Bioshock: Rapture by John Shirley

Listed on Metacritic as one of the best video games ever, Bioshock is the story of a man who is trapped in a mysterious city under the sea.

Set in the 1960, Jack finds himself in a plane crash, only to be rescued by a mysterious man named "Atlas".  The city, called Rapture, was built by an industrialist names Andrew Ryan as a utopia, but, inevitably, it collapses.  All that remains are the unlucky survivors who have become addicated to mysterious substances known as ADAM and EVE.  These give suporpowers to users.  As the story proceeds, you discover that Jack is in fact Andrew Ryan's son who was bred and brainwashed to come back and kill him, then take over Rapture for "Atlas".  Most of the story is relayed through audio diary recordingsof various characters that you find along the way, none of which are required to complete the game.

That's the game.  I played it, didn't like it terribly much, though the underwater setting was intriguing and impressive.  It is a well constructed game world that looks like something Walt Disney would have built had he had unlimited funds.  the game has since spawned to sequels, one in 2010 and the next coming in 2012.

Bioshock: Rapture is the story of Andrew Ryan and the rise and fall of his city.  If it wasn't connected by title to a game I had played, I would never have known any connection.  This is a surprisingly well written story, a great dystopian read.  Ryan builds his city on the premise of zero regulation, but won't allow anyone to lead for fear that infiltrators will come and ruin his perfect society.  Of course, internal pressure, claustrophobia and bad people do it just fine on their own.

Even though I know exactly how the story ends as far as the game goes, I was impressed at the end when it felt like the book really wrapped up the story.  It feels like it can stand alone, though I can't say for sure having come in knowing the plot. 

Even points in the game the would seem odd outside of a video game context (gun vending machines, special powers, little girls with scary diving bell-clad monsters) have been explained and used appropriately in the books.  Nothing is forced like it was in Assassin's Creed.

As far as video game tie-ins go, this is the best one I've read yet.
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