BioShock Infinite E3, The First Two Minutes

By Andrew Smee on July 1st, 2011 at 9:29 am.

It's 2011. Where are my flying trains?

Irrational Games have posted the first two minutes of the Bioshock Infinite E3 presentation. The footage is introduced by the lovely Ken Levine and covers a brief rummage through an old curiosity shop chock full of adventuresome period banter between Booker and Elizabeth and also features some remarkably creepy sound design. Comrade Dan Griliopoulos previously reported on the demo which you can rejigger in your mind-memory right here. Impressive-sounding stuff, and you can watch his words spring to life below! Seems like too much of a coincidence. My new theory? Maybe he’s a god. He’s got the chin.

The full 15 minutes is coming next week on Thursday.

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52 Comments »

  1. McDan says:

    Oh wow this looks so good! Kind of getting over that they changed how Elizabeth looks as well, maybe I’m just getting used to it. It’s still a shame though.

    • Rich says:

      I’m quite pleased with the new design. She looks prettier, but not in a typical impractically exposed bosomy way. She is bosomy but it fits the whole art style rather well.

  2. coldvvvave says:

    Is it me or Ken Levine looks kinda creepy?

  3. Zenicetus says:

    So, this is a teaser, where we have to sit through the first third of the video clip listening to a guy telling us that this is a teaser for a trailer that will be shown later. Really?

    This “drip feed, granular marketing” thing is getting really irritating. It’s also irritating to see a site like RPS buying into it. You guys don’t have to jump on every single promo, you know. I come here for a higher signal-to-noise ratio than I’m getting with some of this stuff.

    I’m also saying that as someone who is actually interested in Bioshock Infinite. But too much of this, and it’s going to automatically hit my “buy on sale” list, and “ignore when game sites talk about it too much” list, instead of being interested in the initial release. Drip feed is not the way to market games, or maintain interest in gaming web sites.

    • razgon says:

      Yet, here you are, talking about the game, which is exactly the point and purpose of the drip feed

    • Zenicetus says:

      Sure, but at some point it reaches the threshold where one stops. And that’s getting close.

    • Rii says:

      @Zenecitus: “This “drip feed, granular marketing” thing is getting really irritating. It’s also irritating to see a site like RPS buying into it. You guys don’t have to jump on every single promo, you know. I come here for a higher signal-to-noise ratio than I’m getting with some of this stuff.”

      Here, here. This clip triggered my ‘marketing bullshit’ alarm when I saw it on another site earlier and I distinctly recall hoping that RPS wouldn’t dignify it with coverage. Alas…

      It’s made worse by the fact that RPS’ format doesn’t handle large volumes of stories well: this ‘story’ bumped another one off the front page.

    • Premium User Badge

      oceanclub says:

      I have to admit the OP has a point; I mean, Bioshock Infinite will be an absolute must-buy for me, but I’m beginning to feel I’m seeing just too much of the plot and characters so that, by the time I play it, there won’t be that many surprises. It’s one of the reasons, for example, I’m trying to avoid any news related to “The Dark Knight Rises”.

      P.

    • gwathdring says:

      If nothing else, in a game with this many scripted events and responses to in-world objects, it’s going to feel stale after too many gameplay clips.

      nthed on the “this video wasn’t necessary” opinion.

    • Nova says:

      Well that seems to be the general direction RPS is heading in. Away from the selective coverage of the Four to more news coverage, more features and more WIT’s by more (even non RPS) writers.
      Yeah grumpy old man I know.

    • Fierce says:

      All of this is completely understandable and is really just that Marketing Saturation point everyone has being reached. I feel the exact same way about Deus Ex Human Revolution. I’ve got it pre-ordered and I just want to play it already and couldn’t care less about the leak… or the new screenshots…… or the interviews……… or the videos…………

      It’s just a matter of not caring anymore about all the lame attempts to keep us salivating. However I would argue that it isn’t exactly directed at “us” because from the sounds of it we’re older, more mature and thus more wise to the game they’re trying to play, so it just doesn’t work anymore.

      For the bright-eyed youngins’ among us? Different story. Marketing has always been a cat and mouse game between Professional Content Embellishers and the human mind adapting and getting bored with more of the same, and I’m actually looking forward to seeing what Marketers do in the coming decades to continue hooking the (intellectual) minds of the quickly maturing mentalities of the western hemisphere adapting to our new Connected world. Should be interesting… and it’ll probably involve Youtube, Facebook and ARGing.

    • gwathdring says:

      You know, that’s a good point. I’m only in my early twenties, but five or six years ago I was all over the latest news about every single game on the market. I knew the latest graphics cards, big upcoming console titles despite not owning a console … they had me on the drip feed for a while. I’d forgotten about that. I’m not sure if I got over-exposed or if I grew out of it, but I guess I should be careful not to be too derogatory about it since I’ve been there.

