Revisionist: Bioshock

If you’re like me, Bioshock was one of those games that impressed you from the very beginning. Whether it was the often eerie atmosphere that felt just right or the joy of electrocuting a splicer as they attempted to extinguish their burning body in a pool of water, you knew that 2K had done something right.

On the other hand, if you’re like me, the game’s ending seemed a little disappointing. I’m specifically referring to events leading up to the transformation into a Big Daddy, as well as the end boss fight. As a refresher to those who don’t entirely remember these events for one reason or another, here’s a quick summary:
Upon waking up after the escape from Ryan’s office, Dr. Tenenbaum has already broken Fontaine’s phrase control over Jack. She further assists him in breaking the rest of Fontaine’s failsafes, whilst Fontaine attempts to erode your self-esteem like any good antagonist.
With the help of the Little Sisters, Jack is able to tracks down Fontaine, where he has injected himself with vast amounts of ADAM, becoming Super-Splicer of sorts. Jack battles Fontaine, eventually defeating and allowing the Little Sisters to subdue and kill Fontaine.
If the player rescued all the Little Sisters, the ending shows the rescued Little Sisters returning to the surface with Jack. It ends with an elderly Jack surrounded on his deathbed by all of the adult Little Sisters.
If the player primarily harvested the Little Sisters, the game ends with Jack turning on the Sisters and Tenenbaum condemning Jack and his actions. A submarine carrying a nuclear missile is surrounded by bathyspheres containing Splicers, who proceed to kill all aboard the submarine.
It seemed like a bit of a let-down that the plot was almost entirely unaffected by your decisions to harvest or save the Little Sisters. Either way, you don the Big Daddy suit and defeat Fontaine. Your “moral” choices don’t show up until the ending cinematic, leaving you with the feeling that you’ve been rewarded with little more than an interchangeable movie.
While the harvesting or saving of Little Sisters has its own drawbacks and benefits (to be honest, the extra rewards from saving outweigh the marginal loss of ADAM), it really doesn’t change what kind of person you play as until you’ve already beaten the game. This brings me to what I believe would have given the player to flex their moral muscles in a meaningful way.

More on my renditions of the resulting good/evil endings later...
Good Ending
Evil Ending


Post a Comment

Featured Posts