Bioshock: Rapture

Let me start off by saying that this won’t really be a review as you, good readers, are used to from my humble blog, but rather an ongoing (through the comments) discussion of the book. (Don’t worry though, any spoilers will be marked with a //Spoiler tag)

Bioshock Rapture, released in 2011 and written by John Shirley is a prequel to the award winning and best selling and (I could go on and on about how the original Bioshock won awards and was SO good) Bioshock video game!



As a prequel to the original Bioshock, don’t expect to see the ruined underwater utopia you saw in the game, but rather prepare your minds for a wonderful tour throughout Rapture as Andrew Ryan had envisioned it. Andrew Ryan, the visionary behind Rapture sought to do the impossible, to build a city where a man was entitled to the sweat of his own brow, and not have that sweat and effort belong to the authorities, or to God, or to everyone as America, The Vatican, and Russia would have respectively. Every person in Rapture would have the opportunity to rise based on their hard work, for a man builds, but a parasite asks “Where’s my share?”. A man creates, a parasite asks “What will the neighbors thing”. A man invents, a parasite says “Watch out, or you might tread on the toes of God…”

As Andrew Ryan begins to realize his vision of the amazing utopia that is Rapture, he decides that it has to be built where no one can find it, so he does so under the Atlantic ocean, and begins recruiting people that he deems worthy of a life in Rapture, the visionaries, the eccentrics, and the under-appreciated.

Slowly but surely, Rapture begins to take shape and form, beginning to be the city he wanted it to be, full of life and hard work. For a time however.

//Here be mild to extreme spoilers

Bioshock Rapture ties a lot of loose (not really ends but, let’s say, events) events that happen throughout Bioshock, like how the Big Daddies came to be, or what is actually wrong with the little sisters (I realize that this is explained by Tenenbaum in the game, but not with enough information). How the plasmids were invented, and my most favorite nod to Bioshock, the “WYK” project (Get it? W.Y.K.?).

At first, everyone is very happy and excited about Rapture and how it is a fresh new beginning and all that until work gets finished and people start getting laid off, now Rapture was built to accommodate the working man, not the laid off can’t find a job man, so the latter kind of people start to show signs of depression and wanting to leave Rapture since they literally have no place in it, and on that point, Andrew Ryan fearing a formation of unions, invites in Sofia Lamb who is a psychiatrist to talk to the people and figure out why they’re upset and try to reverse their emotions, however once Lamb starts to really see the truth behind Rapture, she begins to join these people and riots and, well, she gets incarcerated. Now here’s my first gripe about the book, Lamb doesn’t have that big of a role, you’d think because she’s the first to organize the riots and all of that that she has a major role, but unless I missed it, or have forgotten about it, her role was barely noticeable, which is understandable since she later gets overshadowed but the book didn’t mention what happened to her afterwards even.

One of the other people Ryan hired was Frank Fontaine, a fisher who would, well, feed Rapture. But Fontaine quickly rises in ranks and hires Ryan’s two scientists, Dr. Suchong, and Dr. Tenenbaum, both of whom start the plasmids business after a lucky incident with one of the workers involving a sea slug. Fontaine also starts to smuggle things that were sure to piss Ryan off, but that the people secretly wanted, like bibles or other kinds of food. Which prompts Ryan to  take action against Fontaine and overtake Fontaine Futuristics (the name Fontaine gave to the plasmids business) and rename it to Ryan’s Plasmids.

After that happens, a new rebellion arises fueled by Andrew Ryan’s hypocrisy in overtaking someone else’s business by force in direct contradiction to his own original vision. That rebellion is led by Atlas (yep, the Atlas from the game, and if you finished the first Bioshock, you know who Atlas is).

//End mild to extreme spoilers

And that is pretty much all I can think of in regards to the book, aside from the characters’ stories and everything but this was how the book relates to the game anyway.

If you’ve read the book, or have questions about the characters in the game, feel free to chime in in the comments!

Bioshock Infinite (PC) Review

A city in the sky, floating, suspended in the air, a true Eden you might say where everyone is happy, everyone has faith, and more importantly, everyone knows their savior, the prophet, the one who will save them all from the false shepherd who only wants to stray the flock from the truth and the certainty of their lives and bring chaos and destruction upon their perfect Eden. This Eden is nothing other than Columbia.


Bioshock Infinite is Irrational Games’ latest (and long overdue) installment in the highly regarded Bioshock series, however unlike Bioshock 2, Bioshock Infinite is mostly developed by the same team that brought us the first Bioshock, spearheaded by Ken Levine who brought us the clusterfuck of a storyline that was the first Bioshock.


