My Growing Excitement for Bioshock Infinite
Bioshock Infinite was released on Tuesday, but those who share my affinity for the midnight launch ran out at midnight on Monday to charge, not into Rapture, that slumbering underwater dystopia, but to Columbia, floating sky city of tomorrow. Well, as envisioned by the academic elite of 1911 anyways.
Clearly it’s a stark departure from what we’re used to in exploring the art deco halls of Rapture, but my excitement couldn’t be more overstated right now. This, I very much believe, will set the standard for immersion and storytelling in gaming and here’s why.
Ken Levine is back
Bioshock 2 was good. Very good, in fact. But it didn’t quite have the magic of the original. And I believe a big part of that was not having Ken involved. It’s not uncommon for publishers in any medium to rush a sequel of a proven success and while Bioshock 2 was carefully constructe and faired better than most, there was something missing and I’m glad to see the original vision of the Bioshock series is returning in Infinite.
The sky is the limit
One of my good friends told me recently that Infinite looked horrible on account of being a floating sky city. I can understand that position because of the radical departure from the world of Rapture, but I feel like there is a TON of potential here that the hesitant should consider.
For starters, being set 40 or so years before the original allows for a alot of development and throwbacks to the characters we’re used to. Hopefully we’ll see the origins of some of the characters we came to love in Bioshock 1 and 2 like Andrew Ryan, Sophia Lamb, Fontaine, Tenenbaum, and so forth. This could enrich the mythos considerably or, poorly handled cause it to take a serious hit. We’ll have to wait and see.
Aside from predating the original, Columbia is sure to be rife with surprises. By nature of its location it’ll be difficult to keep with the gameplay of the series and establish that feeling of dread and uncertainty as it floats among the clouds but I’m betting we’ll see some sharp turns in the story from stormy weather to contrasting, claustrophobic corridors within the heart of Columbis that hold some ghastly secrets. Even the exterior areas I believe will instill some very exhilerating moments as you effectively zipline from one section of the city to the next, miles above the earth as you careen through clouds, dodging bullets and strategizing before a landing.
No more mute heroes
Of course, a pretty environment isn’t much without the denizens who populate it and one of the best parts of Infinite is sure to be Booker DeWitt, the protagonist you play as tasked with recovering the mysterious Elizabeth. While I’ve done my best to avoid too many trailers of Infinite so I can experience it fresh and without bias tomorrow night, I’ve heard some of Booker’s dialog and have to say I’m impressed. Not just with the brief writing, but the delivery. This was the first videogame trailer I’d seen where it felt like a hollywood blockbuster not just with grandiose set pieces or a sweeping orchestral score, but characters that were very, VERY relatable.
I’m more than pleased to see that you play a character with a voice this time around. I understand and appreciate games The Legend of Zelda which beg you to identify with the main character and graft your personality onto theirs, but it also causes some serious limitations in storytelling and hasn’t always been my favorite. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea because the flipside can be limiting in your interpretation of the events that play out in a game, but we’ll have to wait and see how it all plays out.
Are you excited for Bioshock Infinite?