Last night saw the launch party of my beloved BioShock. As I was in NYC for the week, I took the opportunity to jet up to Boston in the Dusenberg to attend the exclusive launch party and even managed to get myself looking decent enough to be seen in public by strangers.A line had already formed by the time I arrived with a sprinkling of fans, press and some people that looked like they perhaps worked for 2K. I sidled up and took up residence near my dear friend Scott C. Jones, writer at large and a few of his friends from that hi-toned Maxim magazine. We chatted charmingly until they finally let us in to the lushly appointed FELT club. The place didn’t take much work to make it look like something out of Rapture and I was thrilled to finally see one of the life sized Big Daddy statues in person and even managed to snag him long enough for a personal photo. A few live models were also present dressed as Splicers and standing as still as wax figures although why they weren’t running about disemboweling people was a bit beyond me. Saucy waitresses in ripped bloody pink dresses, dispensing shots of “Adam” (aka apple martini shots)out of giant syringes straight into people’s waiting mouths. There were people dressed in all sorts of outfits ranging from the spiffy to the downright questionable (a stained Gamestop employee shirt? Now, really…).
I made my way upstairs to the second floor that was packed with multiple PCs and 360 all decked out with plasma screens and headphones so you could experience Rapture for yourself and these were full versions of the game mind you, not just the demo version. There were a lot of people checking the game out and one fellow in particular practically camped out on one machine all night. As I watched people rushing through the game, I hoped that when they got it home they would take the time to actually stop and look at all the detail the team had so lovingly lavished on the production.
One more more floor awaited me as I got in a small elevator in the back of the room and was let off in a room chock full of pool tables. I was fortunate enough to have a few shots (of booze, not pool) with the lovely Elizabeth Tobey of The Cult of Rapture website as well as Melissa Miller who you may remember from the “Hunting the Big Daddy” video plus several other folks who worked their asses off getting Bioshock to what it is today. Finally, the man of the hour Ken Levine arrived fresh from a raft of videos looking relaxed and fresh as anyone would be after giving birth to a giant Art Deco masterpiece of a game. We chatted for a bit and I congratulated him on a job well done and let him get back to his many adoring fans and co-workers.
All in all it was quite the swank affair and a perfect setting for the launch of such a great game (although the aquarium would have been genius). On they way out we got our obligatory swag bag featuring one of those fancy faceplates that are fetching such high prices on eBay, a hypodermic shaped pen a sweet t-shirt and a a really high end metal backed mousepad. No copy of the game unfortunately, but once I returned to The Big Apple, I proudly wore my “Welcome to Rapture” t-shirt to the store to pick up my Limited Edition that thankfully contained a fully in tact Big Daddy figurine. And now, as I finish writing this article, I finally get to relax and actually play the game after savouring the anticipation all day. And it’s going to be sweet.