I can remember the first time I popped in the original Bioshock, and was literally blown away as I watched our hero survive a plane crash and end up finding this lighthouse, and then taking the magical journey to Rapture, an underwater paradise that surprised and fascinated me with every turn. I can say that that initial journey to Rapture and the first time we come in contact with a Big Daddy, will forever be sketched into my video game history.
I have gotten about halfway through both Bioshock and Bioshock 2, although since I have finished the newest game in the series, BioShock Infinite, I have decided to go back and finish both of the previous installments.
But this time, we are nowhere near Rapture, and this time we are headed to the skies and the world of Columbia in the year is 1912. And the big problem facing society is differing opinions on racial equality. We play as Booker Dewitt, a guy who is down on his luck and is trying to pay off his gambling debt, by heading off to Columbia and bringing back a girl.
“Bring us the girl, and wipe away the debt,” that was the deal. The details elude me now, but the details wouldn’t change a goddamn thing.” ―Booker DeWitt
But this is not going to be an easy job, as he makes he way around Columbia and sees how the followers, the Founders, of the great Prophet Comstock, who is all about patriotism, but also believes in segregation, his opposition the Vox Populi, lead by Daisy Fitzroy, and you see just how bad it is for those not in his favor, while exploring the city. DeWitt may not agree with Comstock views and does his best to not draw any attention to himself, but after an altercation at a raffle event, he soon becomes public enemy #1. And the game play is pretty much the same from the previous installments, with a few twists, gone are the plasmas, as they are replaced by vigors, and as an alternative way to get around the city, we have the sky hook which is not only a weapon, but a way to connect to rails and make our way around the city, and an interesting bonus to a few battles.
He eventually makes his way to Elizabeth and it seems there is something special about this lady, as she has quite the hidden talent, making tears in reality and time, which come into play throughout the story. But she is also a nice added bonus to the game. She may follow you around the game, but you don’t need to worry about protecting her, she can hold her own, but she is also helpful by throwing you supplies and health when needed. But as the story progresses and you learn a little more about her, it seems that her and Dewitt form a nice bond, with a few hiccups along the way. And they are not your normal kind of hiccups, as the story takes a nice twist about halfway through the campaign and you might have a few LOST flashbacks to go along with your bloody nose. There has been much debate about the story and the ending, and I suggest you stay away from spoilers and give the ending a few days to completely set in and then search out for other’s thoughts and theories. It’s one of those games and endings you will want to talk to people about.
But another thing, besides the story, that makes these games great and memorable, is the way they use amazing visuals and audio to engulf you in this world. This is not a game you want to quickly breeze through. Take your time, search every room, and every nook and cranny. Not only will that help you finish a few achievements, but will also give a few surprises along the way. The first part of the game does not involve a lot of action, it’s mostly about exploration and getting you introduced to the world of Columbia, and much like the first time you reach Rapture, it’s another experience you will always remember. I have to say that the music during this game deserves some attention, as you hit a few moments with some amazing musical cues and songs, that will make you set your controller down and just enjoy the mesmerizing song. My only real complaint, a few of the real memorable songs are missing from the soundtrack to the game, but as a little hint, I will suggest that you sit through the credits, and enjoy the little video.
After not finishing a game for awhile, I am glad to say that I have finished two in about a month’s time. And lucky for me, I have a season pass for some upcoming DLC, which is supposed to have new stories, new characters and weapons, so we shall see how that turns out. But I feel like I may try and go through it again and knock out a few achievements and maybe even give 1999 mode (hardcore) a shot. I have to say it’s been a good year for video games this year and I have picked some great titles to start off my year, and I hope to have a few more memorable ones as the year continues, but I have a few early contenders for my game of the year. And if you would like a few more opinions, you can check out it’s Metacritic page, where it is currently sitting at a 94%.