BioShock concept art reveals what Big Daddies look like under their helmets

BioShock helmetless Big Daddy concept art
(Image credit: Take-Two Interactive)

Have you ever seen a Big Daddy from BioShock without his helmet on? If not, consider this the first/worst day of the rest of your life.

PC Gamer writer Andy Kelly made the grim discovery and shared it on his Twitter account, spreading far and wide the image which the BioShock fan wiki attributes to former Irrational Games senior concept artist Robb Waters. The BioShock games deliberately conceal what Big Daddies look like under the hulking frame of their metal dive suits, but they imply that the maintenance personnel turned Little Sister guardians have changed a lot from the people they once were.

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The helmet-less Big Daddy in the concept art has pink, wrinkled flesh, sunken eyes, and a strange yellow light emerging from his forehead. According to the lore of BioShock, Big Daddies start out as the human undesirables of Rapture and are converted into their new form in an irreversible procedure which grafts their skin and organs directly to the inside of their suit. That would explain why this poor meat man has such a swollen-looking head, since Big Daddies wear those oversized helmets. As for why his third eye chakra is glowing… I dunno, Plasmids? It's probably Plasmids.

Big Daddies have a tragic mystique to them; even as their whale-like groans and moans become part of the background noise of Rapture, you can't help but wonder how aware they are of who they once were and of what they are now. It's probably for the best that we never knew what they looked like under those bathysphere-like helmets, and I'm not just saying that because I'm going to be seeing the meat man's face whenever I close my eyes for the next few weeks.

While the BioShock series has lain dormant for years, it looks like it's gearing up to give us some more tragic monsters: a new job listing indicates that BioShock 4 developer Cloud Chamber is working with Unreal Engine 5, the new game engine which recently became available in early access to developers outside of Epic Games.

It looks like BioShock 4 may buck series tradition by sending players out into an open world.

Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.