Bioshock Infinite DLC AI Character

Easily one of the most-talked about games of 2013 (so far), BioShock: Infinite wowed players with the immersive world of Columbia and the mind-bending story of protagonist Booker Dewitt. After a sci-fi heavy journey full of twists and turns, the core Booker and Elizabeth plot comes (mostly) to a close in Infinite. A post-credits scene tentatively leaves the door open for further exploration but while Irrational Games remains mum on the subject, insiders have suggested that Booker and Elizabeth’s arc is contained within the single player campaign – and that post-launch DLC will focus on side stories instead.

As a result, while many gamers might not expect to step back into Booker’s boots for BioShock: Infinite DLC adventures, it should still come as a surprise to hear that whatever character (or characters) players control next will also be joined by at least one new A.I. companion.

The A.I. partner has not been officially announced, given that Irrational Games has yet to provide any concrete details regarding what gamers will see in the forthcoming DLC content; however, a new LinkedIn listing for Michael Shahan, Senior Animator at 2K Games, indicates that he was responsible for “providing animation and R&D for a new AI companion character” in “BioShock: Infinite DLC1.”

Bioshock Infinite Trailer Columbia Derigible

Check out a screengrab of the relevant details in Shahan’s profile below (the information has since been removed):

BioShock DLC1 LinkedIn Profile

Until an actual announcement is made, take this report with a grain of salt – since it’s always possible that the details on Shahan’s profile don’t necessarily reflect what will be released in the actual DLC offerings.

While there’s little else to glean from the provided information, the prospect of a new A.I. companion will definitely get fans of the game speculating – especially considering that Elizabeth’s “tear” mechanic is explained by a very specific story element (read about that in our BioShock: Infinite Ending Explained post). Considering the “tear” gameplay (not to mention Elizabeth’s characterization) is essential to the overall Infinite experience, it’s likely that the new A.I. partner will harnass the same ability. Given the title’s positive reception from gamers and critics alike (read our BioShock: Infinite review), expectations will be high for the DLC and it’s easy to imagine that buyers would be underwhelmed by a post-game release that actually strips away a fan-favorite gameplay ability or under-delivers with a bland A.I. counterpart.

BioShock Infinite Screenshots

After all, what would be the point of including an A.I. partner in the DLC if their gameplay role and character development is significantly reduced – only present to wax poetics as well as toss coins and ammo at the new protagonist? It’s always possible that the A.I. partner could introduce an all new gameplay ability – different from the tear support system; that said, a more likely scenario is that Irrational Games intends to fit a new parter with the same mechanic and explain the ability with suitable backstory.

Ever since Infinite‘s release, fans who tore through the single player campaign have been eager for details on the promised three pieces of DLC. However, at this point, any further information is purely speculation. No doubt, gamers would be anxious to see post-release content that follows Rosalind and Robert Lutece but, considering combat will still be a major focus, it’s more likely that the DLC will follow a new batch of characters on unrelated adventures through the infamous sky-fairing city as it crumbles with unrest – or possibly through alternate versions of Columbia altogether (similar to Assassin Creed 3‘s “Tyranny of King Washington” DLC).

BioShock: Infinite is available now for the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360. The first DLC does not have an official release date yet.

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Source: Michael Shahan [via Stick Skills]