Developer: 2K Boston, 2K Australia
Publisher: 2K games
Director: Ken Levine
Synopsis: In 1960 Jack is travelling on a plane which crashes into the Atlantic ocean. As the only survivor he manages to swim to a nearby lighthouse that contains a Bathysphere terminal which takes him to Rapture.
Rapture an underground City built in the 1940’s by Andrew Ryan with the idea of creating a utopia for society’s elite to escape government control. Science down in rapture progresses at a far greater speed than that of the world above and a genetic material known as ADAM is discovered created by sea slugs. ADAM allows the residents of Rapture to mutate their DNA to gain super-human powers like Telekinesis and Pyrokinesis. After the discovery Ryan brings in a law that no resident of Rapture may have contact with the world above.
Soon into the forming of this ‘utopia’ cracks start appearing among society. A new class system divides people into groups which gangster Frank Fontaine exploits to his own advantage among the lower class causing an uprising to take control of Rapture.
With the help of Dr Brigid Tenenbaum they find a way to manufacture much larger amounts of ADAM by implanting the sea slugs into the stomachs of little girls, known as Little Sisters. With his new plasmid enhanced army they attack where Fontaine is apparently killed in battle leaving Ryan to take control of his ADAM factories.
Soon after a new figure appears to lead the lower classes to attack the ADAM factories to try and free the little sisters. In response to the attacks by Atlas, Ryan creates Big Daddies plasmid enhanced soldiers surgically grafted into giant diving suits who were psychologically compelled to protect the Little Sisters. Ryan also creates his own army of Plasmid Enhanced people known as Splicers who he controlled through the use of pheromones. On new years eve 1958 a final assault takes place in a bid to take control of rapture leaving many dead and those who survived to be driven to madness by excessive ADAM usage and addiction leaving Rapture to fall into a dystopia.
You may be wondering “Why are you reviewing a game that came out over 10 years ago” well the simple answer is I only played it for the first time last year and this week after getting an Xbox One I have been playing it again.
This was the first video game I ever played all the way through. After years of seeing people talking about the twist at the (first) ending I had been curious to try it for a while and after getting an Xbox 360 I finally could (note I played these games in the wrong order as I started with 2 then Infinite then one because I got them at CEX).
I was hooked from the moment I stepped foot in Rapture as I have a long time love of the steam punk aesthetic the game has going on. The art is beautiful and creative particularly the rest of the City you can see out the windows when you cross through tunnels and first enter Rapture. If it wasn’t for whats to come I would have loved to live in such a place.
The moment you set foot in the Bathysphere into rapture you are greeted by the voice of Atlas a rebel leader with a kind irish accent. He will guide you through the majority of the game as your friend and Ally. When the Bathysphere reaches it’s terminal you see a Spider Splicer attack one of the few sane residents left in rapture. You are then able to enter rapture and find a wrench to protect yourself with and pick up further weapons along your way.
A problem I and a lot of people had with the first game is they get a mild sea sick feeling after playing for a while. This is probably because of the graphics in the game are not as good as they are today so there is a bit of 3D effect going on. The remastered version released recently does fix this issue (but creates a long with it a whole load of other issues for example the lighting is waaaay off).
Another annoyance of the game is the hacking system. To access certain things in the game for less money you must play a mini game of creating a system of pipes to let the fluid pass through. If it touches an alarm some bots will be called that will shoot you until you are dead and if you hit a broken tile you receive an electric shock that drains your health to almost nothing. After a few levels on this game hacking becomes a lot harder if not impossible as the flow speed greatly increases as does the occurrence of broken tiles and alarms. By this time if you don’t have a steady supply of automatic hacking tools you are fucked.
The overall plot of the game is great but it does have a few slow moments for example when you have to collect the things from the bee hives and most importantly the whole Sander Cohen section. It can get a bit tedious after a while. I adored the fact there is more than one ending with a good, bad and neutral end to the whole thing so you can play the game multiple times with different results.
The different endings are brought about by what you choose to do with the Little Sisters. You get the choice to either Harvest (kill them but get 160 ADAM) or Rescue (frees them from the ADAM but you only get 80 ADAM) the little sisters and your choice effects the results. If you Harvest all the little sisters whilst you will find the game a hell of a lot easier (and get the quite creepy Harvesting graphic as you do it) you will get the bad ending if you Rescue them all you get the good ending and if you do a bit of both you get neutral. This is the same for all the games in the Bioshock series and one of the great things it is remembered for.
Now even though this game has been out a long time it remains one of the most popular games out there so I don’t want to reveal any of the twists and turns that happen a long the way. If you are curious I highly recommend getting yourself a copy (XBox One people just get the 360 version its backwards compatible and a hell of a lot cheaper) and playing for yourself.
I will review the other games and more in due course.
If you liked this review would you kindly leave a comment.