After years of keeping quiet, developer Irrational Games--the crew behind the original BioShock--held a mysterious event at New York City's Plaza Hotel last night to announce the company's latest endeavor, only known up until now as Project Icarus.
Ken Levine, creative director at Irrational Games, took the stage and rolled a trailer (see right) showcasing Columbia, a gorgeous city in the sky flanked by American flags, skyscrapers held up by gigantic hot-air balloons, and gruesome bionic creatures that immediately made us think of BioShock's Big Daddies.
It wasn't long before we began seeing more reminders of Rapture: billboard propaganda, superhuman powers, and utter chaos. With the trailer complete and the lights up, Levine announced that Irrational's next game would be BioShock Infinite.
BioShock Infinite takes the franchise out from the ocean floor and launches it above the clouds. The original BioShock's Rapture dealt with a mysterious utopian city that crumbles under its own obsession with power; BioShock Infinite will play on the ultrapatriotic--albeit ultimately ignorant--American ideals of the early 1900s. Columbia differs from Rapture because the public is aware of its existence. We hop into the game just as Columbia has disappeared into the heavens and out of the public eye, just as this city--once a great feat of American ingenuity and strength--is experiencing its downfall.
Levine compared Columbia to a theoretical "moon landing of 1900--an expression of American genius designed to demonstrate to the world by example the founding democratic principles of the United States...however, what started out as the Apollo Project became the Death Star. The city, which turns out to be armed to the teeth, goes off-mission, becomes embroiled in a violent international incident...and promptly disappears behind the clouds."
Is BioShock Infinite in the same universe as the original? When exactly does it take place? Who do you play as? When will the game come out? We got to sit down with Tim Gerritsen, director of product development at Irrational Games, who filled us in on some more details.… Read more
This week on preGAME, hosts Jeff Bakalar and Mark Licea take a sneak peek at the online multiplayer component of Battlefield: Bad Company 2. Watch as Mark hops into a game on Xbox Live during the show!
But before we get into the live game demo, we'll discuss the new downloadable content (DLC) for some very notable titles. Resident Evil 5, Borderlands, and BioShock 2 all have extra content coming your way, so tune in to see when they'll each be available and how much they'll cost. This news story leads us to our featured discussion of the week: whether or not DLC is here to stay. We'll touch on the good, the bad, and the annoying.
All this plus a DICE 2010 awards recap and all of the week's top headlines and releases on preGAME!
Want to be a part of our live taping? Make sure you head to http://cnet.com/live/pregame every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern. If you missed any of the stories we talk about on today's preGAME, make sure to check out our links below.DICE awards wrap-up Next Call of Duty game to take place during Cold War? Sony files patent for universal game controller Is Project Natal laggy?… Read more
Following up 2007's game-changing epic BioShock was certainly a daunting task for team 2K. The original game surpassed almost every expectation one could have about the underwater dystopian city of Rapture by including original gameplay mechanics and interweaving a compelling film-quality storyline that carried the title from start to finish. Even if you didn't play BioShock for the narrative, you had no choice but to be consumed by the game's gritty atmosphere and sense of importance.
Two and a half years later, BioShock 2 brings us back to Rapture for a new adventure. But enough teasing, we've been playing the game for quite some time now and here are our thoughts:
Jeff: While BioShock 2 doesn't necessarily continue the story of first title's protagonist, Jack, it does prolong the original game's most likable character, the city of Rapture itself. Perhaps the most satisfying experience overall in BioShock 2 is digging deeper into the mythos of the fictional city. Early on, you're treated to even more Rapture lure that serves as a nod to those who've seen the city before and a crash course for newcomers to the franchise.
The game takes place 10 years after the events of BioShock and Rapture continues to crumble, making it more terrifying and even less functional than before. You play as a Big Daddy named Subject Delta and are tasked with discovering why a monster named Big Sister is kidnapping little girls from the surface. The story is told again through scattered audio recordings, cut scenes, and announcements made over Rapture's public address system.
All of the action we've come to love in BioShock remains intact in BioShock 2, with a few noticeably awesome improvements.… Read more
Historically speaking, the months following the holiday season usually spell disaster for those gamers in the market for new titles. While January gave us Dark Void and Mass Effect 2, February is packed with even more high-profile releases.
