Andrew Ryan (Bio Shock) - Reception

Reception

He is ranked ninth in Electronic Gaming Monthly's list of the top ten video game politicians. IGN editor Charles Onyett described him as "anything but a prototypical villain", describing him as having a bottomless ambition for creating a city at the bottom of the sea. He added that while his words resemble "totalitarian propaganda", players cannot help but sympathize with him. During a discussion about the potential plot of the game's sequel BioShock 2, editor Hilary Goldstein said that Ryan should reappear in it, and that while it should be in a new area, it should still have connections to him. Onyett called Ryan a key element, and if not included in the sequel, there would be a dramatic loss of personality. He claimed that much of Rapture's personality comes from Ryan, and it would have much less of an impact without him. Editor Ryan Geddes agreed, adding that he felt there was more to Ryan than Rapture. Editor Nate Ahem suggested that the game's sequel, BioShock 2, could potentially put the players in the role of Ryan, to explore the story of trying to create a perfect world and having it crumble beneath their feet.

Gamasutra editor Leigh Alexander ranked him the third most affecting character of 2007, behind GLaDOS from Portal and player-created characters such as in massive multiplayer online role-playing games. Leigh calls him a "cautionary example of the danger of pure philosophy", adding that while he begins as the primary antagonist, players sympathize with him once it becomes clear that he is so "bitterly wrong". Adam Volk of Gamasutra described him as a fascinating take on the mad scientist character, adding that if more developers steer away from stereotypes of the character type, these characters could easily rival those in film, television, or novels. In the book "Halos and Avatars: Playing Video Games with God", author Craig Detweiler calls him an "obvious reference to the objectivist writer and philosopher Ayn Rand".

Onyett praised Shimerman for his portrayal of Ryan, calling him a "joy to listen to" and adding that he would "give Stephen Colbert a run for his money." 411 Mania editor Adam Larck agreed, praising the introduction Ryan gives to the player as they enter Rapture. Game Chronicles editor Mark Smith praised the voice acting of the game, praising Shimerman's commitment to the story and theme. Total PlayStation editor gave similar praise to Shimerman, commenting that he and Atlas' voice actor rounded out the cast. Worthplaying editor Brian Dumlao commented that Ryan's voice "conveys ... the struggle of a man whose ideals are being threatened by a rival businessman", and praising the delivery of the actors to why the story is so good. In their Game of the Year awards, IGN praised the voice acting, citing Ryan's speech he delivers to players as what convinced them. They awarded BioShock "Best use of sound".

He has been compared to several other characters in fiction and real life. Ryan's world of Rapture has been compared to that of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. Blog Critics editor described Ryan as arrogant, greedy, and naive, adding that these traits led Rapture to destruction. Lou Kesten of the San Francisco Chronicle also made this comparison, comparing the name "Andrew Ryan" to the author, "Ayn Rand", in its similarity. Onyett agreed, describing him as a "Randian hero". He has also been compared to the eponymous character of Citizen Kane. Official Xbox Magazine editor Dan Griliopoulos likened his appearance to that of Gomez Addams, the father from The Addams Family. IGN editors Phil Pirrello and Christopher Monfette described him as being more communist than Vladimir Lenin, the first head of state of the Soviet Union, also comparing him to Italian philosopher and writer Niccolò Machiavelli. While discussing potential actors who could portray Ryan in the upcoming BioShock film, IGN editors chose Anthony Hopkins as the perfect choice for the role.

IGN later put Andrew Ryan at number 10 in their list of the Top 100 Videogame Villains, saying, "The force of his personality and clarity of his vision is admirable throughout the game. Rapture wouldn't be nearly as interesting without Ryan and his complementing the action and exploration, shouting propaganda and taking every opportunity to broadcast his world view." The PlayStation Official Magazine placed him as the eight best videogame villains on PS3.

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