BIOSHOCK INFINITE Announced! [Trailer, Screenshots, Details Inside]

focusfocus Posts: 3,935
edited December 2011 in The Arcade
BioShock Infinite Goes Beyond The Sea & Into The Skies
August 12, 2010
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This is the BioShock of a floating city, of America in 1912, of a helpful damsel in semi-distress and of something called the Skyline.

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"The time for silence is over," said Ken Levine, creative director of Irrational Games to a room full of reporters at New York's Plaza Hotel on Wednesday night, seconds before the BioShock Infinite trailer began. We were a controlled audience, our laptops and cell phones confiscated before we entered a small ballroom and sat in front of the stage and screen from which Irrational would show its new project.

Levine's team is one of the most acclaimed and secretive in game development. Since the '07 BioShock, which they made in partnership with 2K Australia, Irrational gave no hint about what they were working on, no clue that they were making another BioShock. They were not involved in this year's BioShock 2, which was created by several sister studios and was set in that undersea city of Rapture. But Irrational, which had, for a time, been known as 2K Boston, is indeed back on the franchise and allowed Wednesday night for their new trailer tease briefly that they were back on the virtual ocean floor.

Their trailer begins with a camera swoop across what appears to be ocean bottom, past an iconic BioShock Big Daddy. But that's just a trick, a look inside the fishtank of a man on the place where BioShock Infinite is really set, the early-20th century airborne crumbling metropolis of Columbia.

A 19th Century 'Death Star'
What I saw — and what you can see in the trailer here — was the first glimpse of a game shrouded in years of secret development and now scheduled for a 2012 release on the PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

The trailer signaled that Infinite is a first-person return to the style of idea-driven historical science fiction of BioShock, but set in the skies. Later, Levine would tell me that the game is thematically tied to the work he did in first BioShock in that it is another game about a strange and yet strangely familiar place as well as about expressive, variable gameplay. He doesn't call it prequel though and drew no narrative connections between the BioShocks we have played and the one his team is making. "I don't want to think about that," Levine said to me. "I don't think it's particularly constructive to have that conversation."

Story

After the trailer unfurled Infinte's world, Levine began explaining the game to his audience. Infinite is set in the early 1910s. Its main setting is Columbia, a city that floats on balloons and drifted across an ascendant United States, showing the accomplishments of a post-Civil War American ready to express its idea of excellence.

"Something terrible happens," Levine said, establishing the stakes and the mystery. Columbia proves to be something worse than a beacon of prosperity. "This is not a floating world's fair. Columbia is a Death Star." In the lead-up to the events of Infinite, Columbia is embroiled in an international incident of unspecified horror and then disappears into the clouds. Our character, a "disgruntled former Pinkerton agent" named Booker DeWitt, is contacted by a mysterious man who knows where Columbia is. In that city, DeWitt is told, is Elizabeth, a woman who has been raised there and who the man wants rescued. DeWitt accepts the mission, which will be ours as a player: to rescue Elizabeth and, with her super-powered help, get out of the patriotic-turned-violent Columbia.

Gameplay

We were shown a live gameplay demo to get a sense of how Infinite will play. The demo was paced for action and was as heart-racing as a good sequence in the campaign of a Call of Duty. If you've played the BioShocks, as I have, you'd spot the potential for dynamic gameplay. Guns go in your character's right hand. Powers are on the left. The gameplay sequence began with DeWitt walking up one cobblestoned street of Columbia. A floating bell tower teetered and then collapsed in front of him. Up the street, he passed a woman sweeping in her doorway while the building behind her blazed. A dead horse was in the road, being pecked by birds. Columbia's a weird place.

Columbia looks American, particularly a style we might call, kindly, American Obnoxious though Levine describes it more technically as an age of American Exceptionalism. It was built, in the fiction, at a time of swelling U.S. pride, when the inventions of electricity and radios and the progress of the American people could, theoretically, spawn a floating city that waves the flag and, more distressingly, exhibits imperial racism.

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DeWitt walked past flags with 48 stars that flapped near posters pumping the slogans "For Faith, For Race, For Fatherland." Columbia's patriotism is off-the-rails jingoism, its citizens taking gun rights to the extreme. A man preaching politics from a gazebo stood near signs that warn "they'll take your gun" and barrels full of rifles from which, you can indeed take your gun.

