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What's Wrong With Bioshock?

A Blast from the Past

FBT is back in Rapture. Did he choose or does he obey?

The Past

I’m a slave when it comes to Bioshock. A total Adam-addicted, Spliced up Ryan slave. Bioshock is my favourite game. But it wasn’t always that way. I remember idly reading PCZone's profile back in 2007 and thinking it seemed daft. Bees flying from your hands?!

I didn’t bother with it for years. In fact, I picked it up for a fiver in a second hand store because I had no other games to play - well, no other games I wanted to play right then. But when Ryan said “I chose the impossible. I chose... Rapture” and we saw it emerge from the depths, I was sold. It was a perfect game – it was a good shooter but the setting, backstory, characters and moral choices meant I never wanted to leave. It was original, surprising, moving - amazing for a shooter. It changed how I viewed games, what my expectations were. Bioshock became the one I compare every other game to.

How do I review my all-time fave game? Bang on about why I love it? Boring. The web is teaming with retrospective reviews going on about it's brilliance. But, reflecting on how I got into Rapture, what if my original assumption was correct? Surely it can’t be all that? Again, bees?! What if I replayed to find out what’s wrong with it? Can I find anything wrong with it?

Still a Blast?

Before I get into it; the remastered version is an abomination. Pretty much the only change is starfish stuck to the windows and it crashing every ten minutes. Not a reason to hate Bioshock, just a reason to hate 2K. And the Game+ mode doesn’t up-scale the enemies, so you’re so ridiculously overpowered they might as well have called it Walking Sim mode. If you’re looking to keep your brand alive, don’t do a remaster. Least not like this. So anyway,

For those who don't know (tut), Andrew Ryan, industrialist, billionaire and poster-child for Objectivism decides he’s had enough of Governments and the hanger-ons – or as he calls them, Parasites. He builds Rapture beneath the waves where ‘the great are not constrained by the small’.

The city thrives on its own industry and innovations, until a sea slug is discovered that allows the ‘splicing’ of DNA. It creates a gold-rush in ‘Plasmids’ which genetically alter and improve people, eventually to the point of having superpowers. Alongside this, a class-struggle emerges, and the ‘small’ - menial workers, those who failed - start to rebel. Society breaks down, to the point they all just accept men stuck in deep sea diving suits are brainwashed to protect little girls with slugs implanted in them, who go around with huge needles harvesting dead bodies for their precious Adam, while people become addicted and degenerate into ghoulish monsters. The place has problems. Rapture falls into war, with Ryan versus Atlas, man of the people. And into this stalemate, via a plane crash, our lead Jack is dunked.

One thing that did always bug me – it’s revealed that our silent hero is in fact Ryan’s son. A young dancer Ryan was dancing with fell pregnant, and she sold the child to Fontaine, who, alongside the doctors behind the Big Daddy conditioning, accelerated his growth and gave Jack a trigger phrase, ‘Would You Kindly’ – which unconsciously forces him to do their bidding. It’s one of gaming’s greatest twists, realising we had been doing Atlas’ bidding, that he was Fontaine all along and he wants Rapture for himself, that we’ve not been in control. But here’s the thing – well, things wrong with that;

One, Jack is priceless. His DNA is the only way Atlas can get past Ryan’s security. So what does he do with his ace in the hole? Sends him topside then orders him to get on a plane and crash it into the sea over Rapture. Bit of a risk? Surely if they could implant memories, they could have just implanted the plane crash and shoved him out the lighthouse door?

Second, why go through any of that conditioning? If Jack can be controlled by ‘WYK’ just wake the kid up and say “go kill Ryan would you kindly”. None of the Atlas nonsense, the family, the rigm