Like Booker DeWitt with, well, whoever he owes money to that’s coercing him to Columbia, BioShock Infinite is all in. After years in development and a smattering of delays, Irrational Games announced this February that the first-person shooter had finally “gone gold.” The game we’re seeing now is the game we’ll be playing in two short weeks.
So when Irrational tweeted out a teaser image for its newly arrived trailer — entitled “False Shepard” — a few days ago, it was no surprise to see one of the game’s already-iconic henchman, the Handyman, in true form: towering, irate, and rearing back a disproportionate but probably-wise-not-to-say-that-to-his-face right hand against a set of shoulder straps quite possibly belonging to our pinched protagonist.
The trailer that finally arrived, however, doesn’t just highlight the Handyman (in fact, his screen time is limited to a few short glimpses). Instead, it taps directly into the psyche of Booker DeWitt, painting a broad picture of what our central character will encounter over the course of the game. Floating and exploding dirigibles; furious shootouts; Elizabeths’ raw, mystical powers; sky hooks (and one of their terrifying alternative uses); the impending fall of Columbia’s angelic symbolism: much of what Irrational has been showing us for the past several years is frenetically rolled into the two-minute montage.
As is what we still have to learn. Aided by the brusque narration of Troy Baker, the voice behind Booker DeWitt, the trailer hints not only at the nefarious dealings bringing Booker to Columbia in the first place (“I gambled, and now I owe money to men you don’t want to be in debt to,” he tells us at the outset) but also at the cataclysm and chaos he’ll have to endure before (hopefully) getting out alive (“Tear it down. Tear it all down.”). Mix in murderous crows, Gatling gun-wielding George Washington and screeching skyhook riders, and you didn’t have to witness the depths of darkness fathomed by BioShock and BioShock 2 to sense the insidious evil lurking beneath Columbia’s cobblestones.
The team behind BioShock Infinite hasn’t been shy about their grand expectations, either. Irrational Games boss Ken Levine proclaimed last December that BioShock Infinite’s ending will be like “nothing experienced in a video game before,” and earlier this week, discussing its marketing campaign to MCV, 2K Games’ UK marketing manager Simon Turner promised that essentially, BioShock Infinite will be a game for the ages:
“Not only does it demonstrate the technical quality that gamers expect, but the story and characters invite you into a world so rich and immersive that people will be talking about it for a long time to come.”
Marketing comes in many colors. Some of those colors are decidedly bold. But Turner’s sentiments represent the attitude of a production team that’s been nurturing a game for, at the very least, 3-4 years of development. (And it hasn’t always been smooth sailing). There’s always the possibility of being wrong (not to mention indebting ourselves to “men we don’t want to be in debt to”), but BioShock: Infinite has given us no reason to bet against its success when it releases on March 26.
Ranters, what are your expectations for BioShock Infinite?
BioShock Infinite releases March 26, 2013 for the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.
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