When the Irrational developer controlling the Infinite demo had Dewitt take his rifle, the pontificating man in the gazebo scowled. His eyes and mouth started glowing and a fight began. For a moment, the fight pitted DeWitt's scoped rifle vs. this combative man and a swarm of crows — well, a murder of crows, to use both the proper term. Murder of Crows is also the brand name of the bottle from which DeWitt later drank in order to obtain the ability to send out his own angry birds.

We were shown other powers. Deeper into the demo, during a combat sequence in a bar, DeWitt appeared to use telekinesis to pull a shotgun out of a man's hands. The gun floated in front of the man, pointing at him, shot him, then zipped into the grip of our hero. That same power was used to stop a football-sized shell in mid-air, rotate it and fire it back at the turret from which it came.

Aside from the splendor of a floating city populated with angry patriots, the newness to the BioShock series presented by Infinite are the roles played by Elizabeth and the Skyline, the railways connecting Columbia's floating districts.

Let's take the lady first. Elizabeth is a skinny-waisted, dark-haired, cleavage-showing damsel who is sometimes in distress and sometimes the key combat support. She is not controllable by another player. She is a computer-controlled ally and she is not, Levine told me, ever supposed to feel like a nuisance, a video game "escort mission"-style hindrance. She is instead, he said, a character, one who will enable the type of in-the-midst-of-gameplay dialogue-driven storytelling seen among the characters of Valve's Left 4 Dead. She is also a power amplifier, if the player chooses to accept her assistance. And she has her limits.

In one moment of the demo, Elizabeth was placing a storm cloud over the heads of a crowd of gun-toting men; DeWitt blasting forth with electricity to ignite a storm of lightning on the crowd. In the next she was struggling to her feet, falling behind, nose bloody. "When she helps you, it takes a toll," Levine said in a canned print interview supplied by Irrational. "You're not a super hero and she's not a super hero, and you're both up against a very difficult challenge that pushes you to the extremes."

Later, there was a robot or a man in a robotic suit on a bridge menacing DeWitt and Elizabeth. The lady was able to zap an orb high on its suspension tower. DeWitt was able to bring it down on the robot-nemesis' head. The middle of the bridge collapsed. As Levine later told me of Elizabeth's gameplay significance, "She is there to enable things that are of a scale that you just couldn't do in BioShock 1." With the bridge out, a robotic bird swept in, ending the gameplay demo.

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The other distinct gameplay element in the demo had been what Irrational calls the Skyline. These rails are ostensibly used for sky-trains that travel from room to room and from one city block to the next. But in the demo, they were used by people. That pontificating political man from the gazebo had grasped for one during his fight with DeWitt and zipped along it well out of reach and then back in for a melee swipe. DeWitt could grab onto one as well and zip down its line, to speedily get from one place to the next, and to, presumably, escape, dash toward or even flank his enemies.

In our interview, I asked Levine if it would be right to think of the Skyline as Infinite's Warthog, the Halo vehicle that changes the famous Xbox series on the fly from an on-foot heroic slog of a first-person shooter to a rushing driving-based war game. He liked the analogy and said that the rails in Infinite are not a mere Ratchet & Clank style mode of conveyance.

I saw a gameplay parallel between the Skyline and the rails that connect floating sectors of one of the main worlds in Retro Studios' Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. But in Infinite, the Skyline network appears to be so complex that it seems likely to function less as a limited-use means of conveyance and infrequent combat, as it was in Metroid, and more like an additional tactical option added to the already-variable arsenal of BioShock.

Continued Below...
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Replies

  • focusfocus Posts: 3,935
    edited August 2010

    A Real Character

    During his address to the press, Levine said that players of Infinite would feel as if they were playing a specific character. The hero of the first BioShock had an important relationship to other characters in that game, but he was, in terms of expression, a blank. Booker DeWitt won't be. He will feel like a specific guy with a specific story, Levine said. In the canned interview, Levine said of DeWitt: "He's known as a man who gets things done... for a price."

    Levine still wants players to feel like they are conducting the actions in BioShock. He uses variations of the word "expressibility" many times while explaining a BioShoc gamek's prime elements. Players will still be able to decide how to fight through each conflict in BioShock Infinite, using whichever powers, weapons and team-up moves with Elizabeth that seem best for them. But DeWitt will feel like a specific role we've played, Levine told me.

    It appears that we are also going to be encouraged to think of the people of Columbia as a collection of individuals. Levine said that Infinite extends the idea shown in BioShock that not every character who you come across in these first-person shooters is a violent enemy. "We showed that idea of 'neutrality' in the demo," he said in the prepared interview, referring to the gameplay sequence we were shown. "When you walk into the bar, the guys there just look at you. They don't attack right away, which is very deliberate... [W]e thought 'wouldn't it be great if you walked into a room in this game and you didn't necessarily know the dispositions of the people in it? Are they going to sit there? Are they going to attack you? What might set them off?' We really wanted to have a notion that not everyone in the city was automatically hostile towards you. Instead it has more of that 'Wild West' feel where you walk into a bar with your hand on your pistol and you're not sure what's going to happen to you."

