2K Boston’s/ Irrational Games first person shooter game, Bioshock, is undoubtedly one that should sit firmly and proudly in any gamer’s collection. Receiving universal acclaim for its mind-boggling story line and intense and quite frankly disturbing gameplay, Bioshock definitely became a game difficult to compare to any other.
Most recent gaming consoles (PS4/ Xbox One) have provided developers the opportunity to remaster and recreate some fan favourites. Among such games is the Tomb Raider reboot (Square Enix) which made a comeback with Tomb Raider Definitive Edition, Devil May Cry 5 (Capcom), The Last Of Us (Naughty Dog) and even 2K’s own Borderlands series came to newer gen consoles in the form of The Handsome Collection, including both Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-sequel. With such great titles making such successful comebacks, it is almost strange that Bioshock hasn’t crept its way into the running, well, until now – kinda. It has been covered by IGN that a ”retailer may have accidentally leaked The Bioshock Collection”. That said, let’s savor our excitement – I’m almost sure I can hear millions of eager fans fidgeting in their seats, so let’s revisit what made Bioshock such a gruesomely great game and why there is every reason it should be remastered for fans on up-to-date consoles.
One of the most renowned aspects of Bioshock is the utterly mental story line. Although seemingly simple at the beginning, as the game proceeds it becomes evident that with a ton of scientific jargon and DNA related technicalities, that unless you are scientifically inclined, the game is going to toy with your mind a bit – or a lot.
To enlighten those unfamiliar with the Bioshock basics, the game is set in the once intended utopia, Rapture. The city is based miles and miles deep within the North Atlantic Ocean. Pre-game, Rapture suffers at the hands of a civil war, resulting in the ultimate corruption of the underwater city. A valuable substance, ADAM (discovered in the process of Rapture’s creation) which allows genetic alterations once consumed, became exploited and fought over by residents who began splicing themselves extortionately, resulting in deformities and physical disfiguration. Most residents either became ‘Splicers’ or died at the hands of them. Primarily identified by their distinctive diver suit appearance and low, echoing whale like calls, Big Daddies sit at the top of the splicing food chain. Accompanying them on their ADAM patrols through Rapture are Little Sisters. These once little girls of Rapture have been corrupted by exposure to and consumption of ADAM and must be either saved or harvested by the player, once of course they’ve gotten through the rather terrifying Big Daddies first.
The player takes the role of Jack who, after a plane crash, finds his way into a lighthouse and, in using the bathysphere there, arrives in Rapture. The player must traverse the demolished city, fighting through hordes of spliced psychos and Bioshock’s iconic Big Daddies in order to escape.
This brings us to the first reason Bioshock should find it’s way back to our screens remastered. There is no other game like Bioshock. The whole ideal behind the game is very sinister and wicked and it makes the game very interesting to play. Featuring several characteristics of survival-horror, the thrill factor spurs you on during your playthrough and although you are dreading the next splicer that hurls itself at you unexpectedly or the next Big Daddy you have to take on unprepared, you will continue to play.
To add to the ongoing list of reasons Bioshock remains to be one of the most extraordinary games of all time is because of it’s widely credited setting, Rapture. In being situated thousands of miles below the surface of the ocean, consequently generated is the disconcerting feeling of no escape. For a player caught up in Bioshock’s proceedings, this simply adds to the dark atmosphere throughout the game, also contributing to the fear factor considerably. Bioshock’s well developed gameplay in combination with the almost evil atmosphere that Rapture creates, the game is immersive, making you feel as if you yourself are fending for your life in Rapture’s wreck.
Rapture is a perfectly developed setting also in respect to its association with the ocean. This I mean not only literally, in regards to its location, but also in respect to the resounding whale calls the Big Daddies produce, the glass walkways that exhibit Rapture’s once beautiful sights, the many species of fish that can be seen looming all over the city like vultures in a desert, it all reconciles to make the setting increasingly eerie and unpredictable and for a keen player, this makes the game far more enjoyable. It would be truly wonderful to be able to experience all of these feelings again in a remastered version of the game.
The Remains Of A Utopia
Rapture was Andrew Ryan’s (a main character within Bioshock) intended Utopia, what it became was the complete opposite. A city that was once supposed to manifest a perfect way of living was reduced to what could only be described as hell.
With Splicers making up the foremost part of the broken city’s population, it is almost uneasy for the player as the enemies have few limits, nothing is standing between them and you. There is no law, rules or regulations, Splicers are quite simply relentless and it really draws out the true horror factor of Bioshock. The setting presents to the player the rawness of these villains, blood spats on walls, messages written in blood, gruesome dead bodies displaying the aftermath of attacks. All of these scenes are scattered throughout Rapture and it does so well to keep the player on their toes. Collectively and in contrast to safe haven Andrew Ryan aimed to achieve initially in Rapture’s creation, all of the fear becomes amplified and, again, it effectively produces the immersive environment that few other games have even come close to developing on such a great scale.
We need a game like Bioshock out there, we need the Bioshock Collection.
Back To Rapture
Bioshock has been overwhelmed with all means of praise since its release, even receiving several Game Of The Year awards. It is a unique game on a number of different levels and in being so, it owes itself a remastered version. Fans deserve to revel in and thoroughly enjoy this title again, enhanced and buffed up for up to date consoles. I know I’d happily sit through another playthrough of being toyed with by a Splicer flickering lights of the room I am in, or coming face to face with a Big Daddy with nothing but a wrench – I kinda take that bit back.
All we as anxious fans can do for the meantime is tame our excitement if possible and keep checking to see if these rumors are in fact true.