Look, Sky-walker: BioShock Infinite In Motion

By Alec Meer on June 7th, 2011 at 8:24 am.

You look a lot less little, sister

Only a shortie for Ken & chums’ latest, but it’s pretty confident proof that we’re not in Rapture anymore, Andrew. Rocket-spewing zeppelins, anti-gravity powers, gruesome splatting via sky-crates and, at the end, a hint of how large the environments may be. Also, it really plays up the fact that this is a buddy game – but not exactly a buddy comedy.

Looks like the most all-out action ‘Shock so far, which isn’t exactly going to bring those who felt betrayed back to the court of Irrational, but it looks spectacular, and so colourful.

Also, the now rather prettier Elizabeth has definitely been redesigned to look less creepy – here’s her original look for contrast:

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69 Comments »

  1. fuggles says:

    Really? The original looks like a grown up little sister but the new one is a moon-faced cross eyed Alice. Creepy is good! Ah well, the game looks tops so far, especially now the new metro has disgruntled me.

    • baby snot says:

      Her mouth. It’s full of teeth.

      I can’t stand the new version of Elizabeth.

    • YourMessageHere says:

      Seconded. Original one looked better. Focus group game design GO!

    • Jesse L says:

      Also liked the original better. More personality.

    • RP says:

      First design had more character. :(

    • mortimasIV says:

      This might sound weird – especially coming from the male half of humanity – but I’m really sick of lead women having obscenely emphasized chesticles.

      If the developers really thought that some enormous gazonkas would help convince some potential buyers, well…they’re probably wrong. In fact, I may be a slight bit less likely to buy the game.

      That said, it looks beautiful and I WILL buy it. Because yes please atmosphere.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      Better get used to it, mortimasIV. Women’s average breast size is increasing. (Sorry, no link, as I’m at work.)

      Edit: it’s even linked at the bottom of the page :)

    • 12kill4 says:

      considering the first version looked like my one of my ex-girlfriends, im not too sad to not look at her face for an entire game.

    • MadMatty says:

      oh…. Emo´s.
      as for chest size, its a pretty cheap and tacky trick, which is entirely my style, after all ;)

    • DOLBYdigital says:

      Completely agree that the original look was far superior in my opinion. She looked interesting and that she had a personality. The new version makes her look like a careless girl. Damn you mainstream gaming!

  2. syntax says:

    I really really really hope that there is as much vertical gameplay as shown in that last clip.

  3. McDan says:

    Toto, we’re not in rapture anymore.

  4. MultiVaC says:

    I’m not really liking the way this is looking. Everything about it seems to be pointing to a totally linear action game. As much as I felt let down by how simplified and straightforward shooting-focused BioShock ended up being, it was still no Call of Duty. None of the environments I’m seeing here show any signs of being open for exploration, looting, or planning, and all of the gameplay segments they’ve shown are packed with scripted sequences.

    • Defiant Badger says:

      I feel the same, my favourite parts of Bioshock were how the areas felt alive with the Splicers, Big Daddy and of course the little sisters, and I just don’t see how that can work with Infinite at the moment.

    • brulleks says:

      It’s a trailer. They’re going to show action-heavy sequences, not some FP perspective poking round looking for crates and pick-ups. It was pretty much the same for the Bioshock trailers.

      Not so keen on the girl’s redesign though. Reminds me of Elika from Prince of Persia with longer hair, and way too much innocence in those eyes. The so-called ‘creepier’ design lent some ambiguity to the trustworthiness of the character.

    • Justoffscreen says:

      How can the both of you like completely opposite things, agree completely, and still be so wrong?

    • Defiant Badger says:

      Perhaps I should have been more specific, I too am not liking the way this is looking.

    • Jeremy says:

      I think she’s actually supposed to be “innocent”. According to what I had read in some interviews, she’s sort of been locked away most of her life, and this giant raven-robot thing is trying to capture her. So, it actually seems to make more sense with the story that she’s innocent, and not so hard looking.

    • dskzero says:

      I have to disagree with you. One, it doesn’t really looks as linear of Call of Linearity. And two and more important, while the original games where awesome, Bioshock was a fairly linear game. Personally, I’m loving what I see.

  5. Strangineer says:

    How huge are his hands? Or her neck is very thin.

  6. Squirrelfanatic says:

    “Vat do ve’ve got hier? Anti-grav tshokolat…”

  7. papabear says:

    I would trade 100 of these bioshock shit for a System Shock 3.

    • Memphis-Ahn says:

      ^

    • Bret says:

      You sure?