    Of course, for the sake of presenting an action-packed demo, things got ugly in that bar quickly.

    The Floating Mysteries

    BioShock Infinite is at least 16 months from completion. We won't be playing it until 2012, a century past the year in which the game is set. In the interim, more will be revealed. The Skyline, for example, will be a focus of a future showcase for Infinite, according to Levine. It is that important. Levine was non-committal about multiplayer, saying only that it would make sense to have some for the game if Irrational could think of something special. He would not divulge the reason for the the word "infinite" in the game's title, teasing only that it has significance. "The name has meaning," he said.

    After three years we finally know what Irrational Games is doing next. And we know the future of BioShock, which is an all-new past.

    BioShock Infinite manages to seem both novel and true to certain core systems and gameplay values introduced by the 2007 original. It is a potentially Final Fantasy-style sequel that may not have narrative connection to its predecessors (remember, they're not saying) but appears to be a spiritual continuation and advancement. Setting a BioShock in the sky makes the game appear to be more expansive, its gameplay possibilities broader.

    A vibrant and bolder BioShock is coming, with more extraordinary action than we've seen before and more complicated storytelling, all set on a maverick construction of American ingeunity where we've never played before.


    http://kotaku.com/5607451/bioshock-infinite-goes-beyond-the-sea--into-the-skies

    .............
  • KINGOFDAARCADEKINGOFDAARCADE Posts: 4,327
    edited August 2010
    liked the first one, not the 2nd one.

    might rent
  • VIBEVIBE Posts: 33,315
    edited August 2010
    Man, I haven't played either Bioshock. I dunno why I've never picked it up.
  • focusfocus Posts: 3,935
    edited August 2010
    The first one is, IMO, the best game this gen. The second one wasn't very good at all and didn't need to happen. But, it wasn't made by the same team either. THIS should be Bioshock 2.
  • Bcotton5Bcotton5 Posts: 35,024
    edited August 2010
  • satyronesatyrone Posts: 3,931
    edited August 2010
    yea i may rent it too. bioshock is cool but both games got boring to me.
  • AK.aPHillYisILLAK.aPHillYisILL Posts: 1,583
    edited August 2010
    I remember copping Bioshock when it came out 3 years ago. I thought the game was pretty sick. Some disturbing shit in the game. But the end to me was kind of lame as fuck and I felt disappointed. I haven't played the second... But the 3rd installment looks like it's going to be pretty good. So I might check it out.
  • joshuaboyjoshuaboy Posts: 10,574
    edited August 2010
    Never got into it. Played a demo for the first one but wasn't feeling it. Everyone says its good, but I just wasn't into it.
  • Bcotton5Bcotton5 Posts: 35,024
    edited August 2010
    joshuaboy wrote: »
    Never got into it. Played a demo for the first one but wasn't feeling it. Everyone says its good, but I just wasn't into it.

    same here.....
  • stonefacestoneface Posts: 2,491
    edited August 2010
    Damn, what a surprise, I cant wait. First day cop off this info alone for me.
  • Hip-Hop OneHip-Hop One Posts: 703
    edited August 2010
    Keep in mind that Irrational didn't work on Bioshock II since they were developing this, you could say that this is the spiritual successor to the first one. Bioshock II was more an attempt to keep Bioshock out there and captalize on the huge success and acclaim of the first.

    This looks and feels like what would be next step in the world of Bioshock, looks great. Can't wait to seem more.
  • focusfocus Posts: 3,935
    edited August 2010
    Why Irrational Decided Not to Work on Bioshock 2

    As fans of the series are surely aware, the developer of the original Bioshock, Irrational Games, opted out of developing its sequel, which was handled by 2K Marin instead. Ken Levine, boss of Irriational Games, has given his opinions on why they decided to stay away from the sequel, and how they're approaching the recently announced Bioshock: Infinite.

    “The reason we didn’t do BioShock 2 is because… the time-frame that game had, and [2K] understandably wanted another game in Rapture,” he says in an interview with Eurogamer.

    “But we felt we had said what we wanted to say about Rapture, about those kind of environments and that kind of feel.