It’s 1912, you’re Booker Dewitt, a man with a simple mission, bring them the girl and wipe away the debt. On that note, Dewitt travels by sea to an island lighthouse by two seemingly off people, he goes in the lighthouse and continues to see messages from his employers all over the walls, “bring us the girl and wipe away the debt”, he then proceeds to enter a rocket silo which takes him into the skies, to Columbia. Dewitt goes into a church that has a statue of their prophet, Comstock, and proceeds to explore the church until he finds a priest and some other people standing around said priest, the priest immediately notices Dewitt and tells him that he should be baptized in order to enter the city of Columbia, after accepting baptism (and renouncing your ways of evil, you evil people, you) Dewitt enters Columbia and proceeds to go through the city. All around the city the people are very cheerful, nice folks that just want to live without trouble, having nice conversations with one another, except there seems to be something off, you start to notice weird things in the conversations if you loiter long enough, like a woman telling her husband that she was worried because she noticed a hint of an accent in their waiter’s voice, or the odd mention of colored people every now and then, or the complete lack of any black person for that matter anywhere you go. Dewitt keeps on moving until he sees in front of him a poster with a picture of the false shepherd’s hand with the letters AD engraved on it, and this is the sign the people of Columbia will know the false shepherd by, and surprise surprise, Dewitt looks at his hand, and sees the unmistakable AD scars. He then gets a telegram telling him not to pick number 77, Dewitt takes the telegram and proceeds on to the carnival, where he’s invited to pick a ball from a basket, each ball is numbered, and well, he picks number 77, just because. Once Dewitt picks the ball, the true nature of Columbia is revealed, you are asked to throw the ball at either an interracial couple or the presenter asking you to throw the ball. Before Dewitt is able to throw the ball, he is stopped by Columbia’s police after they notice the AD on his throwing hand and proceed to try and arrest him, after they’re taken care of, Dewitt begins his journey into Columbia of finding the girl, and try and take her back to New York where he can wipe away his debt.


Bioshock Infinite incorporates some of the same mechanics as the first Bioshock, except for, you know, the sky bit. When you start out in the game all you have is a Vigor that you acquire during the carnival, Vigors are Bioshock Infinite’s Plasmids, if you’ve played the first Bioshock. That first Vigor allows you to convert enemies and turrets alike to fight for you for a short duration, or, and that’s a new thing for Bioshock, you can make a trap that will convert an enemy that walks through, which can be handy at times. After you kill the first officer during the carnival – in a very nicely gruesome manner I might add – you acquire his skyhook. The Skyhook is the melee weapon of Bioshock Infinite, along with giving you the invaluable ability to zip along sky lines and attach to freight hooks in order to get to higher places or just do some awesome sky executions, jump around through the area, gaze at the magnificence that is Columbia, or do awesome sky executions, did I mention the awesome sky executions? That’s not all what the Skyhook is good for though, aside from just hitting people closely, you can execute them when they are low on health, you get a nice bloody “cutscene” with the execution whenever you decide that they’ve outlived their usefulness as your mindless minions.

Onto the shooting mechanics, there is absolutely no shortage of weapons in Bioshock Infinite, througout Columbia you’ll find a plethora of weapon classes ranging from pistols to RPGs and even miniguns. Unlike the first Bioshock though, weapon upgrades are readily available if you have the silver eagles to purchase them, which makes upgrading weaponry less cumbersome. There are two classes of each weapon, however I won’t divulge more than that lest I spoil something.

The Vigors have been reworked from the first Bioshock, each Vigor has a primary and secondary firing method, primary is mainly just shooting at the enemy, and the secondary usually sets a trap for enemies that are unfortunate enough to pass by. While zapping enemies isn’t as fun in Bioshock Infinite as it was in Bioshock, setting a spark trap is always a good way to see a lot of enemies ensnared and in spasm from the shocks. Each vigor can be upgraded twice, however at a steeper cost than the weapon upgrades, while some upgrades offer higher damage, other upgrades either offer less salt usage, more hit chaining to nearby enemies, or in some cases, completely new abilities which makes upgrading Vigors exciting every time you do it. There is a total of 8 Vigors found throughout Columbia, 7 of them you will definitely find with only one that could be missed.

Throughout Columbia you’ll also find pieces of gear that you can equip, each piece of gear, or clothing, gives certain advantages, such as extra melee damage, incineration of melee targets, extra weapon damage while on skylines, and a good amount of other bonuses. These pieces of gear are scattered around Columbia is usually secret places, so a little bit of exploration will yield great benefits.

Dewitt himself can have his shield, health, or salt capacities upgraded via Infusions that are usually in secret places as well. Speaking of these secret areas, they’re usually either alternate paths or riddles written on walls, when you encounter the latter though you’ll need to look around for cypher books in order to access these hidden areas.

