- “A man has a choice, I chose the impossible. I built a city where the artist would not fear the censor, where the great would not be constrained by the small, where the scientist would not be bound by petty morality. I chose to build Rapture. But my city was betrayed by the weak. So I ask you my friend, if your life were the prize, would you kill the innocent? Would you sacrifice your humanity? We all make choices, but in the end…our choices…make…us!”
- ― Andrew Ryan
BioShock is the first game of the BioShock series. It was released on August 21, 2007 in North America, and on August 24 in Europe and Australia, with a standard edition and a limited edition. The Mac OS X version of the game was published by Feral Interactive and released on October 22, 2009. A sequel, BioShock 2, was released in February 9, 2010.
BioShock is a "genetically enhanced", action-adventure, horror-themed first person shooter by Irrational Games. While exploring the underwater dystopia, Rapture, the player is urged to turn everything into a weapon: biologically modifying their own body with Plasmids, hacking devices and systems, upgrading their weapons, crafting new ammo variants, and experimenting with different battle techniques are all possible. The philosophy, architecture, and society of Rapture were strongly inspired by the works of Ayn Rand, especially the novel Atlas Shrugged. The game itself is described by the developers as a "spiritual successor" to their previous PC title System Shock 2. BioShock received high praise in critical reviews for its atmospheric audio and visual quality, absorbing and original plot, and its unique gaming experience.
|Game Disc and Manual||Yes||Yes|
|Limited Edition Game Case||No||Yes|
|Two Discs of Bonus Content||No||Yes|
|Big Daddy Scaled Replica||No||Yes|
BioShock takes place in 1960, where Jack, the sole survivor of a plane crash in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, discovers the entrance to the recluse underwater city of Rapture, at the end of a civil war which left most of it in disrepair. Finding himself trapped in a strange and dangerous dystopia, and with only a mysterious man called Atlas helping him, Jack has no choice but to fight for his survival against Rapture's mutated and monstrous denizens, using all types of weapons and genetic enhancements, as he searches for a way to return to the surface.
- Main article: Rapture Storyline
At the start of the game, the protagonist Jack is a passenger on an airliner which goes down in the Atlantic Ocean in 1960, sometime after ordered society in Rapture has collapsed. After surfacing, Jack finds himself the only survivor of the crash, and swims to a nearby towering lighthouse on an island. He finds there a bathysphere which descends him into the ocean's abyss and the entrance to the underwater city of Rapture. An Irishman, Atlas, assists Jack in making his way to safety via the service radio found in the submarine vessel. Andrew Ryan, believing Jack to be an agent of a surface nation, uses Rapture's automated systems and his pheromone-controlled Splicers against him. Atlas tells Jack that the only way he can survive is to use the abilities granted by Plasmids, and that he must kill the Little Sisters- accompanied by their hulking, armored protectors, the Big Daddies- to extract their ADAM. Inadvertently crossing paths with Jack, Dr. Tenenbaum urges him to save the Little Sisters instead, giving him a Plasmid that will safely kill the embedded Sea Slugs in each Little Sister, reverting them to normal girls. Atlas says his wife and child have been hiding on a submarine and directs Jack towards it. Just as Jack and Atlas reach the bay where it is located, Ryan has it destroyed; an enraged Atlas guides Jack on a mission to kill Ryan.
Eventually, Jack confronts Ryan in his office, where the latter is casually playing golf. Ryan reveals a truth that he has pieced together. Jack was actually born in Rapture a mere four years ago, genetically modified to mature rapidly. He is Ryan's illegitimate son by an affair with Jasmine Jolene, an exotic dancer. Ryan further reveals that, after purchasing Jack's embryo, Frank Fontaine designed him to obey orders that are preceded or followed by the specific phrase "Would You Kindly..." Jack was then sent to the surface when the Rapture Civil War started to put him beyond Ryan's reach. When the conflict between Fontaine and Ryan reached a stalemate, Jack was sent instructions to board a flight with a package and to use its contents, a revolver, to hijack and crash the plane near the lighthouse, enabling him to return to Rapture as a tool of Fontaine. Because Jack was Ryan's son, he could freely use Rapture's bathysphere network, which had been locked out to everyone except those within Ryan's "genetic ballpark". Finally, Ryan has Jack kill him, wanting to die on his own terms. With Ryan's death, Jack realizes too late that Atlas has also been using the trigger phrase to control him. Atlas reveals himself to be Frank Fontaine, who faked his death to throw Ryan off his trail and take control of the city, leaving Jack at the mercy of the reactivated security systems. Dr. Tenenbaum and her Little Sisters help Jack escape through the vent system, where he falls and loses consciousness.
