Story and Presentation
It’s 1912 and you are tasked to bring back a girl in an air-city you know nothing about, you are marked as a ‘False Prophet’ as soon as you enter the city and mysterious beings roam free to kill you. Ken Levine has always had a vision for story telling and game design, as seen in System Shock series and the critically acclaimed Bioshock. Like the first installment of Bioshock there are multiple layers to the story of Columbia, it’s formation and the factions living in it, and as you progress in the game you are drawn deeper into the depths of the story, every character is part of a giant web and each of them have their secret reasons for doing what they did.
You find out more about Booker’s role in this alien world, about Elizabeth’s captivity and her powers and control over Tears, mysterious rips in space which are explained few hours into the game.
Father Comstock is hailed as the ‘prophet’ and has pro-American ideals and discriminates against Colored people and immigrants, he is opposed by Daisy Fitzroy who leads Vox Populi , the revolutionary faction in Columbia. Booker and Elizabeth are caught in a civil war with the two factions and their decisions affects the reality of the city, and the characters.
A strange pair often helps you and guide you in the game, and they remain a mystery for the majority of the game. Every major character has their stories recorded in ‘Voxophones’ which are similar to ‘Audio Diary’ from Bioshock. These voxophones provide personal narratives of major characters about their lives, and their role in the creation of Columbia and are sprewed throughout the city often hidden and hence encouraging exploration. The last 20 minutes of the game reveal the truth behind everything, explains questions that Booker and Elizabeth were puzzled on and you spend quite a lot of time thinking about it after the game is over.