for some reason Big Daddies are performance hogs ) and the performance on the full game stages hardly reflects what you'd get on the demo. What else? Well the scenery is quite diverse and fun to look at, you never really become lost in a level because you have a handy map and there aren't any "boring spots" meaning that even if you don't get to your intended location you'll still find something interestind to do (or kill ) in that area. The atmospehre in Bioshock is incredible, the world is so greatly done and there are details everywhere, Rapture is an incredible world to explore, there are not many shooters where the setting takes the spotlight as Rapture does in Bioshock. Shortcomings thus far? Well, like I said earlier diaries can become a bit overwhelming, mainly because there is so much of them and even if you stand still (which you probably won't) the music and ambient sounds are enough to drown some parts of the speech and make the diary confusing, that aside, they do really well in developing the characters and the story. Thankfully, you can listen to the diaries again by pressing M and navigating to the audio logs. Also, Big Daddy fights can sometimes be frustrating, if you don't have any ammo or eve or for some reason you have the wrong plasmid combination you might as well forget about that little sister unless you want to be revived 50 times. Since big daddies don't engage you automatically (and stop attacking you after you've revived at a vita-chamber even if its right next to them) you'd think this isn't much of a problem but you still need to earn the money and items to finish that Big Daddy and grinding through all that splicers to earn money can get tedious. It is not much of a problem though and you CAN skip big daddy fights for later. The hacking mini-game is boring and repetitive and it gets tedious and frustrating after a while, especially when the difficulty racks up and you get unbeatable puzzles (you need to fail it and restart which can take time and can sometime trigger security bots or electric shocks). My main frustration with the game would have to be the revival system (its good but sometimes you'll keep dying and dying since you start with little health and enough eve to fire a plasmid a single time and money or health/hypos are not readily available). Also, some plasmids don't work as they should, for example, I was incredibly let down by the telekinesis plasmid. I was expecting something a-la gravity gun from HL2 but it doesn't really work that way, you can throw canisters at splicers and splicer corpses at other splicers, other than that the telekinesis plasmid is quite useless except for some specific scenarios. Incinerate isn't as useful as you'd think either, splicers DO run to put themselves out but they keep shooting at you while at it and water is not always right next to them, needless to say, its generally a waste of time and resources to use incinerate to lure a splicer into water. It doesn't do much damage and there aren't many flammable objects in Rapture, incinerate is only good for melting ice and certain specific scenarios (like the few levels and scenes where oil/kerosen is spilled). The challenge is just right, like I said earlier I'm playing on Hard without the quest arrow, thus far I haven't been overly frustrated with the game and I haven't gotten lost yet. At the first the game was normal but now its really challenging, splicers do tons of damage and health/eve/ammo isn't readily available, you can buy it but money is hard to come to and you really have to give some thought to what you are purchasing at the vendors. As far as plasmids and gene tonics go, you really can't go and empty out a Gatherer's Garden so you need to decide which plasmids and tonics you want, adding more to the role playing aspect. The graphics well... they are good yes, even on lower settings but I have a bit of issues with the inconsistency of the visual style, I mean artistically the game looks incredible. The world is so cohesive but its slightly unsettling when you see an incredible looking texture in one scene and on the next one there is a blurry mess. Also some of the animation isn't as good as you'd hope and models look messy at times and the cartoonish style is a love-or-hate thing. Still, you'll definitely be not disappointed with Bioshock's graphics. Bioshock is a must-buy and the demo is in fact QUITE different and misleading from the actual experience in the full game, I recommend everyone to try the FULL game (playing a level at a friend's house or something) before you make a purchase decision. The game will probably last you for quite a while, the game apparently lasts 20 hours but I've been playing for some 10 hours or so and I still have a long way to go (well apparently), you could rush through it, yes, but exploring the levels fully pays off and is interesting to do. In a way, levels have sandbox gameplay in the way that you can always mess with the different powers and kill splicers in different ways. I think a great thing about Bioshock is that the game is as RPG-ish and open as you wish it to be, if you want an action shooter and nothing more, turn the difficulty up, enable the quest arrow and only upgrade the most powerful plasmids but I wouldn't recommend playing it that way, losing yourself in the world of Rapture (sometimes even forgetting your current goal) and experimenting with all the combat options can be extremely rewarding.