Bioshock Infinite Announced for 2012

Bioshock infinite

Today Irrational Games—formerly 2k Boston (itself formally Irrational Games)—announced Bioshock Infinite. This spiritual successor to 2007’s Bioshock is not the direct sequel that Bioshock 2 was. Taking place in 1912 on a floating city in the sky, Bioshock Infinite deals with the rescue mission of a mysterious woman from a flying city still very much alive in its own fashion,  and a completely new hero (or so it all would appear.)

Watch the trailer below, and then read on for my take.

About two years ago, I had the opportunity to speak to some of the people who worked on the original Bioshock, shortly after it had been announced that a sequel was being worked on by a different team than the original. I personally was rather heartbroken by that announcement. The original Bioshock was more than just a solid shooter. It was more than even a truly engrossing cinematic experience (though that was, indeed, the bulk of its unique charm.)

Bioshock succeeded at actually challenging the way we play video games, the way we play and experience their stories. Beyond that it was a unique and intelligent view of  economic theory and the way society evolves, both in the light of the 1960s, and in our modern age. This provided the backbone for a world that was fleshed out in immaculate detail and turned an already great game into a truly special one. Bioshock 2 was a great game, but I felt it lacked the brilliance that Bioshock radiated.

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So when I had the chance to speak with some of the people from 2k Boston, I asked how they felt about not having the chance to work on the sequel. While they were very polite and supportive of the Montreal team, I did get the sense that they felt like they had lost ownership of a property they wanted to continue to work with. Too many ideas were left unfinished. At the time, they said that they were currently working on some new ideas that they couldn’t discuss further.

2 years later, and we have Bioshock Infinite. The Art Deco architecture and claustrophobia of the first game has been replaced with Steam Punk and Vertigo. The floating city of Columbia looks like someone took the design philosophy of Da Vinci, mixed in the Industrial revolution and placed the most America-circa-1890 looking buildings they could find on top of it. What’s not to be excited about?

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Infinite promises to express further the themes found in Bioshock, as well as add a few of its own. Patriotism is a key part of the culture in Columbia, and propaganda litters the walls. Unlike the inhuman Splicers of Rapture, the enemies we find on Columbia still maintain a kind of culture. The way in which the main character interacts with that culture is not always violent, but it’s always intense.

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Another new gameplay feature is that of an AI ally in the form of Elizabeth, the woman the main character was sent to rescue. While the full scope of this participation has yet to be revealed, it appears that this woman possesses both her own fighting abilities and the capacity to empower your own. In their escape from Columbia, these two heroes will be pushed to extremes. Would you be willing to sacrifice the person you meant to rescue if it meant you could escape? Can you afford not to? Bioshock Infinite seems to ask these questions, and is all the better for it.

Bioshock Infinite is still aways away, but has clearly been under development for a while. Still, it’s never too early to be prepared for what promises to be one of the most memorable games in recent history.

Written by Tabris

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Bioshock Infinite Announced for 2012, 10.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

One Comment

  1. Bryan says:

    This definitely looks like it will be another surprising experience like the first one was. Can’t wait to see more.

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