Video Game: BioShock – 3/4

I’m a little late to this party. BioShock was huge in 2007 when it was released. Does it still hold up? Meh.

What 2K was able to create with the Unreal Engine was remarkable for its time. When franchises started dominating the medium, and Modern Warfare was being birthed, BioShock made an exclamation that single-player story driven games could still carry their weight.

The graphics don’t entirely hold up, but the atmosphere does and very well so. The story is minimal, but effective.

Single player games often take a “blank slate” approach to their lead protagonist to allow the player to project themselves unto them. We see bland characters like Link, Master Chief, Commander Shepard. From the get-go the ambitions and motivations of our character are fuzzy.

The story uses this skepticism to its advantage. The twist is partially predictable (Atlas being a villain), but the origins and manipulation of your character aren’t.

Also with the blank slate approach, we become obsessed with the upgrades and mods to our character. However in BioShock they are a bit excessive and exhaustive to maintain.

All in all it was a fond experience and the game deserves all the accolades it received upon release. BioShock ran on the Unreal Engine 2.5 and the mechanics were great for its time. Borderlands 2 runs on the version 3. BL2 runs with online co-op up to four players. I could see a game like BioShock running co-op multiplayer in today’s day and age.

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