When Irrational Games revealed Bioshock Infinite (formally Project Icarus) through their incredible announcement trailer, Bioshock fans from around the world were left with a lot of questions, and we recently got the answer to one of the large looming questions; “was that a Big Daddy”?
The simple answer is no. It is Alpha. Ken Levine, Irrational Games’ creative director and founding member, gave us a few answers in episode 7 of Irrational Behavior, their own internal podcast. The Alpha, or “Handyman” as the team jokingly calls him, was always set to be a big part of the trailer. He originally had a big goofy moustache and a bowler hat. “He looked like he was gonna come hug you instead of do any damage to you”, stated Ken “he was from an Italian kids’ menu”, but we never really got a good glimpse at him. Until now.
Today, Gameinformer brings us exclusive screenshots showing Alpha in his full, almost hysterical, glory.
Other secrets revealed in the official podcast were just as tantalizing for us Bioshock fans. The opera singer (who I originally thought was Andrew Ryan) was supposed to have two mouths, and the music they had picked was changed from Pagliacci to Grand Old Flag to give it a more Americana feel. Ken also let us know that we were supposed to be fooled at the beginning of the trailer to think we were in Rapture. The team really wanted to have any expectations for this title smashed right away. After a few choices for the model the decision was made to go with the worlds fair version because it looked like a city (to help dupe us into thinking it was Rapture) and because it had a date on it.
The design team has always had a fascination with big hands in their games, and it was revealed that Bioshock Infinite was no exception. The original design choice for Alpha’s hands was to make them crab like, but the team soon realized that crab claws are for grabbing, not punching like they wanted the Handyman to do, so, they changed it up. They also were going to have Alpha cry in the trailer but decided to cut it after many, many attempts. Ken said “There’s something about men crying that’s uncomfortable”.
It seems there is still a lot of secrets hidden in the trailer. Little nuggets of information for us to find, and after watching the trailer over and over and over again, I keep wondering (hoping even) that there will be a ‘plasmid’ that will allow us to fly, because being able to jump from city node to city node would be awesome. The very moment I stepped into Rapture, I was absolutely enthralled with the concept. This idea of an underwater city is just outstanding, and so completely plausible in its own way, that you can’t help but be sucked in, and I wonder if the city of Columbia will hold the same thrall over me as Rapture did.
Ether way, Bioshock Infinite will be on my must have list for 2012 game, and I can only imagine the mysteries, and glimpses we will get over the next two years to tantalize us while we wait. Having recently replayed both Bioshock, and Bioshock 2, I have whet my appetite for more. I am thrilled the developers are going to stick with the Art Deco style they have become known for, but I wonder if it will still feel the same?
What do you think? Is Alpha, the big crying large moustached guy, really as compelling as Big Daddy? Do you think a city in the sky that everyone knows about is the same as a mysterious unknown city in the sea? What do you think about Bioshock Infinite?