Bioshock 4: Will There Ever Be One?

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Poster for Collection of All Three Bioshock Games

Is Bioshock 4 Even a Possibility?

Immersive worlds, engaging story, chilling music—such are the elements of the Bioshock series of games. Since Bioshock Infinite’s release back in 2013, fans have been asking: will there ever be a Bioshock 4? Some fans believe that Bioshock Infinite ended the franchise on such a high note that 2K would only ruin it by adding another game to the series, while other fans just want to be immersed in the world of Rapture once more. Many fans also believe that since Ken Levine, who was creative director of both Bioshock and Bioshock Infinite, would not be part of the development of Bioshock 4, the game is better off not being made.

Still, there are some loyal fans who are hoping that Bioshock 4 will be developed sometime in the near future. Since Bioshock Infinite left the story wide open for interpretation, there is still room for further development in Bioshock’s universe. Let’s take a stroll through each Bioshock game and speculate whether or not a fourth installment of the series is possible and where it could go if it was ever put into development.

Bioshock 1 (2007)

In Bioshock, players play as the protagonist Jack throughout the game. The game begins in an airplane with Jack looking at a picture of his family and talking about how they had great plans for him. Then, screams are heard and the plane crashes, the title screen emerges, and Jack finds himself underwater as debris from the crash falls around him. He emerges from the water surrounded by fire and must swim to a mysterious lighthouse. Once inside the lighthouse, Jack travels downstairs and into a bathysphere, a spherical boat used for underwater exploration during the 1930s. Once inside, Jack pulls a lever and is submerged. While the bathysphere is lowering, an ad for the plasmid “incinerate” plays. (Plasmids are different types of superpowers that Jack can pick up at certain points in the game. Incinerate is a plasmid that allows Jack to set enemies and obstacles ablaze). This is when we are first introduced to Andrew Ryan and his underwater city known as Rapture. After a small tour through Rapture in the bathysphere, Jack docks and witnesses a horrifying scene of a demented-looking human murdering a normal-looking human. The demented human, also known as a Splicer, violently shakes the bathysphere but leaves when it realizes it cannot open it.

View of Rapture from the Bathysphere

Jack is prompted by a voice to take a radio, and a little radio icon with the name “Atlas” appears in the left-hand corner of the screen. Atlas doesn’t explain much about himself but says that it is his goal to keep Jack alive. He gives instructions to get to higher ground. Atlas keeps helping Jack navigate Rapture and kill splicers. At one point, Atlas reveals that he wants Jack to help him in stopping Andrew Ryan, claiming that Ryan has taken his family. As Jack navigates to the bathysphere that would take him to Ryan, he comes across a Little Sister, a girl who has been conditioned and genetically modified to collect ADAM (a substance harvested from a sea slug that enhances people’s abilities, allowing them to use plasmids and gene tonics)  from the corpses around Rapture, and a deceased Big Daddy, a genetically enhanced body-guard for the Little Sisters. Atlas advises Jack to kill the Little Sister and harvest all of her ADAM. A new character, Dr. Tenenbaum, overhears this and speaks into Jack’s radio, pleading with him to spare the Little Sisters. She gives Jack a plasmid that extracts the sea slug from the Little Sister, which turns her normal.

After this, Jack continues to travel toward the bathysphere that will take him to Ryan, but Ryan destroys it before Jack has a chance to board. This makes Atlas angry, and he sends Jack through Ryan’s mansion filled with splicers, Little Sisters, Big Daddies, and the deranged musician Sander Cohen.

Andrew Ryan Telling Jack to Kill Him

After successfully navigating the mansion, Jack enters Andrew Ryan’s office. When Jack enters, Ryan is playing golf, and reveals everything to Jack. He reveals that Jack is actually named Jack Ryan and is his illegitimate son (which Jack has been hearing about on the various radios scattered throughout the mansion) who was kidnapped by Fontaine to the surface world and genetically modified so that he would age faster than normal. Fontaine had been planning all along to use Jack to kill Andrew Ryan. Ryan also reveals that the phrase “would you kindly,” is a trigger-phrase for Jack and one that he is compelled to follow. He then hands Jack the golf club and tells Jack to “kill.” Since Ryan is the only one standing in front of Jack, Jack naturally takes the golf club and hits Ryan with it, intending to kill him. While he is dying, Ryan keeps saying “A man chooses, a slave obeys,” so the reason he tells Jack to kill him seems to be because he knew death was inevitable, but he wanted to make a point to Jack and Fontaine that he chose to die like a man, while Jack was ordered to kill him like a slave. Jack obeys Ryan’s command, and after four swings, Andrew Ryan is dead.

