Video Games: BioShock

I had a lot of fun writing about Hades, I thought I’d talk about another video game I absolutely love. This isn’t even the first time I’ve talked about BioShock on the blog – my Would you kindly… goes into the game in more detail, with spoilers, but relates it to writing and what writers can learn from the game. And of course, if you have played BioShock, you know that phrase very well.

I love this game. And it’s one of those games I now own in multiple formats, and hopefully will own in even more in the future. (I just really want to get it for my Switch, too.) I’ve played all three games, and eagerly await any news of the fourth, and loved all of them. But today I’m just going to talk about the first.

BioShock is a FPS – not typically the type of games I enjoy playing, but BioShock is full of excellent worldbuilding, intriguing weapons and a story that compels you from the go. The player takes control of Jack, after he is involved in an airplane accident and finds himself stranded in the ocean. As Jack, you crawl towards a distinctive lighthouse, and it’s here where the story really takes off.

Rapture is one of the most compelling game settings I’ve experienced. The combination of a stuck time, the music, and the diary entries scattered around lead you on a path through the underwater city, building up powers and weapons and slowly uncovering the various secrets hidden in Rapture.

The atmosphere is creepy as hell, a blend of apocalypse with Americana that’s carried through in the two sequels. The technology feels futuristic in the way sci-fi writers of the 50s looked at the future, and the overall sense of capitalisms gone bad is handled really well.

The most difficult thing about this game is deciding what to do about the little sisters you encounter. Do you act ruthlessly, killing them to get more Adam, or do you save them and let them go on their merry way? Depending on these choices gives you different outcomes, and I have yet to go through a full replay and discover what happens if you don’t save them!

In short, I absolutely love this game, from the creepy atmosphere to the initially terrifying enemies, the Big Brothers and the Little Sisters, as well as the mechanics and the way you build up your weapons and powers. Combined, it makes for an excellent experience, with a story that had me hooked right from the start.

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