BioShock Infinite Claims Infinite PC Bells And Whistles

By Nathan Grayson on January 16th, 2013 at 9:00 am.

'Good,' thought the statue, upon reading the news. 'Then all is well.'

After reading Alec’s impressions of BioShock’s star-spangled salvo against American exceptionalism, I got quite excited. So of course, I proceeded to do what any rational, well-adjusted human being would: list off all the potential ways it could go horribly, horribly wrong. Nefarious hacker code theft, of course, was up there, as were natural disasters, a scenario in which total destruction of Infinite was the only way to disarm a city-obliterating bomb, and the very real possibility that Ken Levine replaced all the audio diaries with recordings of himself taunting us about how there’s never going to be another Freedom Force. Or, you know, it could just straight up not work. But that last one, at least, seems significantly further outside the realm of possibility than the others, as Irrational’s suggested that BioShock Infinite’s PC version will actually work quite well.

You’ll remember that the original BioShock – aka, Irrational’s previous game – played Little Sister to Games For Windows Live’s abhorrent Big Daddy and came saddled with field of view restrictions regardless of which resolution you played in. This time around, however, Irrational’s not cutting any corners. Technical director Chris Kline explained:

“Fifteen years ago, Irrational Games got its start making PC games, and the PC gaming experience has always been near and dear to our hearts. But it’s been a long time since we released the original BioShock, and PC gamers have come to expect a lot more for their money.”

“We’ve fully embraced widescreen gaming. With our implementation of ‘horizontal plus’ widescreen support, the wider you go, the more you’ll see of Columbia’s gorgeous vistas. And for the true aficionado, we support multi-monitor gaming with AMD Eyefinity, NVIDIA Surround, and Matrox TripleHead2Go. You’ll also have separate controls for aspect ratio, resolution, and display mode (fullscreen, windowed, and fullscreen windowed).”

Also on the rather predictable, but still much appreciated list: full support for both DirectX 10 and 11, six graphical presets, full custom graphics options, day-one high-res textures, and Steam Cloud support. So basically, it’s yet another standard bearer for how triple-A PC support should work.

Well, assuming it does all actually work, anyway. We won’t know for sure until March 26th, but things certainly seem to be looking up. Could BioShock Infinite finally usher in the era of lovably, regrettably-un-squeezably soft videogame clouds we’ve all been waiting for? Fingers crossed. But not these fingers. They’re really icky.

__________________

« | »

, , .

78 Comments »

  1. Toberoth says:

    “day-one high-res textures”

    Does this mean we’ll be downloading the high-res textures separately, a la Crysis 2?

    • AmateurScience says:

      The official recommended spec needs 30 Gb of space (!) so it sounds like it’ll be included.

      Also that’s going to take me about a week to download.

    • Suits says:

      Sounds like what Sleeping Dogs did, yes

      • roryok says:

        I’d love if Sleeping Dogs had actually had all these explosive trailers of police and triads and all that, and then the game was actually about helping dogs snooze by eradicating noise, building more comfortable beds, etc

        • tobecooper says:

          I was greatly disappointed that there were no dogs in Sleeping Dogs too, but you could buy a more comfortable bed for yourself. So, there’s that.

  2. CaspianRoach says:

    But will it have Steam Achievements?

    • f1x says:

      Most probably yes

      is there any controversy now about steam achievements that I’m not aware of?

      • Suits says:

        Not unless we start it

      • f1x says:

        Those disgusting achievements… they are a burden for the future of adult PC gaming

      • The Lord of Leisure says:

        Those achievements took our jobs / killed my dog / turned me into a turnip / caused the economic crisis (delete as required) :)

      • particlese says:

        One can hope…

        I love achievements in some games, but I was very pleased to find a mod for Skyrim that disabled them. 100+ hours in, and to all the millions of people who look at my Steam profile, I’ve just barely gotten through the tutorial section. Oh, no!

        I wish there was an option to visually silence achievements without disabling the whole Steam overlay, but at least there is that option. That’s more than I can say for the consoles, or at least the PS3. *sigh* The lone dingleberry clinging to Journey…

      • CaspianRoach says:

        There is a controversy of me skipping games if they don’t have Steam achievements. I don’t want to play Far Cry 3 just because of it.

