‘BioShock Infinite’ Prequel E-Book Announced; Levine Talks Tweaking Religious Themes

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BioShock Infinite Religion Themes

Beyond offering what should be a compelling gameplay experience, the world of Irrational GamesBioShock Infinite promises to be as rich and as detailed as that of its predecessor, BioShock 1. However, according to Creative Director Ken Levine, there were actually details in BioShock Infinite — specifically those related to religion — that were much more involved at an earlier stage of development.

That isn’t to say that Irrational Games is pulling their punches by any means — Levine, in fact, has come out to say quite the opposite — but at the same time he wanted to be respectful of a wide variety of beliefs and faiths. And so he and his team reeled it in a little bit.

How specifically Levine reeled it in, as he tells Official PlayStation Magazine, is in the back-story of one character in particular — a character that Levine would not mention by name. Apparently, something about this character was “upsetting” to members of the team, and so that character’s story was altered.

“I had some very valuable conversations. One of the characters in the game was highly altered based upon some very interesting conversations I had with people on the team who came from a very religious background, and I was able to understand they were kind of upset about something”.

Levine didn’t make the change to appease anyone, mind you; he just saw things from that perspective and conceived of a better way to convey an idea.

“What I said to them was, ‘I’m not going to change anything to get your approval, but I think I understand what you’re saying and I think I can do something that’s going to make the story better, based on what you said.’ So I did that, and I’m grateful for them bringing in their perspective. The last thing I wanted to do was change something because it offends somebody, but the thing they pointed out was making it a lesser story”.

And for those that think that BioShock Infinite has been neutered needn’t look any further than the Beasts of Columbia trailer, which highlights the religious undertones of the game, to see that is by no means the case. In fact, one of the game’s major characters, now known as Father Comstock, has many religious ideologies at play.  After all, Comstock is referred to as “The Prophet” in the game.

It’s obviously one of the many subtle touches that occupies the fringe of Infinite’s story, but those are what make a game like BioShock great — all the various layers that might go wholly unnoticed by the less vigilant gamer.

To that point, we also have news of a BioShock Infinite prequel novel that will help further flesh out the floating city of Columbia‘s story prior to the events of the main game. The novel, titled BioShock Infinite: Mind in Revolt, is an Amazon e-book exclusive however, and will only be available to those who pre-order the game through the online retailer.

Written by BioShock Infinite scribe Joe Fielder in conjunction with Ken Levine the book is said to focus on the struggle between Columbia’s two factions — the Vox Populi and the Founders — and reveal motivations for its key characters, like Daisy Fitzroy (featured in the gallery below).

If the prequel novel and discussion of finely tuning player back-stories are any indication, we’d venture to guess that BioShock Infinite‘s game world is as rich as they come. Many might turn a blind eye to all the detail, but for those that actively seek that sort of thing it appears it will be readily available.

How do you feel about BioShock Infinite‘s religious undertones? Will you be pre-ordering from Amazon for the prequel novel?

BioShock Infinite releases March 26, 2013 for the PS3, PC, and Xbox 360.

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Source: Official PlayStation Magazine

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TAGS: Bioshock, BioShock: Infinite, Irrational Games, PC, PS3, Take-Two Interactive, Xbox 360

2 Comments

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  1. While the game was not pro-religion, I think it is a lot more fair and intelligent about religion because they pulled their punches. Too many writers just ignorantly bash religion without the faintest idea what they are talking about. The best writer offer a viewpoint that expresses opinion while deeming merit to the opposite side.

    I sense Ken was not going one of those until those certain people on his team expressed that viewpoint to him. And personally, I think Bioshock Infinite is a better game because of it. Too much religious bashing would be off putting and probably counter productive to the game’s ultimate goals for plot and theme.

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