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...for the devoted player, there is an onion to peel back. Seeing first a later stage in the game, where an almost unending stream of engineered freaks must be slaughtered (on-the-fly) by using booby traps, mind tricks, IEDs, telekinesis, and even mini cyclones is overwhelming. But, starting from the beginning, coaxed by a dynamic hint system, you'll slowly tiptoe through darkness until you're forced into the vivid brutality of this perverse underworld. You'll adapt and modify, hack and tinker, and free demonic little girls -- or not. To reveal too much about BioShock would be to spoil an intimate adventure that you should not pass up.
And the other is at Game Informer:
While you'll definitely get nudged along a general path while playing BioShock, there's a great amount of flexibility as to how much of it you digest. Personal recording devices are scattered throughout Rapture, and listening to them provides key background information about what went horribly wrong in Rapture. Unlike in a lot of other adventure games, which typically rely on telling the backstory through written notes and cutscenes, these audio snippets allow BioShock to tell a story without wrenching control out of players' hands. When you pick up a tape, you're able to listen to it while you move along it will continue playing even during combat.