Remembering Bioshock’s rapturous opening

2 min read


I remember when I first played through Irrational Games’ Bioshock. It was towards the end of 2007, and I’d pre-ordered a steel-book edition of the game, based purely on a video I’d seen, and the fact that it was made by a bunch of the people behind my beloved System Shock 2, even sharing some of the locution.

And I was mesmerised, from beginning to end. In particular, it was the game’s opening moments that drew me in; the introduction to the dystopian undersea world of Rapture; the very best in fluid physics from nearly ten years ago; the first encounter with a splicer. The first time you see a Big Daddy and the first time you change your DNA with a plasmid.

Yes, introspection and retrospection now have me thinking that game wasn’t nearly as good as System Shock, but at the time, it blew my mind. There’s something very to the game. Admittedly, its gunplay isn’t great, though that never mattered much to me. I always favoured setting traps and being devious over just shooting at stuff, which is probably why I didn’t quite enjoy Infinite as much as most seemed to have.

Anyway, what’s the point of this rambling? Well, my reminiscence was brought about by an IGN video where former Irrational staffer Bill Gardner takes a seat with IGN’s Ryan McCaffrey to play through BioShock’s first level, “Welcome to Rapture.” They talk about the game’s design, and discuss how Irrational managed to nail that atmosphere.

Now, would you Kindly watch the video?

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Last Updated: January 12, 2016

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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