Briefly Noted: Return to Rapture
What happens when you cross Ayn Rand with Halo? Try Bioshock, a 2007 video game that allowed players to explore the art-deco underwater city of Rapture while blasting away at biomodified drug addicts. That game's antagonist was Andrew Ryan, a declamatory Randian cult figure who built the city on an individualistic ideal.
Bioshock 2, the newly released sequel, returns players to the city, but this time it's under the control of Sofia Lamb, a socialist who has made genetic experimentation the basis for a violent religion. That premise gives players plenty of opportunity to blast splicers—the genetically-altered addicts roaming Rapture's halls—and to hear disquisitions on the nature of cooperation and social order from both Lamb and Ryan. As video games go, this is heady stuff, but the sequel's similar premise means it is as much a remake-in-negative as a sequel. —Peter Suderman