Fans clamoring for the video game "BioShock Infinite," the highly
anticipated spiritual successor to the landmark "BioShock," will have to
wait a bit longer, but it should be worth the wait.
At a media
preview of the game this past week at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel,
creative director Ken Levine said "Infinite" is now scheduled for
release on March 26, 2013, so the developers can do further polishing.
It had initially been set for release in October, then delayed to Feb.
Just like the original, "Infinite" begins at a lighthouse. The
video game's protagonist, an ex-Pinkerton agent named Booker DeWitt,
ascends the beacon in 1912 before he's transported through the sky to
the city of Columbia, a floating World's Fair that looks like a twisted
version of a Norman Rockwell painting. DeWitt's been sent to this
American haven to rescue a young woman named Elizabeth.
While "Infinite" very much handles like the original 2007 game, it's simultaneously feels different.
spending a few hours with the beginning of "Infinite" and talking with
Levine, it's evident the developers at Irrational Games have labored
over forging a new path with "Infinite," all the while staying true to
what helped make the original "BioShock" sell more than 5 million copies
and achieve critical acclaim.
Here are five ways "Infinite" will be different from its predecessor
1. Sky's the limit
the claustrophobic undersea enclave of Rapture, the richly detailed
setting of the first two "BioShock" games, Columbia is drastically more
open, requiring new tactics for players to take down foes with a
combination of guns and powers called "vigors." One named "Devil's
Kiss," for instance, can transform DeWitt's hand into a grenade
2. Religious experience
Before he's permitted to
enter Columbia, DeWitt must submit to a baptism in a watery church by
the believers of Father Comstock, the bearded ultra-nationalist leader
of Columbia who is revered as a prophet by much of the city's
population. Columbia's religious overtones are in stark contrast to
Rapture's boozy confines.
3. Talking heads
Elizabeth aren't strong silent types. Unlike the mostly mum protagonists
of the previous "BioShock" games, these two continually converse with
both each other and other characters. Levine said the most challenging
part of crafting "Infinite" was writing all that dialogue, so much so
that he had to hire other writers to work on the game.
are no Vita-Chambers to resurrect DeWitt when he bites it. Instead,
he'll have to step through the front door of a dreamy rendition of his
office back home to return to Columbia. Once he rescues Elizabeth,
she'll attempt to keep her new protector healed with medical supplies -
and jab him with a needle when he goes down in battle to save him from
5. Race relations
Equality isn't lifting up Columbia.
There's restrooms marked for blacks and Irish, and at the beginning of
"Infinite," when De Witt is first infiltrating the city in the clouds,
he must choose whether he goes along with a hostile crowd and attack an
interracial couple, stand up for them simply do nothing. If he assists,
the pair will help him out later in the game.