There is a saying in architecture that no building is unbuildable, only unbuilt. Structures may be impossible in the here and now, but have the potential to exist given enough time or technological development: a futuristic cityscape, a spacefaring megastructure, the ruins of an alien civilisation. However, there are also buildings that defy the physical laws of space. It is not an issue that they could not exist, but that they should not. Their forms bend and warp in unthinkable ways; dream-like structures that push spatial logic to its breaking point.
4th October 2013
11th July 2011
5th August 2010
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23rd February 2010
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"I forget everything between footsteps.
Editor's note: Jordan Erica Webber is co-author with Eurogamer contributor Daniel Griliopoulos of the weighty tome Ten Things Video Games Can Teach Us: (about life, philosophy and everything), out this month. We've asked her to write a few thoughts on video games as works of philosophy. Beware: there are spoilers for Soma, the Mass Effect and Fallout series ahead.
Quite possibly the most impressive technological achievement in the console space last year was Xbox One backward compatibility, a virtual machine that somehow - miraculously - managed to run Xbox 360 titles on Microsoft's latest console. Progress has continued on this brilliant feature, to the point where we reckon it has a good shout in staking a claim as the most impressive console technological achievement of 2016 too. We've demonstrated time and again this year how Xbox One is now running Xbox 360 titles faster and more smoothly than original hardware - but this week's release of the BioShock trilogy highlights just how much faster it can be.
BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite are now backwards compatible on Xbox One.
PC players will soon be able to upgrade their copies of BioShock and BioShock 2 - although you may need to rummage around your old PC disc cases to do so.
Last months rumours of a BioShock collection have resurfaced with new promotional art and screenshots briefly found on 2K Games' website.
Ken Levine, director of BioShock, is making an interactive live-action film based on The Twilight Zone.
2K Games is offering huge discounts on several of its biggest hits on the Humble Store, with some titles up to 83 per cent off.
UPDATE 10/02/2015 6.21am: Looks like BioShock 2 will be returning to various digital marketplaces soon, publisher 2K has confirmed.
BioShock fans have been given another glimpse of the series' cancelled film adaptation, courtesy of new production art.
UPDATE 28/8/14 8.10am: BioShock iOS (BiOShock?) is now available here in the UK, priced £10.49.
BioShock publisher 2K Games appears to be teasing a new BioShock project according to an image tweeted by the publisher today.
Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick has called the Red Dead series a "permanent franchise," suggesting that more Rockstar westerns are on the way.
There's always a girl, there's always a lighthouse, and perhaps behind one of those doors is a universe where the Hollywood's ill-fated BioShock movie was released.
2K Marin, developer of The Bureau: XCOM Declassified and BioShock 2, is "essentially" no more after a wave of staff lay-offs affecting the "majority" of team members, multiple reports claim.
The PC version of BioShock 2 has been updated on Steam now that the Games for Windows Live service has closed.
BioShock 2 on Steam now includes controller compatibility, Steam achievements and supports Big Picture mode. As for multiplayer, you can search for "any game" as opposed to having to select your game mode. DE has also fine-tuned the multiplayer so leveling up is quicker and easier.
If you've already bought BioShock 2 through a different digital platform, you can activate the game activation key within Steam, so you don't need to buy it all over again. Doing this grants you access to BioShock 2, all the multiplayer and Protector Trials DLC and the single-player DLC Minerva's Den.
BioShock Infinite sold "significantly" more copies in its first month than either the original BioShock or BioShock 2.
But that wasn't enough to push publisher Take-Two into profit for the financial year ended 31st March 2012, despite other big successes in Borderlands 2 and NBA 2K13.
More than 3.7 million copies of BioShock Infinite were shipped to retailers, Take-Two's earnings report said, and there was "solid demand" for the game's Season Pass - despite no one yet knowing what those three add-ons will be.
Editor's note: To mark the announcement of the BioShock Collection - okay, the confirmation of the BioShock Collection after more leaks than even the tattiest corner of Rapture - we're returning to Richard Cobbett's brilliant retrospective on BioShock 2, first published in April 2013.
The first two BioShock games and their DLC will be bundled together on Xbox 360 and PS3 as part of the BioShock: Ultimate Rapture Edition, due in North America on 14th January for $29.99
The free PS3 games for PS Plus subscribers in January are BioShock 2, Guardians of Middle-earth and Mortal Kombat, says Sony. They're available from 2nd January.