After this, Jack sees a flashback of the plane crash and realizes that he was responsible for it because he read a letter with the phrase “would you kindly” on it.  Atlas then reveals himself to be Fontaine and takes control of Ryan’s security systems, sending drones into the office to kill Jack.

The conflict between Fontaine and Ryan stems from a long rivalry between them. Back when Rapture was still thriving, Fontaine created a business that manufactured ADAM, and he also established an orphanage and house for the poor because he wanted to have a better public image than Ryan. Andrew Ryan was too smart, however, and sensing a threat, decided to come against Fontaine for his illegal activity. This is where Fontaine’s plan to take over Rapture came into play and the reason he kidnapped Jack.

Jack is saved from Fontaine’s drones because Dr. Tenenbaum and the previously rescued Little Sisters come to his aid. Tenenbaum removes the conditioned responses that Fontaine put into Jack’s system. The Little Sisters help Jack make his way to Fontaine where a final showdown is in store. When Fontaine is confronted by Jack, he injects himself with a great amount of ADAM and becomes a super-monster. After Fontaine falls, Jack and the Little Sisters drain all his ADAM in order to ensure his death, thus bringing about an end to the game.

Frank Fontaine After Multiple ADAM Injections

The actual endings of the game vary depending on how Jack treated the Little Sisters. The first, or good, ending happens when Jack rescues all of the Little Sisters or only decides to harvest one of them. Jack decides to take five Sisters to the surface with him, and Tenenbaum talks about how they lived happily ever after. The second, or bad, ending happens when Jack harvests more than one Little Sister. Tenenbaum tells about how Jack eventually turned on the Little Sisters and harvested all their ADAM. The more Little Sisters that Jack harvested, the angrier Tenenbaum’s voice becomes as she describes Jack’s monstrous actions against the world.

To sum it all up: Bioshock ends with both Andrew Ryan and Frank Fontaine dead and Rapture mostly abandoned of sane residents and overrun by splicers. Now, let’s examine how Bioshock 2 continued the story.  

Bioshock 2 (2010)

Bioshock 2 Cover

Bioshock 2 begins eight years after the events of the first game. It opens with a Little Sister coming out of a vent. Her name is Eleanor, and she is lowered to the ground by her Big Daddy, Subject Delta. Subject Delta was actually created before the events of the first game, as he is the first Big Daddy to be bonded with a Little Sister. Eleanor and Subject Delta go on their way collecting ADAM until a group of splicers threatens Eleanor. Subject Delta kills two of the splicers, but the third one hypnotizes him and a tall woman, Sofia Lamb let’s just use Sofia Lamb, emerges and claims Eleanor as her daughter. Much like how Frank Fontaine used Jack in the first Bioshock game, Sofia Lamb wants to control Eleanor and use her to take control of Rapture. Since Sofia Lamb formed the connection between her daughter and Delta, she is able to order Delta to put a pistol to his head and kill himself, to which he is obliged to comply.

Sofia Lamb Confronting Subject Delta

Ten years later, Subject Delta wakes up and is greeted by a Little Sister who tells him that Eleanor needs his help.   He meets Dr. Tenenbaum who tells him that he will need to make his way to Fontaine Futuristics in order to save Eleanor. She also tells him that if he doesn’t hurry, the further away Eleanor gets from him, the more danger he is of his heart stopping. While on his journey, Delta receives a few aids, such as Dr. Tenenbaum’s friend, Augustus Sinclair, and Eleanor herself, who uses other Little Sisters to leave messages and packages throughout Rapture.

Delta meets all sorts of trials as he travels to Fontaine Futuristics. First, he is stopped by a wall of ice and a Big Sister, who he has to defeat. After this, Sofia Lamb locks the railway so that Delta cannot easily get to her, so he is forced to visit her friend, Grace Holloway, for the key. Once he fights through all the splicers, meets her, and obtains the key, Delta is given a choice to either kill or spare her.

After getting the key, Delta fights through more splicers and is met with yet another obstacle, a spider splicer by the name of Father Simon Wales. He is forced to kill both Simon and his brother, Daniel, so that he can continue on his journey. As soon as he kills the Wales brothers, Sofia Lamb floods Siren Alley, so Delta is forced back into Dionysus Park. Another enemy, Stanley Poole, has locked down the train cars, and Delta must clear Dionysus Park of all Little Sisters if he is to receive access to the cars.