  3. HexagonalBolts says:

    I’m really excited about this, the heavy emphasis on theme and setting really makes these games and is so much more productive than evil villain plots

  4. Meat Circus says:

    I like bells, and I like whistles. But WHY NO KLAXONS?

  5. Screamer says:

    But will the sound work properly this time? I remember Bioshock 1 and 2 having horrible sound support.

  6. Stellar Duck says:

    Two things:

    I haven’t heard the word Matrox in many, many years.

    I don’t believe them. I’ll wait and see.

    • skinlo says:

      AMD and Nvidia made them redundant with their own multi-monitor support .

  7. SanguineAngel says:

    I’m really excited about this.

    Incidentally, other things I expect out of my pc FPS games are: the ability to turn off mouse acceleration (or off by default), levels not made out of corridors, a user interface designed for the pc including menus, a reasonable degree of player agency etc…

  8. Kobest says:

    “But it’s been a long time since we released the original BioShock, and PC gamers have come to expect a lot more for their money.”

    NOPE. Expectations didn’t change, it’s just that you thought it was a good idea to really narrow down the FOV and implement mouse acceleration in order to mimick the console releases. Nevertheless, here’s hoping that the PC version will be great! :)

    • AmateurScience says:

      As a result of the way the game handles, I have still not finished Bioshock. I may make another attempt soon.

    • dgz says:

      They didn’t narrow the FOV to 60 and implement mouse acceleration to mimic anything. Just default ini settings they didn’t even bother to change. Console version wasn’t better, but that specific demographic is easy to please on the technical stuff.

      Kudos for hi-res textures but everything else is pretty basic, not bells and whistles in the least.

    • Guvornator says:

      I seem to remember they made quite a lot of claims about “full widescreen” support the last time. I think a lot of the stick they got was as a result of being disingenuous, not just the implementation http://kotaku.com/291697/bioshocks-widescreen-pissing-people-off . I still had a 4:3 CRT at this point, so was feeling rather smug (this was exactly the last point in recorded history that any human could feel smug about having a 17″ CRT)

      Let’s hope they learnt their lesson…

    • Rhuhuhuhu says:

      I agree. The original Bioshock was a great game but lacking a lot of options otherwise expected for PC games. The DRM Debacle where it only worked twice.. ever! The widescreen fuck-up which took them months to patch. The Vita-respawning which was essentially a /revive… Yeah, they got a good track record there.

      I like how they now go all proud on their great new additions, but to be fair, without those things it could not justify the price tag that comes with it.

    • Ross Angus says:

      As always, PC Gaming Wiki is your friend:
      http://pcgamingwiki.com/wiki/Bioshock#Field_of_view_.28FOV.29
      I can confirm this works.

      • Beernut says:

        Having to change your fov via a hotkey again and again every time you change the area or do something fancy like “enter a vehicle” (hello, borderlands!) is hardly a solution. It’s a dirty workaround at best.
        Gamers don’t “expect more for their money now”, as far as display options are concerned, they just want the really basic stuff that went without saying before the dark ages of console-ports took a lot of functionality away. Providing the players with proper options certainly isn’t something, which should warrant special congratulations.

    • aiusepsi says:

      Half-Life 2 supported horizontal plus widescreen in 2004. Having it in 2013 isn’t a thing you should really be making a big deal of.

  9. jellydonut says:

    Let us hope there’s no ‘press enter to start’ and ‘don’t turn off your computer when the game autosaves’.

    I have no idea why they leave that shit in there. Every time I see it, it strikes me as ignorant half-assing. Like they don’t even give enough of a shit about the PC version to remove these pointless console screens.

    I know people probably think I’m being petty but it’s hardly a lot to ask for. At least pretend it’s a PC game, developers.

    • Toberoth says:

      Well, it is a little petty. It inconveniences you for, what, half a second every time you boot up the game? Is there any real difference between pressing enter to start and pressing escape to skip opening cutscenes etc?

