Bioshock Infinite is almost upon us, bringing with it the new playground of Columbia. All this hype over a new Bioshock game got me thinking back to where it all began. I remember the trailers for Bioshock giving me goose bumps and getting all hyped up about the Big Daddies. This naturally led me back to picking up the game again (I sold it a while back) and I’m so, so glad I did. So here are 5 stand out reasons to dig out Bioshock again in preparation for the release of Infinite.
The immediate aspect of Bioshock that set it apart from other games was the Plasmids. Those genetic alterations that made combat and exploration so fun. Now I’m sure you remember the classic Electric Bolt or Incinerate plasmids but do you remember ones like Hypnotize Big Daddy or Sonic Boom? Give the game another play through and this time aim to collect more ADAM so you play with more of the weird and different Plasmids to revitalize combat sequences with whirlwinds or swarms of bugs.
Upon my most recent play through of Bioshock (which happens to be my 3rd play through of the game) I was still finding and noticing new things. I’m still trying to get the trophy for finding all the data logs, without the help of Google, which has led me to check every crevice of Rapture. Because of this I’m regularly finding myself in new areas I’ve trundled past on previous plays in which I’ve discovered new Tonics and Plasmids that I haven’t even yet experienced. The data logs are also an excellent way of immersing yourself further into the lore and history of Rapture and I can’t believe I didn’t listen to them previously. Go back, look around every corner, try every door, even follow an unaware splicer, you may be pleasantly surprised where you might end up.
3. Alternative Gameplay
Bioshock offers two possible endings, which depend upon the choices made in game by the player. Namely the way you treat the Little Sister. If you harvested them, you get the negative ending. If you rescued them, the positive. So on a subsequent play through why don’t you treat the Little Sisters differently and see what happens? Research all the types of Rapture inhabitants to earn yourself even more Tonics and advantages or even give the game a go without the aid of the Vita-Chamber. There’s rewards for playing of different difficulties and without dying, perfect opportunities for you to hone your Bioshock skills ready for Infinite and the streets of Columbia.
The underwater city of Rapture is a staggeringly clever, beautiful and engaging environment and retains its awe factor again and again. The environments are a welcome familiar sight with things making you go “Oh yeah, I remember that” and others making you go “Woah, I don’t remember that, cool”. The city is dynamic and versatile with combat being manipulated by the world around you. On my previous plays I barely used the environment to my advantage unless prompted however this time I focused more so on utilizing the many puddles and explosive barrels. Dashing a propane tank with Telekinesis at a crowd of Splicers was incredibly satisfying to say the least.
Most people won’t forget the twists of the game, which would make you question why the storyline is still such a good reason to play Bioshock again. I can promise you that you’re going to have forgotten something in five years. You can reform that delicate alliance with Atlas and rediscover the bureaucratic battle that was happening between Rapture’s elite inhabitants. The knowledge of the climax doesn’t ruin the storyline as it in fact makes you notice new aspects of the writing. From cleverly written dialogue sequences that constantly foreshadow the inevitably climax to posters and message scrawled in blood. These things will often mean more to an experienced player rather than a new player, keeping Rapture fresh even on the 2nd or 3rd play.
It’s not often you come across a game that marries intuitive gameplay, incredible environments and a gripping storyline together. Even less often that a game maintains these attributes over five years down the line, but then that would be why Bioshock won a BAFTA for Best Video Game back in 2007. So travel back to Rapture and choose the impossible, best the Big Daddies and discover the secrets of Andrew Ryan’s world all over again, would you kindly?