The Bioshock series is officially leaving Rapture in Bioshock 4, but the deep-sea dystopia now lives on in the form of a Fallout 76 shelter. Using only the in-game tools, Kenneth Vigue—who Fallout fans may recognise as the creator of the CHAD: A Fallout 76 Story podcast—has transformed the shelters into a stunning recreation of Rapture.
There's a clever use of Fallout 76's items, like how a bungalow serves as the bathysphere and the jellyfish are constructed from lamps. Glass walls, along with some landscaping, provide an accurate Rapture-esque terrain. The plasmids vending machine is adorned with Vault Girls rather than Little Sisters, and there's a not-so-Big Daddy (AKA a guy in a diving suit.)
Vigue told PC Gamer that he completed the project, "in the span of two weeks" and dove back into the original Rapture. "To get the mood and structures right, I ended up replaying those first levels of Bioshock to make sure my memory served me correctly in terms of how I wanted to lay it out and recreate the experience."
One of the great things about this recreation is the blend of the two aesthetics: it's so close to Rapture, then you catch a glimpse of something Fallout-ey. The two blend wonderfully well (they are, after all, both indebted to much of the same Americana).
Vigue thinks there's an aspect of Fallout 76 fans getting more comfortable with what is possible with the game's tools. "I think a lot of the fans were overwhelmed with the shelters when they launched and were unsure of what to do with them," he writes. "The atrium particularly is just such a massive space, you can be a little bit of a loss as to how to fill it."
Vigue also explained some of the clever-looking lighting tricks that had been employed in order to create that enveloping Rapture gloom in some areas. "The shelters don't allow you to control lighting natively, but you can do some clever building tricks like using floors as the ceiling and just keep dropping and scrapping to slowly fade out or hide the lighting," writes Vigue. "Particularly when you first load in, I wanted that hallway to be as dark as the opening in Bioshock when the splicer murders Johnny right in front of you."
The build links together three shelters in total, creating a playable through-line paying homage to classic Bioshock moments. "I think using all of the shelters together to try and tell a story and create a linear experience where you feel like you are making your way through a city worked well, with each new section being bigger and grander than the last," finishes Vigue. "Just as it did in Bioshock."
Vigue's shared a walkthrough of his impressive build, with some cool video editing to ham up the Bioshock experience even further, like an amusing voiceover in the form of Bioshock's audio diaries and the iconic loading screens. There are also some staged splicer battles, which made me realise I'm still not quite over how terrifying they were in the original game.
It's a fantastic recreation of one of gaming's greatest locations and certainly gave me the itch to dive back into the real thing. You can take a peek at the short teaser trailer or Vigue's longer walkthrough here. Also, make sure to check out a gallery of Vigue's shots here, and nod sagely in agreement with the first comment: "Who is that Bhramin lover who downvote this masterpiece."