31 Days Of Dreadtober (2017): Bioshock
I know I said I’d be taking the weekend off to attend my aunt’s wedding, however, I scared up some time when I realized I have a horror/geek blog and it’s now October. Today, I’d like to introduce you guys to 31 Days of Dreadtober. Every day of this month, there will be a horror-themed post going up on the site. We kick this month of posts off with an entry about one of my favorite video games.
Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Mac OS X, iOS
Set in 1960, the sole survivor of a plane crash discovers the entrance to a city hidden deep beneath the waves of the Atlantic. The city known as Rapture has fallen into disrepair and chaos reigns supreme. Jack, the sole survivor, must fight his way through the hordes of Rapture’s mutated denizens and the traps set by the city’s founder, Andrew Ryan. Jack’s only hope of escaping the failed utopia lies with a mysterious resistance leader named Atlas…
NO GODS OR KINGS. ONLY MAN.
The spiritual successor to the System Shock series, Bioshock has long been hailed as one of the greatest and visionary games of all time. Based on Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism and set in the 1960’s, it is perhaps the most unique world I’ve ever had the pleasure of exploring. I was genuinely awestruck by the visuals and though the original game’s graphics have aged, they can still inspire a sense of wonder, especially in those gamers who still hold fond memories of their time traversing Rapture’s dilapidated halls and flooded domes.
While Rapture is populated by a colorful cast of characters who are remarkable in their own right, it is the city itself that I believe to be the most enduring character in the hearts and minds of fans. The theme of a paradise gone sour permeates every inch of level design. Behind the rust and grime of father time, the former splendor of the city can still be observed through its muted veil. One could easily mistake Rapture as a dead urban environment based on the state of its infrastructure, however, the palpable civil unrest from the few sane survivors speaks more to a city on its last legs rather than a truly dormant metropolis.
In the end, what seperates a man from a slave? Money? Power? No. A man chooses, a slave obeys.
Bioshock is more than a first-person shooter with horror themes. It explores philosophical themes, constantly barrages players with questions about life, politics, religion, and morality, and challenges preconceived notions. Add to that awesome recipe one of gaming’s best twists and you have one of the most special gaming experiences created. If you haven’t played the OG Bioshock, I can not recommend it highly enough. You can find it in its original format for pretty cheap or pick up the more recently released remastered version of Bioshock: The Collection, which includes three games in the series. Bioshock 2 and Bioshock Infinite are great for reasons of their own, so you can’t really go wrong by picking it up.