Ken Levine: ‘BioShock: Infinite’s’ Combat ‘Subtantially’ Evolved

Published 2 years ago by , Updated May 26th, 2012 at 7:58 pm,

Bioshock Infinite Levine Combat Evolved

Rapture. The iconic dystopian setting of BioShock and BioShock 2 was the perfect compliment to IrrGame’approacs approach for the series’ first two installments – the Big Daddies and Little Sisters, the horror-tinged storyline, the Ayn Rand idealism. But as indelible as it is in gaming lore – and vital as it was to the series’ success – there’s at least one reason why creator Ken Levine wanted to spread his wings and take the upcoming BioShock: Infinite to the floating city of Columbia.

Because of its inherent underwater nature, Rapture’s exterior was largely sealed off to BioShock’s protagonists – essentially turning it into a sprawling course in close-quarters fighting. The combat system of gelling plasmids with more conventional weaponry was fun – but it was also universal, allowing players to thrive on just about every level without changing much in the way of strategy. That’s all about to change in Infinite.

In an interview published this week by CVG, Levine spoke a few months back (before BioShock: Infinite was delayed until 2013) about the ‘evolved’ state of the game’s combat, the way Columbia’s structure allows for new ranges and weapons and strategies to shape the gameplay experience:

Combat is one of the things that has evolved in a very substantial way. [In BioShock], you’d generally come across an enemy and the right way to deal with them – almost all the enemies – was to use the Electro Bolt, which was incredibly effective across the spectrum.

With BioShock Infinite, one of the opportunities of having the large, vertical spaces is the ability to include weapons that are effective at short range versus those that are effective at long range. You have certain weapons that are extremely effective against you on the Skyline and weapons that are more effective against you on the ground and vice versa in terms of how you interact with the enemies and which weapons you use, so you have to be thinking all of the time. ‘What should I be doing now?’ ‘Which weapon should I be using?’ ‘Should I be on the Skyline?’ ‘Should I be on the ground?’ ‘Should I be in cover?’

Verticality, skylines, long-range weapons, it all comes as no surprise to anyone who’s been keeping up with our BioShock Infinite previews, trailers, and general anticipation for the better part of two years.

Bioshock Infinite Combat Levine Evolved

With the game ‘going dark’ over much of its delay window for what many believe is development of multiplayer, however, we’re still anxious to see what else evolves over the extra time. Our BioShock 2 review found potential in the series’ first multiplayer forte; will Infinite spice things up to compete with online thoroughbreds Call of Duty, Battlefield, and – by then – Halo 4? Perhaps the varied combat approaches give rise to new preset loadouts and player classes (sniping, anyone?).

Ranters, how would you like to see combat in BioShock Infinite embrace the more open setting of Columbia? How do you see it changing your style of play?

BioShock Infinite will release on February 26, 2013 for the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.

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Source: CVG

TAGS: 2K Games, Bioshock, BioShock: Infinite, Irrational Games, PC, PS3

  • Luger83

    it better not have been delayed for multiplayer

  • amongallothers

    No multiplayer please. Bioshock 1 didn’t need it, and neither does this.

  • Azzeron

    In my opinion, the first and second games were generally linear in terms of level design. Sure, you had a few other passages you could go through, or search a shop, but it was all pretty linear in a sense. However, I believe that what helped to break the feeling of linearity was the fact that, for the most part, the levels were pretty confined, but it felt completely natural. After all, where else were you gonna go? The ocean floor? Anyway, I wonder how exactly Infinite will feel in this regard since they are in the sky. Unless they allow you to explore the entirety of the city, they will have to think of a way to limit the player’s movement, which hopefully does not include invisible walls or conveniently placed piles of rubble and such. I would love to hear other people’s thoughts regarding this topic.

  • jwalka

    you cant make multiplayer in 4months, think realistically people. i personally hope it got delayed so they can get rid of that stupid ghost woman that summons the dead and the ‘quite boy’, the super natural stuff doesn’t suit the steampunk/sci-fi setting of the game plus it doesn’t really fit into the bioshock universe b/c the previous games didn’t have ghosts or undead (or zombies b/c the slicers where mutated humans). and yes this does fit into the universe b/c it’s set afetr (i think) bioshock 2.

    • Fathomless

      What are you going on about? First off, Bioshock Infinite takes place before the first Bioshock. Second, you don’t decide what is “thematically appropriate”. If you’d watched the videos for the Heavy Hitters, all of their concepts sit in a basis of historical fact for the period.

    • Azzeron

      Not sure if you actually played the first Bioshock, but ghosts were actually a pretty large part of the story. The ghosts were left over from the chaotic gene splicing of the city’s inhabitants and were used to help tell the story of Rapture and the consequences of their hubris. Also, as I recall, you use the Lazarus Vector to bring the trees back to life in Arcadia after Ryan kills them all. Wouldn’t the trees technically be considered zombies since they were resurrected from death?

    • Azzeron

      Also, all of the powers you get from plasmids are of an inherently supernatural origin, such as telekinesis. The world of Bioshock simply takes these supernatural powers and says “Here! Inject yourself with this bottle of Science and you get powers!” Thus why the people of Rapture and Columbia have these supernatural powers. Basically what I’m saying is that there actually is no supernatural events within Bioshock: Infinite, at least not within your examples; they are merely the result of Science! Trust me, I am Science!