Irrational Games has been really taking it down to the wire this year. After 9 months of silence, we’re finally getting our first bit of news about their next entry in the Bioshock series of games. Bioshock Infinite hasn’t been shrouded in mystery so much as its been completely in the dark since we last heard news of it in September of last year.
What we were given at that time was a 9 minute gameplay trailer that introduced us to the main characters Booker Dewitt and Elizabeth as well as one of the two warring factions in the aerial city of Columbia, the setting for Bioshock Infinite. Players also got a chance to see a brand new gameplay mechanic, the rails, which connect the various floating platforms of the Columbia skylines.
This time around we’re not getting a video, but instead a great number of details regarding just what the game is about.
Dewitt, a former Pinkerton agent, was sent to rescue Elizabeth from Columbia. Elizabeth is particularly unique – in that she has a dangerous gift: all around Columbia are what are known as “tears,” (little rips in the fabric of reality) which can be perceived by everyone in Columbia – but manipulated solely by Elizabeth.
During the game, Elizabeth will be able to use rifts to help give combat options in different situations. For example, during a fight with one of the factions, you’re grossly outnumbered, but there are several tears nearby that Elizabeth can use. She doesn’t have the ability to open all of the tears, so Dewitt must choose between them. One will give him cover for the ensuing fight, one will give him guns and a barrel full of ammo, and the other creates a door. Going through the door may provide a quicker escape, but it could also take them to even greater danger.
Elizabeth sounds great, but she comes with some serious baggage. At the end of the 9 minute trailer we were shown a giant mechanical bird that represents the real threat that Elizabeth is trying to escape – The Songbird. The Songbird has been Elizabeth’s only companion since she was 5 years old, her protector, and also her jailer. Its unclear just how the flying menace will play into the game, but it is clear that only Elizabeth can calm it down.
While we wait for E3 to bring us everything else there is to know about Bioshock Infinite, especially how it plays, here are a few screenshots to to tide us over:
What do you think of the Bioshock Infinite “tears” mechanic? What else would you like to see in the upcoming title?
Bioshock Infinite is currently without a release date, but is expected to be released for Xbox 360, PC, and PS3.