It’s. Just. So. Damn. Pretty.
There will be very few people out there arguing that the original BioShock needs improving, or even could be improved upon. Someone has had a crack at it all the same, though.
Our first delve into the subaqueous proto-utopia of Rapture was never really about the graphics – although it is a stunning realisation of something otherworldly, yet oddly familiar – it was the killer atmosphere that had us all hooked from the starter’s pistol. From the abject confusion of the plane crash and the lighthouse to the jaw-slackening reveal of the bathysphere plunge amongst that astonishing Art Deco ‘skyline’, through to the mysterious voice on the radio and the scrabble through a nightmarish corridor for something – anything – to defend yourself with; BioShock nailed it. One-hundred percent.
Wind the clocks forward eight years and the hairline of its heavily modified Unreal Engine 2.5 visuals is starting to recede a little, and the temples are turning grey. BioShock still looks (and more importantly feels) wonderful in its own right, but that’s largely down to the hyper-evocative atmosphere and the way it draws the player into its fallen Randian objectivism. What if it were to receive a visual upgrade into a current-generation graphics engine, though?
We’re not anticipating a remake of BioShock in a modern engine any time soon, as tantalising a prospect as that might be. Let’s be honest, if they did choose to remake a ‘Shock‘ game we’d rather it was the original System Shock – a return to Beta Grove is long overdue – but we’re not expecting one of those either. Ken Levine has however confirmed that his next title is being developed in Unreal Engine 4 though, so our mouths are already watering at what a ‘Shock‘ game might look like on the latest engines.
Now we don’t have to imagine – well, for the first two minutes or so until the maiden bathysphere voyage begins, at any rate. CryEngine 3 whiz gametime414 has created a play-through homage to BioShock’s opening scenes, and… there’s no point in us pounding you with superlatives. Just watch it. It’s remarkable.
(Thanks to GameSpot for the original tip!)
This isn’t the first time Rapture has been given the stunning CryEngine 3 treatment, either – we’ll leave you with these beautiful screens from visual artist (and Crytek alum) Scott Homer that he put together in 2012 as a portfolio exercise.
Hello, Daddy. It’s good to be back.