Fans of the original BioShock games may have noticed a running trend in the game when it came to combat: Close quarters with only a few enemies. While that recipe does add up to creating tense and exciting moments of action, BioShock: Infinite is going to see a much more dramatic change in the environment, replacing confined areas with the wide open sky platforms of Columbia.
BioShock: Infinite is going to be a game that everyone in the industry is going to pay a lot of attention to, but no more than creative director Ken Levine, though. Levine was interviewed by the PlayStation Blog where he talked about how the change in Infinite's environment will alter the approach players take in tackling different situations. Of course, there will also be new weapons and powers, as seen in the incredible BioShock Infinite E3 2011 demo, which will also have an impact in how the player attacks each game space.
Levine's comment about Infinite having some more open-ended combat came from a simple question asking his opinion on individuals who beat the game using only the ElectroBolt plasmid and the shotgun - a common occurrence for players of the previous games.
"One of the first things we did when we started on BioShock Infinite was to draw a graph with y and z axes, and to say that one of those axes was the number of enemies in an encounter and the other was the range of those enemies. In the original BioShock, the entire game lived in one corner of that graph — few enemies, all at close range – so the Electro Bolt and shotgun were perfect. BioShock Infinite is going to have much greater ranges and, potentially, far more enemies, so we’re greatly increasing the spectrum of encounters that are possible, and that requires the player use a broader set of tools"
The pace in gameplay is visually apparent from the BioShock: Infinite TGS 2011 trailer, where protagonist Booker DeWitt is placed in situations where he must fight off higher numbers of enemies to protect his charge, Elizabeth. It's almost a natural change in design, given that the opponents Booker fights aren't strung out plasmid junkies, but that doesn't make them less dangerous.
Of course, first person shooter staples like the shotgun, pistol, machine gun, and grenade launcher are all making an appearance in Infinite, but it sounds like Levine still has more things to reveal in the future regarding the highly anticipated sequel. Given the game's time frame, more "modernized" weapons might be making an appearance and have relevant applications depending on the situation.
With the addition of the "tear" mechanic, which allows sidekick Elizabeth to open rifts into other dimensions and change the dynamics of the battlefield, strategy and tactics will have a larger place in the game.
Levine also mentioned that BioShock: Infinite will also receiving PlayStation Move support (and not a rumored Move peripheral) and would be probably create an exclusive gameplay video that shows off the mechanic.
BioShock: Infinite will be releasing in Q1 2012 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.
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Source: PlayStation Blog