RoboCop was on the telly there a few nights back. As well as remembering what an amazing movie it is, I was shocked at the similarities between it and PC Zone favourite, BioShock. Now you too will be shocked, when I present these similarities to you in a series of bullet points. There will be spoilers, mind.
SIMILARITY #1 - GENERAL THEMATIC PARALLELS
BioShock deals with the social ramifications of building an underwater, elitist meritocracy, an anti-welfare state which becomes poisoned by the ubiquitous concepts of consumerism and capitalism. This leads to widespread rioting and the eventual destruction of the city of Rapture. RoboCop is about a robot policeman in a futuristic dystopia, in which rampant capitalism has led to the privatisation of state law enforcement, and robots everywhere. This leads to widespread rioting and the eventual destruction of at least one television shop in Detroit.
See? BioShock and RoboCop are rife with overlapping themes, and both star a main character born of the ills of their respective societies. RIGHT, NOW LET'S GET SPECIFIC.
SIMILARITY #2 - PROGRAMMING
In BioShock, it becomes evident that you are Fontaine's tool, programmed to do his bidding. The twist is that you're controlled using a trigger word, and have effectively had your humanity and individuality stolen from you through this programming. RoboCop is a tool of OCP, and he literally had his humanity and individuality stolen from him through being made into a robot policeman. RoboCop is controlled through three directives: Serve the public trust. Protect the innocent. Uphold the law. The twist is that there's a hidden fourth directive preventing him from harming OCP board members.
See? BioShock man and RoboCop are both programmed, and both strive to regain their humanity by killing the man who programmed them.
SIMILARITY #3 - FLASHBACKS
In BioShock, a trip to an abandoned strip club throws up flashbacks of your true family (your mother was a dancer there), rather than the false family implanted in your memory. RoboCop goes to his old house after he finds out who he used to be, where he too has flashbacks of his true family. It's really sad.
See? BioShock man and RoboCop both experience family-related flashbacks triggered by their environments. They're both coming to terms with their true identity.
SIMILARITY #4 - BIG DADDIES
In BioShock, you spend a lot of time fighting against guardians known as Big Daddies. Huge, slow, metallic things, they too are the product of Rapture's messed-up society. You must use the environment against them to succeed. RoboCop fights ED-209, a huge, slow, metallic, bi-pedal tankbot who falls down some stairs. ED-209 was the product of capitalism gone MAD.
See? BioShock man and RoboCop both use the environment against their adversaries, who are both bigger than them. Big Daddies can do stairs though.
SIMILARITY #5 - A HELPING HAND
In BioShock, the closest thing to an ally you've got is the motherly Tenenbaum, who knows of your plight, and seeks to save you from the nefarious schemes of Rapture's leaders. RoboCop's lady friend and former partner is Officer Anne Lewis (brilliantly played by Nancy Allen), who brings RoboCop some baby food to eat, and helps him learn to shoot straight again. While RoboCop chooses not to eat the baby food, it is implied that he appreciates the gesture.
See? BioShock man and RoboCop are both aided by a female character more aware of their situation than they.