It’s our pleasure here at 8BitKingdom to feature this months guest game reviewer, Luke Monahan. You can contact Luke at email@example.com. If you’re interested in writing a review of a game for 8BitKingdom please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
There are thousands and thousands of people playing BioShock right now. If you look on YouTube you can find dozens of commentaries, guides, and Spoiler Casts. Normally, I wouldn’t jump into the fray, but this story is so poignant that I felt compelled to process it on paper. If you are reading this out of a similar feeling, welcome.
In a universe of Infinite possibility is redemption possible?
We see that Comstock and Booker come from a common background; they are the same man until the decision to be baptized or not. Baptism is about the washing away of the “old person” and becoming someone new. It is at the crossroads of a fresh start that the conflict in this story has its seeds. Will Booker become Comstock or the Private Investigator? The damning part is that both become terrible people. I think they motivated to changing that, but at what cost. I think that they each see the other as evil and are trying to stop that guy. Booker obviously spends the majority of the game trying to stop Comstock. Though we see very little of Comstock’s motivation I believe that a part of choosing Anna to “adopt” is to save her from Booker Dewitt P.I.
The lynchpin of the story is saving a girl from a man who will ruin her life. The catch is that each man will still make her miserable no matter what the other does. Booker will sell her, Comstock will brainwash her, booker will “rescue” her, Comstock will torture her till she is a Warlord, Booker in return forces her to become a killer, both of Fitzroy and Booker. (Though possibly only of Bookers who choose baptism)
The caveat would seem to come in the fact that there are an infinite number of choices these characters could make, yet we only see minor deviations in the game. One of the Lutece twins (who I think are the same person from different universes) says that it’s all about variable and constants, such as booker flipping heads over tails. A constant seems to be everything goes to Hell. The variables are only how they get there.
It’s not about happy endings, but the question of are we destined to be evil no matter what choice we make. The Booker who chooses baptism -forgiveness- is a bigger monster than the one who sells his daughter. Ironically, the one who is shot to Columbia in a rocket accepts a baptism, but that leads him into significant bloodshed. It appears that seeking forgiveness can only result in committing more heinous crimes. It is as if the act of mitigating guilt is the most serious crime, and thus the person will be forced to commit new evils thereby replacing the guilt with deeper guilt. Baptism washes away the good and leads to destruction.
With that comes my final question; is this universe, our reality made in such a way? Are we fated to be evil people who do terrible things? Do we make matters worse by seeking to “wipe way the debt”? I say an emphatic “No” Redemption is real. No one is too far down a road to turn back.