Much like my esteemed colleague Mel, I’m late to the Bioshock party. Unlike Mel, I’ve waited until it was on a console that catered to the fan-man (like a fanboy, but less of a whiny bitch) in me to play it.
Having smashed through every single aspect of Bioshock: The Collection in the last two weeks, I thought it might be fun to list my Top 10 moments from the series.
⚠️ Warning: Major Spoilers Below ⚠️
10. Meeting the first Big Daddy and Little Sister
Shortly after entering Rapture, as you traverse a narrow beam high above, a Little Sister sadistically harvesting ADAM from a corpse in the room below. Not long after, a Splicer charges the Little Sister, his fiendish eyes set on the delicious ADAM being procured. In the blink of an eye, her Big Daddy charges onto the scene and smashes the Splicer through a window pane, before smashing his skull to a pulp for good measure. Wonderfully barbaric stuff that sets the tone for some of the games more over-the-top set pieces.
9. Hanging out with Sander Cohen
Upon entering the aptly named Fort Frolic section of the original Bioshock, your comms are hacked by the eccentric Sander Cohen, blocking all transmissions from Atlas and Andrew Ryan. At the best of times he is a troubled man (as all creatives are), at his worst utterly unhinged. The set piece in which he sets loose an army of Splicers upon you, all the while operatic music playing at an ungodly amplitude as wave after wave attack in the bowels of the theatre… *chef’s kiss*
As Bioshock 2 hurtled towards its conclusion you knew something big was coming. Having fought a Big Sister after taking care (however you chose to do so) of the last Little Sister in every area, I felt quite glad that I wouldn’t have to face of against one of these lightning-quick bullet sponges again. And then, two showed up. At the same time….
The screen shot above isn’t from that battle. Funnily enough I didn’t think to grab a snap during the most nefarious fight in the game.
7. The raffle
Before things really get turned up to eleven in Bioshock Infinite, you have this lovely little period where you can simply meander around the promenades of Columbia, taking in the sights and just enjoying the new artistic direction that Irrational Games took the third installment of the franchise in. As soon as you start the raffle though, everything changes and begins to spiral in to the unpredictable, unadulterated madness that we’ve come to know and love in Bioshock. What sets it apart however is that the people who jump out of the woodwork and begin swarming you aren’t damned dirty Splicers, instead they are just regular Joe’s, seemingly the Columbia police force. At this point, I knew to expect the unexpected, more so than ever.
6. Washing away the sins of the father
While the religious overtures in Bioshock Infinite are kept to a minimum, and handled rather tastefully, the theme of rebirth and baptism is ever present throughout. Having just learnt that you are in fact Comstock and the only way to end the cycle is, as you’ve said all along, to kill Comstock, being drowned in the baptism pool by none other than Elizabeth sent genuine chills down my spine. Not just one Elizabeth mind, multiple versions all banded together to do the deed. When you read our penultimate point on the list, this point will resonate deeper.
5. Little Sister?
This point didn’t serve any overarching narrative thread, but what it did do was chill me to my very core. Whilst looking for a POI, who you’ve been told is in cell 9 of a prison, and having traversed the proceeding cells – all single rooms with a corpse and some loot – I knew something was up when I entered cell 9 and saw that it was a triple storied room. As we entered, the lights went out, and as you would in such a situation, we immediately headed down to the basement. Upon locating the light switch, I turned around to see Elizabeth’s pasty white complexion, against a claret backdrop – a puddle of blood. The likeness to Little Sister’s in previous games, paired with the sheer surprise suffered, well as I said earlier.
4. Infinite Rapture
As Bioshock Infinite reached its dramatic climax, and after defeating the VOX and subsequently destroying the Siphon that inhibits Elizabeth’s power, you wake up in familiar territory. Not familiar to Booker Dewitt, more so to you, the player. The unmistakable underwater city of Rapture only makes a brief appearance, but it’s an incredibly important one as it seques effortlessly into the game epilogue chapter, and our next point too.
3. There’s always a lighthouse, there’s always a man, there’s always a city
The epilogue chapter is as chaotic as it is cathartic, and as equally confusing to-boot. It is also bloody marvelous on just about every single level imaginable. Walking out onto a boardwalk to see the night sky illuminated by the beacons of countless lighthouses really made the jaw drop. While Elizabeth explains that there is always a lighthouse, always a man, always a city. I love a good sci-fi romp as much as the next guy and the time bending, cross dimensional pieces of the proverbial puzzles put in play here were the cherry on the icing on the Bioshock cake.
2. The Vader/Luke moment
The relationship between Elizabeth and Booker grows exponentially throughout the duration of Bioshock Infinite all the while never feeling romantic. Once more, as we approached the end of the game, we learned just how Elizabeth lost the tip of her finger and with it, her identity as Anna – Booker’s daughter – confirmed. Given how things unfold (as alluded to in point 6) poignant stuff indeed.
1. Would you kindly?
The reveal that Atlus wasn’t who he said was an incredibly brilliant piece of deceptive storytelling and the further information that you’ve been conditioned to respond to the phrase Would you kindly, with all the game’s events from your journey up to that point flashing before your eyes, cemented the Bioshock franchise in to the upper echelons of video game royalty.