“A man builds a city at the bottom of the sea. That’s a marvel. Another man happens to be on a plane that crash lands on the same city in the middle of the ocean. Why, that sounds more like… A miracle.” -Andrew Ryan, creator Rapture.
Hey there. Happy Friday!
Thanks for joining us for a Game Night episode of Nerdy by Nature. Chris, here! Today, we discuss my favourite game – one of which is highly rated in the gaming world, that is BioShock.
The story opens with Jack (the only survivor from a plane wreck). Treading water in the Atlantic ocean, and almost drowning, Jack makes his way over to lighthouse. It is there where you are immediately thrust into the underwater city of Rapture and taking on player control of Jack.
The city was built by business tycoon Andrew Ryan and intended to be an isolated utopia; however, it is far from that now. With the discovery of genetic material extracted from giant sea slugs that can be used to develop superhuman abilities created unwanted consequences which resulted in a down-turned, dystopian society. It is 1960, and you must find a way to escape. Sound easy? Try escaping by fighting a wide range of capable and unique adversaries, all while uncovering the events that lead to the city’s demise.
It can take a bit of time, but don’t worry! Thankfully, you can have multiple save points. It’s definitely a journey (but, not for the faint at heart). This game is packed with exceptional visuals, light gore and a soundtrack that’s sure to make the hair on your neck stand up. I truly felt like I was in another world, and many times had forgotten I had played for a few hours at a time.
BioShock incorporates elements of role-playing with different approaches in engaging enemies, (including saving or killing key characters) which can produce different outcomes in the story line. It’s a some what open environment; however, you are guided along with onscreen cues, taking direction from audio snippets, or interactions, with non-threatening characters, as you complete small tasks and puzzles necessary before carrying on to the next level.
In February 2010, 2K Games released BioShock 2. The story takes place in 1958 (about 2 years before the first game which makes me feel it is more of a prequel). You control Delta (essentially a prototype of a deep sea ‘Big Daddy’). Delta must track down Eleanor Lamb, the daughter of Dr. Sofia Lamb, before he slips into a coma.
It’s still a great game, but I found it had a slow start and the game play generally was too much like the original BioShock. You still encounter foes, you uncover truth behind the events, make choices, and then complete tasks. Sure, the game was much the same, I did enjoy the different character take and story line to it.
Later, in August 2013, 2K Games released BioShock Infinite. Although the game does not take place in the underwater city of Rapture; however, the game still had many of the same mechanics from it. The game’s setting takes place in 1912 on a floating air city of Columbia (which seems like some pseudo version of a civil war torn America). The story follows Booker DeWitt, a detective on the search to find a young woman, Elizabeth, who has been held captive there for most of her life. In true BioShock fashion, the player uses a combination of weapons, and psychokinetic powers to help fight combatants.
Admittedly, I did not enjoy playing this one, as I did not have the same feeling I had with the original BioShock. In addition, I really didn’t care for the American political and historical overtones of the story to carry on with it.
Since I ‘nerded out’ on the themes of BioShock so much, I picked up the book entitled “BioShock Rapture” by John Shirley. It’s a prequel, and provides back stories of the characters, and a look into the events that lead up to the crumbling underwater Utopia.
Aside from the game play of BioShock, the story line itself is well thought out. The backdrop is a take on 1950’s ‘Art Deco’ themed architecture (complete with exceptional attention to detail for the era from signage to ambience). It truly is a game well worth taking a step back in time, and immersing yourself into.
What is your favourite cut-scene, enemy, or memory from the BioShock series? Let us know if the comments below, or feel free to continue the conversation on Twitter.
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