ComputerAndVideoGames.com has written up a detailed preview of BioShock, based on a recent demo of the first-person RPG they received from lead designer Ken Levine.
The more Levine speaks, the more questions he creates. Rapture is, as he said, an underwater failed utopia, built by an ex-soviet named Andrew Ryan in 1946 for the world's cultural elite, the best and the brightest of humanity - artists, painters, scientists, athletes. "Ryan wants to create a society where the best people can do their best work unconstrained by government, unconstrained by religions, unconstrained by, as he puts it, bullshit notions of altruism," continues Levine.
"Unlike what you might see in a movie like The Abyss, they're not going to build a little space station underwater, f*** that. They're going to build a utopian, unbelievably gorgeous city utilising the finest architectural techniques of the time, and it's not going to be steel and steam, it's going to be wood and marble. And under the ocean? Well f*** the ocean, that's their attitude."
Of course, a bunch of smart blokes in a bubble does not a good game make, so in typical fashion everything falls to pieces when a stem cell-generating sea slug dubbed 'Adam' is discovered by a man named Fontaine. With the ability to modify bodies to become thinner, better looking, smarter or faster, Adam quickly becomes the currency of Rapture. Fontaine upsets the delicate balance of power in the capitalist society - the player arrives in the early '60s, to find the place ruined.