Throughout the game you’ll be playing with Elizabeth, and I can honestly say that Elizabeth is by far the best and most advantageous friendly AI that has been introduced in any game. What Elizabeth offers in terms of story enrichment is undeniable, taking aside the fact that the story more or less revolves around her, she offers commentaries on certain things you find throughout Columbia, she offers her opinions on the Comstock statues and the quotes written everywhere, and she genuinely makes you care about her. Elizabeth also offers lock picking abilities whenever you need them, she gives you salts, health and ammunition when you’re low during combat, and she tosses you the occasional silver eagle whenever she finds it. Elizabeth also has the ability to open tears in the world, you can bring back a turret, or a motorized patriot to fight alongside you, you can bring back weapons, health kits, salts, or even a wall for cover against bullets. There is no denying that Elizabeth makes Bioshock Infinite a lot more enjoyable than it already is, and I found myself bothered by the missions where she wasn’t there to help out, or give her insights.


Bioshock Infinite is jaw dropping to say the least, the first time you see Columbia you’re bound to have your mouth open in astonishment. The details in Columbia are sublime, the buildings in the sky, the clouds, everywhere you look you’ll find something to be amazed by. My only complaint with the visuals is the textures that are of very low resolution, you’ll find those in the form of flowers or fruits that can’t be picked up, while they don’t take away from the glorious sights throughout Columbia, they can be a little off putting. The game was running on my computer with everything set to the highest setting except for the dynamic shadows and it was running at a nice steady 60FPS with no frame drops that I noticed.


The game is filled with that good ol’ 1910’s music, whenever you enter shops you’ll hear songs from that era that fit the world quite nicely. If you stand long enough beside some citizens you’ll hear their conversations which is a really nice touch. The weapons sound genuine, so do the Vigors, with every Vigor having sounds to incorporate what said Vigor does.


After the game is beat you unlock the 1999 mode, which is a hardcore-ish mode where eveything is a LOT harder. Bioshock Infinite also offers a lot of replay-ability in merit of its outstanding story, you’ll want to go through it again, and again, and again, and will try to find every Infusion, or every piece of gear, every Voxophone, or every Kinetoscope.

Final Verdict:

Bioshock Infinite is 2013’s best shooter, hands down, there’s not another shooter that even comes close to how amazing the story in this game is. You can usually find the game for half the retail price nowadays, but Bioshock Infinite is definitely worth $60.

(Review written by: Pierre J. Iskandar)

Computer specs:

Lenovo ideapad Y580

Intel i7 3630QM running at 2.3GHz

8GBs of 1600MHz DDR3 rams

Nvidia Geforce GTX660M with 2GBs of GDDR5 memory

1 TB 5400 RPM HDD

Bioshock (PS3) Review

Have you ever dreamed of an alternate 1960’s, where the music was the same, the world was the same, except that some guy has built an underwater paradise that was hidden from everyone except for a select few? Of course not! It’s hidden! Silly readers! Bioshock is just that, and a lot more.


Released in late 2007, Bioshock is 2K games’ first entry in the Bioshock series, and let me tell you this straight away, this game is magnificent, all the way from the story telling, to the twists, to the gameplay.

The story in Bioshock starts out as you’re in a plane crash that happens to land on the entryway to something, you don’t know what yet, anyway, you swim to it, seeing your plane drown in the big ocean, and the fires roaring, you go in and you’re introduced to a statue of a guy called Andrew Ryan, after a bit of looking around, you find a bathysphere that you go in, it takes you down, and you start to see Rapture in all it’s glory, you see buildings with big neon signs under the ocean, with fish swimming around, you see a tunnel with someone in there, you see marvels you thought were never possible. Then you arrive to Rapture itself, and the electricity goes out, so you’re left in an almost blacked out room, and a radio starts to talk, you’re introduced quickly to Atlas, a former Rapture resident  who briefs you on everything that has happened down in Rapture, then you hear the screams of a man, and you see a creature ripping him apart, all from the comfort of your bathysphere. After the electricity goes back on, you go out of the bathysphere and take your first walk inside of Rapture, only it’s destroyed, completely, and abandoned. After walking around a little you start to notice some very strange things, a woman crying over a baby stroller, though she doesn’t look all that, alive, you go closer and before you know it, you’re being attacked, I did go look inside the baby stroller after I defeated the woman, and to my surprise, there was a gun in the baby stroller, she was crying over a gun. You’ll start to realize that the remaining Rapture residents aren’t all that sane, Atlas confirms this as well. After a while, you’re introduced to a Big Daddy ripping apart an enemy, but thankfully, early on in the game, you don’t have to fight him, you do get to obtain your first Plasmid though! Plasmids are DNA altering powers that I’ll cover more in the gameplay section of the review. Later on, you see a Big Daddy and a little girl who Atlas calls “The Little Sisters”, they drain Adam from fallen enemies, Adam is basically what keeps Rapture running, and this is where your first choice needs to be done, you can either save the little sister as Tennenbaum suggested, a Rapture resident who asks you to spare the little girls since they can actually be saved, or follow Atlas’ advice and drain the little sisters of their Adam, giving you considerably more Adam, but killing the little sisters in the process, regardless of what you decide to do, it will affect your game. Throughout the game you’re trying to find where Andrew Ryan is so you can find a way to get out of Rapture, along with other plots and twists I won’t share here so you folks can experience the game.


