The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 12
Games are a special breed of media. They can be movies (Uncharted 2). They can be music (Rock Band) They can be books (almost every old-school RPG ever). Hell, sometimes they can even be television (Pokemon Channel). But the one thing that video games hold over their sisters in media is interactivity. You can't replicate the feeling of being a character in a movie, book, or anything else for that matter. A movie is a series of scripted events (the same as a book). No matter how much you want to change things, you ultimately can't. In video games, you become the characters. You take their life, and guide it in the direction you want to take it. This has usually only occurred in the RPG genre, because they were the only genre that held actual stories you cared about. Some games not in the RPG space created successful stories (notably ICO, God of War, and Psychonauts), but most games not containing turn-based combat failed in making a story worth caring about. Even more so than the mindless action genre, FPSs have failed more than any other genre to keep a player enthralled. They have been relegated to simple "go here, shoot this, escort this person to over here", with minor differences spread about. Some FPSs changed that, with one notable example coming from one man: Ken Levine. Ken Levine worked on most of the early non-FPS FPS games we know today, such as Thief and System Shock, but it was System Shock 2 that really made Irrational a gaming word. It was hailed by pretty much everyone who played it. Unfortunately, the game (and the studio) still remains a cult-hit, nearly 10 years after it's release. That all changed with the release of Bioshock.
If you're reading this, chances are you already know about the story of 2007's best game. So I'll get straight to the best part: the famous twist. More so than any other game, Bioshock's "twist" is so closely related to it, that it's impossible to talk about Bioshock without getting into a discussion about the "twist". But the point of this post is not to talk about it (unless that's what you want), it's to account my experience (and subsequent thoughts) of going through that fiendishly brilliant moment.
I had been playing through the game for a few days, going through a somewhat creepy obsession with it. I shot through splicers and Big Daddies like there was no tomorrow. When I reached Ryan's office, I don't remember what happened next. Maybe it was because I was still becoming a hardcore gamer (I just liked them before), or maybe it was because I was so young and generally didn't care about story in a game, but the twist didn't hit like I thought it would. I would only realize how awesome it was when I replayed it a few years later.