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How Bioshock Stays Strong 6 Years After Its Release
In is nearing its 6th anniversary since its successful release, Bioshock has made quite a dent in modern game design, with its story and overall atmosphere being well-renowned as both intriguing and genius. For those not familiar with Bioshock’s premise, the game takes the place inside the underwater playground of Rapture, a city that is slowly destroying itself due to its ‘free-man’ ideals. As you enter Rapture a year after people of the city ensue in Civil War, you slowly unveil the history of Rapture throughout your journey. This story about unnecessary death and evil is given to the player in bits and pieces with the help of radio messages that are littered through Rapture’s different areas, each one voiced by a single character and giving insight into what happened to a once beautiful utopia. Along with a few ghostly flashbacks that the player experiences, radio messages are the primary devices that push the players curiosity, intriguing them with a complex interface of characters, motives, and struggles. Bioshock also uses its visuals to make a considerable impact on the players perspective of things. As you eventually find – through the radio messages – Rapture was once a dazzling city but the evils and egos of humanity lead to its downfall. The result of what you see as the player is both disturbing and downright pitiful; dead bodies line the corridors, blood pools out of the walls, and the people of Rapture have mutated into disillusioned, disfigured animals. The visual juxtapositions of Rapture’s exterior decorations and interior horrors drop hints of what happened, and the symbols of the the red blood and blue water that seeps into Rapture represents a sinking city of animalistic destruction.
So how did this game leave a legacy 6 years after its release? Bioshock’s architecture and design are single handed factors in separating it from others games that have tried to force a story instead of to tell a story. As a result, Bioshock’s progressive approach to plot control is a powerful tool in grasping the player by the ear and saying: “Here. This is the story we created for you to explore.” This exploration quality also goes hand-in-hand with the visuals and level design. If played with curiosity in mind, the world of Bioshock becomes much more interesting with side plots of characters and different untold sequences to ponder about. We won’t give any spoilers away but self-exploring becomes a very rewarding experience and in addition to Bioshock’s shock-ing visuals the game as a whole becomes an environment for political and humanistic understanding than it does a game for simple entertainment. Overall Bioshock shines brighter than the fiercest FPS with its story and visuals taking hold as one of the best games of the generation.