When developer Irrational Games unveiled that, instead of developing BioShock 2, they would be creating a different riff on BioShock but set in the sky, it left many gamers scratching their heads. If Irrational wanted to do something completely different, to abandon the world of Rapture, why create a game that, in many respects, feels like a different iteration of BioShock, and is titled BioShock: Infinite?
As Ken Levine explains it, Irrational wanted to get away from Rapture, but were still very much enamored by those core concepts that made BioShock such a success. So, the team looked to create a gameplay experience very much akin to BioShock, but set in a different time period, and with a few choice differences thrown in.
A lot of what makes BioShock: Infinite so intriguing is its time period. Turn of the century America was a time of steeped in political strife, and so Irrational wanted to play on that in order to create a back-story for the world of Columbia. The team even looked to the science fiction created during that time period, and drew from it for inspiration when creating this “city in the sky.”
There’s also the introduction of the characters of Booker DeWitt and Elizabeth who, themselves, breathe new life into the BioShock formula through their interactions with both the world and each other. It was a bold choice, giving a voice to the player, but there still seems to be a genuine sense of discovery at play, as Columbia’s various nooks and crannies, and unsightly folks, begin to reveal themselves.
Obviously, beneath all of that battling between the Vox Populi and the Founders is a story and mechanics that gamers will be somewhat familiar with, but also feels fresh and new at the same time. If ever there was a poster child for the term spiritual successor, BioShock: Infinite would be it, and we’re extremely intrigued to see more.
How do you feel about Irrational’s decision to move away from Rapture and create the world of BioShock: Infinite? Do you think that the game too closely resembles BioShock 1 for gamers to be skeptical?
BioShock: Infinite is rumored to be targeting a Spring 2012 release date on the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.