During our E3 demo of BioShock: Infinite there were many moments that took us by surprise, but none could top seeing companion character Elizabeth open a rift in time that took her and protagonist Booker DeWitt to a modern-day city street complete with Revenge of the Jedi on a cinema marquee.
While this now iconic moment stretched gamers’ previous assumptions of what is possible in a BioShock game, it also almost never happened. Turns out, Irrational had something completely different for this sequence in BioShock: Infinite, but instead turned to some unused assets from a cancelled project to create a more striking moment.
According to Ken Levine, the sequence was originally supposed to feature “some sort of primeval forest thing,” but that didn’t seem to be as striking as the team at Irrational wanted. Instead the developers grabbed an asset from one of their unfinished, and unnamed, projects and, by tinkering with a few things here and there were able to create the sequence that we see today.
It’s not unheard of for developers to borrow from their previously used assets in order to save some valuable man hours in the development process, but I don’t think anybody would have suspected Irrational would look to a non-BioShock title for assets for Infinite.
Clearly, because of the distinct clashes of culture, this time-rift sequence works, but one has to wonder how the primeval forest might have been realized. I prefer this Revenge of the Jedi rift, myself, but it might not translate the idea that Elizabeth can open tears into alternate dimensions as well as something starkly different might have.
We’ve also only barely scratched the surface when it comes to BioShock: Infinite with only the bare bones workings of the tear mechanic and the storyline being revealed to gamers. Though you can expect Ken Levine and the team at Irrational to continue dropping tidbits about Infinite, it’s already a game of the year contender in my book.
Which would you have preferred for the time rift sequence: a primeval forest or the city street? Based on the design of the city street, what type of game do you think Irrational was working on?
BioShock: Infinite will reportedly release early 2012 for the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.