      Thanks. :)

  4. ananachaphobiac says:

    Ken Levne has crazy eyes. He will steal your soul if you look at him for too long!

  5. razgon says:

    clicked wrongly

  6. osbournecox says:

    David Duchovny works for Irrational?

  7. rareh says:

    Another heavily scripted shooter ? no thx

    • HeavyStorm says:

      The old BioShock had some scripted scenes, and while this one looks like it’s going to have more, I think it’s going to be just as fun. BioShock wasn’t one of those games that you “watch”… you actually had to play it, and it was challenging.

    • gwathdring says:

      I’m worried about the scripting. A bit worried. But Bioshock was pretty scripted … it just did a better job hiding it compared to what I’ve seen of Infinite. That said, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with scripting in general. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with linearity in game design at all. It just has to make sense while you play it. Even the term is just so … short sighted to me. Most games are scripted, it’s just a matter of how detailed the scripts are. Is it only when you jump in this spot, or is it every time you jump? Is it only at this exact location, or twelve others just like it? I suppose it’s also a matter of when the scripts give way to the AI. I understand the distinction and the colloquial usage. That’s not my point here. It’s just that I find the general opposition to scripted events in games about as logical as the terminology itself.

      Implementation matters. Whether it feels right in Infinite I have no idea. I’m going to wait for reviews before I judge that. But why is scripting in itself a bad thing? It means we get more interesting, and if properly hidden, more promptly interactive and dynamic seeming events; it gives developers the ability to make a story with the action pieces of the game just like they do with cinematics, level designs and incidental dialog. Especially given that the most commonly lamented scripted shooter I’ve heard about on RPS is the latest Call of Duty offering, whatever that is at any given time, I don’t get how this can be lumped in with that group. It might be absolute crap for all I know, but it at least sounds different.

      Why are scripted events, in and of themselves, a bad thing? Otherwise, what looks particularly heinous about them here?

      I’ll certainly give you the rifts. The “spawn in one of these three things we picked out for you, your decision is important” thing doesn’t look interesting to me gameplay wise. From the footage I’ve seen, it looks like a gimmick. But the set pieces I’ve seen (like the one in the curiosity shop) look great. I suppose it does mean that watching more footage of the game will make those sorts of moments less interesting and more stiff–and I think I’m interested enough in the game to stop watching them just in case.

      So there’s another criticism of the design I’ll give you: scripted events make games less re-playable. But what makes this worse than a corridor shooter? How is it worse when your corridor is built out of places and actions rather than physical walls? Or are corridor shooters also a bad thing?

    • gwathdring says:

      @HeavyStorm

      Exactly, the scripting never got in the way of what made the gameplay dynamic or difficult–which was mostly the splicer/big daddy/player interactions.

    • Adam says:

      You really have to give Bioshock a chance, such amazing gameplay and story to the fist 2. I’m sure this one will not disappoint.

  8. DK says:

    Still scripted as all hell. They can talk about how it’s “totally not scripted guys! You can choose and go wherever you want!” all they want. EVERY single bit of footage they’ve shown is scripted from A to Z. They talk the talk but have not moved an inch.

    • Rii says:

      Yeah, good point. I’m sure the gameplay experience isn’t nearly as scripted as it appears at this juncture, but they’ve certainly given us no reason to think otherwise even though they must be aware that the concern/misconception is out there. Let it be on their heads.

  9. HilariousCow says:

    Yay! Garret style neutral/snarky exposition player/character duality ACTIVATED!

  10. fenriz says:

    looks terrific, it has an arcanum feel all over.
    and you can “search” objects that, thank god, don’t seem to be irrealistically highlighted in the borders.
    Every game should feature the possibility to examine ALL objects you see and get a description. And some objects should have another verb for their use.

    Oh no does this “belong” to “adventures”?

    • gwathdring says:

      Sorry to burst your bubble, but there was a contextual button pop-up when he looked at search-able items.

  11. Po0py says:

    It may be scripted to hell and back but the games art direction looks completely and utterly astounding. Even more so than the original Bioshock games. I can’t wait for this.

  12. Uglycat says:

    Trailer starts at 1:30 for the bored.

  13. Icarus says:

    “The full 15 minutes is coming next week on Thursday.”

    So this is the trailer for the trailer, then?

    BWAAAARRRRMMMM

  14. Unholy Mushroom says:

    It’s funny that while Valve puts a lot of effort to make their environment feel alive, all the detail stays in the background. Bioshock has to wave it in your face, like a kid with his crayon drawings.
    What can I say… good job, go play some more.

  15. CaspianRoach says:

    Elizabeth is cute. She kind of reminds me of Wheatley. But female. And human. And wizard. And american. And actually useful.

