BioShock

One of the more recent entries to this countdown, 2k Boston’s 2007 hit BioShock sent shock waves through the industry and set a new standard for horror games. It stands as one of the few games I can honestly recommend to anyone, gamer or not. If I were to introduce someone to the medium, I would sit them down in front of a TV, put a controller in their hand, boot up BioShock, offer no other guidance, and leave them alone for an hour. I guarantee when I walk back in the room they’ll have experienced a completely unexpected emotional response.

The game follows plane crash survivor Jack, who discovers the underwater city of ‘Rapture’ in his attempt to reach safety. The game sucks you into the narrative from the get go, and you won’t want to stop until you’ve uncovered all of Raptures dark secrets. What ensues on your welcome is one of the most engaging experiences you’ll find in any game, and quite possibly the best intro sequence to date.

Look Mr. Bubbles, it's an angel...

You’re greeted by the city’s creator, Andrew Ryan, whom explains his Ayn Rand-esque motives for creating a city under the sea. The story that unfolds on your journey through Rapture is compelling and unpredictable. It admittedly peaks quite early, with a less than satisfying ending, but its peak is as high as it gets.

The combat for the most part is standard FPS fare with a few new twists. Early on, Jack is introduced to Rapture’s most unique feature, gene-splicing. You’re given access to an assortment of tonics that can grant you a wide array of plasmid powers. These plasmids can be used in conjunction with your traditional weaponry to strategically take out masses of enemies. Firing a lightning bolt into a water flooded room of enemies, or freezing an adversary and smashing them into bits with a melee attack are just 2 examples of what your plasmids can do. This spin on the genre keeps the action fresh long enough to not hamper the storytelling.

The setting and atmosphere of Rapture is what truly makes BioShock standout as an instant classic. From its spliced-out maniacal populous, to its now iconic Big Daddy, Rapture is a gloriously horrifying stage for its fantastic act. It’s one of those games I wish I could just erase all memory of so I can experience it for the first time again.

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