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BioShock

BioShock

BioShock

BioShock is a first-person shooter video game developed by Irrational Games (at the time, named 2K Boston), and published by 2K Games. The game was released for Microsoft Windows and Xbox 360 platforms in August 2007; a PlayStation 3 port by Irrational, 2K Marin, 2K Australia and Digital Extremes was released in October 2008, and a Mac OS X port by Feral Interactive in October 2009. A mobile version was developed by IG Fun. The game's concept was developed by Irrational's creative lead, Ken Levine, and was based on the ideas of Objectivism as highlighted by Ayn Rand, while incorporating influences from other authors such as George Orwell. The game is considered a spiritual successor to the System Shock series, which many of Irrational's team including Levine had worked on previously.

BioShock is set in 1960, in which the player guides the protagonist, Jack, after his airplane crashes in the ocean near the bathysphere terminus that leads to the underwater city of Rapture. Built by the business magnate Andrew Ryan, the city was intended to be an isolated utopia, but the discovery of ADAM, a plasmid which grants superhuman powers, initiated the city's turbulent decline. Jack tries to find a way to escape, fighting through hordes of ADAM-obsessed enemies such as the deadly Big Daddies, while engaging with the few sane humans that remain and eventually learning of Rapture's past. The player, as Jack, is able to defeat foes in a number of ways by using weapons, utilizing plasmids that give unique powers and by turning Rapture's own defenses against them. BioShock includes elements of role-playing games, giving the player different approaches in engaging enemies such as by stealth, as well as moral choices of saving or killing characters.

BioShock received critical acclaim and was particularly praised by critics for its morality-based storyline, immersive environment and its unique setting. It received several Game of the Year awards from different media outlets, including from BAFTA, Game Informer, Spike TV, and X-Play. Since its release a direct sequel has been released, BioShock 2 by 2K Marin, as well a third game titled BioShock Infinite by Irrational Games.

At the start of the game, player-character Jack is a passenger on a plane that goes down in the Atlantic Ocean in 1960. As the only survivor, Jack makes his way to a nearby lighthouse that houses a bathysphere terminal that takes him to Rapture.

Jack is contacted by Atlas via radio, and is guided to safety from the Splicers. Atlas requests Jack's help in stopping Ryan, directing him to a bathysphere where he claims Ryan has trapped his family. When Jack encounters a wandering Little Sister and its fallen Big Daddy, Atlas urges Jack to kill the Little Sister to harvest her ADAM for himself; Dr. Tenenbaum overhears this and intercepts Jack before he harms the Little Sister, urging him to spare the child, providing him with a plasmid that would force the sea slug out of her body. Jack eventually works his way to the bathysphere, but Ryan destroys it before Jack can reach it.

Enraged, Atlas directs Jack towards Ryan's mansion, battling through Ryan's Splicers and facing against more deranged citizens. Ultimately, Jack enters Ryan's personal office, where Ryan is patiently waiting for Jack by casually playing golf. Ryan explains that Jack is his illegitimate child, taken from his mother by Fontaine who placed him out of Ryan's reach on the surface, and genetically modified to age rapidly. Jack was revealed to unknowingly be a sleeper agent, conditioned to accept the code phrase, "Would you kindly", which would force him to blindly act out any instruction that followed the phrase. Fontaine had planned to use Jack as a trump card in his war with Ryan, bringing him back to Rapture when the time was right; Jack's genetics would allow him to access systems, such as the bathysphere, that Ryan had locked out long ago. Ryan accepts his death by his own free will, and uses Jack's conditioning to force Jack to kill him with the golf club. After doing so, Jack becomes aware that the "Would you kindly" trigger has preceded many of Atlas' commands, and that Jack was himself responsible for crashing his plane near the bathysphere terminal after reading a letter containing the trigger. Atlas contacts Jack, revealing himself to be Fontaine; without Ryan, Fontaine takes over control of Ryan's systems, and leaves Jack to die via security drones released into Ryan's office.

Jack is saved by Dr. Tenenbaum and the Little Sisters who had previously been rescued. Dr. Tenenbaum helps Jack to remove Fontaine's conditioned responses, including one that would have stopped his heart. With the help of the Little Sisters, Jack is able to make his way to Fontaine's lair to face him. Fontaine, being cornered by Jack, injects himself with a large amount of ADAM, becoming an inhuman monster. Jack is able to best Fontaine after fighting him and draining his excess ADAM four times, at which time the Little Sisters subdue Fontaine's body to extract the ADAM, eventually killing him.

Two endings are possible depending on how the player interacted with the Little Sisters, both narrated by Dr. Tenenbaum. If the player has rescued all the Little Sisters, the ending shows five Little Sisters returning to the surface with Jack and living full lives under his care, including their graduating from college, getting married, and having children; it ends on a heart-warming note, with an elderly Jack surrounded on his deathbed by all five of the adult Little Sisters.

In the case where more than one Little Sister was harvested, the ending shows Jack turning on the Little Sisters to harvest their ADAM. Tenenbaum sadly narrates what occurred, condemning Jack and his actions. The ending then shows a submarine coming across the wreckage of the plane, which is suddenly surrounded by bathyspheres containing Splicers who attack the crew and take control of it. The submarine is revealed to be carrying nuclear missiles, with Tenenbaum claiming that Jack has now "stolen the terrible secrets of the world". The tone of Tenenbaum's voice is more hostile if the player had harvested every Little Sister.


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