  16. Number47 says:

    I just want an option, to turn Bookers banter off. In my opinion making the player/avatar talk is BAD, and puts me off.

    • Rii says:

      You may want the option, but you’re not likely to get it.

    • gwathdring says:

      I would agree with you, if it weren’t for all of the characters talking TO you. I despise being in a game where everyone is saying things to me and I say nothing back. I’d rather not be in control of the character’s mind, just so that the character HAD one. In Half-Life, for example, I wasn’t handed an nameless space marine. I was handed Gordon Freedman. Everyone knew that such was my name. But I never said a damn thing. And in HL it became an inside joke which made it better. But for me, it’s utterly distracting to have a silent avatar. To enjoy myself, I have to make up the dialog in my head, if the designers don’t put it in for me. So either way he’s going to be talking. :)

    • CaspianRoach says:

      I personally am sick of mute playable characters, it makes any social interaction in a game very awkward. NPCs asking questions and answering them themselves is very boring, makes me feel unwanted in that room/area/world. And watching someone talking to a brick wall (mute PC) is rarely entertaining. That’s probably one of the reasons I liked ME2 so much the first time I saw it — my character was voiced and she felt like a real human, not a cardboard refrigerator box.

  17. fenriz says:

    scripted doesnt mean caca.
    In that “scripted” room the player may have to search all barrels and drawers and caskets for an object that has to be used someplace else which allows him to pick up a book that has informations that in turn have to be used in the room somewhere. It is scripted but challenging. It’s called a puzzle, hello. I’m not saying this game WILL have puzzles, i’m saying “scripts” don’t dictate anything about any game, doesn’t equal to “linear corridors” and they certainly don’t limit interaction.

  18. Gunsmith says:

    I really like the visual design but after the train wreck that was bioshocks gameplay im skeptical, very skeptical.

    • Arbodnangle Scrulp says:

      Did I miss the bit where Bioshock was set on a train? I don’t remember that bit. I thought it was set in an undersea city.

    • Gunsmith says:

      an underwater train would have made the experience less painful

    • Thants says:

      Ridiculous, unsupported criticisms? This must be the internet!

  19. deadsexy says:

    I have the feeling RPS commenters don’t like games anymore. It’s not that your banter isn’t justified but come on… there’s soo much negativity in here. No comment about the attention to detail. One comment about the incredible art style. About two dozens of comments about how scripted the game will be. I’m not trying to say the game won’t be, but I’m trying to figure out why that has to be a bad thing. It doesn’t necessarily mean it will be a completely linear affair. At least those skylines suggest otherwise. I think it looks fantastic and I can’t wait to play it/look at it’s scripted events.

    • DK says:

      The Skylines are the most obvious form example of linear in years. It’s literally traintracks you follow. The only difference is, they’re in the sky. Oh boy that makes em so different.
      It’s a lot of pretty art covering up very little foundation.

    • deadsexy says:

      The video about skylines suggest you can jump off them at will, onto other skylines or onto other parts of the floating city. They even gave an example of how you could bring down an airship either by a turret on the “ground” or travel to it via skylines and sabotage it. That doesn’t suddenly make it an open world game but still, there seems to be some choice of where to go and how to get there.

      Anyway what’s the point in complaining about something it isn’t. There’s plenty of games around, some of them are linear and others are open.

  20. Spakkenkhrist says:

    A game with a constant NPC companion will benefit from scripted sequences otherwise they will just stand around uttering non specific sound bites, also I’m pretty certain this is meant to demonstrate the games look as opposed to it’s gameplay given that the ‘camera’ seems to float around without a hint of head-bob. Personally I loved both Bioshock games in spite of their flaws and I’m really looking forward to this,

    • KillerB says:

      Im with you on that one, Bar BS1′s stupidly easy Boss fight at the very end… oh… i almost forgot **Spoiler alert**

    • Wulf says:

      Yep. Scripted scenes are necessary for character building, but it’s even better if they add choices to those scripted scenes. New Vegas touched on this, which made me happy, but it’s never been done better than Broken-Tail’s Tale (an Oblivion companion mod).

      Without that… you get Morrowind/Oblivion ‘everyone is a companion’ type mods, where people essentially become robots. It’s not a lot of fun. You might want someone with you as a companion, but without their own content specific to that companion, it just doesn’t work. At all.

  21. Post-Internet Syndrome says:

    I’m thinking that RPS could do aggregate posts say, once a day, where all these snippet type stories are collected, thereby saving front page space for actual articles.

    • Hematite says:

      Works for me. Like the Sunday Papers, only for announcements of upcoming announcements.

  22. Kadayi says:

    Looks cool, thought personally I’m not sure whether I need to see any more footage of the game tbh on top of what has already been shown. I want to experience the madness for myself when it finally arrives.

    *heads into Bioshock: Infinite blackout *