I went back to my account history and found out that BioShock was actually both one of my first games on Steam as well one of the first games I bought in the Steam store (instead of adding retail keys from "boxed games" - those things no one buys any longer today :P ). However, although having a really, really small game library back then (basically just Half-Life 2 + Episodes 1 & 2 and a few very selected other titles), I didn't even download the game within the first 4 months or so of the purchase. About 2 more months after, I finally started the game and played for a bit.
Entering Rapture was exactly as I pictured it by the reviews I had read before and making my first steps through this very atomspheric world, one of the coolest settings I've seen so far, was thoroughly enjoyable. What followed, though, was nothing. I cannot remember what made me do so, but I just stopped in the second level and put the game aside. For over a year.
Later then, I had two weeks off and wanted to clear my gaming backlog, I stumpled upon BioShock again. Even at that point, I did not know why I quit it in the first place and so I figured I'll continue that one. Boy, that was a good decision!
The deeper I got into the city, the deeper I got into the game. I carefully listened to every single audio diary, and spend what felt like 4 hours in each level in order to explore every single last corner and find every hidden piece of story, gear, whatever. I even (re-)played some of the levels doing crazy stuff like using nothing but my loyal wrench, and when I finished a session after few levels, also headed over to the BioShock Wiki to read up a bit on the backgrounds. Two things I rarely do, considering there's always something new to play instead.
This game, however, quickly became one of my all-time favorites and so I gladly did those things to get the most out of it. Always nice if you can find such new ways to enjoy a game; and much better than some cheap multiplayer features as seen in BioShock 2... Luckily, they realized how fast it died and focused on singleplayer again for Infinite. Would have been nice, though, if the PC version of BioShock 1 had achievements just as the consoles.
I very much hope BioShock Infinite will have everything I loved in the first one:
- Combat which is thanks to the combination of guns and plasmid rich in variety and offers interesting enemies. Already saw those "Boys of Silence" and became curious about them (also story-wise).
- A setting as beautiful and extraordinary as Rapture. Shouldn't be a problem with Columbia - good on them for moving to something else and not repeating the undersea world again.
- And of course, the narrative. That is both the story and most notably the great, great dialogue which was hilarious as well as profound. Would you kindly bring back such memorable quotes as "A slave obeys, a man chooses!" or "No Gods or Kings. Only Man."? :P
Hopefully, we'll also see some sorts of decisions which change the story/ending. I liked how you could choose the little sisters' destiny. Not too much of an impact, but after all it's still a shooter, so I guess that was okay.
To me, BioShock 1 is a well deserved Game of the Year 2007. And as for now, BioShock Infinite seems to be a hot candidate for this year's award.