Few locations have captured the imagination this generation as much as Rapture, BioShock's underwater utopia-gone-wrong.
The British Board of Film Classification has outed BioShock Ultimate Rapture Edition for release in the UK.
BioShock creator Irrational Games has stressed that "we're still focusing" on a film adaptation, despite the project being knocked back time and time again.
Three BioShock alumni have handed in their notice at 2K and set up a new studio called The Fullbright Company under their own steam, according to a Gamasutra report.
The BioShock movie has suffered yet another blow after its director quit the film.
BioShock 2 launches on Mac in Janaury 2012 as a boxed game and a download - nearly two years after it launched on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
Grand Theft Auto 4 has now shipped a gargantuan 22 million copies worldwide since its April 2008 release.
The first book to explore the world of BioShock launches next Tuesday, 19th July.
BioShock: Rapture is by science fiction writer John Shirley, published by Titan Books and sold for £7.99.
It covers events from the creation of Rapture to a point before the first game.
Irrational Games boss Ken Levine hasn't given up on getting the stalled BioShock movie off the ground, but admits that getting it right presents a huge challenge.
BioShock 2's Minerva's Den DLC expansion finally arrives on PC from 31st May.
The long-awaited Protector Trials DLC for BioShock 2 on PC has been yanked off the Games for Windows - Live Marketplace because "it's not ready yet".
Pre-production on the movie version of 2K's BioShock franchise has ground to a halt after no studio was found who was willing to invest in an R-rated version of the tale, the flick's producer has explained.
BioShock 2 developer 2K Games has gone back on its decision not to release the Protector Trials and Minerva's Den DLC packs for PC, and is currently working to bring all content to the platform.
BioShock world meticulously recreated.
PC BioShock 2 users will not get to play the recent Minerva's Den DLC expansion, or the Protector Trials pack, 2K Marin has announced.
2K has announced that the single-player story-driven Minerva's Den add-on for BioShock 2 will be released next Tuesday, 31st August.
We take on BioShock 2's new DLC.
2K Games has announced Minerva's Den, a single-player story-driven downloadable add-on for shooter BioShock 2.
BioShock 2's final instalment of DLC introduces new characters, locations and enemies to the underwater city Rapture, and will be released "later this fall" for the PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. That's this autumn, to you and me.
"Minerva's Den is a self-contained narrative experience that puts players in the role of an all-new character who has teamed up with Brigid Tenenbaum to unravel a dictator's stranglehold on a key district in the distinctive city under the sea," says the official blurb.
BioShock, eh? Moody, thought-provoking stuff. Troubling stuff. Deep stuff, allegedly. How about adding a challenge mode?
Actually, why stop at that? Why not throw in a rhythm action section too? We can get the Puppini Sisters to record a bebop version of Manilow's classic Bermuda Triangle - sample lyric: Bermuda Triangle, it makes people disappear / Bermuda Triangle, don't go too near - and I'll cave a Little Sister's head in every time we get to a drum break.
So 2K isn't being particularly creative in the way it extends the BioShock 2 universe yet - apparently the new gadgets and story content are up next - but that hardly matters. The Protector Trials may not be the most exciting attraction in Rapture (that's the cheap real estate coupled with the fact that plagues, insanity and spreading leaks have really tackled inflation) but it's good for a few hours of frantic action all the same.
Xbox 360 exclusive Crackdown 2 is number one in the UK all formats chart for the second week running.
BioShock 2 will welcome new single-player add-on the Protector Trials on 3rd August, 2K Games has announced.
This has been developed by 2K Marin's core team and will be the first in a series of single-player BioShock 2 elongations.
In the Protector Trials you, as a Big Daddy, must repel swarms of splicers from laying their murderous mitts on your ADAM-gathering Little Sister.
BioShock film producer Gore Verbinski has insisted the project hasn't drowned but is treading water while the team tries to reduce an "extraordinarily high" budget.
Take-Two chief executive Ben Feder has been crowing about the success of Red Dead Redemption - but admitting that BioShock 2 wasn't quite as big a success as the company might have hoped.
Take-Two chairman Strauss Zelnick has said that the publisher plans to "support" the BioShock series and that another developer might be involved next time.
2K Games has released the BioShock 2 Metro Pack DLC on PC.
The BioShock 2 community reports having a torrid time trying to play the new Rapture Metro downloadable maps.
