BioShock (Game Review)

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By Sushant Mishra

“Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his brow? “Noâ€? says the man in Washington, it belongs to the poor, “Noâ€? says the man in the Vatican, it belongs to GOD, “Noâ€? says the man in Moscow, it belongs to everyone. I rejected those answers, instead, I chose something different, I chose the impossible, I chose…RAPTUREâ€? —Andrew Ryan (Founder and Creator of Rapture)

And what an opening introduction scene it is. You are an unnamed person who as per him was destined to do great things. What you encounter is a plane crash, and thereafter you find yourself swimming for your life with no option but to reach that mysterious light tower which is flashing in the horizon, and what follows is perhaps one of the most engrossing and politically and morally charged games I have ever played. Rapture is an underwater city (located fathoms below), which is the brain child of industrialist Andrew Ryan. It was supposed to be a place where an artist could freely express himself and would not be limited by petty morality. Its ideology lied in the principle of ‘Lassie Faire’. But the moment you enter Rapture, what you encounter is a dystopia, a utopia gone bad.

The moment you enter Rapture, the first thing which strikes you are its visuals, the artists have done such a tremendous job in depicting this underwater city that one actually starts believing that a city like this can exist. Its architecture brims with indicative meters, brass tubes, steam pistons, vacuum tubes, not to mention the place is full of neon lights. Irrational games have successfully created a living, breathing and a functional world.

You have your basic arsenal of weapons such as crossbow, pistols, shotgun, and machine guns amongst others which can be customised up to a certain extent. But your real powers are derived from ‘ADAM’. Now ADAM is a substance which allows you to genetically enhance various aspects of your body, allows you to play with your DNA structure. It gives these various powers called ‘plasmids’ which enables the player to emit freeze rays, set cyclone traps, hypnotise Big Daddies (more about them later), shoot deadly bees out of your arms etc.

Eventually you’ll realise that the only source of ADAM are ‘Little Sisters’. Little sisters are your adolescent girls who have been modified so that they can extract ADAM from corpses. To accompany them are your heavy, hulking ‘Big Daddies’. These unknown Diving Suit wearing colossi have been given the charge to protect little sisters thus forming a symbiotic relation between the two. In order to get to little sisters, you have to first defeat these baddies—and fighting them accounts for some of the finest moments of the game, each one is like a mini boss-fight. And here lies your moral dilemma, when you eventually encounter the little sisters; you are faced with two options. Either you can extract ADAM from their bodies and in turn annihilate them or you can save them, free them from their bondage but you get less ADAM, in compensation all you get is an innocent thank-you from the little girl. Because of the open ended nature of the game, no two scenarios play the same; one is only handicapped by his/her imagination.

The game is very ‘post-modern’ in a sense that you don’t get one linear perspective, but many. Reality has been presented in its full ambiguity, there is no such thing as black or white, and everything has a cause and effect relationship.

It’s a landmark game which would be remembered for years to come, at up with the likes of Mario and MGS.

“A slave obeys, a man chooses� – Andrew Ryan


Journalism has been called the “first rough draft of history”. D.U.B may be termed as the first rough draft of DU history. Freedom to Express.

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