Webgame Wednesday: The Greatest BioShock Game You Never Played
BioShock, BioShock: Infinite, and even BioShock 2 are considered to be some of the best narrative-based games in video game history.
But there’s another great BioShock game you’ve probably never even played.
There’s Something in the Sea was a teaser game for BioShock 2, released in March 2009, and playable through browsers. Diverting from the 3D, big-budget, first-person shooters of BioShock and BioShock 2, There’s Something in the Sea instead provided a flash-based point and click mystery adventure.
Starting with the view of a map on a wall, players could click on documents and pictures pinned up in X-Files fashion, revealing the story of a man, Mark Meltzer, looking desperately for his abducted daughter. From the pinned evidence, it becomes quite clear to the player that Meltzer’s daughter wasn’t the only young girl to disappear under similar circumstances– a bright red light always visible at the time of their abduction– and Meltzer sets out to find the source of their disappearance.
As days passed in real-time, the game would change slightly, with more evidence provided that hinted to the upcoming release of BioShock 2.
The game stayed in this state, with minor changes, for ten days before transforming into the view of a messy office room– the map displayed on a wall. From here, more hints were displayed, with a telephone, answering machine, typewriter, radio, and puzzle box adding further mystery to the story.
The final part of the game, in November 2009, showed a room in a boat, with Meltzer now looking for his daughter at sea, and lasted for several months, with the scenery and evidence, like the other parts, changing gradually day by day. To avoid spoiling the game, I won’t reveal the exact development of the story, or its ending, but I will note that Meltzer’s fate was later revealed in BioShock 2.
Though the game was officially taken down in 2012, it is still playable thanks to the webmasters at the Rapture Archives Center, who have preserved it in its entirety.
By accessing the saved states of the game, day by day in the order it was updated, players can relive the investigation from 2009. If you are into mysteries, narrative through environment, and the great BioShock storyline, this game is for you.
There’s Something in the Sea was Gone Home, or Dear Esther, years before those games were ever released, and the game is bound to give players some nostalgia for the golden era of promotional ARGs.
Not only does it provide players with a fantastic BioShock storyline, and beautifully executed atmosphere despite falling outside of the style of the traditional AAA BioShock titles, but it’s free too.
There’s Something in the Sea is the game that you probably ignored at the time, or never got a chance to play, but it is still worth playing all these years later.
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