When Jack awakens, Dr. Tenenbaum has already deactivated some of his conditioned responses (such as the trigger phrase itself) and assists him in breaking the remaining ones, among them one that would have eventually stopped his heart. With the help of the Little Sisters, Jack is able to track down Fontaine. The mob boss, having been cornered, injects himself with vast amounts of ADAM and becomes an inhuman monster. Jack battles him, eventually prevailing and allowing the Little Sisters to subdue and extract the ADAM from his body, killing him.
Three endings are possible depending on how the player interacted with the Little Sisters, all narrated by Dr. Tenenbaum. If the player rescued all of the Little Sisters (therefore saving their lives), the ending shows five Little Sisters returning to the surface with Jack and living full lives under his care, including their graduation from college, getting married, and having children; it ends on a heart-warming tone, with an elderly Jack surrounded on his deathbed by all five of the adult Little Sisters.
If the player harvested (and therefore killed) all of the Little Sisters, the game ends with Jack turning on the Sisters after defeating Fontaine, presumably killing them all and taking their ADAM. Tenenbaum narrates what occurred, condemning Jack and his actions, voice thick with anger and contempt. Later in the second ending, a ballistic missile submarine carrying a nuclear missile comes across the wreckage of the plane and is suddenly surrounded by bathyspheres containing Splicers. The Splicers kill all hands aboard the sub and take control of it. If the player saved some of the Little Sisters, but killed a fair few as well, the ending is visually identical to the second one, though the tone of Tenenbaum's voice is a sad one, as opposed to an angry one.
- Main article: BioShock Characters
- Main article: BioShock Locations
- The Lighthouse
- Welcome to Rapture
- Medical Pavilion
- Neptune's Bounty
- Smuggler's Hideout
- Farmer's Market
- Fort Frolic
- Rapture Central Control
- Olympus Heights
- Apollo Square
- Point Prometheus
- Proving Grounds
BioShock is an FPS with some RPG-like customization elements and crafting elements. Players progress through the various sections of the game's setting, Rapture in a metroidvania style of progression akin to Survival Horror games.
BioShock expands beyond traditional FPS games, providing player choice when deciding how to complete objectives. Stealth is viable as enemies have vision ranges, blind-spots, and awareness. The player can hack safes, vending machines, automated security, and other mechanical or electronic devices. All ranged weapons can be loaded with up to three different kinds of ammo that provide an advantage over some enemies, while becoming a disadvantage when faced with others; these ammo types come in many flavors, specifically Anti-personnel, Armor-piercing, Electric, Incendiary, and Trap. The Research Camera allows the player to study the city's inhabitants to learn and exploit their abilities and weaknesses, yielding damage bonuses and other exclusive rewards. In addition, certain machines allows players to combine various items and components found around Rapture to craft custom ammunition, traps, hacking devices, and even some Gene Tonics.
Conventional weapons are collected and upgraded throughout the game, in addition to unconventional genetic weapons and upgrades. Plasmids give the player special powers such as Telekinesis and Electro Bolt, which can be used in fighting off the deranged population of the underwater city of Rapture, uncovering secrets, and using the environment to your advantage. Plasmids are active offensive and defensive tools, while Gene Tonics function as passive bonuses to combat capabilities, stealth and movement, and interactions with machines. Genetic upgrades are grouped under three types: Physical Tonics, Engineering Tonics, and Combat Tonics. The player at times will need to use stealth to slip by security devices and enemies, and can also hack into security devices to turn automated defenses to their side.
Health and EVE can be replenished with First Aid Kits and EVE Hypos, of which the player can carry a limited quantity. Alternative methods of replenishment are use of Health Stations and consumable items scattered around Rapture. The main currencies used in the game are ADAM and Rapture Dollars. ADAM is used to purchase genetic upgrades from Gatherer's Gardens, while monetary funds are used for purchasing items from vending machines, 'bribing' them for benefits, and paying for the automated services. Upon dying, the player will respawn at the nearest Vita-Chamber at no cost.
BioShock functions similarly to Irrational Games' System Shock 2, which is also an FPS/RPG hybrid with many of BioShock's features, such as Plasmid-like Psi abilities, hacking, and action gunplay. The games even share their themes of science taken to the extreme unleashing evil upon an isolated world, and an atmosphere of suspense and horror.
- Main article: BioShock Enemies
- Big Daddies
- Little Sisters
- Security Devices
- Main article: BioShock Weapons
- Main article: BioShock Plasmids
Players can equip up to two Plasmids at first, and can only switch those two emplacements at a Gene Bank. Several of them can be found throughout the game following specific actions and events, while others can be bought at Gatherer's Garden machines, including upgrades for most of them and up to four Plasmid Slot.
