posted by @SteveHatesU
Remember when video games used to be about plumbers saving princesses and blue hedgehogs running super fast to collect rings? Those games made no fucking sense.
Nowadays, we have video games that flirt with the realm of make-believe, but ultimately try too hard to be believable. There’s always a “reasonable” explanation for the way things are. The world’s void of civilization and full of mutants because of nuclear war, or zombies are attacking because of a virus. This dude can shoot lightning out of his hands because of a botched science experiment. Nathan Drake is a douche bag. That last point may seem out of place, but it really isn’t- if you ask me, the less sense games make the better they are.
A case in point: Bioshock
Let’s travel back to the 1940’s and into the mind of Andrew Ryan. But who’s Andrew Ryan? you might be asking. He’s like a more extreme Mitt Romney. This asshole made a bunch of money doing “something” and decided that he was too good to be bound by the limits of capitalism AND socialism. “Let’s build a civilization deep within the ocean where society’s elite can flourish!” he said as he lifted his head from the enormous mound of cocaine piled high on his desk. “OK!” said everybody else.
Welcome to Rapture, mother fucker! Why did we name it “Rapture”? Because “Buffalo” was already taken. From what we can tell from the in-game audio logs, Rapture fell apart on January 1, 1960 – 20 years after Ryan’s bender. So what exactly was the timetable here? Think of all the great cities of the world. Do you know how long it took them to be what they are today? A really fucking long time!
So here we are, back in 1940, while the world is focused on a little thing called World War II, and we’re going to build a new city UNDER. FUCKING. WATER. Do you know how hard it is to do things underwater, let alone build a giant city during a world war? Do you know how many gold medals Michael Phelps has?
Best case scenario, the city was finished and inhabitable in 1958. So that means two years later, everyone lost their minds and decided to kill each other.
What could have possibly gone wrong?
Andrew Ryan, wanted to create a utopian society where the already “elite” members could prosper even more than they already have. These people have spent their whole lives clawing their way to the top and stepping on those that have gotten in their way. Why don’t we gather all of these people together in an isolated, underwater environment, and see what happens?
CATASTROPHE – that’s what fucking happens.
Let me back up just a little bit. So, Rapture is up and running. Elitists are packing up and moving in droves to their new underwater home. Governments everywhere are like, “Yeah, fine, do whatever you want – WORLD WAR!” Good. So now we’re established.
At some point, someone finds out that by injecting yourself with something called a “plasmid” or “tonic”, you can alter your genetic make-up and gain super powers. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?! Did you know that it’s recommended that you consume 1 gram of protein for every pound of body weight everyday for “the best results”. Did I mention that we’re underwater, too?
So, we’re going to inexplicably give people the power to control fire, electricity, ice, bees, and other really random shit? Good. That’ll probably work out for the best. Wait, how did we even get the ability to alter our genetic code this specifically? Oh! Sea slugs- of course. Sea slugs produce a substance called ADAM that can be manufactured into genetic-altering plasmids and tonics. Do you know how we could mass produce this ADAM stuff? Why, by implanting those sea slugs in the stomachs of little orphaned girls!
Listen, this is happening, so you better make peace with it.
I’ve noticed lately that everyone is sort of becoming, well, addicted to these plasmids and tonics. Did we just invent crack?
No, crack won’t be invented for another 20 years. This is better than crack!
It’s a good thing we’re hiding the source of this “crack” in the stomachs of orphaned little girls…..we’re really going to have to amp up security, aren’t we?
What does every little girl need? A daddy. A Big Daddy! We’re going to take our own genetically altered freaks, strap them into a clunky diving suit, and brainwash them into being completely devoted to protecting these little girls. The girls will go around and harvest ADAM from the recently over-dosed and deceased splicers-
Wait, what did you call them?
Oh, “splicers”. That’s what I’m calling them because they love to “splice” their genetic code.
You’re an asshole, do you know that? So… what, are we going to give them guns and stuff?
Yeah, kind of. I’m thinking they should all have an over-sized drill bit on one arm so they can impale and drill perpetrators.
So, here we are. High Society has gathered underwater to binge on sea slug juice produced in the stomachs of little girls. Everyone here has super powers, easy access to weapons, and a now unquenchable thirst for ADAM. The only law enforcement is in the form of brainwashed hulks that are obsessed with nothing more than making sure nobody touches those little girls. These tank-like “Big Daddies” are armed to the teeth and will not hesitate to brutally murder anyone. I think we made a really good choice in moving here!
I want to point out that I really haven’t talked much about the game itself at this point. Up until now we’ve really only just covered the back story of Bioshock. By the time the player is introduced to Rapture, society has fallen apart. Everything seems to be destroyed, or leaking, or on fire. Buildings are filled with trash, debris, and corpses. Citizens of Rapture have taken things way too far and are essentially mutants as a result of their genetic splicing. Every room the player enters is a terrifying deathtrap. The only code of conduct in Rapture now is kill or be killed.
The actual in-game story is just as ridiculous. Obviously, in order to survive, the player is given as much access to guns and plasmids as everyone else. Feel free to fuck up your genetic code for the rest of your life, it’s not like you have anything else going on right now. You start off as just a dude on a plane flying to, I dunno, “somewhere”, when your plane crashes. Conveniently, as the sole survivor, you stumble upon Rapture and are immediately attacked by Splicers.
A random guy on a two-way radio named Atlas decides to guide you, but only if you agree to help him save his family; sounds noble enough. Throughout the story, you’re introduced to different kinds of Splicers as well as the Big Daddies and their ADAM-carrying Little Sisters (family trees are fucked up in Rapture). Eventually, you make it to Andrew Ryan and it’s revealed that you are his illegitimate son who was kidnapped from Rapture and genetically altered to age quickly and mindlessly obey any order preceded by the phrase “Would you kindly…” In a shocking twist, Atlas turns out to be Ryan’s arch nemesis, Frank Fontaine, who planned this whole thing. You kill Ryan, are left for dead by Fontaine, rescued, and are then tasked to rescue all of the remaining Little Sisters as well as stop Fontaine. I don’t know about you, but I could use a beer.
“Wait a minute,” you say. “I’ve read reviews of this game and everyone says it’s great!” Yeah, dipshit, that’s because it is! The storyline is so fucked up and original that you really have no choice but to accept it before it destroys you. The gameplay is tight and solid, the graphics are gorgeous and stunning, the voice acting is impeccable and the juxtaposition between the creepy atmosphere and the upbeat 1940’s jazz is genius. I will also add, that this game has the BEST shotgun in first person shooter game history. Seriously, if this shotgun had tits I would have all of its babies.
It’s almost unfortunate how awesome this game is. If it wasn’t so successful, the creators wouldn’t have been pressured into making a sequel. Don’t get me wrong, the sequel isn’t bad, but it’s far inferior to the original. In fact, the existence of the sequel has almost tarnished the reputation of the first game. If you’re tired of killing Nazis and zombies and zombie-Nazis, you owe it to the sea slug growing in your stomach to play this game.
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