Bioshock.. Freedom Within..

10 08 2008

I have just finished playing Bioshock on the PC. I know it’s an old game, but I was hesitating to play it when it came out because it was such a creepy game, I couldn’t play for more than 30 mins sessions! I wasn’t really enjoying myself. And because I’m not a typical FPS gamer. Especially not the survival thrillers.

But, I read a lot about this game, lots of articles mentioned how this game had such a great artistic value, and an emotional story. So, being a strong fan for mature games that actually pay attention to art (more on that in an upcoming post), I just had to play it no matter what. So I reinstalled it, and started it all over. This time with a totally different mentality.

In Bioshock, you play the role of a man who was on a plane over the Atlantic. The game starts after the plane crash-lands in the middle of the ocean, and you’re the only survivor. Next to the crash site is an entrance, the entrance to an underwater city named “Rapture”.

Rapture was built by the mysterious “Andrew Ryan”, a man who believes in freedom. A man who had a dream, a great dream. To escape all kinds of governments, laws, and typical world conspiracies, and build his own city underwater! A city where everything is permitted, where the scientist could do his research without interruption, pressure, and administration. Where the artist could create art unafraid of boundaries, and censorship.

Rapture is basically a place for everyone to live independently, enjoy their freedom, and forget the mishaps of the outside world! And as “Andrew Ryan” himself would put it; “It was not impossible to build Rapture on the bottom of the ocean, it was impossible to build it anywhere else!”

So, anyway, you descend in a bathysphere to the city, which looks for the first time like a wonderful, peaceful, and happy place. But, ultimately, the moment your bathysphere sets sail in one of Rapture’s buildings, you are greeted by the miserable reality that lies there. And almost immediately you know that Andrew Ryan’s dream was not meant to survive and prosper. Almost everything went wrong. And your mission now, is to find your way out of this living hell back to reality. And here’s where the usual FPS survival part begins.

But the story doesn’t just end here, and you won’t be just fighting for your life the whole game. There’s quite a bit more. There’s the architecture, the interior design, the decorations. And there’s the city itself as a distinguishable character!

There’s also life in the city, a disturbing form of life actually. But as disturbing as it is, it’s also a bit caricaturesque in a very ironic way. People there still have their human side, which prevails in some self-targeted comments. And in their audio diaries that are scattered around in Rapture.

The moment I knew about these audio diaries, I started looking, and collecting them. Basically, because they are your only true guide to know what happened to the city. They tell the story. And as you play and proceed further and further in Rapture, your vision of the past becomes clearer. And this is why the game gets more distrubing, not visually, but emotionally. The people you are fighting down there were great people when they first came to Rapture. They had their own dreams, and plans. They were all enjoying the peaceful environment of Rapture. And yet at the same time, they were starting to feel the impact of total freedom, the impact of solitude.

As you play Bioshock, you discover how Rapture became a prison for freedom, instead of being the freedom’s playground, the way Andrew imagined it to be.

It gets more emotional the more you play it, and then, you’re hooked! I wasn’t able to stop playing. I wanted to find out more, to read more about this place, to learn more about the mistakes made in there.

And while I thought I was seeking for my own survival, I didn’t notice how the city really got to me, how I believed somehow that I am in fact seeking to save the city! To save its population in any way that I could! I was seeking to find a purpose, an explanation.

Anyway, to keep it short, I’d just say that Bioshock offers an amazing experience IF you play it right! And I say if, because I believe Bioshock would be exactly like any other FPS game around if you treat it as as an FPS game! You’d miss the whole story if you just walk around shooting everything that moves!

All in all, Bioshock is a valuable game, one that deserves to be noticed, and appreciated. It’s a great step towards mature games. Games that no longer serve as toys! But games that serve as a medium for telling stories, and expressing art, in an entertaining and satisfying way.

That’s why Bioshock is highly recommended to those looking for an adventure, and an emotional story, all while enjoying the FPS part at the same time.

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3 responses

17 08 2008
Hasan

If you enjoy games, you should try Gears of War 🙂 I’m close to finish it…battling with the final monster !

17 08 2008
Kinan Debes

Yeah, I finished Gears of War last year, and it was great.
The final monster was a bit of pain to finish, but I got through it eventually.
That game was creepy man! Especially when you first encounter that (big screaming monster) in the museum! When I saw it I was shocked and just stood still, and got killed in less than 5 seconds!! Boy that was scary!! ;p

16 09 2008
Hasan

Eheheh 😀 … ya! creepyy!

Now I sold my xbox 360 and got PS3! … but some times I feel I miss my xbox ,,,, but the PS3 is awessoommmee!

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