    • f1x says:

      Yeap, I’m not sure about the problem with the “press enter to start”, I’m much more annoyed when you cannot skip the freaking company logos and that is not a console thing as far as I know

      About auto-saves, I’m not a fan of autosaving but its not the message itself that bothers me
      the problem is more about design choices when the saving is based on random checkpoints, and guess that might be related to the pleistocene of console gaming when there was no room to store multiple save games (or again lazy design, stupid trends amongst developers), but has no reason to exist today neither on consoles or pcs

      • Guvornator says:

        Hard Reset and Deus Ex: HR both do this right. In Hard Reset, the first time you play, you have to sit through the entire developer screen, intro movie etc. This means you know what the hell the game is about. But in the options there’s a little check box to disable the intro movie. You never have to sit through it again.

        As for Deus Ex, it doesn’t have an intro movie on game load, and the developer screens are clicked through as fast your mouse mutton can click. The intro movie plays AFTER you select new game* . Which, game developers, is EXACTLY when it should play. I don’t care how much you paid for your bells and whistles intro movie, I only want to be forced to sit through it once – after that, it should be my choice.

        *In fact the title don’t play until the end of the first level, for storytelling purposes.

        • f1x says:

          Pretty much that,

          I’m sure there is some people out there who have a thing for animated company logos, something even erotic
          but myself I prefer to skip them pressing the ESC key, and maybe not show them again the next time I launch the game like I needed to memorize who made the game… I already know :(

          and you made a good point about intro videos, in terms of narrative they should be presented when you start a new game and better if they are actually related to whats going on in the game

          • SheffieldSteel says:

            One person’s company logo is another person’s legal screen. It’s difficult to get rid of them – maybe if you write an entire game engine from scratch and self-publish on Linux.

            ETA: But I agree. They should be as easy and convenient as possible to get past.

          • f1x says:

            You are right, of course

            but after launching a game 30 times I think I’ve seen the logo enough, specially if I cannot skip it

        • captaincabinets says:

          Heh. Mouse mutton. You should really consider upgrading if it’s that old.

  10. KauhuK says:

    What about FOV-setting?

  11. Shiri says:

    So uh…about that Games For Windows Live. That piece of **** is the only reason I haven’t made all my friends buy Dark Souls, or for that matter Bioshock (I had to completely uninstall and redownload bioshock 2 a couple of times after it deleted all my saves and started crashing as soon as I signed back into GFWL, making me really wish I’d pirated it). Any news on if they’re doing that again?

    • Guvornator says:

      I’m pretty sure Bioshock 1 didn’t have GFW (wikipedia backs me up on this). What it did have was AWFUL secure-rom online activation which meant day one purchasers couldn’t activate it for hours (it took me until 2 in the morning to activate my copy – I bought it at 3 in the afternoon). Apparently T2 were “unprepared” for the amount of customers that wanted to buy a AAA game that they’d been hyping for about a year…

      Long story short, I believe the first one should be trouble free now. Unlike, say, Bulletstorm (Grrr, arrgh, etc)

      • Mechorpheus says:

        Yea, Bioshock 1 was Games for Windows, not Games for Windows LIVE, which is the much better way around. They shoved that in for Bioshock 2 in order to support the multiplayer.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      Ken Levine has confirmed on Twitter serveral times that Bioshock:Infinite PC is GFWL free. Joy!

    • Kolimako says:

      THis a microsoft , this is all need saying :D

  12. MOKKA says:

    Why do companies always have to write such awful press-releases full of stupid adjectives and buzzwords which only distract from the real information?

    I always feel like I’m getting lied to when I read stuff like this.

  13. F3ck says:

    My 7870 is salivating…is this normal?

    • Lars Westergren says:

      It’s fine, my cat told me that is perfectly normal behaviour for a 7870.

  14. PC-GAMER-4LIFE says:

    This is a Games For Windows title using Steamworks but I wonder if at the last minute they will also throw securom in like they did with Bioshock1 + 2 as its 2K after all they love Securom online activation DRM!

    • MOKKA says:

      Were there any major releases in the last one and a half years that used Securom?

    • Joshua says:

      Since Steamworks is online activation DRM, adding in another online activation DRM on top of there does not make a whole lot of sense.

