(Some minor spoilers.)
Well, I finished Gears of War, so now I’m into BioShock in a big way.
It’s 1960. Your plane crashes over the Atlantic Ocean, a short swimming distance from a lighthouse. Inside the lighthouse is a bathysphere, which you take to Rapture, a city on the ocean floor.
Rapture is rendered in an art deco style, and its undersea location makes possible fabulous visual syntheses of color, geometry, and water. It was founded on libertarian principles, and there are several indications that all went well until the discovery of ADAM.
ADAM is a substance secreted by sea slugs that makes wild genetic modifications possible. They also discovered that if they implanted the slugs in little girls’ stomachs, the ADAM yield increased dramatically. So part of what’s running around Rapture with you are zombified “Little Sisters,” steadily making their ADAM. They’re guarded by these gigantic tough guys called Big Daddies. Most of the rest of the denizens are several varieties of “splicers”—humans who have shot up with too much ADAM.
I’m sure there is more to the story, but that’s what I know so far.
So you’re on the radio with one of the last sane people in Rapture, and he’s directing you around to your goals, whilst you try to avoid getting ravaged by killer mutants or smooshed by walking tanks (the aforementioned Big Daddies). It’s beautiful, spooky, gory, and a little sad, in a wistful sort of way.
It’s also a hell of a lot of fun. Unless it takes an unlikely dive toward Suckville, it will wind up among my favorite games ever. I was curious how far along I was today, and was delighted to discover that I’m only on the fifth of thirteen levels.
What a bizarre idea. How expertly it is executed. Bravo!
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