TAY Flashback is a sometimes article looking at some of gaming history's finest entries. Spoilers follow, but I think most of us have played these.
"A man chooses, A slave obeys." This line still gives me chills. Such a defining moment for storylines in gaming, and it's a little chilling that despite the game touted customizable gameplay (IE. Stealth with traps, head on with guns, or blitzing around with plasmids, or a combination), it was a startling revelation. You had played directly into their hands, done exactly what they wanted. Like a slave. Pretty creepy stuff.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. The overall creepy vibe of Bioshock probably won't faze most people nowadays, but personally, walking through the bathysphere into the dank, darkness of Rapture was perfect in my view. Between the splicers singing creepy religious songs, talking to themselves in the distance, or the occasional vending machine chime (Circus of value's "Ahahahaha") ramps up the pins and needles vibe that was unfortunately lost as the series progressed. Neon lights were about the only light in an otherwise dingy background. Tones of gold once a shining testament to the grand idea of Atlantian-esque living stained with blood and god knows what else. It's a nice spin on post-apocalyptic rather than the traditional version. Everything's very cramped. Claustrophobic. And to make matters worse, you're stuck with an almost limitless number of people waiting to kill you.
A big controversy of Bioshock was the idea that addicts more or less brought down society. Not a lot of people realize this, but it's not unrealistic. Drugs turn people to junkies, junkies in turn their surroundings to chaos. It's very believable in this sense. It's not all wonderfully terrifying and hauntingly beautiful landscapes. It ends so…. Off. A Doctor Manhattan clone freaked out on plasmids. For a game touting so much realism…. What made them flip like this? I would've gladly taken the massive shootout from Bioshock 2, (Which would've made a lot more sense than this)
But even for its flaws, it's still a game that stands well against even the bigger titles of today. I hope someday we'll be able to return to rapture in a full setting, rather than the blip in Infinite, or the mess that was 2.