No dress code for these clubs, just a strong arm.
The delayed BioShock 2 add-on, the Rapture Metro Pack, will be released today on Xbox 360 and PS3 (in the US - Wednesday on the European PSN, presumably).
A multiplayer patch to fix various BioShock 2 multiplayer niggles is "in the final stages of testing".
That's according to a post made by 2K community manager "2K Elizabeth" (caught by VG247)
Bizarrely, that post has since disappeared. 2K Games is investigating.
Extend the rapture.
Microsoft's Major Nelson has revealed some of the treats coming to Xbox Live in the next few weeks.
2K Games has seemingly confirmed that the Sinclair Solutions Tester Pack premium downloadable content is stored on the BioShock 2 disc, arguing that it had to be this way to avoid splitting the player base.
BioShock 2's first batch of DLC, the Sinclair Solutions pack, may have been on the game disc all along.
2K Games' sequel BioShock 2 has finished as February's best selling game in the US. Big new entry Heavy Rain had to settle for 10th.
2K Games will release the first batch of BioShock 2 DLC on Thursday.
2K has said that a PC patch to fix BioShock 2's widescreen issue should be available at 2am PST today, which is 10am GMT.
According to the Cult of Rapture site, this fix was prioritised due to the number of requests for it, and will be followed by a more extensive patch in due course.
In its initial state, BioShock 2 would display letterboxed versions of the 4:3 ratio image when put in 16:9 or 16:10 resolution.
2K Games has announced new single-player and multiplayer content for BioShock 2.
The first batch of DLC, the Sinclair Solutions Test Pack, will be out in March and cost 400 Microsoft Points on Xbox Live/Games for Windows - Live or $4.99 from the PlayStation Store.
This add-on focuses on multiplayer and boosts ranks to level 50, and also introduces playable characters Louie McGraff and Oscar Calraca. There are 20 new trials to conquer, a third upgrade for each weapon and five new masks.
2K Games' big-hitting sequel BioShock 2 has stamped to the top of the UK all-formats top 40.
2K has delivered the rather unfortunate news that BioShock 2 PC will never support the Xbox 360 controller as a means of play.
2K Games has acknowledged that BioShock 2 multiplayer is freezing up for a few people and promised to look into it.
"We are aware that some users are experiencing an issue that could cause the game to freeze during the multiplayer component," a spokesperson told Joystiq.
Eurogamer actually experienced this while working on our 8/10 review, losing a good bit of unrecorded XP, but as it only happened once we dismissed it as a blip. Doh.
Released a year after the Xbox 360 version, shorn of some of its visual magnificence, afflicted with an ugly blur and featuring exclusive DLC you actually had to pay for despite the long wait, it's fair to say that PlayStation 3 owners didn't fare too well at the hands of 2K Games when it came to the belated release of the original BioShock.
All the game content was there, and enough of the raw BioShock DNA was there to make it a worthwhile experience in its own right, but compared to the original Xbox 360 version of the game it was a disappointment. This time 2K has made efforts to get it right. There's no year-long delay between versions, and on first impressions it seems the development team has done well in replicating the look of the game across both platforms.
So let's kick off by pointing you gently towards a triple-format screenshot gallery, before continuing on to the console comparison vid:
2K Games has revealed that BioShock 2 PC's widescreen mode is a clipped version of 4:3 and that the game deliberately doesn't support gamepads.
2K Games has released BioShock 2 to the world today. Yes, the UK and Europe included, even though it's not Friday.
How do you make a sequel to the illusion of choice? However the developers of BioShock 2 chose to approach the production of their watery follow-up, they were destined to begin just as trapped within the framework of its narrative inheritance as the former citizens of Rapture are within their rusting cage at the bottom of the Atlantic. Such was the power and significance of that defining encounter with Andrew Ryan two thirds of the way through the original BioShock.
BioShock was very much about Ryan - a philosophical idealist who built a city at the bottom of the ocean to house people "for whom work is our wage", where no god or government could find or tax or spite them. BioShock 2 shifts from one extreme to another, exploring the circumstances that drew psychiatrist Sofia Lamb to the city and the role she then played in Ryan's downfall. The two ideologues don't have much in common, but they do both act as catalysts for the events that befall the rest of the cast, of whom you are one, while another is a little girl named Eleanor.