      Let’s leave the possibility of radically altered gameplay off the table for the moment, your XCOMs, Fallout 3s and the like (Kinda dig that sort of thing when done tolerably well, personally, but I get the impression you don’t.)

      Let’s also allow it would get published in today’s environment, and would sell well enough not to kill the company making it. (Unlikely, but possible, even with the bulk of consumer energy going to CoD and its ilk).

      Here’s the catch. You make it System Shock, you gotta have SHODAN. No way around it. Comes with the title, and leaving her dead would be exactly the kind of thing to have the AIMs rioting in the street, with their MODOKs and Beekeeper suits.

      So, the bitch is back, and the gameplay is like the old days. Huzzah!

      There’s still a catch. Big one.

      Read Gillen’s The Girl Who Wanted to be God? Worth looking up in the archives, but if you want the relevant bit:

      “There’s never going to be a System Shock 3. We really should be glad.

      No matter what you made of Bioshock, it’s better we got a spiritual successor than an actual one. Take Shock’s approaches – the closed environments, the brooding horror, the environment-as-storytelling – and applying it to a whole new situation. It’s better this way. Just leave the poor girl a lone.

      If there’s never a System Shock 3, Shodan, in a suitably perverse way, gets the immortality she’s chased so desperately through both games. As she is, she’s unforgettable. If there was another game… well, Shodan is a villain and villains are entirely unlike heroes. Heroes save the world repeatedly, and each repetition increases their status.

      Every time a villain fails to destroy the world, it lessens them.

      They become less of a threat, and more of a joke. A second try at storming the Godhead was both new and good for Shodan, with her initial weak position and striving for the impossible goal being striking. There’s a determination there which is admirable, so lends her a little dignity. A third try and she becomes less the immortal, perfect machine and just another loser.

      And, more than ice-picks to her processing terminals and EMP grenades in her face, the suspicion that she’s in fact loser would destroy her – both in her own eyes and in ours. So if you love her, the best thing to do is let her go before she becomes another laughable pantomime dame. Spare her the fate of superhero comic archvillains whose threat is muted by infinitely recurring Pinky-And-The-Brain-esque attempts to conquer all existence. Let’s bid Shodan adieu, be grateful that people appear to have learned from her, are inspired by her and she managed to be the conductor through which lightning struck twice. In a real way, she was the electricity which Shock.”

  8. Ryn Taylor says:

    I’ve always been entranced by Bioshock games, and always disappointed with the gameplay. The world is so intriguing, but I can never get pulled into it.

    • Metonymy says:

      It’s because there are about 20 different weapons/ammos, and only about 5 different enemies. Those two numbers are in the wrong positions. I say with respect to the series that they are really terrible games. It’s shameful that so much creativity, art, and insidious liberal thinking go into such an empty game experience.

      I recently played bioshock 2 again, and there’s no rational reason why anyone would stop using the machine gun. The same was true for the shotgun in BS1. They utterly failed to make your weapon choice matter, which seems to be the opposite of what they were attempting. It’s no wonder that designers want to dumb everything down for consoles, there isn’t a game present to begin with. The ‘choices’ that are included are just artifacts (Doom2) that have been photocopied until they are just line drawings.

    • bill says:

      I totally loved bioshock (well, the ending was a bit disappointing) but you’re spot on about there being way too many weapons/powers with not much to do with them.

    • WhatGravitas says:

      Also in love with setting more than the actual games themselves. Hence my top secret project to make a P&P RPG set in the Rapture civil war. Scheming and factions instead of killing everything that moves.

  9. gwathdring says:

    Hmm. This game looks gorgeous, interesting, exciting and very-much-not-Bioshock. All good things (not that Bioshock was bad, but that the sequel looks different enough to make me happy). I’m a bit troubled by how linear it’s looking as someone further up mentioned, but I’m hopeful that it ends up more like Bioshock in the sense that it creates a decent illusion of open exploration with lots of scripted events packed in. I would like to believe they’ll expand even further on that concept by having a much more open world packed with brilliant, scripted set pieces in addition to interesting events caused by the AI behavior. There’s a lot to be said for the combination of scripted set pieces and open world design, but I don’t think that dream will be realized here. I will be satisfied with a successful illusion of less-linear gameplay.

    • Iokanaan says:

      that might work wonders: the idea of the original Half-Life (within its contemporary context). linearity made virtually free-roaming.

