When Gore Verbinski dropped directing duties for the BioShock movie citing the R-rating’s likely effect on ticket sales, dreams of a film that would actually do justice to the game diminished. Now that even the 28 Weeks Later director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo has fled, the sub-marine dystopia is dead in the water. The BioShock film is officially on hold.
Fresnadillo told The Playlist, “To be honest, by now, I’m completely out of that, and developing other stuff. Right now it’s on hold. The studio and the video game company, they have to reach some kind of agreement about the budget and the rating.” Continue reading →
I was just browsing Kotaku for news on Rage (verdict: mixed – though I pretty much don’t trust game reviews any more since I’ve seen too many good games under-scored (Hunted) or ignored (Enslaved) and too many average games overhyped). Instead, what caught my eye was a feature on how the Unreal Engine 3 now works in Flash – you know, that thing websites use.
I got a letter at work today: would you kindly send payment within 28 days?
I laughed and said out loud, “I always think of BioShock whenever anyone says ‘would you kindly?'” and was gratified that a few people got the reference – and admitted to much the same.
There are some moments in cultural history that are so powerful that they instantly form a shared trigger point where some instantly recogniseable phrase or melody can bring you back to that place and remind you of the devastating emotional impact of the scene. The shower in Psycho; “Heerrre’s Johnny!”; the music from Jaws. It’s normally movies because everyone watches movies, but as games move into the mainstream we’re starting to get more of those cultural memes and references.
BioShock was a pretty special game to start with: a fantastic-looking, wonderfully playable and atmospheric trawl through an underwater dystopia. Sickening horror laced with a macabre sense of humour – a little like Fallout, and of course its predecessor System Shock, but mostly unique. In common with last year’s Batman, it was a near-perfect concept let down by some poor design choices (way too much repetition, for a start), but also like Batman there was enough to recommend it in spite of its flaws.
What BioShock will always be remembered for is its plot twist. Unlike The Usual Suspects, you can guess quite early on who the bad guy is, but like Keyser Soze it’s the manner of the deception and its ultimate reveal that made millions of jaws drop at once. I’d felt frustrated while playing that I didn’t seem to have much choice in what I was doing – but seeing that subverted in such a spectacular manner made me drop the controller and applaud the screen. That was after I was done feeling sickened, horrified and angry by the events in this scene.