Once upon a time, as Ryan's Rapture fell apart in the hands of mere men and women, opportunists like the first game's Frank Fontaine rose to prominence in search of power. Through their endeavours the population became addicted to genetic modifiers called plasmids, developed with help from a substance called ADAM. As the people needed more ADAM to keep on splicing, so the city gave birth to Little Sisters, fever-dreaming girls escorted by lobotomised bodyguards called Big Daddies, who stalked the corridors of the city collecting the drug from those who perished under its influence.
2K Marin's Jordan Thomas has said that the console wars are "silly".
NECA has unveiled its Big Daddy Bouncer plush toy and replica EVE syringe ahead of BioShock 2's release next week (thanks Destructoid).
New Year's EVE.
2K Marin has revealed that BioShock 2 will not support dedicated nor LAN servers on PC.
Having stirred up the usual hornet's nest by posting about BioShock 2's DRM on PC last week, 2K community manager Elizabeth Tobey has claimed on Cult of Rapture that the publisher is "scaling back" DRM on the game.
2K community manager Elizabeth Tobey has been busy on the label's forums (via VG247), clearing up exactly what form the digital rights protection on the PC version of BioShock 2 is going to take.
Ken Levine has promised that Irrational's new game will be announced this year, sometime after the Game Developers Conference 2010. That takes place in March, which leaves this June's E3 as a prime time and place for the reveal.
The Steam Store has begun taking pre-orders for the PC version of BioShock 2.
2K Marin is already hard at work on downloadable content for BioShock 2, according to senior systems designer Kent Hudson.
"Absolutely!" Hudson said when asked if there were DLC plans by Australian Gamer (thanks Joystiq).
"We are working on pretty aggressive plans for DLC and that's actually something that is already under way.
Andrew Ryan, the Citizen Kane of the seabed, forever railing against conformity, against predictability, against the things that hold men back from greatness: what would he think about sequels?
Jordan Thomas is a games journalist's dream. He talks a mile a minute, hitting a dozen tangents in the process, but is consistently fascinating and entertaining - even when, as was the case with this interview, he's soundtracked by the alarming sound of a dozen dogs barking from the house next door.
2K has unveiled the official BioShock 2 Special Edition, which is due out "in most countries worldwide" along with the regular edition on 9th February 2010.
It can't be easy to follow in the footsteps of Ken Levine. That sharp, manly beard, for example. I would.
Sisters are not doing it for themselves. But then, it shouldn't come as a surprise to discover the Big Sister is not the main baddy in BioShock 2 despite what we've been encouraged to think. After all, this is the series that had you take a golf club to its own illusions last time out. If even 2K Marin's press events are a festival of misdirection, surely that's another tick in the "worthy" column for the arch-nerds in the audience.
2K Games has announced that BioShock 2 will launch around the world on 9th February, 2010.
Take-Two has confirmed that it plans to release four major titles in the first half of 2010. BioShock 2, Max Payne 3, Red Dead Redemption and Mafia II will all see release between the start of February and end of June 2010, chief executive Ben Feder told investors.
"We are continuing to evaluate the optimal release window for these titles and still plan to release all four titles in the first half of calendar 2010," Feder said, according to GameSpot. "At this point, we don't expect any of these titles to launch within our first fiscal quarter ending January 31, 2010."
Most of these games were originally planned to see the light of day in 2009 - notably, BioShock 2 was originally slated for a late October or early November release. Announcing the delays earlier this year, Take-Two said the games needed longer in development and that it was seeking an "improved retail environment" - suggesting that it was one of many publishers running scared from the release of Modern Warfare 2 this Christmas.
Take-Two has announced that BioShock 2 has been delayed.
2K has revealed that Arx Fatalis developer Arkane Studios is contributing to BioShock 2.
Are you ready to go behind the curtain again? Having previewed and interviewed the BioShock 2 team about the single-player earlier this year, this week I got to speak to them again about the new online multiplayer component developed by Digital Extremes.
"When you think about multiplayer, the narrative a lot of times comes from the experience that you create yourself in the match," says BioShock 2 producer Melissa Miller. And while the game's not out until 30th October, Miller's already got a few stories of her own. "I was playing one match and I had a little area I was holding down, I had very distinct entries that I was guarding, and I would see people go by and I'd tag them with incinerate! If they were low on health I'd get the kill."
Science-fiction and fantasy imprint Tor, which publishes the Halo books, is to publish a BioShock novel this autumn.
