A Man Chooses. A Slave Obeys: BioShock

“They offered you the city… and you refused it. And what did you do instead? What I’ve come to expect of you. You saved them. You gave them the one thing that was stolen from them: A chance. A chance to learn, to find love, to live. And in the end, what was your reward? You never said it, but I think I know: a family.”

The Game:

BioShock was first published in October 2008 by 2K Games. It is a spooky first-person shooter featuring drug-induced magic-like powers, the greatest handheld weapon in history: the wrench, and extremely lofty ideals based around Objectivity. (I will be honest, source: Wikipedia)

I played the remastered versions BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite on the PlayStation 4 from BioShock: The Collection released in 2016.

The Reveal:

This series had a hellof a lot of hype surrounding it, so I was going in with pretty high exceptions. Let me tell you, I was not let down.

Also, I chose not to harvest the Little Sisters because I am not a monster.

BioShock:

I am going to be honest and tell you that BioShock made me literally shout out of terror. I was, and still am, spooked by the first game. Everything is dark and a special shout-out has to go to the audio team because those sound effects are the stuff of nightmares.

Would you kindly

I played the first game by myself, in the dark, and in less than three days. I was slowly peaking around corners, listening for the screeches of the splicers when my roommate came out of his room. I jumped a bit at the sound of the door opening, but it was nothing compared to just a few seconds later when I ran straight into a Big Daddy and he charged at me with all his drill-wielding ferocity. I screamed, my roommate screamed. For a moment we lived in a sitcom.

I loved using plasmids to creatively destroy my enemies. There was something exciting about being able to electrocute five splicers standing in a pile of dripping water at the bottom of the ocean. On the other side, I also enjoyed smacking up some enemies with a wrench of all things. I explored every corner, researching my enemies, finding the audio diaries and slowly putting together the story.

Would you kindly

Using audio diaries is an awesome way to put together what happened down in Rapture, and it makes the most sense based on the plot. The world is destroyed and it makes sense that people would want to leave a record of their experiences. However, despite public opinion, I did not like the audio diaries playing while I was trying to accomplish other tasks. I missed so many plot elements because I was distracted by, you know, the actual game. It is helpful that you can play the diaries back later, but you could not play back the monologues that other characters would give as you were fighting your way through a world. This is my biggest complaint across the entire series.

would you kindly MURDER THIS GUY WITH A FRACKING GOLF CLUB!?!????

I somehow managed to avoid all spoilers, so I got to experience the would you kindly twist authentically. I loved the social commentary and I loved the Sander Cohen bits. It was clever, creepy and captivating. I finished the game feeling like a hero and I could not be happier.

BioShock 2

I will be quick about this and say that I have the same feelings as most people: I was unimpressed. It was a fine game compared to other games of the time, but it was nothing compared to the first one. It felt like most of the same. Also, I absolutely hated playing as Big Daddy. The screen was constricted and his movements were frustratingly (although understandably) limited.

Apparently the Minerva’s Den DLC redeems it some, but I have yet to play it.

BioShock Infinite:

I will be honest and say that I pushed through all of these games very quickly and by the time I reached this one I was a bit tired of the level design. That being said, who doesn’t like setting everything on fire in a beautiful world in the sky?

I thought the world looked incredible and I really really enjoyed the morals of the game. They eased you into world so flawlessly, then shock you with the choice to throw the baseball at an interracial couple. I didn’t, again, because I am not a monster. I adored the Lutece twins, the Songbird looked incredible and I loved that they made Elizabeth a useful companion.

All that being said, I still liked the first one better. Sure part of that comes from it being the first of its kind, but I also feel like they took a step back as far as game mechanics go. I preferred the plasmids from the first game. I never wanted to take the time to learn the clever ways you can use the crows or the bucking bronco. I ended up just shooting people, which is pretty boring for me and their shooting mechanics are not what I would want them to be. Also, I searched every corner I could and still I missed huge plot point near the end. Game-making points that must have been hidden in some corner while you are suppose to be sprinting around and immersed in the game. I never did find the Voxophone that explained that the twins are the same person.

Perhaps I should have taken a break between games. I should play the DLCs. Maybe I should have played it on PC. I am sure I missed some things here and there, or I fought with a less than optimal strategy. But I had a great time with these games, and the awards they won speak for themselves. These seem like games that changed the way games are approached. They took risks and I think they paid off.

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