Bioshock is a story driven first person shooter (something we don’t come by a lot nowadays), but that does not by any means say that the gameplay is lackluster, the complete opposite actually; throughout the game you’ll find weapons and plasmids, plasmids alter your DNA so you can have special powers, like shooting lightning bolts that stuns enemies and bots, or freezing enemies and security cameras, or just burning them alive! The game offers a plethora of genetic upgrades in the form of Plasmids, along four different paths, that are Plasmids and gene tonics which are divided to Combat, Engineering, and Physical, or passives in other words, these powers come in handy a lot during the game. Bioshock also offers a nice array of weapons, all unique in their own way, which I personally like, kind of old school-ish, instead of having every single weapon be similar with some minor stat differences, weapons in Bioshock are actually so different, you’ll find yourself wanting to use specific weapons or ammunition types in certain situations, instead of picking a favourite weapon and just going by it.

Through out the game you’ll have the option to either rescue or harvest little sisters after beating their (EXTREMELY hard) Big Daddies, which ever you choose will alter the game’s ending, and a lot of the ending levels are altered as well depending on your choice, on one hand, if you rescue the little sisters, you’re doing the kind thing, though you only get 80 Adam per sister, however, if you harvest them, you kill the little sister, though you get 160 Adam instead!

Let me explain how Adam is crucial, Adam is basically the rarest, most niche kind of currency in Rapture, you get to spend it on Plasmids or Gene Tonics that you won’t get other wise, so, basically, the more the better!

The game also features a mini game in the form of hacking turrets, flying bots, vending machines, saves, doors, whathaveyou. If you remember the old “pipe” games in which you have to redirect the flow of the water, you’ll be familiar with this, though after a while, the hacking does get boring, hacked bots and turrets will fight for you, hacked vending machines will lower their prices and make more items available, you get some pretty nice bonuses like that. There’s also another mini game, and the RPG factor of Bioshock, actually, where you have a camera, and you get to take pictures of enemies in the name of research, each level gained gives you a bonus against that certain enemy, so it’ll help (A LOT) to take as much pictures as you possibly can.

You can also invent automatic hack tools at the U-Invent stations, along with some ammunition types and even plasmids at times!

Difficulty wise, on Normal difficulty, Bioshock isn’t ridiculously difficult, but it is challenging, though the Big Daddies are hard, extremely hard, you’ll find yourself dying over and over at the beginning until you get the really good weapons.


Even though the game came out in 2007, it is very competent where visuals are concerned, Rapture is a beautifully designed city with lots to see, the models are nicely made and the frame rate is usually stable through out the game. A plus point for 2K though is including an option not to stabilize the frame rate, so you can have even better visuals, and this is the first time I see that option on a console game to be honest, but it’s a nice move.

At times though you might notice a little texture lag, though it is not annoying, it’s just, noticeable.


The game features a 1960’s style soundtrack, which can be a little haunting around Rapture, which gives it a nice feel and authenticity.

As far as sound effects are concerned, the game is very nice, giving attention to every little detail, midway through the game you’ll be able to know when a Big Daddy is around so you can either get ready or flee.


Bioshock features multiple endings through the choices you make in game, which makes playing through the game more than once a good idea, not to mention that you’ll be wanting to play the game anyway because of how amazing it is!

Recap and final comments:

Bioshock is a beautiful artistic video game that features the charming music of the ’60s along with some sick twisted people in a city called Rapture, what more do you need! A flamethrower? It’s in there too!

The game is absolutely fantastic, I personally beat it in three days which is a record for me, but it is by no means short. You can find Bioshock easily nowadays pre-owned for about $10 maximum, or you can get it through the Bioshock Ultimate Rapture Edition (which I did) that includes Bioshock, Bioshock 2 and all of their DLCs, all that for $30, or you can just wait till Bioshock Infinite comes out since it will include the original Bioshock on disc!

Let me know how you felt about Bioshock in the comments, and how badly you’re waiting for Infinite to release!