Part of what made BioShock such a resounding success was its ingenuous ability to take dreamlike science fiction aspects (underwater dystopias, Ayn Rand philosophizing, plasmids, and the maybe-not-so-great Vita-chambers) and blend them seamlessly with aspects that were downright nightmarish - like the Little Sisters and Big Daddys, human harvesting, and the gruesome acts of Rapture's deranged citizens.
BioShock Infinite strikes that same chord with its Heavy Hitters. The politics and the science behind the magnificent city of Columbia and its warring citizens is fascinating, to be sure. But one only needs to glance at the George Washington doppelganger Motorized Patriot or the high-flying, hard-charging Handyman to get the sense that more than a few elements of fear are at play here.
This week's BioShock Infinite Heavy Hitter - as part of the weekly Irrational Games developer diary series - continues this trend, blowing its predecessors out of the water for value of sheer terror. Referred to as the "Boys of Silence," these horrifically-masked minions operate solely on sound and are tasked with detecting Booker throughout various levels of the game. It just might make us think twice before running around like Rambo with a skyhook.
Watch the latest Heavy Hitters video below, as creative director Ken Levine, art director Nate Wells, and lead artist Shawn Robertson discuss Infinite's newest foe:
Now at first, it may seem like the easiest way to kill this hideous doofus is to clang a rock off of his helmet and merrily skip away while he writhes on the ground in agony, ears bleeding and limbs flailing (after all, as Ghost Recon: Future Soldier would have us believe, "only the dead fight fair"). Not only would that be cruel, though, it's also a good way to get yourself killed; the Boys of Silence can call for backup reinforcements whenever the player decides to engage them. It should make for an intriguing bit of strategy having to decide when to run and when to gun.
It's not clear how many Heavy Hitters BioShock Infinite has left in the lineup (seeing as this is the third in as many weeks) but the depth and diversity each one promises to lend to the game's combat and gameplay has us craving for more. After all, Ken Levine recently stated that Infinite had three or four more times the dialouge than BioShock 1. It's not necessarily a barometer of the game's overall size, but it's a good testament to the work Irrational has put into the game - even after we went hands-on with it at 2011's E3.
Ranters, are the Boys of Silence one of BioShock's biggest monstrosities yet? Would you rather engage them in open combat or take the high road when you can?
BioShock Infinite releases on October 16, 2012 for the PS3, PC, and Xbox 360.
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