BioShock Infinite Teasers

The first BioShock game was a revelation of art design and blending philosophical complexity into a game story, and a great gameplay experience as well; I managed to miss BioShock 2 somehow (I think I was super-broke when it came out), but BioShock Infinite is gearing up to be pretty interesting itself. I’m going to have to go back and rent BioShock 2 before it comes out so I can be all caught up – though I’m not sure how much they interrelate. This is clearly a new location and a new main character. Instead of being set in the dark and grim under-sea world of Rapture, we’re in a bright and sunny floating city called Columbia, a sort of moveable World’s Fair. But there’s still a politically-charged story going on, as two factions in the city battle each other, one apparently oligarchic, the other popular, but both singleminded and destructive.

Here are a bunch of the trailers and featurettes released so far. The first teaser from nearly a year ago sets up a dark underwater world like what we’re used to from the previous games, with the first-person main character getting beaten up, but then he’s thrown out a window and it’s immediately obvious we’re not at all in the same world as the first two games. There are tall buildings and zeppelins everywhere, and a strange girl who can seemingly control the elements to keep you from falling. Intrigued? I am.

The next clip was run at E3 this year and focuses on the use of the skyline transportation system for getting around, and provides a carnival-esque feel to the world. I like the design, but I’m not wholly convinced by the skyline, which seems like it just puts a bunch of the game on rails. I could be wrong, though, since it seems everyone at E3 was batshit in love with this trailer, and everyone at E3 was also upset at all the Kinect games because they put action on rails. How is this different? I guess because you can jump off and travel other ways if you want, or fall off and have to grab another rail? It certainly looks way more kinetic (no pun intended) than the Kinect games, and way more fun, but the concept still has me a little wary.

More on the skyline system from the lead developer. I like the backstory, but I’m still not wholly convinced about how they’ll play.

This, on the other hand, was the thing that pushed me over the edge from “I’m not totally convinced about the game in general” to “HELL YEAH.” I admit, I’m a sucker for pop entertainment pulling in esoteric philosophical and scientific elements, and sounds like they’ve done exactly that, and with my current favorite element, the idea of multiple worlds. The girl in the first teaser can manipulate the world because she’s actually tapping into other worlds that are slightly different than ours, effecting a crossover effect that helps you. I think that is awesome. And however the skyline system works out, I think the game will be fun and thought-provoking as well, which is what I want from games.