A Couple More BioShock Infinite Screens

By John Walker on August 18th, 2010 at 2:36 pm.

More! We need more!

A couple of new BioShock Infinite screenshots have appeared out of GamesCom. There’s not much more to say than that, but you can see them below, and continue wondering what on Earth the game is going to be like. You can read our coverage of the game so far by clicking here.

Click on them to see them full size.

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46 Comments »

  1. Fuzzy Dunlop says:

    That is clearly Peter Molyneux.

  2. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    Am I the only one to note a discrepancy in art style? She looks like an anime, blown up doll, while the old man could feature in vintage american photos. Unless Elizabeth is meant to be the new version of a Little Sister, with completely exaggerated features.

  3. Dominus says:

    the second one looks like Peter Molineux

  4. nabeel says:

    The lady sweeping the front porch of her burning house is in that second screenshot, a striking image. Is it just me or does Elizabeth look younger than she seemed in the trailer?

    I hope there’s more coming out of Irrational’s showing at Gamescom. Like … video footage?

  5. teo says:

    Molyneux, but yes

  6. Sarlix says:

    That man looks like he’s trying to take a dump.

    Or he’s just jarred his back standing up to quickly. That’s about the most I can get from those screenies.

    Oh, and something to do with a large shipment of butter knives?

  7. Kadayi says:

    I knew that they were going for a stylized look for the characters rather than out and out realism*, but I have to say that (assuming that’s) Elizabeth the female companion (she) kind of looks a tad doll like. Still interested to see more (esp the talked about demo walkthrough), though like many I really wish they called it Columbia rather than Bioshock:Infinite

    *Ken talks about this during last weeks GWJ podcast (episode 200)

    http://www.gamerswithjobs.com/podcast

    • Robin says:

      I have to admit that when the character models turned up in the teaser trailer, my interest in the game took a big dive. Irrational were (barely) able to get away with it in Bioshock 1 by explaining that everyone was a plastic surgery mutant or wearing some kind of mask. Gerry Anderson/Dreamworks-looking characters kill immersion in a relatively ‘serious’ game like this.

    • Kadayi says:

      @Robin

      I’d say in the interview he does go some way to acknowledging that shortfall, however I do understand where he is coming from in terms of his approach. Realism is an extremely hard thing to bring across in a game without constantly falling foul of the uncanny valley.

  8. Jake says:

    I don’t like the Bioshock style of character graphics – they really put me off the previous games as well. I don’t really see why the character graphics need to be stylised when it seems go against the mood of the games to have quite cartoony enemies. I found a quote here from Ken Levine saying that photorealism would be creepy… but wouldn’t creepy be suitable for Bioshock?

    http://bit.ly/94P3Gz

    • John says:

      Yeah I feel the same. I have no objections to a stylised look, but Irrational’s is just … weird. It’s like they’re trying to make them realistic but just aren’t very good at it. Obviously that’s not the case, but still … it’s weird.

    • Malleus says:

      I don’t have objections to stylized look either, but I hope they don’t expect me to connect to a character that doesn’t even look human…

    • perilisk says:

      For some reason I was playing a game where (due to a bug, I think) an NPC started behaving oddly — but for some reason it came across as “mentally ill person” rather than “buggy game character”. And it made me think — human beings have a pretty good sense when there’s just something fucking wrong with people mentally, and it makes us very uncomfortable (probably centuries of evolution telling you “this person might just straight up murder you for no reason”).

      I think it would be great if BS: Infinite’s enemies looked completely normal, but just exhibited that uncomfortable wrongness, like a city filled with (well-dressed) homeless panhandlers and junkies. The Splicer voices they had in the first games were ok, but that’s not what I mean. I just mean a sort mental version of the uncanny valley, where someone acts normal for a little while and then just says some nonsensical shit out of the blue, or they just start following you around and making weird sounds, or they get into your personal space and start talking to you very intensely, or whatever.

    • TeeJay says:

      @ perilisk: “human beings have a pretty good sense when there’s just something fucking wrong with people mentally, and it makes us very uncomfortable (probably centuries of evolution telling you “this person might just straight up murder you for no reason”)”

      Sorry to sidetrack from the ‘uncanny valley’ point but “mental illness” does not equal “dangerous axe-murderer”. like many ‘normal’ illnesses it is something that a large perecentage of people will face at some point during their lives***. Comments like yours (mental illness = someone is abnormal and dangerous) just add to the stigma and people’s unwillingness to talk about how they are feeling and to seek appropriate help. It is also very common for people to *not* realise that someone is suffering. The set of ‘mad axe murderers’ is a very small subset of the the far larger group ‘people who suffer mental illnesses’.

