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When I came to Bioshock, I knew that it was mentioned in discussions of ‘steampunk’ or ‘diselpunk’ narratives, but not much else. Then my girlfriend gave me her old Xbox along with a copy of the game she’d inherited. I tried it and was captivated with it. This and the sequel are among the few games I have stuck with playing till the end. And yes I have advance ordered Bioshock infinite as well.

Be warned, there will be spoilers in this article.

Bioshock began out of a desire for a more sandbox environment then the previous System Shock games. The plot went through many changes before they settled on Rapture as the location, the original character being conceived as a cult deprogrammer. The game moved from a role-play title to a first-person shooter. The time that the game spent in development helped it become as different and acclaimed as it was.

 

10. The Setting Of Rapture

City of Rapture

Ken Levine, the co-founder and creative director of Irrational Games, has said that the idea of this setting grew from wanted to create a self-contained world for the game, instead of using a real place. Once they had decided on Rapture, they needed to work out why it would be built, so they began to develop the character of Andrew Ryan.

The introduction to the city works along this fashion. The player sees a short film of Ryan’s hostility to taxes, religion and communism, before getting the amazing view of Rapture. There is something about seeing the neon signs and a whale swim past buildings. I realize that there are a hundred reasons why this city could not have been built. But the strength of the introduction helps you suspend your disbelief.

Besides considering what William Randolph Hearst and Sarah L. Winchester had built, an underwater city is not requiring that much suspension of disbelief.

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This article was first posted on March 5, 2013