    • f1x says:

      Indeed, it wouldn’t make sense
      the only game that did that in the last couple of years was Batman Arkham City afaik

    • Screamer says:

      Uggghh!! Activating the game, and then having to have the disc in the drive is fucking stupid! Arkham Asylum / City and Bioshock 1 and 2 does this :/

  15. cunningmunki says:

    I really hope it doesn’t follow the baffling trend of having hundreds of pointless, idiot-guide HUD elements like Dishonored and FarCry 3. I know you can turn them off (although still not completely in FarCry’s case) but I really don’t want to spend my first couple of hours game-time figuring out which HUD description relate to which pointless HUD element so I can decide which to turn off.

    What happened to letting people figure things out for themselves, and using as few HUD elements as possible? Are consoles to blame? Do console gamers really need their screen filled with five different ways of telling you THE SAME THING on top of what you can already see and hear? Do they really need to be reminded constantly which button to press to do everything? Or is it just the developers making the bizarre assumption that their games will be played largely by vegetables?

    I want a HUD to tell me three things, what my ammo level is, what my health level is (preferably only appearing contextually, but as long as they’re unintrusive I don’t really mind), and which way am I facing if there are large maps to explore (i.e. a compass that can be easily turned on or off).

    I’m a couple of missions in to my first play-though of FarCry 3, and I’ve already used the HEX hack to turn off the HUD (against the modder’s recommendations), because even with all the HUD elements set to ‘off’ my screen was still full of shit like blinking yellow objective markers (in case I’m so confused by all the trees and people shooting at me that I can’t REMEMBER which direction I’m going), button-press reminders (I know what my ‘use’ button is for fuck’s sake, I bound it myself and you’ve already reminded me a MILLION times), a mini-map which sits practically in the middle of the screen (full of icons for things I can already see in front of me because they’re glowing like they’ve been IRRADIATED), and a permanent thick, black, opaque, oblong brick which obscures my view and tells me what my current objective is (just in case I’ve forgotten which button I need to press to remind me of my objective because I’ve got the memory of a GOLDFISH).

    Surely, as a developer, if you think your game needs lots of HUD elements, you’ve got to ask yourself why. And the only possible answers are: a) it doesn’t, or b) because your game is BROKEN.

    • SelfEsteemFund says:

      These feels man, I know them all too well.

    • f1x says:

      Half of the people wants minimal HUDs/UIs,
      the other half is asking for overcomplicated barroque HUDs/UIs because else its consolization

      You are driving me crazy!!!

      • Dances to Podcasts says:

        We’re in a thread about options.

        TOGGLE ALL THE THINGS!

  16. Solidstate89 says:

    I don’t know whether to be impressed or laugh at the fact they’re supporting a feature from Matrox. That’s pretty…unique.

  17. mehteh says:

    pfff big deal. Itll have PC features, but its still a console focus game aka itll have boring gameplay geared towards casuals/idiots and their slow clunky controllers

  18. gritz says:

    What I want to know is if the game will support real multisampling anti-aliasing, or if it will just have the terrible FXAA post-processing anti-aliasing that seems so popular with multi-platform games these days.

  19. Lev Astov says:

    Great news! Sounds like someone at Irrational discovered the Widescreen Gaming Forum. wsgf.org for life!

  20. RC-1290'Dreadnought' says:

    What do they mean with: “Full support” for DirectX 11? Are they going to be calculating individual droplets of blood with compute shaders, or are they talking about dynamic LOD, using tessellation? Is there anything fancy they will be doing?

    It sounds more like: if you have a DirectX 11 video card, this game will run. Which is important, I guess…

  21. oozekip says:

    Did they mention anything about being able to disable graphics and play a text based version?

  22. fish99 says:

    I’ll believe it when I see it. They said the same about Bioshock 1&2 and it was all lies. Took them ages to get as FOV option for Bioshock and they still haven’t fixed the mouse acceleration (they tried twice, failed twice), and from what I’ve read Bioshock 2 has the same issues.

    It’s just like Bethesda and their promises of a ‘proper’ pc version of Skyrim, and we got low res textures (and eventually a high res pack), a console UI, lots of bugs, and many patches until it ran decently.

  23. eclipse mattaru says:

    Right. The same was said about Dishonored and XCOM, and neither can even be fully navigated with a keyboard; with the latter being notably better to play with a gamepad.

    Frankly, I prefer From Software’s attitude, at least they’re honest.