“I chose the impossible. I chose Rapture.”
Those words and that opening has stuck with me since I finished BioShock all those years ago, I remember that opening like it was yesterday and the feeling that I got which was unknown at the time. I had no idea on how much this game would impact my life and impact my gaming career in the years after finishing it. It’s a game that has become probably the closest thing that I hold in my heart outside of World War II shooters, it’s a game that I haven’t seen since.
We have never seen a game like BioShock ever again since it came out and we have never felt the same way again, especially me. After completing BioShock, my whole world and the way I viewed First Person Shooters changed forever and going forward, we may never see a game like that ever again in where it changes what you know of the genre and flips everything that you know on your head and says “Run with it.” , BioShock is a game that ultimately came only once under a blue moon.
If you haven’t played BioShock before, then let me give you a rundown and what makes it so special. At the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean lies a Metropolis of gold and this city of gold at one point held the future of mankind if what happened at Hiroshima and Nagasaki ever came true and the earth above turned to glass. It’s here at the very bottom of the sea where this city was created, with the best scientists and a man by the name of Andrew Ryan. This city was a place where man would thrive and there was no religion, no king, and no god and where everything including science and market would thrive without the need for the Government’s approval and interference and a city where man would be free of such things. Until mankind went too far and broke through the glass ceiling, suddenly this city wasn’t made of gold anymore and instead a horror house at the bottom of the deep blue sea.
What makes BioShock so special is that it’s a monumental game and a complete achievement and is a beacon to how games should be now in 2017, it isn’t just another game, it’s an experience and a journey that yourself have to witness and see for yourself. BioShock wasn’t an evolution of Ken Levine’s other games, it was an evolution of videogames that somehow the industry is just starting to grasp and even in 2017, BioShock is still a wake up call to the gaming industry. It pushed the envelope of videogames and it is a shining example of how videogames should be, a powerful and remarkable story based upon different political views and how man itself is the worst kind of enemy on the planet.
When you entered the Bathysphere and went further down to the bottom of the sea and ultimately seeing Rapture, you were struck by awe and it sinks in that this game isn’t a normal game at all, you sort of realize that this game that you’re playing won’t be a normal journey at all but something else entirely. This realization hits you as soon as you step foot into the Welcome Center and the Kashmir Restaurant and it also hits you that something is up and something has gone terribly wrong.
BioShock from that point on becomes a journey, a journey that never escapes you and stays with you until the very very end when you face the final boss. The best part is that it is laced with clues and hints to what happened on that eventful New Year’s Eve and that really brings the world alive and you feel immersed, the audio diaries brings the world alive and brings the world to you, not alot of games do that. All of this adds up to being that BioShock becomes into a compelling videogame, one of the likes that you’ll never see again.
10 years on, BioShock is an art form and is a game that we likely never see again. 10 years on, it still isn’t being knocked off from it’s chair and still to this day, there’s nothing that will live up to it and I guess that’s a good thing. I hope we continue to talk about it and it’s influence on the gaming industry and the overall structure of videogames, Happy Birthday BioShock.