The first major section of play in Bioshock 2, after completing a brief tutorial, is a tour through Andrew Ryan’s Amusements, an intelligently crafted presentation of the core beliefs and downfall that led to the events of the previous work. By presenting this so early, not only does the game reintroduce the primary elements of Objectivism to the player, it also paints a much less charismatic portrait of Ryan, making the movement in Rapture towards a form of Leninist Communism that much more understandable.
After years of combat in Vietnam, Lincoln Clay knows this truth: family isn’t who you’re born with, it’s who you die for. When his surrogate family, the black mob, is wiped out by the Italian Mafia, Lincoln builds a new family and blazes a path of military-grade revenge through the Mafioso responsible.
Nothing is more important in the environment design of Bioshock than the regally
dilapidated air of Rapture. Everything here was at one point incredible and beautiful and pristine, but the pride and madness of many have brought it to ruin. This is important, both from a narrative and a design perspective, to sell the idea to the player that, in the long-term, this was always going to be Rapture’s fate. This was inevitable, and that makes the tragedy of the place that much more poignant.
The opening thirty minutes of Bioshock Infinite are a slow burn, with the game deliberately removing the player character’s weapon as they enter Columbia to emphasize that, for now, the game will not be about fighting. Instead, it pushes the player to observe and participate in Columbia among the citizens while things are still “peaceful,” so the shift to violence can feel that much more pronounced when it does come.