New info from 2K has revealed that Bioshock 4 is coming, and it won’t be set in Rapture or Columbus. A job listing for the new Bioshock developer Cloud Chamber describes the game as “a new and fantastical world”. The first Bioshock took the world by storm with its amazing setting in the underwater steampunk city of Rapture. In Bioshock Infinite, players got to visit Colombia, the beautiful but disturbing flying colonial city.
So where could Bioshock 4 take place? We’re expecting something equally as memorable (and twisted) as the previous games. One thing we can say for certain, it’s probably going to be an iconic city locale with a massive twist. Using that metric, we came up with four possible settings we could see in Bioshock 4. If any of these get used, I expect my check in the mail 2K.
Victorian England in the Heart of a Sandstorm
19th-century England is a well-worn setting in video games, but a less popular aspect of the era is its “Egyptomania” craze. That is, England at the time had a surprising fascination with ancient Egyptian culture. This trend affected everything, from buildings to advertising, and Egyptian symbols and references weren’t an uncommon sight. It’s thought that the English public at the time saw a bit of themselves in ancient Egypt, both as symbols of royalty and power. And what better combination of the two than to place the traditional Victorian England in Egypt itself.
We’ve all heard of steampunk, but Bioshock 4 could be the first time we see “sandpunk”. Imagine a whole city powered by sandstorms and desert heat. With a mix of English and Egyptian traditions, we could see king and queens as mummies or camel-drawn carriages.
But as romanticized as the Victorian era is, it had its share of dark spots. Experimental surgeries were all the rage. There was a fascination with death and the macabre, with freak shows as a popular event. And let’s not forget the infamous Jack the Ripper. What could these frightening things look like with an Egyptian theme?
The Roaring Twenties in a Bubble
The 1920’s were a time of celebration. The Great War was over and the economy was booming. There were parties, ragtime music, and swing dancing. This carefree attitude eventually led to the Great Depression, ending the good times before the Second World War shook the world again…
Unless one city held onto this attitude, with the richest among them sealing themselves away from the war. Even as the world falls apart, they can continue to enjoy their riches, hiding away in an impenetrable bubble. This solitary society could continue on for decades uninterrupted, remaining happy and carefree while the world burned around them.
This bubble world would have its own renewable energy and food to sustain itself. Its people could spend their time at their own leisure, drinking and feasting for generations. The good times could just keep on rolling… But all good things come to an end. When the equipment breaks down with no one to repair it and the lights turn off, or the people start to go hungry, the results would be disastrous. And when the walls begin to crumble, what will they find waiting for them on the outside?
The Sunken Nifty Fifties
An idea already brought to life in the Fallout series – a 1950’s society living underground after nuclear attacks. But what if this society stayed underground, never departing for the surface, remaining untouched by the outside world? The classic 50’s tropes would all change to fit this subterranean environment. Muscle cars racing through tunnels, diners lit by magma flows, and of course rock and roll echoing through the caverns.
But how long could things stay quaint and harmless? Certainly anyone would grow to be extremely nationalistic and paranoid after decades of hiding underground. After all. the Red Scare is still real, and communist spies may have infiltrated this peaceful little city. Speaking of communism…
Space with a Sprinkle of Communism
It’s the Great Space Race of the 1960’s. America has just landed on the Moon, and the Soviet Union needs to retaliate. So they embark on the greatest challenge in human history… a city in space. Not only is it a monolithic example of their power, but a safe haven for nuclear war.
Welcome to the O’Neill Cylinder, is a gigantic spinning cylinder where people live on the interior surface. It’s been an inspiration to games like Halo and Mass Effect, but we’ve never seen a fully fleshed out space cylinder world. And what would this massive space city look like under the reign of the 60’s soviets? What happens when communism meets space?
As you look up, the city curls up and around you, slowly rotating with artificial weather circling overhead. Outside, an amazing views of planets, stars, and distant galaxies. Oh, and the lighthouse is a rocket ship… Need I say more?
What do you think of these ideas for Bioshock 4? Do you want to see any of them in the game? Have any better ideas? Let us know!