Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Icons of Gaming #1: No Gods Or Kings

Ryan has had it with these motherfucking gods and kings in this motherfucking society.
This is the screenshot that sold me on BioShock.

BioShock has a lot of memorable imagery - the Big Daddy, the player's hand dispensing lightning, the art deco interiors, and the excellent sound scheme that pervades the entire game. But "no gods or kings" is what made me sit up and pay attention.

This banner hangs over an early entrance hall in the game - above the main elevator, from memory - and in addition to establishing the game's visual style, lighting scheme and dark tone, it tells you that this will be a game about something. BioShock might not be the deepest philosophical exploration in gaming history but it's not for lack of genuine effort, and the objectivist foundations of the city of Rapture are a big part of what elevates BioShock above the pack.

Long before I played the game I saw this screenshot, and once I'd seen it, I knew I had to find out who had hung that banner and what it meant.

What are the images that have attracted you to games - for better or for worse?

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