By Sam Coles:
Sometimes when I think back to games that I love, I’m always surprised with how old they are due to it still being in the spotlight of gaming conversation. This is the case with Bioshock I remember being intrigued about the game before it came out, but at the time I didn’t have a 360 and PS3 as I made the poor decision of getting a Wii initially. I played Bioshock in 2009 when I first got my Xbox 360, where I bought it off my friend for £5 for the special tin edition he had. When I booted the game up I was introduced to the dark and foreboding atmosphere that is Rapture.
Bioshock’s story is one for the ages; you play as Jack who is on a plane that crashes into the ocean. He lives the endeavour and then finds a mysterious lighthouse which is unlocked where he then enters and is enveloped in darkness before the lights turn on. He is greeted by an ominous statue of Andrew Ryan with banner exclaiming “No gods or kings. Only man”. He then finds a mysterious lift like contraption which takes him to the underwater city of Rapture, where is greeted with the now famous speech from Andrew Ryan.
The reason why this story is remembered is its twist, half way through the game when you confront Andrew Ryan you find out that one simple phrase has been controlling you , “Would you kindly, powerful phrase… familiar phrase”. This revelation shocked players, as it was genius and before you brutally kill Ryan with a golf club he shouts a powerful statement “A man chooses, a slave obeys”.
It’s not just the story that had players hooked in Bioshock it was the fun gameplay, it is a hybrid of first person shooting and light RPG elements as this is a spiritual successor to Systemshock. You have a wide array of weapons from the standard say it with me now pistol, shotgun, machine and rocket launcher to the more unique such as the chemical thrower which can shoot fire or liquid nitrogen and the crossbow which is good for pinning enemies to walls.
You don’t just have guns to help you out during the tense combat, you have Plasmids think of them as magic but they have been genetically inserted into your body. These are really fun to you use, you have your standard lightning bolt and fire balls to the more unique such as being able to throw bees at people which seems rather juvenile now I think about it. These give you an edge in combat where it can be used in tandem with your weapons, such as the one, two punch with the wrench and lightning bolt where you to quote Atlas “Zap ‘em and whack ‘em”.
Gene tonics are also useful, think as these as passive perks which have an effect on yourself, firearms and your wrench. These can range from sending electric bolts every time an enemy hits you, to your wrench freezing enemies where you can smash them into ice cubes for your glass of Scotch later. These came at a cost as you had to use the game’s currency known as ADAM, how you gain this currency is by either saving or harvesting Little Sisters. You get more ADAM if you harvest them but this gives you the bad ending, if you save them you get less but they do give you better items in the later stages of the game.
The main aspect of Bioshock that has stuck with me the past decade is the atmosphere; it is a dark and foreboding place with blood that line the walls. What is scary is that it was once a thriving community, but then it turned into this uncivilised society where ADAM consumed people’s souls. When you walk the corridors of Rapture there is rarely any music, must music is present diegetic manner as you can distant radios play in the distance as well as the tortured moans of Big Daddies. It is easily one of the best atmospheres from that period of gaming, alongside the original Dead Space.
Bioshock along with other titles from the 7th generation such as Red Dead Redemption will be talked about for the next 20 years. If you haven’t go and experience this masterpiece of a game, there are many ways to play it you can play it on the 360 and PS3 or on current gen hardware such as the PS4, Xbox One or PC. It really stands the test of time and his aged remarkably well.