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.
"I forget everything between footsteps.
It's now 10 years since we first plunged deep into the Atlantic Ocean and were beguiled by BioShock and the submarine city of Rapture, one of the finest environments in games.
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.
BioShock creator Ken Levine took the stage at EGX Rezzed in London today for a look back over his career so far, in a conversation with Eurogamer's Oli Welsh.
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.
We're not kidding about plot spoilers. This article discusses the plot of the first BioShock game in full and right from the first line. You have been warned!
Yeah alright, cards on the table. We couldn't find anyone in the office who hadn't played the original Bioshock. Which is hardly surprising when you're talking about a group of games journalists (incidentally, what would the collective noun for that be? A thinkpiece? A scribble? An ornery of games journos? Anyway.) The problem with that is it kind of scuppered my plans for recording a spectacularly well-timed episode of Late to the Party, to celebrate the shocking-but-not-really announcement that Bioshock: The Collection, a remastered edition of Bioshock, Bioshock 2 and Bioshock: Infinite, is heading to Xbox One, PC and PS4.
The original BioShock will soon be released for iPhone and iPad, publisher 2K Games has announced.
The port will be compatible with iPad 4, iPad Mini 2 and iPad Air, plus iPhone 5, 5S and 5C. There's no word yet on a firm release date or price.
But like 2K's Grand Theft Auto re-makes, you can expect BioShock iOS (BiOShock?) to be a "premium priced" release with no added micro-transactions.
Now that BioShock: The Collection is here, we thought it might be interesting to revisit the original game's troubled development. Enjoy!
I think it's fair to say videogames are fundamentally selfish exercises. And I mean that in a broad, all-encompassing sense: whether you're watching your gnocchi-shaped Mii squat its way into bikini season or conquering some remote alien backwater in the guise of a faceless space-bobby, the focus is on you, the player, and how absolutely amazing and sexy and important you are.
Whatever you think of BioShock - and we're fans, as you may have gathered from our 10/10 BioShock PS3 review a few weeks ago - the prospect of Portal-style canned challenges designed to take advantage of the game's genetic powers and guns is a new and interesting proposition. BioShock encouraged, but seldom commanded players to combine their abilities, but the PS3's Challenge Rooms - due out on 20th November - use their discretion as a licence to impose the kinds of restrictions players would never have tolerated in the campaign, but which make perfect sense removed to one-shot levels built around speed and MacGuyver-style ingenuity.
Is BioShock on PS3 the first example of a developer showing off the downloadable content before we get to see the game? The PS3 version's Challenge Rooms - announced and demonstrated to the press at E3 in July - were our first chance to see 2K's blockbusting underwater mind-bender in action on Sony hardware. The Ferris Wheel level, where players have to rescue a Little Sister by picking through the crumbling environment for electricity to transfer to a control panel, is a neat example of what 2K hopes to do to extend the game's appeal once the credits have rolled, but, shorn of the arguably vital context of the single-player game, it's a peculiar introduction. The assumption was that everyone has played BioShock.
Gamers have a strange, and in ways very English, attitude to success - a cautious, suspicious response that says that it's okay to be successful, as long as you pretend you're not and keep your mouth shut. Talk about how you made your game, what you learned from it or why you think it did well, and the internet will rise up swiftly to accuse you of having a God complex and believing that the sun shines out of your own backside like a perverse, fleshy torch.
2008 may be "the year of PlayStation" in Jack Tretton's E3 phrase, but for some PS3 owners "the year of PlayStation" might as well be the time it takes multiformat games to arrive on Sony's flagship console. But before you lynch us for saying so, we're well aware that patient PS3 owners have found the gap can work in their favour - the spit and polish-filled hydraulics of time elevating competent games to a more accomplished level - and with the standard set by the likes of Overlord: Raising Hell, developers are keen to present their overdue PS3 conversions as special editions with all sorts of extras.
A backlash was inevitable.
Stop clowning around; it really is bastardly cold out there. Still, it's good for one thing: keeping my PC from overheating. All I have to do is wrap up warm and open my window, then pop in one of these festively fantastic frolics and laugh away merrily - probably with a vat of mulled wine close-by to ensure I am well and truly smashed. I'm only giving it serious consideration because there are some games worth seriously considering.
It is now dark when we walk home and birds are either dropping out of trees in frozen lumps or going somewhere much nicer for their holidays. And, as always happens, the shops are hoisting their Christmas decorations up and getting us all worried about buying presents because we never know what they want is it socks or aftershave. So, we thought we would join in.
If you were one of the thousands who heeded Kristan's wise words and bought a copy of BioShock on release, rocketing the game to the top of the all-format charts in the process, then you've probably already experienced the wonders of Rapture and are currently playing through again on a higher difficulty. If so then this guide to every Plasmids and Gene Tonic in the game - where to find them and what they do - was written with your good self in mind. If not, be warned - there be big spoilers ahead.
A Most Wanted list you say? Cripes, whatever next: a Tips and Cheats pamphlet to go with Eurogamer's promotional Pacman Beach Ball cover mount? Still, it's the summer, there are precious few games around and, with an awful lot of new titles coming up towards the end of the year you might quite reasonably want to know which ones to keep an eye on.
"How can you do this to a child?!"
Ken Levine is buzzing. He's just spent the past two hours watching a group of journalists take control of BioShock for the very first time. And this is a game where taking control becomes a more profound, complex process than simply guiding a character through its world.
It's surprising to us that we're not Ken Levine's girlfriend. Not just because we're hot, obviously, but also because we share his love of good ideas that have fallen apart. Then again, there's an obvious reason we'd never work together: for him, it's the worlds of Orwell's 1984, and Logan's Run; for us, it's the worlds of games like System Shock 2 and Freedom Force. In other words, we'd only be sleeping with him for his work.
If you were one of the 60,000 frazzled souls that traipsed around the vast halls of E3 last week, you might wonder why you never stumbled across Bioshock on your extensive travels. If you've checked any of the coverage of Irrational's spiritual successor to System Shock 2, just about everyone is excitedly screaming 'Game of the Show' in the faces of anyone who'll listen.