Without ruining major plot points in "BioShock 2" (the game did release just two days ago, after all), people are obviously thinking ahead to "BioShock 3" and where it might take place. Does it return to Rapture, or are we moving to another twisted location entirely? Sitting down with Jordan Thomas, the creative director of "BioShock 2," I asked him if they feel like they've finished telling the story of Rapture. Here's what he said:
"No. The whole argument of 'BioShock 2' is that you can zoom in on a personal story within that mysterious setting. I think Rapture's a very fertile place. That said, if you follow the whole backstory, it is intricate as all get out. The amount of space within there to move around and to build idealogs gone wrong, like Ryan and Lamb, gets trickier each time you add one.
"So much of the backstory comes from the past, so on some level you're retconning it, which you have to be very careful about. Finding areas that were untapped…periods in Rapture's history that were not spoken that much about. That's what we did for this game. There were utopian years here, and we wanted to tell the story of the disenfranchised even within the capitalist good times.
"I wouldn't say that we've told the story of Rapture. I will say that now we've had two very long, healthy stories in it, so that makes it more challenging for me."
That's not to say that "BioShock 3" will be returning to Ryan's twisted metropolis beneath the seas. Like the first game, "BioShock 2" leaves the question pretty open-ended. His point about retconning is important, though. If you're going to stick with these huge personalities that played such important roles in Rapture, you have to assume that they had interactions with one another, which means you have to explain their absence in the previous games.
Personally I'd prefer to move away from Rapture. A certain level of awe was missing from "BioShock 2," and that was heavily due to the familiar setting. It's impossible to match that feeling you got when you took your first bathysphere trip in the original. Which begs the question, where should they go next? Thomas said that the decision hasn't been made yet:
"I would not presume to say, 'Here is what happens next.' The needs of a ['BioShock'] timeline extension are wrapped around whatever creative endeavor demands it."
That's a fancy way of saying that whoever takes the reins of "BioShock 3" is going to make the choice based on what sort of game they want to make.