    • gwathdring says:

      That’s what I felt Bioshock wanted to be. And, as you pointed out, what Half Life fiddled around with for a bit. But it’s an extremely difficult concept to get across to gamers, and takes a lot of labor. Think about all the content in a game like Assassin’s Creed but with the amount of effort and level design that goes into a set-piece in Half Life 2, Bioshock, and so forth in every city street. What’s much more likely is the advancement or procedurally generated and contextually sensitive gameplay as we are seeing in Skyrim. If we develop more contained worlds while advancing that sort of AI and environmental technology, we could get some rather impressive feeling worlds without as much work as I described above. Of course, you still have to deal with the sheer amount of dialog that goes into a convincing, immersive world the player is allowed to run amok in something Oblivion struggled with and Bioshock/Half-life 2 handled through linearity.

    • Iokanaan says:

      procedurally generated dialogue, then? and at a certain point automatically generated voices to accompany the texts, based on gender, age, character, history, time of the day, &c.
      still I think procedurally generated worlds will always be less immersive than handcrafted might be. there’s only so much realism in mathematical abstraction. well, probably it will be a combination of the two, anyway. and consider the fact that generating a world like Skyrim’s is easier than generating a coherent city (that, at least, seems logical to me).

    • gwathdring says:

      If nothing else, handmade content creates an excellent seed to make the procedural generation easier and give it a starting point. Frozen Synapse illustrates this design concept nicely.

      Procedural dialog is a long way off, I bet. But I would love to see it done. It’s an interesting idea.

      I’d agree that the most immediate promise is in merging the two design philosophies, filling in the detail work with an extremely detailed but context sensitive and semi-random AI and environment system while providing the key environmental design elements with hand-crafted levels, characters and dialog. The next step is to take that open world model and throw in the elaborate set-pieces from linear games along with some of the advances we’re seeing in destructible environments and context-sensitive character animations and movements. I want to see those big, scripted set pieces expand beyond the main quest/story line, see consequences when I ignore that quest line.

      In Mass Effect, for example, I would have loved to see things like greater quantities of Geth attacking if I spent too long mucking about in side quests while Saren rallied his forces. Or the krogan project in Saren’s lab being completed such that suddenly I was fighting lots of indoctrinated, lab bred Krogan. I wanted to see not just the world interacting with me on my terms when I’m ready for it, but characters and the environment forcing me to react to them as well. Imagine wandering around gathering loot from a bunch of corpses and suddenly getting caught in the open as a Thresher Maw, attracted by the vibrations of gunfire and explosions bursts onto the scene. Or reinforcements arrive from the near-by building because you were too loud or let some guy run inside to get help.

      Imagine a new situation: you are in the middle of a war between two alien species, and are given the choice to act as a negotiator, to pick a side and make demands of the other, or to covertly accept a mission to perform some action for one or both sides. Meanwhile, a scripted, times sequence is simulating either the arrival of combat units to a battlefield, or an ongoing battle. Based on what you decide to do, the battle you weren’t necessarily aware of goes differently. And taking a leaf out of the Witcher’s book, doing nothing causes the fighting to rage on anyway—with the added twist that you are known to have been involved as you were seen speaking with one or more of the leaders. Now rumors spread and accusations are made and people react to you differently as a result. Or imagine if while investigating an anomaly on an asteroid you were scanning for resources, you discover it was a piece of defective mining equipment, and you accidentally set it off, triggering a dramatic scripted escape sequence/cutscene and a big explosion–perhaps with repercussions for nearby colonies. Or the one I REALLY wanted to see, scanning certain planets for resources causing conflicts with corporations or species that own the planets and don’t take kindly to your pirating their precious metals. Especially after reading about the mining corporation that owned a planet in the flavor text, I was surprised when scanning a planet had absolutely no effect. This would have been a great opportunity to make a exploration feel more dynamic by including a scripted event, a hidden side quest less obsessive resource miners would never see.

      I think for a game to truly feel like an open world to me, more important than the ability to go anywhere is the ability to do immediately useful things. I should be able to vault over small fences. I want to be able to pick up a chair and throw it at enemies, or use a broken bottle as a knife. I want to be able to scale rubble my character would be able to scale, without getting stuck in weird corners and clipping through the scenery. I don’t need this to be a one-to-one fidelity with the real world, but I think these sorts of interactive details make me fall in love with the world more than even the sorts of aesthetic details that made Half-Life 2 so fantastic. But there’s more to it than that. Because it’s the broad scale interaction that matters to me most. I can get used to my character not being able to jump on command. But I can’t get used to my character being capable of jumping, and not having a scripted sequence allow me to jump when it seems the most sensible thing to do–say I come up to an eight-foot wall I could jump and haul myself over, but proceed through a maze full of enemies anyway despite how easily I could gain tactical advantage with some very simple, Hitman Blood Money style climbing ability. Even more irksome are the moments when a world full of complex interacting factions doesn’t allow those factions to surprise me as a gamer, like in Mass Effect 2′s scanning–in a truly open world, I would not be allowed to scan a fully populated planet for minerals without someone causing a fuss any more than starting a shoot-out in Liberty City would be overlooked by the cops.

