BioShock is Everywhere in Games, and Yet Nowhere in Itself

BioShock is Everywhere in Games, and Yet Nowhere in Itself

BioShock 2 cover art featuring Big Daddy and Little Sister.

Image: 2K marine/2K

For those who play video games, 2007 is often considered one of the best years of the middle It was a successful year: Microsoft had Campaign Y halo 3, nintendo took Super Mario to the galaxy, Obligations it opened the world by becoming modern, and so on. It cannot be underestimated how much that year alone kicked ass for games, and on the top echelon at the time was 2K Games’ bioshock, which is now 15 years from today.

Developed by 2K Boston (later Irrational Games) and the now-defunct 2K Australia, and directed and written by Boston’s Ken Levine, bioshock is a first-person shooter game set in the 1960s. After surviving a plane crash, the protagonist Jack discovers the underwater city of Rapture, built as a refuge for society’s elites by its creator, the tycoon of Business Andrew Ryan. The city was the perfect utopia, but everything finally went to hell once a gene-altering substance called ADAM was discovered.

Through the use of serums known as “Plasmids”, everyone in the city gained superpowers. Thus, a class war ensued: On the one hand, Ryan ordered his superhuman Big Daddies wearing diving suits to protect young girls called Little Sisters while they extracted ADAM from corpses. And on the opposite side was Atlas, a man who convinced the now poor citizens of Rapture to rebel against Ryan, with both sides using plasmid-carrying citizens nicknamed Splicers to wage skirmishes throughout the city.

Image for article titled BioShock Is Everywhere in Games and Yet Nowhere in Itself

Image: Irrational Games/2K

Originally exclusive to Xbox 360 and Windows, bioshock released to critical acclaim, with particular praise for its atmosphere and narrative, which incorporated ideas from the author George Orwell and, above all, from the philosopher Ayn Rand. By the end of its debut month, it had sold 490,000 copies, and as of March 2010, it had sold 4 million across all systems. (In 2008 and 2009, it was ported to PlayStation 3 and Mac respectively.)

For a time, BioShock fever spread throughout the industry. It was included in the Smithsonian exhibit dedicated to the art of video games and has been hailed as one of the greatest games of all time. along with the original mass effect and 2008 Braid, the game has been used as an example when arguing the merit of video games as an art form. And spawned two sequels: 2010 bioshock 2 from 2K Marin was a direct sequel in which players controlled a Big Daddy named Sigma a decade after the original game, given the ability to use plasmids and search for his missing little sister. Instead, Infinite for the return of the private eye starring Irrational Booker DeWitt strove to transport reality-warping Elizabeth Comstock out of the sky city of Columbia in 1912. Both games would receive narrative DLC, but it was the expansion “Burial at Sea” for Infinite which definitely linked it to the story of the original game.

In the years since bioshock went silent, there have been efforts outside of 2K and Levine to try and hit the same narrative highs of that first game. You can see his bones in other games like Naughty Dog. The last of us, machine games wolfenstein reboot, and Arkane Prey either dishonor Without much effort (Infinite it’s technically daddy’s first game, as it was released just a few months before the original The last of us.) cyberpunk 2077, which arguably features better combat simulation and immersion elements than bioshock, it has a portion of the vintage shooter inside of it. He could probably even argue that something like elysee nightclub either sleeper citizen he has also been influenced by her.

Image for article titled BioShock Is Everywhere in Games and Yet Nowhere in Itself

Image: 2K games

But for the franchise itself, currently just…exists. Part of the problem is the lack of follow-through: a fourth inning It’s said to be in the works, but due to development issues affecting the entire franchise, it seems more like an idea than a reality. And although he left the series behind after 2013, Ken Levine has not been able to launch a game within the last nine years. All that’s left for fans is to replay the old games, perhaps discuss how time has treated the sequels in particular. Netflix has plans turn the first game into a movie, something originally in the cards in 2008, but it remains to be seen whether the streamer will actually be able to make it happen. But the real question about bioshock The future, if it has one, what can it still bring to the table that the original trilogy hasn’t already covered?

Let us know your thoughts on the bioshock franchise in the comments below. Do you think we could use another entry or should we kindly let it harvest?


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