Take-Two has said that BioShock 2 will be released on October 30th in Europe and November 3rd in the US.
2K has revealed that Digital Extremes is developing the multiplayer component of BioShock 2, and it's set before the fall of Rapture.
Universal Pictures has placed the production of the BioShock film adaptation on hold.
Return to Rapture in pictures.
You're a Big Daddy, and you're right, that doesn't sound very ambitious. As Take Two admits during our tour of 2K Marin, a lot of people bought the first BioShock because they thought you were a Big Daddy anyway. He's the guy on the box. He's got eight glowing eyes, JCB hips and a drillbit the size of a fridge stuck to his arm. And the fact is, by the time you got to the end of BioShock, you were so powered up that you practically and to some extent literally were a Big Daddy as well.
One of the horrible things about going off to see a big game like BioShock 2 is having to cut a lot of the interesting things that the developers say in interviews so your preview is only ridiculously long.
2K Games is once more claiming that BioShock 2 will not carry the Sea of Dreams subtitle.
2K Games has told Eurogamer that BioShock 2 will still be subtitled Sea of Dreams, despite contrary reports late last week. Someone has been telling porky-pies.
2K Games has snipped the subtitle Sea of Dreams from BioShock 2.
2K Marin give you control of a Big Daddy roaming Rapture in the upcoming BioShock 2: Sea of Dreams for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.
You're not just any Big Daddy though - you're the very first one, and you've somehow acquired the ability to inject plasmids, like Jack in the first game.
Unlike the first game though, you will choose between harvesting a Little Sister for ADAM and adopting her, after which you will have to protect her while she harvests ADAM from corpses strewn around Andrew Ryan's failed utopia.
BioShock 2: Sea of Dreams will feature the rumoured Big Sister character according to US magazine Game Informer.
Following reports earlier this week, Game Informer scanned in its April issue cover, which features the lithe, rather graceful-looking Big Sister, with a familiar friend perched on her shoulder.
There's no clarification of her role yet, however, and we still don't know who you play as in BioShock 2, nor whether the game is set in Rapture and how it links in to the first game's celebrated narrative.
A new teaser site for BioShock 2 hints that the game is set seven years after the events of the original and involves a Big Daddy snatching girls from coastal towns.
After indie and esoterica, sports and music, MMOs and RPGs, fighting and strategy and action and adventure, we conclude our look at what's coming this year with two fields which tend to put refinement ahead of innovation. Can shooters and racing shake themselves up in 2009?
The very first teaser trailer for BioShock 2 has been shown.
The footage is unlocked after completing BioShock on PS3, and shows a 9 or 10 year-old girl (presumably a Little Sister) standing on the Atlantic Coast peering out into the ocean.
A cuddly Big Daddy toy dangles from her hand as the camera zooms out to show a cityscape bursting from the sand behind her.
Take-Two chairman Strauss Zelnick has hinted at a third BioShock game, even though the second one isn't even out until the end of next year.
Universal Studios has announced plans to bring hit Xbox 360 shooter BioShock to the big screen.
2K Marin may be developing BioShock 2 for PlayStation 3 as well as PC and Xbox 360.
BioShock creator Ken Levine has revealed his top five games of all time, admitting he spends rather too much time playing one of them: World of Warcraft.
Take-Two boss Strauss Zelnick has said MMOGs based on Civilization and BioShock are "potential opportunities".
Take Two has announced that BioShock 2 will be released in fiscal Q4 2009. The publisher's financial year is two months ahead of the calendar year, so that means we'll see the game somewhere in the August-October 2009 period.
Interestingly, Take Two hasn't set Ken Levine's 2K Boston (formerly Irrational Games) to work on this one, preferring recently-formed studio 2K Marin, based in Novato, California, for what's inevitably going to be among the most highly anticipated sequels of 2009.
(Update: However, the company said during a subsequent conference call that Levine would be involved in the game's production: "He will be working on Bioshock 2 and he will be working on a new IP.")
2K Games bigwig Strauss Zelnick has said that the two-year release cycle employed for the Grand Theft Auto series could be used for future BioShock titles, GamesIndustry.biz reports.
His comments were made in a recent chit-chat with investors, where he boasted about the 1.5 million sales of the title so far, before suggesting it could become "one of the fastest-selling games in history".
Kriss Akabusi and Cheryl Baker were also on hand to award the game with a record for producing the most sought-after demo on Xbox Live so far - over one million