BioShock Infinite announcement and trailer

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Ken Levine had been tight lipped about what project he’s kept himself busy with after BioShock 1 but at a 2K press event he finally revealed that his Project Icarus is actually BioShock Infinite. The announcement trailer took me a little by surprise as I didn’t expect Levine to be making another game in the Big Daddy sporting franchise but this time around, the premiss is less about finding out who you are and more about rescuing a girl named Elizabeth. But backing things up, BioShock Infinite is somewhat of a prequel being set in 1912 in the cloud city of Columbia. At the start of the twentieth century, Columbia was built within a deadly secret – is was a heavily armed fortress. Things start to go wrong and the city disappears providing a perfect setting for a video game. BioShock Infinite puts players in the role of one Booker DeWitt, a disgraced detective of a protection agency called Pinkerton who has been shipped off to Columbia in order to save young Elizabeth from the perils within. But Elizabeth isn’t quite the helpless princess figure but actually very powerful and the two form a bond, combining their abilities for one goal – flee the city before it comes tumbling to the ground.

The trailer shows considerable similarities to the original BioShock with a primitive Big Daddy character, plasmid-type powers, an eerie score and the idea of a fallen city (though in this case quite a literal meaning). However, the likeness is more on a conceptual level, after all it’s called BioShock Infinite so you’d expect – and want – those kinds of features. Levine commented on just how different things will be: “In order to explore the floating city of Columbia, we needed an entirely new engine. To bring Elizabeth to life, we had to build brand-new animation and AI systems. To create wide-ranging indoor and outdoor firefights at 30,000 feet, we had to rethink, rebuild and expand the BioShock arsenal. The only thing gamers can be certain of is this: the rules of the BioShock universe are about to change.”

BioShock Infinite isn’t coming until sometime in 2012 for Xbox 360, PC and PS3 so we have a while yet to ponder of its contents. There’ll be plenty more details to come yet and this year’s GamesCom will play host to the public airing of gameplay footage so stick around for that one. I’m so glad that the BioShock universe didn’t end with the second game as its a franchise that provides some great first person shooting in a truly believable world. Can’t wait!

{Thanks Giant Bomb for additional information}

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