      ***Some random examples:

      Survey: 30 percent on Gulf Coast Suffer From Mental Illness in Wake of Oil Spill
      http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/survey-30-percent-on-gulf-coast-suffer-from-mental-illness-in-wake-of-oil-spill-99538459.html

      One-fourth of US adult survey participants reported having symptoms that would qualify them for a diagnosis of a mental disorder — and most of those disorders could be classified as serious or moderate, according to a report in the June issue of Archives of General Psychiatry.
      http://health.dailynewscentral.com/content/view/973/62

      Sorry to be all boring and serious about this. I enjoy battling ‘monsters and psychos’ in games as much as anyone, but I don’t see myself or other people I know with illnesses as ‘monsters and psychos’ – in fact most of the real-life violence I see comes from supposedly ‘normal’ people, be it weekend drinkers, casual criminals or soldiers with guns.

    • Jake says:

      That’s what made the Splicers interesting, they weren’t all over the top, there was just a pervasive sense of people just going a bit wrong. I found the subtlety of the characterisation at odds with the OTT cartoon style of the character models. I just think the atmosphere would have been a lot creepier without stylised graphics and I don’t really have a lot of interest in Infinite if it is going to use the same stylings. It’s not that I dislike stylised graphics, just that they seem unsuitable here.

    • perilisk says:

      @ TeeJay: Point taken (and at any rate, there are a lot of kinds and degrees of mental illness). Nevertheless, I don’t think that human discomfort around mental illness is mere social construct, any more that our discomfort around physical illness or deformity is. Regardless, mentally illness is an effective means of producing audience discomfort and tension. Now, actually using that tendency to provoke emotion in a game would be controversial, and some might equate it to drawing on xenophobia or bigotry to provoke emotion (although games tend to do that anyway, through proxies like slobbering space aliens or evil empires). But I’m not sure that it’s worse than making people uncomfortable through grotesque facial disfiguration as Bioshock 1 and 2 did.

      @Jay: Their lines were pretty decent (although they got repetitive), but there was still a lot of emphasis on their physical disfigurement, and their behavior were basically just that of aimless roaming monsters. Aside from a couple of setpieces, there was never any indication that they had any sort of life or thoughts besides waiting for players to come around to attack. It would be more interesting if their behaviors were not always hostile and created a sense of tension and unease rather than the adrenaline burst associated with combat.

    • TeeJay says:

      @ perilisk:

      Sure people often feel uncomfortable around extreme, wierd, unusual, inappropriate or unexpected behaviour – which could be someone on drugs, deliberately being annoying, deliberately attention-seeking, clueless about the ‘right’ protocol – or in some cases suffering a mental illness or with a ‘personality defect’. Sometimes it is someone just losing their temper, snapping and doing something crazy. Maybe it’s less scarey if we can say ‘oh he’s drunk’ because most people know what that feels like and have some expectation of what drunk people do.

      It’s true that some people feel very uncomfortable being near someone in a wheelchair for example or some other ‘disability’ – but they might be surprised how fast they would get used to it if this was a friend or co-worker, someone they knew and did talk to about “the issue” rather than someone they didn’t know and were scared of ‘offending’ or unsure how to ‘deal with’.

      I’m not against having games featuring “psychos” or other characters with mental illnesses (depression? hearing voices? personality disorders? aspergers & autism?) even where this is used as a kind of ‘bogeyman’ or ‘scary monster’, but I’d like to point out that “mental illness” is a very widespread and common thing which many people experience at some point in their life, if not personally then almost certainly amongst their close family and friends.

      Hopefully we can see “monsters” in a game or movie (or aliens/zombies) and still respect people with facial deformities (or foreigners), because we can make a clear distinction between the fiction and real life people. I’m slightly worried that this distinction is less clear when mental illness is involved – for example where ‘psychotic’ (eg a violent killer) and ‘psychosis’ (eg hearing voices) are both similar to the word “psycho”. Many recent movies depict people with schizophrenia, manic-depression or autism as tortured geniuses who are ‘great despite their madness’ but reality for most people is far more mundane – unemployment, wasted lives, a feeling of shame and isolation. Stephen Fry has ‘come out’ as bipolar and is still loved (I am wondering how people will react if and when he has a manic episode and gets locked up?) but I can’t think of a contemporary public figure who has admitted to a diagnosis of schizophrenia or of a personality disorder. There is still dispute about whether “psychotic” (aka antisocial personality disorder?) is actually a valid diagnosis. Some docters are proposing to define ‘excessive grief’ as a mental illness – even “religious belief”.

      So I’m not picking on videogames per se – they haven’t deviated from other media in this respect, and you do raise an interesting point that the ‘uncanny valley’ effect in computer games does have parallels with feeling uncomfortable with weird behaviour in real life. My point was more about not reenforcing harmful stereotypes and misunderstandings surrounding real life issues – maybe this is why the zombie/alien/vampire ‘proxy’ is so useful and common in modern culture?

