Bioshock is one of the defining titles of this gaming generation. Sure it was a successful amalgamation of first person shooter and role player, yes it was a ton of fun mixing various plasmids by which to confront the hordes of Rapture’s splicers and nobody can forget the intensity of fighting a Big Daddy. But Bioshock’s greatest success was its use of mystery. Giant plot twist aside, the game strings you along casually having you explore the collapsed underwater metropolis of Rapture by providing you just enough incentive to keep pushing forward, unearthing the city’s secrets as you progress. Even the city itself is frozen in time, stuck in the aftermath of the New Year’s Eve party of 1959 as the splicers still wear their suits and masquerade masks not realizing that time has left them behind.
Bioshock was so refreshingly different that I still remember climbing into the bathysphere and marveling at the art deco Atlantis that was Rapture. All I truly needed to become intrigued with the title was the first trailer, which I still consider one of the most intense and impactful pieces of marketing in the gaming industry. Even watching it today, takes me back to that moment when I knew that I needed to see where this game would take me.
[Warning: Trailer is very graphic]
When it came around the sequel, Bioshock 2, I was very excited at the prospects of returning to Rapture and seeing how it had changed since my last romp. Bioshock 2 was undoubtedly a refinement in the plasmid formula with a faster, more versatile combat system, venturing outside into the ocean depths surrounding Rapture and experiencing all this while inside the suit of a Big Daddy prototype. But I made the mistake in falling into the hype train.
I watched all the new trailers, was excited to fight the Big Sister, couldn’t wait to try new plasmids. But the mystery of the original is gone. Sure the new areas exposed a different, more downtrodden version of Rapture, but I never came close to that same level of awe that the original created so many years ago.
Which is why I couldn’t be any more excited for Bioshock Infinite. Not only is the game being developed by Irrational Games, the creators of the original Bioshock but I am allowing myself to experience it fresh. Sure there will be plasmids to play with, splicers to fight and a giant city in the sky to explore but that is all I am allowing myself to know. Just like with the original, my excitement for this game has been defined by early trailers. In particular the announcement trailer succeeded in introducing the biggest star of the game, the city Columbia.
The second trailer was a basic gameplay trailer that provided a perfect snapshot of everything you should expect, in action.
I have a lot of faith in 2K and Irrational games. Bioshock was a fantastically original game that has a memorable story and a setting for the ages. If there were ever a city that could compare to Rapture, the skies of Columbia should be an amazing place to start.