Tag Archives: zombies

Sorry, I’m Not Exactly BioShocked

I’m not a fan of the zombie sub-genre of horror/sci-fi/post-apocalyptic fiction, as I’m “mentioned before”:http://shamuswrites.com/2007/06/06/zombies/. I don’t really see what’s so interesting about mindless undead whose only goal is to suck the brains out of their living victims. I’m also not thrilled by the idea that the only way to defend oneself against such creatures is to beat them into little bloody bits with blunt objects.

That said, I’m not overly thrilled with the new _BioShock_ title for Xbox 360. I played through the demo a couple of evenings ago, and at first I was thrilled to discover a game with an intriguing steampunk-style storyline. I mean, what’s not to love about an entire sub-oceanic city built during the World War II era? Of course, it didn’t take long to discover that this pseudo-steampunk game has a far darker side than I like. Something has gone terribly wrong in a very Dr. Moreauian kind of way. The inhabitants of this aquatic city – Rapture – have apparently been the subjects of experimental genetic experiments, and now most, if not all, of them are now monsters that more closely resemble zombies than humans.

My first clue that I was going to hate this game was the creature that attacked the pod I rode into Rapture on. My second clue was when I picked up my first weapon – a pipe wrench. I had immediate flashbacks to the _Prey_ demo, and sure enough, the first battles against the enraged citizens of Rapture were every bit as bloody and distasteful. Of course, I acquired a pistol a little further on that I never quite got the hang of using (it took me three or four shots to lay out just one of the zombie-like genetically-altered creatures of Rapture).

A number of reviews I’ve read rave about _BioShock_, and one even ran a comparison of the game against Halo 3. Ultimately, though, I decided that _BioShock_ is zombies meets steampunk meets science fiction. It’s that first part that turns me off to it and ultimately ends up being the reason why I won’t be buying the game.


What’s this fascination our culture has with zombies, anyway? I mean, if you’ve read one zombie story, you’ve read them all – the undead come back to life, looking all gross and scary, with no minds of their own, their only desire to eat _your_ brains. But everyone lately seems utterly enthralled by the topic – movies, books, short stories, artwork, discussion threads about what you would do if zombies took over your town. Personally, I’ve always found zombies to be gross and, well, kind of boring. It’s one of the goriest subject matters in horror fiction, and I’ve yet to see what’s so interesting about them. I think the closest I ever got to enjoying something zombie-related was one episode of _Angel_ where they had to defeat a shaman who was using dead cops to create a zombie army. And even then, as much as I like Joss Whedon’s stuff, I was glad when the episode was over. I was, as stated previously, pretty bored with the topic. Zombies just aren’t that interesting to me.

So, perhaps someone who _does_ find them interesting and fascinating could explain to me _why_, ‘cuz I’m really not seeing it.