Welcome to the city, there are spoilers here
"There is always a lighthouse, there's always a man, there's always a city." According to BioShock Infinite, these are the constants in an infinite universe of variables. In every world the cycle will repeat in one form or another, and there will be a lighthouse to guide people, a city to contain people, and a man to oppress people.
But more games than just BioShock and BioShock Infinite explore these tropes. If those are, indeed, the things that make a BioShock game, there are plenty of other games that might as well be BioShock games. So let's head into the lighthouse and explore these would-be BioShock Prequels.
Note: BioShock Infinite spoilers follow--you've been warned.
Beyond Good & Evil
Lighthouse: The heroine of the story, Jade, runs an orphanage on a small island with a lighthouse.
Man: General Kehck, who eventually is revealed to be even more evil than he seems.
City: Hillys, a quaint city held down by the oppressive Alpha Sections.
Bonus similarity: You become the hero of a revolution.
Silent Hill: Shattered Memories
Lighthouse: The hero's daughter is missing, and the final act has him attempting to reach her in--you guessed it--a lighthouse.
Man: Dr. Kaufmann, the psychiatrist who constantly interrupts the story with prodding questions.
City: Silent Hill, a frozen wasteland full of mysterious monsters.
Bonus similarity: Story dealing with psychology and memory loss.
Lighthouse: The final assassination target in the game is located in a lighthouse.
Man: Lord Regent, the oppressive leader of the city and usurper of the Empress' throne.
City: Dunwall, an oppressed, disease-ridden hell hole drunk on corruption.
Bonus similarity: Dishonored's Elizabeth is Emily, a tactically important girl that both sides want. It's also hinted that Emily has special powers.
Assassin's Creed III
Lighthouse: There's a haunted lighthouse Connor can explore, as well as several others throughout the world.
Man: King George, though never present, is responsible for the war taking place in America.
City: New York/Boston--or just the colonies.
Bonus similarity: Both protagonists have a wrist-mounted primary melee weapon.
Lighthouse: The Citadel, a massive, monolithic structure in the center of the city.
Man: Dr. Breen, who sold humanity out to the Combine.
City: City 17, the massive police state where humans are oppressed and subjugated.
Bonus similarity: The G-Man is essentially the Luteces.
Far Cry 3
Lighthouse: Shocker: there's a lighthouse on the island. It doesn't have much significance, but it's there.
Man: Hoyt Volker, the evil leader of the island. Vaas is important, too, but Hoyt is the king of this demented castle.
City: Rook Island, while not technically a city, has villages on it, and is essentially a small district. If there were domes over the little towns it would essentially be Rapture.
Bonus similarity: Both games include meta commentaries on games, and also include an important character missing a finger.
Listen to the Songbird sing
There are, of course, plenty of other games that almost fit. To The Moon has the man and the lighthouse, but it lacks the city. System Shock has a BioShock-vibe, but lacks the lighthouse (and the man, technically). What other games do you think might secretly be BioShock prequels? Let us know in the comments.