Monday, February 8, 2010

Welcome Back To . . . RAPTURE!!!


This is all about the new game coming out this week, Bioshock 2. So if you clicked on here expecting something else based on the title -- well here's your fair warning to back on out.

But if you have any level of geekery towards all things gaming, stay a bit while I lay down some historic perspective.

See, the first Bioshock came out for the Xbox 360 (and PCs) a little under two years ago. It was a glorious game, an experience to behold. The plot was weird, complex, and brutal . . . while the visuals were simply drop-dead gorgeous at the time. The story itself was refreshingly mysterious and unique, which is the hallmark of a true AAA game and potential Game of the Year winner, I shouldn't need to tell ya.


The backstory behind Bioshock revolved around Rapture, a city built in the 1940s on the bottom of the ocean by billionaire industrialist Andrew Ryan. He sought to create a world where man could exist by the virtues of his own hard work and ingenuity, where creativity was rewarded justly and all the decadent, lazy morals of the surface world abolished. In Rapture, there was no religion or government; only the fruit of one's labor. The game designers specifically based Ryan's utopian views on the dense philosophy of one Ayn Rand (yes, THAT Ayn Rand), and the game world of Rapture became a twisted, fantastical underwater Atlantis because of it.


However, as with most utopian ideals, the reality of human nature begged to differ with Mr. Ryan's dreams. Before long Rapture collapsed under the weight of built-up greed, totalitarianism and, of course, criminal enterprise. And the city the rest of the world knew nothing about became a sealed off tomb for the doomed and freakishly transformed denizens who roamed its leaky corridors.

Players started off the game as a nameless man who survives a plane crash into the ocean circa 1960. He swims around until discovering a lighthouse out in the middle of the deep blue sea, and unwittingly stumbles upon one of the entrances to the secret society of Rapture. What he would discover--about the city; about Ryan; about himself--would shatter the perceptions of gamers everywhere. The twists, reveals, and the powers he would uncover electrified the gaming world like few other stories could at the time. It was a good year for gaming when Bioshock hit shelves.

And I loved every minute of it!

If you would like to view a very concise 5-minute wrap-up of the events that took place in the game (and I really hope you do), please check out this handy video put together by the folks over at IGN.com:



Are you all caught up now? See, what did I tell ya? Is that not one of the coolest concepts/plots put together? The main thing to remember is that this crazy world of Rapture is overrun by corrupted human mutants hopped-up on "Adam" called Splicers. And that little mutant girls called Little Sisters wander around Rapture collecting Adam from the bodies of dead Splicers. Because living Splicers are addicted to Adam and all the powers it can give them, Little Sisters are quite vulnerable to attack. This is where their protectors, the Big Daddies, come in. A Big Daddy was engineered to be a near-indestructible walking tank, psychologically bonded to the Little Sisters and sworn to protect them even at the cost of their own lives.


In the first game, the Big Daddies were a constant terrifying foe to the main character, Jack, who, as a newcomer, was often viewed as a threat.


Bioshock 2, however, changes the dynamic around. Although in the first game Jack eventually escapes Rapture and returns to the surface, there to live out his life in happiness surrounded by several rescued (and rehabilitated) Little Sisters, the world of Rapture still went on beneath the murky depths of the ocean.

Bioshock 2 takes place 10 years later in 1970. Rapture has deteriorated even more into senseless murder and decay. A new threat arises in the ashes of Andrew Ryan's demise, and the city of Rapture itself is at stake. A prototype Big Daddy--swifter, smarter, and stronger than the others--is reawakened to counter this threat. He has no knowledge of the wasteland his city has become since he was first put away, but is pressed by a recurrent character from the first game to aid in saving the Little Sisters.


As this Big Daddy, players are tasked now with actually escorting Little Sisters and protecting them from aggressive individuals seeking to steal their Adam. And there is also a new enemy, a Big Daddy of sorts created by former Little Sisters who have all grow'd up in the 10 years since Bioshock 1, and are called "Big Sister" (but of course). At their disposal are terrifying abilities created from Adam use, and they will stop at nothing to put you down for good. Are they being guided to do so by this new leading force in Rapture? Or are they operating out of a misguided sense of liberating their little siblings from a system that has seen its days?

Even I don't know the answer to that, seeing as how I've yet to play the game. But what I would like you to do is to check out this AWESOME amazing trailer for the new game:



I all but drooled watching this. Before now, I really wasn't all that excited to return back to Rapture. The story in the first game was so neatly and satisfactorily tied up, see? But after watching this trailer, I'm itching to get back and kick some Splicer ass now!

It'll have to wait, unfortunately. I'm currently playing and enjoying the hell out of Mass Effect 2. And after that, I have God of War 3 to occupy my time (oh hell YES!!). Plus, there's that no insignificant matter of a novel to write. So, in all honestly, I probably won't get around to this until the summer.

Damn there only being 24 hours in a day. Damn it all to hell!

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