- Cyclone Trap
- Electro Bolt
- Hypnotize Big Daddy
- Insect Swarm
- Security Bullseye
- Sonic Boom
- Target Dummy
- Winter Blast
- Main article: BioShock Gene Tonics
Gene Tonics are classed in three categories corresponding to their abilities, Combat, Engineering and Physical. Like Plasmids, the player starts with two slots for each type switchable at Gene Banks, and up to four more can be purchased at Gatherer's Gardens. Gene tonics can also be found throughout the game and bought at the same place, and features upgraded versions for some.
- Main article: BioShock Items
Items in BioShock help to aid the player along their journey through Rapture. These items include pick-ups which restore health and EVE, replenish ammunition, aid in the invention of items, or act as key items to continue through the game.
Achievements and Trophies
- Main article: BioShock Xbox 360 Achievements
There are 50 achievements for a total of 1000 points, ten of which are secret. There is also a new achievement added when the game is updated with DLC from Xbox LIVE. This achievement is secret and is worth 100 points, taking the grand total to a possible total of 1100.
- Main article: BioShock PS3 Trophies
The PlayStation 3 version of BioShock contains all of the content added to the PC and Xbox 360 versions with later downloads. There is also an additional difficulty level that was added, and the PS3 DLC adds new Challenge Rooms. The trophies for the PS3 version are the same as the Xbox 360 achievements, while only the PS3 version offers trophies to unlock by playing the Challenge Rooms—12 total. Using the New Game+ feature in the PS3 version of the game will disable trophies.
- Main article: Downloadable Content
- BioShock Credits
- BioShock 2D (Mobile Game) - 2D conversion of the first levels for mobile phones.
- BioShock 3D (Mobile Game) - A port of the first levels for mobile phones.
- BioShock iOS - A port of the entire game to the iOS platform.
- BioShock: Rapture (Novel) - A novelized prequel to BioShock.
- BioShock Signature Series Guide - Official strategy guide.
- BioShock Licensed Soundtrack
BioShock Launch Trailer
The trailer debuted on August 12, 2007 on Spike TV, along with the announcement of a BioShock demo to be released on the Xbox Live Marketplace. Showing an early development Jack facing Rapture under the sea, the trailer has him go head to head with a Bouncer, and introduces some other enemies and gameplay elements in the game in an environment mostly inspired by the Medical Pavilion. The trailer was made by the creative design agency eyeball and a retail version and a making of can be found on their official website.
Hunting the Big Daddy
About seven minutes of BioShock gameplay, this is an earlier version of the game showing many of the Plasmids, Splicers, Turrets, Big Daddies, Little Sisters, and fighting tactics throughout the halls of Rapture.
GTTV Bonus Round Episode 10
On September 28, 2006, this trailer was released introducing the creator of Rapture, Andrew Ryan, and how Splicers should never mess with the Big Daddy. You can find this here.
DLC: Challenge Rooms Trailer
Before 2k Marin's project on BioShock 2, they started working on challenge rooms that contain additional content to the Rapture universe, but out of the BioShock storyline. Originally, this DLC was exclusive to the PS3 version of the game. Later on, BioShock Ultimate Rapture Edition made the DLC also available on the Xbox, as it was included with the game. It was later made available on PC in the Remastered version of BioShock. A preview of the Challenge Rooms appeared on sites such as GameTrailers.
Demos & Trailers
BioShock received "universal acclaim" reviews and was tagged as a "must-play" game on Metacritic, getting a metascore of 96/100 on both PC and Xbox 360, and 94/100 on PS3. Its iOS version received "mixed or average" reviews holding a metascore of 68/100.
- "BioShock for Mac on October 7" article by Mike Schramm at TUAW.com
- BioShock: The Collection on 2K Games
- "BioShock for Mac Released Today" News article on Feral Interactive.com
- "BioShock for Mac Released Today" News article on Feral Interactive.com
- Ayn Rand on Wikipedia
- Atlas Shrugged on Wikipedia
- System Shock 2 on Wikipedia
- Ballistic missile submarine on Wikipedia
- First-person shooter on Wikipedia
- Role-playing game on Wikipedia
- BioShock trailer on www.eyeballnyc.com
- Challenge Rooms video on GameTrailers.com.
- Metascore for Bioshock on PCMetacritic, Retrieved June 24, 2020
- Metascore for Bioshock on Xbox 360Metacritic, Retrieved June 24, 2020
- Metascore for Bioshock on PS3Metacritic, Retrieved June 24, 2020
- Metascore for Bioshock on iOSMetacritic, Retrieved June 24, 2020