BioShock is a game about choices. Sure, it%26rsquo;s about how you%26rsquo;ll tackle those giant men in the metal diving suits (Big Daddies), but there%26rsquo;s more to it than that. It%26rsquo;s about dealing with problems however you like - with brains, brawn or a fistful of cash. It%26rsquo;s also about what you%26rsquo;ll do to become a more efficient murder-machine - whether you%26rsquo;ll sacrifice your looks, abandon your humanity or attack a seven-year-old to survive. It%26rsquo;s about doing what you like%26hellip; but being aware that you%26rsquo;re going to have to live with the consequences - no matter what the decision.
Here%26rsquo;s the abridged version. You play Jack, the survivor of a plane crash who finds himself in the middle of the ocean, swimming for a lighthouse that shouldn%26rsquo;t be there. Inside, Jack finds a bathysphere that takes him underwater to a city called Rapture, an eerily deserted underwater paradise. Designed to fit the utopian ideals of crazy industrialist Andrew Ryan, Rapture%26rsquo;s a city where there%26rsquo;s %26lsquo;No God, no kings, only men%26rsquo; - a place where everyone survives on their own merits. The problem? With all that pressure to succeed, a lot of the population took to performance-enhancing drugs - and since then, things have started to go horribly wrong...
This is where we come in. We%26rsquo;re visiting 2K Games%26rsquo; San Francisco offices to see the PS3 version of BioShock, and our first look sees us gurgling our way up through the glug, swimming away from the plane - it%26rsquo;ll sink if you wait - and going down in the Bathysphere. The journey past Rapture%26rsquo;s shops and offices is clearly inspired by Half-Life%26rsquo;s iconic tram ride, but it%26rsquo;s much, much more impressive - everything%26rsquo;s spangled with neon and covered in detail, from art deco architecture to advertising in-jokes. It%26rsquo;s impossible to take everything in during one viewing, and it%26rsquo;s running beautifully smoothly in 720p - easily a match for the Xbox 360 version. But the city didn%26rsquo;t always look like this. %26ldquo;There was never a %26lsquo;throw everything out%26rsquo; stage,%26rdquo; says designer Jonathan %26lsquo;JP%26rsquo; Pelling, %26ldquo;But before it was called Rapture, the city was a lot more like a generic installation with Nazis and stuff. But then we had ideas like Art Deco. Ken [Levine, the game%26rsquo;s creator] grew up looking at buildings in New York, and that style works really well because it%26rsquo;s all curves and lines. As that idea evolved, so did things like Andrew Ryan being an Objectivist...%26rdquo;
We%26rsquo;ve already seen our first statue of Ryan - a 40-foot gold monstrosity with his corporate logo. There%26rsquo;s more to the man%26rsquo;s philosophy than meets the eye, but before we can get to Ryan we%26rsquo;ve got to deal with one of his deputies - Sander Cohen, the maniacal artist in charge of Rapture%26rsquo;s entertainment industry. Fort Frolic, his theatrical paradise, is the creation of Christian Martinez. %26ldquo;Nothing in BioShock is down to one person,%26rdquo; says Christian. %26ldquo;But when I came on board there was just a bit of quest structure in place I had to design and Ken said, %26lsquo;Make it feel like you%26rsquo;re walking around in the mind of a crazy person.%26rsquo; And I went %26lsquo;OK, that%26rsquo;s what I think about at home!%26rsquo; I showed the bunnies and mannequins to Ken and he was really positive.%26rdquo;