  10. Iokanaan says:

    I’m hoping it’s a city like Arkham, from what I heard yesterday in the E3 video: maybe not very large, but detailed, no randomness but well-considered placing of objects and textures and events. that grappling hook somehow makes me think there’s a city to explore in all of its horizontal- and verticalness; the only linearity is probably in the way the devs positioned the rails throughout the city.

  11. magnus says:

    There’s so much negativity here I’m getting a headache from constant face-desking. Maybe waiting until the games out would be better, after all it’s never going to be better than the version of Bioshock : Infinite in your head is it? And unfortunately that increasingly seems the point nowadays. (sigh)

    • Iokanaan says:

      @magnus
      I think lots of people’s ideas (here) are not too idealistic to not hang onto, and usually based on the footage they saw thus far, the things they read about it, &c. I mean, I never compare games to some kind of platonic idea (something I only had for Baldur’s Gate 3, btw, a game which I wanted to make myself in my humble almightiness), because that would be plain stupid and always result in a letdown.
      but this a good place to jot down your hopes and criticism for games. because letting it out might mean someone is picking it up.

    • Tetragrammaton says:

      The negativity is well founded though- As a couple of people mentioned above, Irrational excel at creating fascinating and atmospheric worlds- yet they fill them with vacuous and uninspired gameplay, something which has always baffled me.
      Infinite is both and intriguing and original concept – And once again the world looks stellar – & once again the gameplay looks a little mediocre
      Here’s hoping im wrong about the latter!

    • Iokanaan says:

      you’re right. platform based shoosting, with a scripted event every now and then. and of course the linearity-excusing railways.
      still, if the latter’s dynamic, and there are other ways of moving (climbing walls, gliding a la a caped crusader – this is getting idealistic, and totally nullifying my point in the last post; yay for inconsequence, something so humane), it could be great.

    • Thants says:

      Irrational excel at creating fascinating and atmospheric worlds- yet they fill them with vacuous and uninspired gameplay

      No they don’t. The Bioshocks are well designed FPS games with good old-school level design. Not to mention SWAT 4.

    • Shazbut says:

      All I think watching this stuff is that Ken was the man behind System Shock 2. He CAN do depth, which is so bloody rare in this industry. That’s why it’s sad. I bet in an ideal world, he’d make this a lot more cerebral and meaningful than it probably will be.

      What I want to know is where is the pressure on him coming from. Surely he’s enough of a name to find funding from people who would respect his and his team’s abilities.

    • Seb says:

      The pressure is coming from the marketplace — Call of Duty sells, System Shock doesn’t.

      That said, I think this looks fantastic, and I’m not sure how anyone can assess depth based on the few minutes of gameplay footage we’ve seen since this game was announced. I don’t expect System Shock, but I expect a great game with a certain measure of brains nonetheless. Looking forward to it.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      Call of Duty sells, System Shock doesn’t.

      Probably because there hasn’t been a System Shock game since 1999.

      Who in their right mind would have guessed that Minecraft would sell nearly 2.5 million copies by now? A shitty-looking game with no story, no goals, just one programmer? Publishers would’ve laughed their asses off.

      If nobody’s making a certain kind of game, of course it won’t sell.

    • Seb says:

      Probably because there hasn’t been a System Shock game since 1999.

      That’s possible, but I don’t think so. I don’t have any sales figures but I don’t think System Shock sold well. Looking Glass folder only a year after the release of System Shock 2. There’s a reason people don’t make those types of games anymore.

      The Shock games were dense and difficult, the barriers of entry were high. I don’t think you can say the same about Minecraft — For €15 you can start playing in your little (massive) sandbox right away. Sure, you need to learn a few basic recipes if you want to get anywhere, but the game starts being fun the moment you log in.

      This is not to say that complexity is the only factor that makes or breaks a hit. Minecraft is affordable, it’s cute, retro is ‘in’, and so is the indie scene. Etc. My point is that the available market for any given product is inversely proportional to its focus and complexity. You can’t have both the success of Bioshock and the complexity of System Shock.

