Setting and story
BioShock's time period and setting are unlike any game we have ever played. It's the 1960's as the game starts and the unnamed character that you play is on a small plane that is flying across the Atlantic Ocean. That trip is short lived, however, as the plane mysteriously develops some kind of mechanical failure. Before you know it, the plane crashes in the dark water. You manage to survive the crash and come up for air to find oil fires and pieces of the plane all around you. You also notice something that shouldn't be in the middle of the ocean; a rock island with a massive lighthouse. You swim over to the island and enter the structure and you quickly realize this is no ordinary lighthouse; instead of a bare circular stair going up you see art deco style designs and figures all over the wall, not to mention the fact that the place lights up as you enter, almost as if it was expecting you. You go down a short flight of stairs to see a metal sphere with a window. Naturally you enter and push a button inside. The sphere starts to move downward and you get to finally see BioShock's true setting; Rapture, an underwater city with an exaggerated 1940's art style. Your sphere enters a docking location in Rapture where the initial intro level ends and you begin truly playing BioShock for the first time.
You quickly learn that Rapture was created a number of years ago and headed up by the character Andrew Ryan who wanted to create a Utopian society dedicated to expanding human technology. You hear Ryan's voice at the beginning of the game describing the lofty ideals that Rapture was supposed to fulfill. However as you begin exploring the city you know that this utopia has turned into anything but the perfect society. The place is a wreck with water leaks everywhere, as well as splats of blood. This combo of style combined with ruin is one of the big attractions of BioShock. There are hints of Myst in the game's art style but unlike the static world that game, BioShock is interactive and alive. Indeed, it's alive in more ways than one. As you progress in the game you get to see how Rapture's remaining population has changed.
The humans have been altered by what the game called Adam; a biological substance that can give humans super human abilities. Unfortunately for the citizens of Rapture and for your character it also mutates humans into strange and hostile creatures that attack you at every turn as you explore the city. From creatures that can crawl up and down walls and ceilings to grenade tossing enemies to the Big Daddy (an underwater suited enemy that's slow but powerful and tough to kill), you won't lack of enemies to fight in the game. There's also automated turrets that you have to disable or avoid as well.
The game's RPG aspects start up once you start taking out enemies. You can search dead bodied (as well as non-organic items like desks, containers and the like) for ammo, money, weapons, and food among other things. You have a number of weapons in the game from simple melee items to pistols, machine guns and more in BioShock but you can also customize your weapons with special ammo. There's also machines and other items that you can use for money or you can "hack" them. Wen this happens you are taken out of the game world to face puzzles that usually make you move pipe-like sections of a machine so that a moving circuit can be completed. Some puzzles are easy while others are pretty tough (there's the adventure game elements for you).