The saga of Rapture continues as BioShock 2 hits store shelves February 9. This time around you'll suit up as a Big Daddy as you chase the creature known as Big Sister. For a sneak peek at one of the early levels in BioShock 2, make sure to check out this week's episode of preGAME!
That same day marks the … Read more
CNET TV's new video game show "preGAME" has just launched! Make sure you check out today's premiere pilot episode, where hosts Jeff Bakalar and Mark Licea take you through an early level in the highly anticipated game BioShock 2 an entire week before it releases!
Each week on preGAME we'll bring you the latest headlines and highlights from the world of gaming along with a special discussion topic. This episode we chat about retailer GameStop's future, as the game giant has shifted gears towards downloadable content. Does this mean brick and mortar stores will soon be a thing of the past?
Want to be a part of our live taping? Make sure you head to http://cnet.com/live/pregame every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern. If you missed any of the stories we talk about on today's preGAME, make sure to check out our links below.Zelda Wii this year? Wii sales surpass great grandfather NES Sony launching PSN-only reality show GTA IV DLC finally makes its way to PlayStation 3… Read more
Video game "collector's editions" are all the rage, with added soundtrack CDs, posters, and other goodies designed to drive up retail prices. After all, who can forget the actual working night vision goggles included with the Prestige Edition of Modern Warfare 2?
2K Games is sending up the whole collector's edition craze (while pimping their own BioShock 2 collector's edition, which includes soundtracks, an art book, and frameable lithographs) with a jokey promo video for the game's "uber edition."
For a mere $14,999, you get a real-life Big Daddy monster along … Read more
Film critics have decried the disease of sequel-itis since the Hollywood blockbuster era began more than 30 years ago. They bemoan the lack of originality, the reliance on popular themes and characters, and the sheeplike masses who flock to repeated installments of their favorite franchises. Video games have been onboard with the idea of sequels almost from the very start (remember Ms. Pac-Man?), but the idea of creating cash-generating franchises has taken on new importance in an increasingly hit-driven environment.
So, it's only natural for some industry watchers to bemoan the likes of Mass Effect 2, Halo 3, BioShock 2, Assassin's Creed 2, and others. But, judging from recent experience, the real problem is not that these games share too much with movie sequels, it's that they're not enough alike.
Having played nearly every notable recent and upcoming video game sequel, it's clear that the hubris of game developers and publishers is having a potentially audience-sapping effect--their unquestioned assumption is that you not only played the original game a new sequel is based on, but also finished it, and can clearly remember every plot twist up to two years later. This blindness to anything but the uber-fan audience is a disservice to the very mainstream game buyers who keep the entire industry afloat. … Read more
This week on the Digital City, Joey tests the new Netflix/PS3 BD Live disc, with mixed results; we talk about all the cool new luxury laptops you'll never buy, including Sony's Vaio X, Dell's Adamo XPS, and HP's Envy.
We also show off Nokia's new Booklet 3G Netbook, and debate the relative merits of games sequels, from Bioshock 2 to God of War 3. We also note how everyone in New York seems to have gotten their hands on a copy of Modern Warfare 2 early, giving the holiday season's biggest game an … Read more
Can 2009 give us any more bad news? I think at this point, the three of us are ready to move straight into 2010, mostly because we're too afraid of what's going to happen in the next three months. To put it lightly, this year has been a tough one for celebrities. Although it didn't exactly make Twitter headlines, we're all saddened by Patrick Swayze's death and take a few minutes out of the beginning of the show to talk about all of his great movies, including "Ghost," "Donnie Darko," "Dirty Dancing," and of course "To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar."
Lots more good and bad news to discuss, including Facebook jumping on the @ symbol bandwagon. After Twitter reportedly rejected its purchasing offer, Facebook is now starting to introduce features that mimic the microblogging site. The first change is that Facebook users can now tag friends using an @ symbol in front of their names. The other is Facebook Lite, a less-cluttered version of the classic that discards the left navigation and info page.
Jeff found a pretty hilarious story from China about a bridge getting covered with butter, but before we get to that, we do a quick run-through of the 10 most pirated movies, and you'll be surprised at which flicks made the cut. Finally, we reminisce about high school LAN parties (look it up, young bloods), how to get 50 PC games for $5, and a new gaming console accessory called the Spawn Labs HD-720 that's making waves in the industry.EPISODE 425 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more