BioShock is a fantastic game, and even to this day, it stands up as one of the greatest stories in gaming. It is highly imaginative, richly thematic, and wonderfully inventive. It is composed of some sort of Rand-ian dystopia that takes place in a city at the bottom of the ocean!
But if we had to nitpick, we would say that some things don't really make a whole lot of sense. After all, we're primarily working on video game logic here, and video game logic doesn't often hold up to scrutiny.
These are ten things that make no sense about BioShock.
10 How On Earth Was Rapture Built?
We love the concept of an entire city sitting at the bottom of the ocean. But it's also like Santa Claus - we want to believe, but we all know it's a bunch of silly nonsense. Of course, there's a full "explanation" at the Rapture Memorial Museum, and this includes a submersible platform called The Sinker, pilings and girders being driven into the rock to create a foundation, and pre-assembled buildings being lowered into the ocean with lunette rings. It sounds fancy, and we're glad that they managed to create such a detailed explanation, but at the end of the day, an underwater city is still a little too fanciful to believe. We'll let it slide, though, because it's just so darn cool.
9 How Was Rapture Built In Secrecy?
OK, let's say building a city at the bottom of the seafloor WAS possible. How did Ryan manage to oversee the construction of a metropolis without ANY major governing body taking notice? How was he able to pay for all the construction material without anyone turning their heads? Surely the construction of Rapture wasn't cheap! And for that matter, did no one notice or grow suspicious when all these building materials were being purchased and carted off to the middle of the ocean? Did no one grow suspicious of all the missing people? Did none of the brilliant minds that Ryan approach spill the beans to colleagues? Does no one grow suspicious of Fontaine's smuggling and where he's taking these items?
8 How Did Ryan Not Foresee A Revolution?
Andrew Ryan seems like a smart enough man. So how did he not foresee and plan for a MAJOR revolution? The entire purpose of Rapture was to grant the "best and brightest" the opportunity to flourish. It was a city driven purely by capitalism, greed, and a lack of social programs or aid for the poor. In Ryan's mind, you had to earn your way to the top, and if you didn't contribute to society, you were worthless. Of course, this led to a hostile working class and an eventual revolution that completely decimated Rapture. How did Ryan not foresee this occurring is beyond us.
7 Why Are Items Hidden In The Vending Machines?
BioShock places a large emphasis on hacking, and if you manage to successfully hack a vending machine, you are gifted with more items. But why are these items hidden behind a mechanism that requires to be hacked? This is probably just a case of gameplay and story segregation, as the game needed a way to reward risky hacking. But in the world of the game itself, this doesn't really make a whole lot of sense. It gets even more confusing when you consider that things like armor-piercing machine gun rounds are stacked within the vending machines. Why are these sold in vending machines!? And even if they were, why can't you just buy them!?
6 Why Was Ryan Against Smuggling?
OK, so it's established that Andrew Ryan is completely against smuggling. But this goes against his very ideal of free will and free market enterprise. If Atlas wanted to earn his fortune by smuggling, then all the power to him. Also, by restricting the act of smuggling, Ryan is acting a hypocrite and imposing laws and sanctions on his citizens - one of the primary reasons behind creating Rapture was to get away from such imposing control! Then again, maybe that's the point. Ryan loved the IDEA of Objectivism, but quickly found out how flawed and problematic ruling under one specific political and philosophical ideology truly is.
5 The Good Ending
The good ending is very heartwarming, but it's also very problematic from a story and lore perspective. How was Jack able to acclimate the Little Sisters to the surface world without raising some MAJOR eyebrows? How was he able to afford all these children as a single father without some major government assistance? Was Jack able to re-acclimate into society, despite his messed up voice box and electricity shooting out of his hands? And when he died in the hospital, were the doctors not concerned with all his genetic abnormalities and literal superpowers?
4 Why Doesn't Jack Remember Hijacking The Plane?
It's safe to assume that Jack feels in control while under the command of "would you kindly." Up until the reveal, Jack believed that he was simply following Atlas's commands. It's not like he was under the direct control of Atlas like he was with Ryan and lost all inhibitions and control. As far as Jack was concerned, he had complete free will throughout his journey in Rapture. By this logic, it's safe to assume that he remembers everything he did while under Fontaine's control, just as we would remember our day-to-day activities. So why doesn't he remember hijacking and crashing the airplane? Did the instructions also command him to forget about the orders? If so, how does that work? Does the command directly affect his memory storage? And now we're even more confused...
3 Why Hijack A Plane?
And for that matter, why does Fontaine have Jack hijack a plane in the first place? That seems like a very careless, dangerous, psychotic, and attention-grabbing manner of getting Jack to Rapture. Jack will literally do anything Fontaine says without question, even if it goes against his own desires. So why didn't Fontaine just leave a note saying something like "Would you kindly buy a boat and drive it to these exact coordinates?" It would certainly be quieter, would generate far less attention, and just seems a lot easier in general.
2 Why Does Jack Kill The Sisters In The Bad Ending?
The bad ending sees Jack going EVIL and murdering all the cured Little Sisters. But...why? They are obviously no longer a source of ADAM, so that can't be the reason. In her narration, Tenenbaum states that Jack desired power above all else and sought to control Rapture like Ryan and Fontaine before him. OK, but why does that require murdering dozens of innocent little girls? Surely these little girls aren't going to start a revolution and seize control from Jack. And yes, they killed Fontaine, but that's only because YOU were fighting Fontaine and they wanted to help you as a form of payment for saving their lives.
1 How Does "Would You Kindly" Work Exactly?
We eventually learn that Jack is ordered to respond to any directive preceded by the command "would you kindly." Fontaine uses this to his advantage throughout the game, ordering Jack to perform various actions. And in this time, Jack feels completely in control, as if he's simply helping out a friend and doing what he asks. So, how does this work with hijacking the plane? Did Jack black out and become "overwhelmed" by the action? Did he think, "You know what? I'm just going to follow this random command and hijack and crash this plane, why not?" Later, Ryan uses the command and Jack is literally seized and moved like a puppet, his body moving completely divorced from his mind. Why didn't that happen when Fontaine used the command?