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Welcome to Rapture

Caitlyn Puhse, Editor

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Picture this. The year is 2007. You finish hooking up your brand new Xbox 360 that you got for Christmas. You power on, and slip a disk into the drive. After what feels like ages and ages worth of opening cinematics, the sight you’ve been longing for finally appears. Bioshock lies before you on what appears to be an old rusted sign. You crack your knuckles and press A, not sure of what awaits you, other than at least 12 hours of epic game play.

Flash forward to 2018. Call of Duty, Battlefield, and so many more iconic franchises are spitting out a new game once a year. Yet you still boot up your computer, open Steam, and hover your cursor over Bioshock Remastered. You double click without a second thought as you see the old familiar boot up scenes. The logo appears again, just as rusty as ever, and your heart races. You know what lies ahead of you, and you couldn’t be more ready. You click and sit back, ready to experience Rapture all over again.

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                                          It was not impossible to build Rapture at the bottom of the sea. It was impossible to build it anywhere else.”

— Andrew Ryan

I know this story all too well, because this is something I’ve been experiencing in the past month. After discovering the series was available on Steam, I almost jumped out of my chair and immediately downloaded it and started to play. But with so many more recent FPS games on my computer (most notably Overwatch), why would I choose to play a game over a decade old?

Sure, new games may offer better graphics, multiplayer modes, higher frame rates, and competitive ranking, but Bioshock offers something so much more than that. What it lacks in glitz and glamour, it makes up for with stunning ingenuity, endless customization, and surprises at every turn. Something about Bioshock just seems to be so…real. Rapture isn’t just a place in a video game. Rapture is alive. Although many of its inhabitants are long since gone, it has more substance and life than anything rolling out today can even start to encompass. If you want true immersion and a real sense of purpose in a game other than “capture-the-arbitrary-point-over-in-the-middle-of-this-lazily-made-map”, Rapture is the place to be.

The true life of the game is one man: Andrew Ryan. He is the mastermind (or lunatic) behind the creation of Rapture. Within 30 seconds of the game starting, you are introduced to Ryan and his compelling argument for the need for Rapture and all it has to offer (Here’s a link to his speech at the beginning of the game. I highly recommend you watch it). He is instantly introduced as more than just an NPC; he has goals, aspirations, thoughts. It’s hard to not be convinced that he actually does exist, and that Rapture is out there somewhere, in the bottom of the ocean, harboring untapped potential. The immersion is instant. It gives you no time to think “this couldn’t possibly be real”.

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We all make choices. But in the end… our choices make us.”

— Andrew Ryan

So, why do I keep coming back time and time again to this old game? It’s pretty simple actually: Bioshock is more than just a first person shooter game. It is an experience, like playing from the perspective of the main character in your favorite book. You have so many choices of play styles, with many weapon choices and dozens of Plasmid options (which are almost like super powers. They are incredibly satisfying to use and customize). The game offers you choices that affect the outcome of the ending of the game. Not to mention that all of the characters are well developed, not only Andrew Ryan. Each person is well rounded, has personality, and overall feel real. The inner workings of the plot and the use of each character is so well thought out that although you know what’s going to happen, it’s worth the ride just to experience it all over again.

Playing Bioshock, to me, is like rewatching your favorite movie over and over because you can’t get enough of it, but you get to be immersed in it all. There are euphoric highs, terrifying lows, and a new piece of the puzzle to discover at every turn. Rapture never feels impossible. It almost feels impossible that it doesn’t actually exist. So, if you’re thinking about playing this game and experiencing all it has to offer, I have only one question for you: Would you kindly?

 

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Welcome to Rapture