“It wasn’t impossible to build Rapture at the bottom of the sea. It was impossible to build it anywhere else.”
If there’s one thing that everyone is good at, it’s having an opinion. About everything. Sports, politics, administration, finance, you name it. It doesn’t matter if that person is qualified in that particular field, he will still think that if he were in charge, he would do things a hundred times better than the guy currently running things. If you take everything you hear for granted, the world is full of geniuses. However, few people would actually fare better in a critical situation or on a day to day basis. Even less would have the strength and resolve to reject the classic ideologies and build a world for themselves, and those deemed worthy to be accepted in it.
Andrew Ryan is one of those men. A former soviet citizen, turned successful industrialist in the United States, disgusted by the political ideologies of the world at the end of World War 2, decided to take matters into his own hands and create a perfect world – one where the artist would not fear the censor, where the scientist would not be bound by petty morality, where the great would not be constrained by the small. A world named, ironically enough, Rapture. But not even an idealistic creation such as this is invulnerable to the basic human weaknesses, and as you will learn in the depths of the ocean, the only thing scarier than the human imagination is absolute freedom.
Your adventure will begin in a rather way, with the plane your in crashing down in the middle of the Atlantic. And although the crash landing and the hypothermia should have killed you right there and then, you somehow manage to swim to a mysterious nearby lighthouse, miraculously situated at only an arm’s length away from where you decided to take a swim. Inside the lighthouse, a series of lights which start to come on by themselves will guide to a bathysphere, which will send you into an extraordinary world.
Once in Rapture though, you will quickly discover that the city is far from the idealistic world it used to represent and that its inhabitants are now hideous mutants who roam the empty hallways looking for ADAM – the resource that keeps the wheels of Rapture turning, the source of your soon-to-have genetic enhancements as well as one of the reasons for the civil war which decimated Andrew Ryan’s dream. As you will find out from one of the survivors, from a medical standpoint, ADAM is a disaster, because after your first dose you’ll need more and more just to keep your sanity. From a business standpoint though… let’s just say that it opened up a wide range of possibilities for men with a seriously screwed moral compass.
ADAM is the only resource which allows you to buy plasmids and tonics, and since you really don’t find it at any liquor store, you’ll have to be careful as to how you decide to improve yourself. Plasmids can be considered the equivalent of spells, with effects ranging from electric bolts, telekinesis and incinerate to freezing enemies, using bees to distract them or marking them as targets for the city’s security systems. Some plasmids, like Winter Blast or Incinerate, will be useful regarding the environment interaction as well. Incinerate for instance can be used to melt the ice that’s blocking your way to certain areas or items.
The tonics on the other hand are abilities that are always active when equipped, being split into three branches: physical, engineering and combat. Among the bonuses that the combat tonics can offer are an increased resistance to melee attacks, increased damage with certain weapons and the ability to electrocute / freeze / incinerate enemies who manage to hit you up-close. The physical tonics on the other hand you grant you an increased movement speed and use of certain weapons, more effective use of the medical kits or the ability to regain a small dose of health and EVE with each successful melee hit. And as the name suggests, the technical tonics will help you bypass Rapture’s security systems more easily, whether its turrets, police bots, vending machines with items and ammo or safes.