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Book Review: Bioshock: Rapture


BioshockWhen I first got wind of a tie-in novel, Bioshock:  Rapture, for the awesome videogame Bioshock (2007) I was eager to get my hands on it.  Author John Shirley, who is well-known in the sci-fi world, delivers the prequel to the crazy-ass, head-scratching, and often funny videogame.  I just didn’t know it came out back in 2012. Oh well, it’s never too late to read something you never knew existed.  Personally, I am glad this wasn’t just a novel version of the game itself though I would have read it anyway.  But, to see his interpretation of how the underwater city of Rapture got to be so fucked up…made sense and it helped me better understand the game and want to play it again.  If you are a gamer then you are probably well aware there are so many questions often left unanswered in the gaming world.

The story begins at the conception of Rapture…in the mind of Andrew Ryan who rose from poverty with the utopian idea of an underwater city where people were “free” to do as they wish without government restrictions or sanctions.  Ryan feared the firebombs of World War II were surely to explode over the rest of the world in just a matter of time.  His solution was to gather the best of the best and hide away in an underwater paradise as the world destroys itself.  Yeah, how could anything possibly go wrong? Read the rest of this entry

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Game Review: BioShock Infinite


bioshock-infinite-box-artA little over 5 years a little game called BioShock was released and unless you happened to be in the know, it arrived on release date with little fanfare.  The lack of hustle and bustle didn’t last long until reviews started to pour out praising every aspect of the game, many even going as far as to call it the most revolutionary game to date.  The game went on to become a hit seller and many gamers, myself included, found themselves prone to agree with the high praise of the press.  While delivering some great FPS shooting and a neat super power system and a really great underwater city setting, the game really shined and revolutionized in the narrative department utilizing clever tricks at delivering exposition to transform a Maltese Falcon style story (oh, yeah, spoiler, but if you haven’t played it by this point, your fault) into a deep and attention grabbing sociopolitical commentary.  Whether you just wanted action or something deep to analyze, it delivered on all fronts and created a bar so high it became highly questionable if a sequel could ever come close to reaching the heights that it did.

BioShock 2 saw the return to Rapture, the once utopia under the sea.  Expectations were high and the hype around the development was closely monitored in the press.  While finding itself underdevelopment from much of the original team, a key member was missing, lead designer Ken Levine.  When the game landed it was a hit and a damn fine game that worked well at expanding the first’s universe, but it just lacked that extra pinch of inspiration and love that sent the first over the edge and it could be accredited to the absence of Levine.  Fortunately Mr. Levine wasn’t just passing the reigns of his baby off to someone else while he disappeared, instead he slunk back into hiding and began almost immediately working on the game under the microscope today.  And after 5 years of work and polish and an incredible amount of hype from both fans, press, and Ken Levine and Irrational Games themselves BioShock Infinite is upon us looking to not only reach the bar first set at the start of the series, but surpass it and yet again revolutionize the landscape of gaming as we know it.  So, if you’ve been following the game you’ve probably already heard the unanimous praise by critics and fans and what can I say, they are all spot on.  From this day forward, when you dig up the old Websters-Merriam to look up the word success you will find a picture of BioShock Infinite sitting there in all its glory.

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