I am going to do my best to dictate what has been written in this article to this thread, however if you want to know what plans Irrational had before rapture then read on!
Expect a serious wall of text!
"WHAT THE SYSTEM SHOCK PEOPLE DID NEXT:
The Pitch:Rid and abandoned laboratory of a foul genetic plague, using tommy guns and designer DNA.
Excuse us while our heart rates return to something approaching normality. We've just heard that Irrational Software, the enormously talented development house from our nations capital (and Boston, MA) that brought us Freedom Fighters and Tribes Vengeance are working on a 'spiritual successor' to their best, and one of our favourite, game: System Shock 2.
Bah. I wanted System Shock. Explain this 'Spiritual Successor' business.
Our hearts pine for SHODAN too. But this has every potential to be just as terrifying, just as open-ended and filled with just as much possibility. We're breathless. It's the next generation in 'emergent simulation;- the game lets you play how you like to play.
Why get so excited?
Part of what made System Shock 2 so exciting was its open design, You explored a functioning space cruiser and were able to go back and forth between all floors at will. Bioshock is set in an abandoned laboratory, built during WWII, yet refitted after years of dereliction for use in a new wave of genetic experimentation. Paint peels from the walls, plastic curtains billow in drafts; strange tests and experiments are conducted. Since a nameless event, the laboratory has been vacated, leaving terrifying fusions of insects and humans to wander freely about the complex, along with a mortuarys worth of rotting corpses.
It sounds like a cross between The Fly and the Quartermass Experiment.
Irrational quote The Fly, and specifically the questions it raises about humanity as part of Bioshocks inspiration. At what point in the film does Jeff Goldblum lose his humanity? In Bioshock, if a vile scientist has grafted a heart, lungs, arms, legs and a brain to an insectoidal torso, could that creature be considered human? If you harvest the DNA of a monster and merge it with your own, are you altering your species?
Merge their DNA with your own? That sounds disgusting.
Yes. It could sound disgusting. For many, their over-riding memory of system shock 2 is one of absolute terror brought on by the sounds; of SHODAN breaking into your world, or of psionic monkeys screeching as they tore into your flesh. The mind behind those horrible sound effects , Eric Brosius, is still working for Irrational.
Yes, but I meant the creature sound horrible.
Again yes. The creatures in Bioshock are split into three castes: drones, predators and soldiers. Irrational are working on what they call an 'AI Ecology'. They're trying to imbue their creations with instinctive behaviour patterns; strange yet biologically intuitive. If a monster is hungry, it will eat you. If a monster is doesn't like the colour of your shirt, it will eat you. If you enter a monsters territory, it will eat you, then mark your bones. If you're not about, a drone will search the complex for rotting flesh, which they feed upon and recycle into useable genetic gloop, before returning to the hive. Plasmids (genetic loops usually harvested from bacteria) from drones can be used to enhance your own abilities - by extracting plasmids from extremolphile drones, you'll be able to alter the climate turning the heat up and sweating the monsters out.
Can I just shoot them?
Philistine. Irrational are making plans for the usual selection of weapons, yet there's a twist. You'll be able to scavenge for upgrades throughout the complex, improving your carbine way beyond the manufacturers expectations. However, you'll have to choose between applying the upgrades to your weapons or a biological scanning device. Take snapshots of your enemy and you will be able to analyse them for weak points or ☺☺☺☺☺s in their armour.
Tim Edwards. November 2004.