Welcome to Rapture

by Jon on January 10th, 2008

Warning: This post contains absolutely no references to WoW (except for said disclaimer).

Our household recently obtained an Xbox 360. I had my reservations about crossing over into next-gen console land but the Xbox 360 experience is quite refreshing. Their interface is slick, their library of both full-sized games and bite-sized Live Arcade morsels are plentiful, and their genius achievement system is like crack for gamers.

Now I’m no stranger to console gamery, but when it comes to FPS games, I’m a PC purist. Nothing beats a good keyboard and mouse combo when it comes to twitchy fragtastic gameplay. Right? Well, I’m here to say that I’m now a controller-toting console-FPS-playing convert, and I have BioShock to thank for it.

The game is set in an alternate 1960s where you’re a plane-crash survivor trying to make your way through the disturbed remains of the dystopian underwater city of Rapture. You’re met with plenty of opposition from its inhabitants in a game that takes the FPS formula and adds some elements of rpg, survival horror, and even casual puzzle-gaming with its hacking mini-games.

We’re only about halfway through the game (please no spoilers in the comments for those of you that have had the pleasure of experiencing this game already in its entirety), but the gameplay so far is engaging enough to keep both of us coming back to play it on an almost nightly basis. The Ayn Rand-inspired story is primarily revealed through found audio recordings, so even though the game is fairly linear, it does encourage a fair bit of exploration. Last but not least, the grimy art deco style is a pleasure to experience and really brings the game to an entirely new level of awesomeness.

I highly recommend making some time to experience this game if you haven’t already. I downloaded the demo for my PC, but unfortunately my system couldn’t keep up, and playing through this masterpiece with a single digit framerate would have probably tainted the experience. Playing from the couch also has its advantages.

  1. Richard Bramwell permalink

    For the record, Bioshock may be Rand inspired, but Rapture is a huge misrepresentation of her ideas.

  2. I’m pleased to see a non WoW related post :)

    Don’t be afraid to post more non-WoW related posts in the future :)

    As for an FPS on the console… I’m still not convinced. A mouse, a keyboard… how can that possibly be replaced with a controller that has an analog stick. Seems like it just won’t work… maybe I should try out either Call of Duty 4 or Bioshock as I happen to own a XBox 360 (Settlers of Catan is fun!)

  3. @Richard: Yeah, I wouldn’t argue that the game is an accurate portrayal of Objectivism, nor do I think it tries to be. “Holding Rapture up as an example of Objectivism as Ayn Rand described it is kind of like holding the Soviet Union up as Karl Marx’s ideal communist society.” -from Endlessinstant on the Gamestop Forums

    @Robert: Thanks for your support. I would definitely recommend Bioshock. CoD4 is fun as well but I can’t help but think that without playing Bioshock first, I probably would have continued to shun the FPS controls.
    I need to try Settlers of Catan again.

  4. I haven’t had the patience to download the demo for this game although I would love to give it a try. I am not so much a console guy anymore as I am a PC guy.

    I think the PC gives you the option for far better graphics and playability in the long run, but with the way consoles are being made nowadays, that will probably change fast.

    Nice article btw

  5. sigh, can’t help it. One sorta spoiler that isn’t, really.

    There is more than one possible ending. Saying more DOES spoil.

    And as to Richard… sort of. It’s a dystopia to Rand’s utopia – both ideals contain significant flaws when they meet the light of day.

  6. I highly recommend reading some of the more intellectual reviews of the Objectivism portion of the game, especially the one written by MightyPonyGirl. It’s too complex a concept to just pop-off about and I think she really explores what’s going on in depth.

  7. Randi Panos permalink

    WOW! Haha. I bought this game for Niko a few months ago. He said the graphics were awesome, altough it freaked him out a little bit. LOL. Do you have Gears of War? You need to play him and whoop his a**! =)

  8. I have it on PC. It freaks me out though. I tend to give it little attention compared to our favorite MMO.

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