Stanley Poole

As Delta is clearing out the Little Sisters, Poole reveals Delta’s origins. He was a man by the name of Johnny Topside who found Rapture by himself. Andrew Ryan became convinced that Topside was a spy for the CIA or the KGB, so he made Topside into a Big Daddy. As Delta is leaving Dionysus Park, Sofia Lamb reveals that it was Stanley Poole who turned Johnny Topside into Andrew Ryan, making him indirectly responsible for Topside becoming a Big Daddy. Before leaving, Delta is given a choice to either kill or spare Poole.

At this point, Delta has finally reached Fontaine Futuristics, but he is stopped by yet another man, Gilbert Alexander. After getting a gene sample from Alexander in order to access Persephone, the place Eleanor is held, Delta is given a choice to either kill or spare Alexander.

Delta fights his way through Persephone and finally finds Eleanor. He is stopped, however, by Sofia Lamb, who summons two Big Sisters. Delta defeats the Big Sisters, but Sofia Lamb smothers Eleanor just long enough for her heart to stop, severing her connection to Delta. As a result, he is knocked unconscious. Once he awakens, his heart is weakened, and his connection to Eleanor is ultimately severed, but Eleanor sends him a special plasmid that allows him to take control of a Little Sister.

Eleanor gives Delta instructions on how he can help her, and once he completes the steps of her instructions, Eleanor frees him, and he fights alongside her once again. They resolve to escape Rapture via Sinclair’s escape pod. Lamb learns of their plans and determines to set off bombs on their pod. Before escaping, Delta kills Sinclair, who was transformed into a Big Daddy by Sofia Lamb. When Delta and Eleanor finally make it to the escape pod, Sofia Lamb has a trap set that mortally wounds Delta. At the end of the game, Eleanor is trapped in the escape pod with her mother, Sofia Lamb, and makes a choice to either kill her or spare her.

Eleanor Absorbing Delta's Conscience in "Good" Ending

Like the first Bioshock game, the second one also has different endings, depending on Delta’s actions. If Delta saves all the Little Sisters, Eleanor absorbs Delta’s ADAM and conscience, allowing Delta to guide her actions. If Delta harvests all the Little Sisters, Eleanor will ruthlessly absorb his ADAM and become a monster who wants to take over the world. If Delta both saves and harvests the Little Sisters, the player is given a choice of endings. Delta can either let Eleanor become evil, or he can sacrifice his life in order to stop her and let her live a normal life.

To sum it all up: Bioshock 2 ends with Subject Delta dying, and Eleanor Lamb (perhaps along with Sofia Lamb) leaving Rapture. The ending is much like Bioshock’s in that Rapture is still overrun by splicers and mostly abandoned of sane people. Now, onto Bioshock Infinite.

Bioshock Infinite (2013)

Bioshock Infinite Cover

Although the game was made in 2013, Bioshock Infinite is considered a prequel to the previous two Bioshock games because it takes place nearly forty years before the events of the first game. Many consider Bioshock Infinite to be a stand-alone game that anyone can play whether they are familiar with the other Bioshock games or not. The only thing that truly ties the game in with the previous two games is the DLC, Burial at Sea. If you only play through the main game, though, aside from a few Easter eggs, there is nothing that really connects Bioshock’s universe with Infinite’s universe. They take place in different times, places, and have different stories and characters.

The game opens in 1912 Maine in a small rowboat piloted by a man and woman. It is a stormy night as the boat makes its way to a mysterious lighthouse. The lighthouse has a different appearance to the one in Bioshock, but there definitely seems to be some connection between the two. The man and woman drop the protagonist, Booker DeWitt, off at the lighthouse and row away. Booker is confused as he travels to the top of the lighthouse and sees a strange note telling him to “bring us the girl and wipe away the debt.” He travels further into the lighthouse and sees a body wrapped to a chair with blood pooling on the ground. At the very top of the lighthouse, Booker sees a strange red chair. He sits on the chair and is strapped in, and the lighthouse, which doubles as a ship, launches into the sky. 

View of Columbia from Ship

Columbia, a utopic city in the sky, is where Booker finds himself. As opposed to the underwater run-down city of Rapture that is crawling with insane residents, Columbia is a beautiful city floating high above the sky, and everyone here seems to have their wits about them. Still in the ship, Booker flies around the city, and a big statue of an angel as well as a poster of Zachary Comstock, the prophet, can be seen.