    “We want to scare the hell out of people, we want to shock people, but we didn’t want to have any of the tools, the crutches, that we knew how to do that with.”

    When asked what he thought of the game, he had the following to say:

    “I think it’s a very talented team, and I think it fulfilled the mission of completing the story of Rapture.”

    Irrational Games revealed their secret Project Icarus as Bioshock: Infinite yesterday, and it will be released for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 sometime in 2012.

    Source: Eurogamer
  • focusfocus Posts: 3,935
    edited September 2010
    10 Minutes of GAMEPLAY!
    Previously shown only to press behind closed doors, 2K has let slip nearly ten minutes of mind-blowing, vertigo-inducing gameplay footage from BioShock Infinite. This extended gameplay trailer is currently available on Xbox.com and through Xbox Live on your Xbox 360, but as reader Andrew points out, it's already all over YouTube and ready for mass consumption.

    The game's hero, Booker DeWitt, seems to possess a great deal more character than the protagonists from previous BioShock titles, which should come in handy when dealing with the incredibly powerful (not to mention adorable) Elizabeth.

    http://kotaku.com/5644075/ten-minutes-with-bioshock-infinite

  • satyronesatyrone Posts: 3,931
    edited September 2010
    focus wrote: »
    10 Minutes of GAMEPLAY!




    nice ive been reading the articl in the newst issue of gameinfromer.
  • focusfocus Posts: 3,935
    edited September 2010
    satyrone wrote: »
    nice ive been reading the articl in the newst issue of gameinfromer.

    Anything interesting?
  • satyronesatyrone Posts: 3,931
    edited September 2010
    focus wrote: »
    Anything interesting?

    well pretty much the demo you posted is the demo they were talking about. just seein how some of the things work after readin it gives me a better idea of them. like using the rail tracks and how those are going to be a big part of the game play. but one thing the talked about that the demo did show was the Alphas calling in reinforcements. the Alpha was that thing that they knoked off the bridget in the video. they can supposedly call in reincforcements and shit. and supposed to be more triller than the Big Dadies.
  • VIBEVIBE Posts: 33,315
    edited September 2010
  • Hip-Hop OneHip-Hop One Posts: 703
    edited September 2010
    satyrone wrote: »
    well pretty much the demo you posted is the demo they were talking about. just seein how some of the things work after readin it gives me a better idea of them. like using the rail tracks and how those are going to be a big part of the game play. but one thing the talked about that the demo did show was the Alphas calling in reinforcements. the Alpha was that thing that they knoked off the bridget in the video. they can supposedly call in reincforcements and shit. and supposed to be more triller than the Big Dadies.

    I have that Game Informer as well, which cover did you get? I got this one,gi-bio-cover-handyman-07-550x403.jpg

    It's too sick. They need to make posters of the covers all of them are incredible.

    Man, the gameplay looks good. This might be my most anticipated game for a while, everything I've seen so far is pure greatness.
  • stonefacestoneface Posts: 2,491
    edited September 2010
  • focusfocus Posts: 3,935
    edited September 2010
    Bioshock 2 was so wack that I'm not going to give this one a chance. Fuck it.

    The team who made Bioshock 2 have nothing to do with Bioshock Infinite. Infinite is being developed by the series creator and original team from the first Bioshock.
  • stonefacestoneface Posts: 2,491
    edited September 2010
    Bioshock 2 was so wack that I'm not going to give this one a chance. Fuck it.

    Dog, you've said "Bioshock 2 is wack" like 200 times, Infinite has nothing to do with Bioshock 2, this is Ken Levine's project. He's the original creator.
  • joshuaboyjoshuaboy Posts: 10,574
    edited September 2010
    Bioshock 2 was so wack that I'm not going to give this one a chance. Fuck it.



    Did you like the first Bioshock?
  • satyronesatyrone Posts: 3,931
    edited September 2010
    I have that Game Informer as well, which cover did you get? I got this one,gi-bio-cover-handyman-07-550x403.jpg

    It's too sick. They need to make posters of the covers all of them are incredible.

    Man, the gameplay looks good. This might be my most anticipated game for a while, everything I've seen so far is pure greatness.

    i got that same cover. yea they fa sho need to make posters of it. i jus hope that the game doesnt get boring mid way thru like the last 2. thats the only prob i have with bioshock 1&2 shit got boring
  • vageneral08vageneral08 Posts: 15,427
    edited September 2010
    I wasn't really feeling the first bioshock maybe because I couldnt kill all the big daddy's but from what I heard bioshock 2 wasn't all that great either but this one looks good tho
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