BioShock's setting is unique. A decaying, art deco underwater dystopia is not something we run through and/or blow up every day. And the game's all the better for it! Wasn't always so original, though. It used to be set on a tropical island. With Nazis. Senior Designer Joe McDonagh:
Every studio has its own dynamic, but we believe that original games require a lot of iteration and sudden changes of direction. It can be terrifying and ageing at times. But it's impossible to sit down at the start of a project and say this game will be XYZ and it will be fun. Bioshock for instance started out on a tropical island with Nazis.
The island, that's OK, Far Cry's lazy sunsets were the star of that little show, but Nazis? Unless they're flying zeppelins, thanks, we've had our fill. Smart move, Irrational. Bioshock began "on a tropical island with Nazis" [CVG]