Once the ship lands, Booker finds himself in some sort of temple covered in shallow water with the song “May the Circle Be Unbroken” playing in the background. In his quest to exit the temple, he comes across Preacher Witting and decides to be baptized just so he can enter Columbia. While he is being baptized, Booker has a cryptic dream about someone knocking at his door and Columbia caught up in flames. When he awakens, he is finally in the city of Columbia.

Elizabeth Talking to her Keeper, Songbird

When Booker is seen with a scar that matches that of the False Prophet—a person who will lead the Lamb astray—he is chased by the city police. Booker then enters the tower of Elizabeth, who he discovers is the Lamb.  He rescues her but is attacked by her keeper, Songbird. Booker and Elizabeth successfully escape Songbird and go to find an airship, which Elizabeth thinks will transport her to Paris. Booker has other plans, though, and Elizabeth learns that he plans to take her to New York to settle his debt, so she knocks him out.

When Booker awakens, the airship is no longer controlled by Elizabeth but by Daisy Fitzroy, leader of the Vox Populi, the rival faction to the Founders, a white supremacist faction and political group. She promises to return the airship but only after Booker has helped arm the Vox Populi. So, Booker and Elizabeth go on their quest to secure arms from a local gunsmith, Chen Lin. However, securing firearms is not so simple, and Elizabeth must open several Tears in time. This leads her and Booker into an alternate world where Booker is actually a martyr for the Vox Populi. They meet Daisy Fitzroy in this alternate world, and she is convinced that Booker is an imposter or a ghost, so she tries to kill him. In the end, Elizabeth is forced to kill Fitzroy to prevent her from murdering a little boy from the Founder faction.

Robert and Rosalind Lutece Talking to Booker

Through most of Bioshock Infinite, Songbird is chasing Elizabeth so that he can bring her back to captivity. So, when Booker and Elizabeth try to take an airship to escape Columbia and the Vox Populi, Songbird attacks them, and the ship plummets back to Columbia. Forced to continue traveling through Columbia, the duo learns about how Zachary Comstock founded the city. Elizabeth discovers that she is actually Comstock’s adopted daughter to whom he plans on handing over control to of Columbia once he dies. The man and woman at the beginning of the game, who are also seen at various points in the game making strange bets, are actually the same person from alternate universes, named Rosalind and Robert Lutece. They are usually referred to as twins throughout the game.  Comstock hired them to inhibit Elizabeth’s powers with a device known as the Siphon, so that he could more easily control her. After the twins had completed the task, Comstock planned to have them and his own wife killed in order to hide that Elizabeth was stolen from another universe and has special powers that Comstock wants to exploit. However, Comstock failed in his plan to kill the Luteces.

When Songbird ends up capturing Elizabeth, Booker finds himself suddenly transported to a strange, snowy place. He sees an elderly Elizabeth and she tells him that she brought him to the year 1984 using her power to create Tears in time. In this alternate universe, Booker sees the consequences of not being able to stop Songbird from capturing Elizabeth. In this particular universe, Songbird holds Elizabeth captive for the entirety of her life, leading Elizabeth to suffer torture and brainwashing at the hands of Comstock, thus becoming his tool to bring destruction to the world. Elderly Elizabeth gives Booker the secret to controlling Songbird, and she opens a Tear and sends him back to 1912, enabling him to rescue Elizabeth once and for all from Songbird and Comstock.

Booker Confronting Comstock

Once back in his own world, Booker rescues Elizabeth, and they begin pursuing Comstock. Booker confronts Comstock in his airship and ends up smashing Comstock’s skull and drowning him when Comstock accuses Booker of being the reason part of Elizabeth’s finger is gone. After Comstock is dead, Booker denies knowing anything about Elizabeth’s finger, but she simply reaffirms what Comstock said, telling Booker that he’s only forgotten.

Booker is still in the universe where the Vox Populi think he is an imposter, so after Comstock dies, Booker goes onto the deck of the ship and discovers that the Vox Populi are launching an attack. Now that he has the secret to controlling Songbird, Booker uses it to assist him in fighting the Vox Populi. After they are defeated, Booker has Songbird destroy the Siphon, enabling Elizabeth to use her full powers. When Songbird ends up turning on Booker, Elizabeth opens another Tear and she and Booker are transported to Rapture. Booker and Elizabeth are transported inside the city, while Songbird, who also went through the Tear was transported to the outside, leading to him being crushed by water pressure at the bottom of the ocean.

