I have a weird story with Bioshock. I started playing it and I stopped after about 5 minutes and thought to myself: "I don't see what's the buzz about, it's a first person shooter, nothing to see here." It may seem like I deserve a beat, but that was my first contact with Bioshock, in a game store. And it gets worse, because of that first impression, when someone asked me if it was worth it, I would advise them to play other games that were vastly superior, or so I thought at the time.
Then a few weeks later, in college, there was a friend playing Bioshock on his laptop and he was battling a steampunk robot (a Big Daddy) on a market and there was a little girl running around and he was using this electric power and shotgun and I watched the whole battle unfold until at the end, the robot falls and the little girl goes to it's side and starts crying. My friend goes up to her and some message pops up and he kills her. Then he goes collect some items, walk to a weird vending machine where he upgrades his powers and then he saves and exit the game.
As I asked what fascinating game was he playing I'm shocked with the answer. Sure, it looks like the same game, but I didn't see any robots or little girls or powers, I just had a revolver and shot at a few guys in a corridor with water. While we're chatting, he mentions that Bioshock is from that guy that did System Shock II, and I loved that game, how could I miss that.
So, I stopped fighting the whole world (There were a LOT of high scores on the reviews both from the critics and the players) and I got Bioshock. When I started the game, I entered to this nearby lighthouse and into an elevator and then I watched one of the greatest introductions ever, about a city underwater, an utopia. That was the key moment that marked Bioshock as a great game to me. After a long time playing the game I come across a room with the words "Would you kindly" and everyone who played knows how important is that room. It's one of those great moments in games that will be remembered throughout video game history.
So fast forward to a few months ago when Project Icarus is announced from Irrational Games, the creators of Bioshock, I watch the trailer with a sense of wonder as mystery and when it's revealed as Bioshock Infinite, I'm hyped.
It's a new city, new characters, there's nothing about the game that says it's a sequel or a prequel, but it's the same kind of experience. And it's the experience that I want to play this year. I want to learn more about the characters and the city, what great mysteries does Elizabeth hold, why Songbird wants her back so much, who are these people fighting for the city, and many more.
I like to explore the worlds developers create with huge effort, I like a great story with interesting characters, the feeling you get of not knowing what you can expect on the next corner, the challenges that come of "improvising" your way out of unexepcted situations, and that's what I love about Bioshock, I can have a great story and play my role, while allowing me to improvise a lot of the action and where do I want to go and want to see...
I think many gamers want this, they want to play a great game that is like the other one they just finished and loved and want a similar experience but just different enough that it's worth playing, that's why google is filled with searches "games like _____" and that's what Bioshock Infinite is to me, a similar game to the one I played and really enjoyed.