Irrational Games, makers of the bestselling game BioShock, have unveiled their latest title, and it’s not what anyone expected. BioShock Infinite is technically set in the same universe as the original game (and its sequel), but that’s where the similarities end.
Rapture’s dank underwater corridors have been replaced with bright, open spaces floating alongside clouds, in a thriving city filled with its own population. BioShock Infinite is set in the floating city of Columbia, which Irrational describes as “a floating symbol of American ideals at a time when the United States was emerging as a world power.” At the time the game begins, Columbia went missing ten years ago, and the intrigue starts there…
Unlike the nameless character you played in BioShock, this game places you in the shoes of Pinkerton agent Booker DeWitt, who’s hired to track down a woman imprisoned in Columbia since childhood. As in BioShock, you’ll upgrade with supernatural “augmentations,” but this time you’ll pair up with the powerful Elizabeth to engage in side-by-side battles. BioShock Infinite is built on an entirely new engine, enabling it to do things the original game couldn’t, such as face off against more than a dozen foes at one time.
The primary connective tissue between Irrational’s first game and this new one are their philosophical themes. BioShock examined historical feelings of imperialism and the transformative nature of technology, as were rampant at the time period in which it took place.. BioShock Infinite looks at the idea of “American exceptionalism,” the optimistic notion of America being a beacon of hope to a darkened world.
Hence, the bright, patriotic colors you see in the screenshots and the trailer (below).
I for one can’t wait to find out more about this game, but it looks like we’re going to have quite a wait ahead, since BioShock Infinite isn’t due to arrive until sometime in 2012.