Elizabeth Showing Booker Infinite Lighthouses

With Songbird finally out of the way, Elizabeth takes Booker to the Lighthouse, telling him that there are infinite lighthouses and alternate universes with different Bookers and Elizabeths. Each universe is dependent on the choices that its respective Booker and Elizabeth have made. She then reveals that in 1893, Robert Lutece came to take away Booker’s daughter, Anna, in order to wipe away his debt. However, when Comstock actually came to retrieve Anna, Booker changed his mind and tried to pull her back while Comstock was entering a Tear, resulting in Anna severing her finger. In his own universe, Comstock raises Anna as Elizabeth. Since the severed finger remained in Booker’s universe and the rest of Elizabeth was taken to Comstock’s universe, Elizabeth was allowed to exist in two universes at the same time, which is why she can open Tears.

After stealing Anna from Booker, Robert Lutece became angry at Comstock for trying to have him murdered and for also kidnapping Elizabeth and trying to raise her to be his instrument for world domination, so he found Rosalind, and they both decided to bring Booker to Comstock’s reality to rescue Elizabeth. Because the Luteces went to multiple universes and contacted multiple Bookers to stop Comstock, Elizabeth says that Comstock will always exist in other universes. So, to stop the cycle, Elizabeth brings Booker back to his own baptismal, revealing that this was the exact moment when he became Comstock. Booker, who was filled with guilt at his role in Wounded Knee, decided to be baptized of his sins, and he rose from the waters as the racist Zachary Comstock. In other universes, including Booker’s original universe, Booker did not accept the baptism, so he did not become Comstock.

The reason Anna was taken from Booker was because Comstock realized that he was connected to Booker and became sterile because he used the Lutece’s Tear machine to travel to alternate universes too much. Since he was sterile but wanted a biological heir, he decided to take Anna from Booker in his universe. Still at the baptism, Booker is joined by multiple Elizabeths from different universes. After allowing the Elizabeths to drown him at the baptism, preventing Comstock’s existence, each one of them disappears. The screen fades to black.

Multiple Elizabeth's at Booker's Baptism

Unlike the previous two Bioshock games, Bioshock Infinite contains a post-credits scene. It shows Booker waking up in his apartment on October 8, 1893 and calling out for Anna. As he opens the door to her room, the screen turns black, allowing viewers to make their own interpretations as to how everything ended for Booker.

To sum it all up: Bioshock Infinite ends with Booker realizing that he is Zachary Comstock and Elizabeth is his daughter. Because of this, he lets Elizabeth drown him at the moment he transforms into Comstock, thus putting an end to Comstock’s existence and Columbia. However, the ending of the game also reveals that there is some sort of connection between Elizabeth, Booker, and Rapture. The DLC, Burial at Sea, also confirms this.

Will There Ever Be a Bioshock 4?

After walking through the story of each Bioshock game, the question arises once again: will there ever be a Bioshock 4? If there were, what would it be about? Would it be a prequel, a sequel, or a once-again stand-alone game with connections to Rapture?

If there were a Bioshock 4, I think it would be a prequel. I think it would be nice if we were somehow playing a spy who was trying to steal Andrew Ryan’s plans about Rapture or trying to stop him from creating it. Bioshock 2 had a multiplayer mode about the civil war between Ryan and Fontaine, so it would be cool to be able to see what Rapture was like at the very beginning, before Fontaine’s rebellion and before most of the citizens became insane. But I also think that a new game with new characters and a new universe would also be great.

In all honesty, I don’t know if there should be another Bioshock game. As much as I would love to continue playing in the world of Rapture, I wouldn’t want the fourth game to be forced. I also am of the belief that without Ken Levine working on it, the game would not be as good. I think that three games is perfect and that Bioshock Infinite closed the trilogy fantastically.

According to Anthony Taormina from gamerant.com, however, it is quite possible that a Bioshock 4 will be released in the future. In his article, Taormina says that “the Bioshock franchise will continue under 2K” and that “2K Games believes that there are still ‘many untold stories’ left in the Bioshock universe, and they ‘look forward to exploring the next Bioshock experience.’”

So, there it is. If 2K is quoted as saying that there are untold stories in the Bioshock universe, then it seems very likely that there will be another Bioshock game in the future. Whether the game will be as good as its predecessors is still up for debate.

Related Articles:

All Bioshock Games, Ranked Best to Worst
Bioshock
Bioshock 2
Bioshock Infinite

Gamer Since: 2008
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Dark Souls II
Top 3 Favorite Games:BioShock, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dragonborn, Bioshock Infinite
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