After years of waiting, Irrational Games is finally set to release the highly-anticipated follow-up to their critical and commercial hit, BioShock. While several former BioShock team members worked on 2K Marin’s sequel BioShock 2, many gamers criticized the title as a cash grab – despite overall positive reviews – since creator Irrational Games was not headlining the title’s development. A tacked on multiplayer component certainly didn’t help public opinion.

However, with BioShock: Infinite 2K Games, along with series creator Ken Levine, promises a true evolution of the BioShock story and gameplay experience – with the full Irrational Games team working behind the scenes. Ditching the controversial multiplayer of BioShock 2, the developers have put all of their efforts into the single player story experience – which should be clear to anyone who has seen one of the BioShock: Infinite trailers.

The latest trailer, the official “Launch Trailer,” is no different – providing a sneak peek at the characters, evolved franchise game mechanics, sprawling sky city of Columbia – not to mention the American history-inspired Infinite story. Of course, the publisher also made sure to highlight the various pre-release awards and early review scores for the title. No doubt, Infinite has enjoyed plenty of accolades leading up to its launch, ever since “Project Icarus” was first announced back in 2010. Still, all that positive buzz will not mean much – if the game does not live-up to expectations when consumers finally have a chance to play the title to completion (not to mention New Game + replays).

BioShock Infinite Launch Trailer

That said, there’s a lot of reason to be optimistic that BioShock: Infinite will deliver (aside from favorable pre-launch reviews). As mentioned, Levine and the Irrational Games team didn’t simply continue the unique world they created with Rapture in BioShock, they flat-out dropped nearly every single story element, environment, and even some central series game mechanics, in favor of an entirely new storyline and experience. No doubt, there were plenty of memorable gameplay encounters and entertaining plasmids in the original title (as well as the sequel) but, for many, it was the Objectivist BioShock storyline – as well as its attempts to toy with player choice – that made the title such a unique experience for many players.

We can only guess what themes (along with meta-game experiences) that Irrational Games is set to explore in the new title but – we’re definitely glad that the developer had a chance, not to mention the extra time, to deliver a full-on sequel to one of the most talked-about titles this console generation.

BioShock Infinite releases March 26, 2013 for the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.

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