  9. tomwaitsfornoman says:

    Agree @Diogo.

    Also, this game is a joke. I applaud Irrational’s marketing schemers, however, because they managed to hoodwink RPS into creating a post for two lousy screens.

  10. A-Scale says:

    What’s wrong with that guy’s hands? He’s holding a gun and a bottle of booze, and both seemingly backwards.

    • Sarlix says:

      His shoulder also seems to be totally out of proportion and theres something weird going on with his legs. It’s pretty much an all-round bizarre image.

    • PeopleLikeFrank says:

      His incredibly meaty right thumb, holding the gun, is stopping us from seeing most of the left hand, holding the bottle. Of course, it’s still highly weird, what with the elbows floating above the knees they’re supposed to be resting on, and general proportion strangeness.

    • Nallen says:

      Also his sleeves look like the artist has never seen an actual fold or crumple. You’d need about ten feet of material for it to look like that.

  11. Himself says:

    They don’t have a colon in the title, now do they?

  12. Orange Required says:

    They never did, that was a whoopsie by Kieron. Whoopsie!

  13. Jacques says:

    Elizabeth struck me as a bit odd from the trailer, but I kind of understand it, it looks like a merge between clothing from the early 1800s as well as the image of the flappers from the 1920s (hence the hair and head shape). I think it’s probably relate to the little sisters somehow, as well as the ease of evoking emotion from facial expressions despite lighting changes. (she also reminds me of many early 1900s alcohol posters)

    The old man looks like they didn’t spend as much time on him, but there are details, like what appears to be a blind eye and the aforementioned enlarged shoulder (further emphasized by the sleeve, which I suppose is extremely baggy, but not soft enough to loose form, or just weirdly modeled).

    Given we know that Elizabeth has telekinesis, there are robots stomping around powered by human hearts/ brains/ who knows, and that this is a weaponized floating city in the early 1900s, possibly with tonics, nothing is that odd really.

  14. squirrel says:

    Laputa!!

  15. Zyrusticae says:

    Art style aside, the character graphics seem much improved from the original’s, at least in my eyes.

    I still distinctly remember Bioshock’s faces landing squarely within the uncanny valley…

  16. Sarlix says:

    I’m still trying to figure out why that woman is guarding a rather large crate of butter knives. Surely in a war torn flying city butter is not in abundance, so why the need for all the knives!?

    • stahlwerk says:

      Suggestion: maybe it’s butcher knives?

    • Sarlix says:

      Ooh, you maybe your right! That would certainly make more sense given the context. clearly your brain is more sophisticated than mine at handling these complex linguistic challenges. I bet you’re good at countdown!

      On second thought, maybe it’s butler knives?

    • stahlwerk says:

      Careful with your assumptions! We may yet receive more screenshots of these boxes in the future, from slightly different angles, teasing us with their obscured knowledge of cutlery related mysteries.

      (Also: “time to crate” for this game is -2 years.)

    • Sarlix says:

      Of course your probably right stahlwerk.

      But unable to get these butter/butler/butcher knives out of my head, I have assumed a scenario that would explain everything and allow me to get to sleep!

      The man in the lower picture is clearly a butler (see waistcoat) He’s just been laid off from his duties due to long term back problems and a strange anti-gravity effect causing his arms to stick out a 90 degree angles, most likely down to excessive plasmid misuse.

      Insistent he can still indeed perform his duties, he tried to break into the supply of butler knives. The woman in the first picture has been given the job of guarding the knives and stopping any further attempts at break-ins.

      Coming to terms with his crippling problem he sits on the bench contemplating his own fate. Gun in one hand, bottle of – what can only be assumed as chateau de blank 1868. He sits wondering if he’ll ever be able to take a drink without spilling it all down his shirt, adding further to the embarrassment he must already endure. And YAY I can now go to sleep :-D

    • Justin Keverne says:

      Maybe Butter\Butler etc is simply a brand name?

    • stahlwerk says:

      Nah, the brand is clearly “Presley Silver and Cutlery” by “Robert & Son”.

  17. Justin Keverne says:

    Anybody who wants to claim you can’t have an emotional attachment to non photorealistic characters just needs to go and watch a few Hayao Miyazaki or Pixar films.

  18. Simon (bristolgamer) says:

    The trailer for this game is awesome – I love how you initially appear to be returning to Rapture then, BAM!, you’re sent off in the exact opposite direction up into the clouds.

    The graphics do look different to BioShock 1/2 but I CANNOT WAIT for this game to be released in 2012 – bring…..it…….on!

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