April 1, 2010 - When you think of BioShock, you probably think of cold, dead seascapes patrolled by dead-eyed little sisters and hulking Big Daddies. However, after seeing the upcoming BioShock, you may think of the glamor and glitz of a Broadway spectacular! Yes, Broadway BioShock is coming to a console near you, and with development teams from Saudi Arabia, Disney World, and the North Pole working on this title, it is sure to be quite the blockbuster. And surprise; it's coming exclusively to the Wii!
The game will play like a cross between the original BioShock and the Nintendo-exclusive Boogie series. You'll take on the role of a self-created ingénue who is a newcomer in the world of Rapture. What better way to introduce yourself to a world of high-minded power trippers than with a good ol' song and dance? Rapture's annual talent competition-the Rapture Revue-is underway and you'll have to impress the judges with your moves and charm the audience (which can be quite unpredictable due to their plasmid-infused, juiced-up status.)
The game's main menu will look a lot like Rock Band, and you'll be able to select a song that you would like to perform for three judges: Andrew Ryan, Frank Fontaine, and Sofia Lamb. After you finish a song, you will be judged on your vocal ability, dance moves, and your use of plasmids during the performance. In addition, you will see an additional "nice" judge (rumored to be Dr. Tennenbaum) if you resist the temptation to sacrifice little sisters during your performance. However, if you do decide to kill a little sister, you will get higher marks for your performances and will be able to advance faster. The audience may also be a little more sympathetic to your performance and will not attack you as often.
As I mentioned before, plasmids will be quite a factor in Broadway BioShock, but don't expect too many destructive plasmids. Although you will have to use the occasional "Incinerate" on a wayward audience member who is not feeling your performance, most of the plasmids will give you increased charm and boost your vocal ability. Plasmids can also be used during multiplayer modes, and you can unleash a swarm of bees on other players or freeze the stage to disrupt other performances.
Of course, your performance cannot be based just on singing and shooting up; you'll also need to dance as well. Since Rapture is set in the middle of the century, you can expect to perform swinging moves like the Seaside Shuffle and the Totalitarian Twist. These moves will be executed by moving the Wii-mote in time with an on-screen Big Sister icon. Although the Big Sister's do not make a formal appearance in the game, seeing a cute version of BioShock 2's murderous Big Sister showing you how to shuffle is certainly charming. Performing successful dance moves will help you boost your score and may also get a riled-up crowd to settle down a bit.
In addition to the singing and dancing sequences, there will also be an avatar editor that is set up as a "special body improvement" section. Here you can step into the shoes of Rapture's favorite plastic surgeon and "improve" the physique of your singer. You can also "try on" different body types and use the Wii-mote to strike poses with your new body. This mode was developed by Platinum Games, and rumor has it that many of the body parts have been appropriated from the Wii version of Bayonetta, also due out this fall.
Although the gameplay may be all over the place, the game's track list is even more schizophrenic! From modern Broadway standards like "Springtime for Hitler" from The Producers and "It Sucks to be Me" from Avenue Q to pop hits like "Slave 4 U" originally by Britney Spears, there's certainly no shortage of tracks to perform in Broadway BioShock. DLC is also planned for the future and will include themed track packs that cover everything from jazz standards to old TV themes. A leaked press release has shown both "Beyond the Sea" and "Thank You for Being a Friend" (The theme from Golden Girls) to be confirmed DLC tracks to be released immediately after the game's release.
Some skeptics may balk at BioShock Broadway. Sure, the game is a Wii-exclusive, has four new developers, and plays more like a music game than a horror-shooter, but the BioShock series has always been about innovation, and I think Broadway BioShock will only evolve the series further. So get ready to sing and dance with your Frankenstein-like creature in a totalitarian society on the brink of collapse this holiday, exclusively on the Wii!
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor