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