  12. CaspianRoach says:

    This game might be actually not as bad as I originally thought. That is if they don’t make buddy character chronically retarded or annoying.

  13. Furius says:

    Did people really say “on it” in the 1900′s? It’s funny how my brain accepts floating cities and magical powers but not that.

  14. Gnoupi says:

    Funny, I see “sending the enemies in the air”, colorful scenery, and big, loud action.

    It reminds me more of Bulletstorm than Bioshock, at this point (not necessarily a bad thing).

  15. Robert says:

    I do hope it’s less of a rollercoast ride, and I’m not fond of the buddy mechanic. Besides that it looks and sounds great, am curious for it.

  16. JohnnyMaverik says:

    Well I think it looks quite good =/

  17. MadTinkerer says:

    That last bit with the radio static and seeming fast forwarding, rewinding and fast-forwarding again in a split-second may be an interesting hint.

    Time travel (and possibly a link to not just Rapture but other utopias gone mad?)?

    It would explain the “infinite” part.

  18. Pathetic Phallacy says:

    I look forward to and dread the fact that this game, like its original predecessor, will end up being talked about at every academic game conference I attend.

  19. Rii says:

    Of itself the trailer isn’t particularly impressive. Nor disappointing. It’s just … there. It’s confirmation that the game does in fact exist, but for anyone who’s been following the project in any detail – as I have – it doesn’t add much to my understanding or appreciation of it.

    All that said, this is still my #1 most anticipated game. Bring it on, Levine.

  20. shoptroll says:

    Her proportions aren’t totally right in either version. New model looks better but a little too much in the opposite direction. Somewhere in the middle would probably be better.

    Call me a prude but heaving bosoms seems a bit weird on her character.

    • Jesse L says:

      Yeah, the bosoms. Another one to not play in front of the fam, if only to avoid the mockery. My wife’s not fond of the headachy, delicate, innocent, weak-yet-strong psychic/magic female archetype. Neither am I, in fact; it reminds me too much of the fiction I used to write when I was sixteen. It’s even worse when the archetype is sporting massive cleavage.

    • Zogtee says:

      God, there’s something wrong with me. I just came from a discussion on Brian Blessed and now all I can think of is Brian shouting:

      “HEEEEEAVING BOSOMS!”

    • thegooseking says:

      She looks pretty much like my best friend.

      Proportions and all.

    • Urthman says:

      Looks to me like the texture artists and the polygon modelers had a difference of opinion about how boobtastic Elizabeth should be.

  21. BreadBitten says:

    Elizabeth actually looks like a grown woman now…!

  22. Urthman says:

    People are saying this looks linear, but in a lot of that footage it looks quite possible the player had a bunch of options about where to go and what to do. I’m sure that once you choose to jump off the cliff down to the next island, it’s a bit scripted like the leap of faith in Assassin’s Creed, but it looked to me like the player might have had some choice about where and when to leap or ride the roller-coaster tracks.

    I hope so.

  23. Serenegoose says:

    I’m really excited for this game – I want a character to care about that isn’t helpless, that has goals and motivations of her own, that wraps me up in a story that isn’t just THE UNIVERSE IS EXPLODING, COME SAVE US ALL.

    This game hints that it might just do that, and that hint makes me very interested.

  24. kud13 says:

    This incarnation of Bioshock actually looks interesting.

    at the very least, this game looks like it’s honestly trying its own thing, gameplay-wise, instead of being a dumbed own System Shock derivative.

    that in itself can only be a good thing.

  25. Jamesworkshop says:

    I must live in an awesome part of England because female characters to me seem to have fairly normal breasts

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/may/16/womens-breasts-are-getting-bigger

    36D average bra size

    • MadMatty says:

      hmm the interesting figure right now, would be how high a percentage of women within a certain age range, have had breast augmentations. It mentions that the popularity of this augmentation has just about peaked right now, and therefore we should have more big breasted women right now than ever before.
      Still, i do see super bench-pressed women with huge boobs, and thats just really uncommon biologically ….

  26. Shadrach says:

    Looks like the copyright police has been on the prowl again… “OOh no, we certainly don’t want free promotion for our games, durrr”.

  27. dsi1 says:

    I wish I could watch this trailer so I could know if I want it or not, since it was removed I can only assume the worst about the game and that it was removed in an attempt to cover up the flaws.

  28. Agrona says:

    This video is no longer available because the YouTube account associated with this video has been terminated due to multiple third-party notifications of copyright infringement from claimants including: [Warner Music Group], [Warner Music Group], [Viacom]

    =(

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