World In Progress: Bioshock Infinite

I have spared you all the low-cut nature of this young lady's clothing. You are welcome.

When a Bioshock Infinite video arrives in my lap, which is how I demand delivery of all gaming news, I do not expect it to feature actual human beings speaking at me. Ziplines and plummeting are gravely missing from this video. Although it does contain game footage, it’s mainly Ken Levine talking about the world he’s creating, which he sees as but one of the game’s main characters.

There’s a focus on actual people characters, with the voice actors behind Booker and Elizabeth also featured, breaking the rule that they, being the opposite of Victorian infants, should be heard and not seen. Now, in my mind’s eye, Booker Dewitt will always look like Troy Baker, whose name should immediately be attached to Syndicate’s antagonist.

There’s a sense of flexibility and collaboration in the design process, which could be part of the reason this is Bioshock Infinite rather than Ken Levine’s Columbia. I don’t know how well Ken Levine’s Rapture would have gone down as a title though. It sounds like an astonishing game, just not necessarily one I’d be keen to play.


  1. db1331 says:

    The original BioShock is one of my all-time favorites (2 was good as well), so if this one is even a slight improvement over the first, I’m going to be very happy. They had better get Elizabeth right though, because nothing can spoil a good game faster than a terrible AI partner. Even if said terrible partner is a blue-eyed female with an amazing rack.

    • Scatterbrainpaul says:

      She looks about 12 years old though? With the breasts and voice of a 21 year old

      I don’t get it

    • Apples says:

      For me, the AI partner being a young blue-eyed big-boobed submissive girl (who, despite being on the run, has perfect hair, makeup and dress!) who you have to save is already fairly ruinous.

      The whole look seems to be geared towards making male players feel immediately protective of her; that’s fine, but I think it will fall down for female players. They could easily have evoked a similar emotion without sacrificing much for male players by making her only slightly less sexualised and going for a “little sister” thing for female players, but as it is everything about the design screams “THIS WAS MADE FOR MEN ONLY!” to me.

    • Johnny Lizard says:

      Although I very much appreciate the slightly exaggerated Bioshock art style, I must regretfully conclude that they should probably downsize those breasts a little.

    • Howard says:

      What, you saying you find a sanctioned paedophilia simulator repulsive? Odd that =)

    • Scatterbrainpaul says:

      “sanctioned paedophilia simulator” could be a good name for a band

    • son_of_montfort says:

      Actually, her bust size works perfectly with the storyline. She has the power to manifest things into her reality that exist in the infinite number of alternate realities, right?

      So, like many adolescents, she focused very hard on “growing up” faster and manifested a rack from a reality drawn completely by Rob Liefeld.

    • Dervish says:

      I like how even with a girl-facing-away pic, we still got boobs in comment #1.

    • BeamSplashX says:

      I thought she just had a third, giant spinal breast.

      I claim the name Giant Spinal Breast if I ever start a metal band.

    • db1331 says:


      Maybe at the start of the game they will ask if you are male or female, and then toss a loose-fitting Justin Beiber sweatshirt over Elizabeth if you answer “Female.”

    • BeamSplashX says:

      Most of my female friends would rather stare at boobs than Justin Bieber.

    • bill says:

      I get the point a little, but i think people are blowing it out of proportion. It’s an exaggerated art style meets a period corset.

    • henben says:

      If you actually watch the clip, Apples, she’s not portrayed as a particularly submissive character – “I wasn’t asking for permission” is the opposite of submissive. Maybe you’re subconsciously projecting your own kinky predilections onto her.

    • yutt says:

      Really? This again? The cloistered nature of RPS comments is bizarre sometimes.

      I hope they lower her cleavage just to throw all of the reactionaries in a tizzy. Oh my goodness! She’s wearing a corset – unapproved by modern, 20-something faux-feminists! Representations of women can only be depicted in clothing that adheres to my personal standards of what is best for them.

      I’m sure the young woman who played Elizabeth at PAX would be interested to know she looks “about 12”. I’m sure the woman who designed her costume would be interested to know that a bunch of young males don’t approve of women dressing so provocatively.

  2. Burning Man says:

    Those are some very good looking voice people. Probably the best I’ve seen, excusing actors who become voice people because they’re famous.

  3. scatterbrainless says:

    I have huge expectations. I’m warning you Ken Levine, if you let me down, and I know you’re reading this, I will never, never forgive you and you will spend the rest of your life crying on the inside because you know that. Also, enjoy the fact that Booker is a character not an avatar, but precisely the opposite was a massively integral part of the original Bioshock, thematically. Wonder what that says about the metaphorical aspirations of the new game?

  4. Musey says:

    I was under the impression that they were getting Stephen Russel back in to voice the lead? What happened to that?

    • Justin Keverne says:

      That confused me too, the voice actor in the first trailer was either Stephen Russell or somebody intentionally trying to sound like him. Maybe he wasn’t available or in the end or they simply changed their minds after that trailer? Maybe it was Troy Baker all along and the direction they gave him when trying to define the character was to sound something like Garrett? If that’s the case, which I doubt, then Baker’s an impressive mimic.

      EDIT: According to his Wikipedia page Stephen Russell did early voice work, but was subsequently replaced by Troy Baker.

    • int says:

      As long as no one replaces him in Thief 4, all is well.

    • Theory says:

      At least I won’t spend the whole game wondering why Garrett is shouting now.

    • perestroika says:

      not seeing the steven dude was really weird! i really thought it was him all this time. then it made me realize how much of a thief fanboy i was. :D

  5. JoWoo says:

    To be honest they should change most of the names of the characters in Syndicate. Miles Kilo? Was the developer driving his car with a bag of sugar in his hand when he came up with that name?

    • LTK says:

      It’s even worse than Killian Samuels.

    • Johnny Lizard says:

      Troy Baker? Should be called ARGOS BUTCHER! Geddit?

    • YourMessageHere says:

      Seems like practically every game nowadays has a protagonist whose first name is also a surname. Why is this happening? Very few people are actually called things like Booker.

  6. hosndosn says:

    I have such high hopes for this game. You can just see in all Ken Levine’s this deep understanding of gameplay and creating a world worth exploring. Nothing’s just decoration. I was disappointed that the spiritual successor to System Shock 2 was a shooter and not an RPG hybrid any more, but at least he was honest about it being a different genre and it actually has a different name and premise (compared to the horrible new Syndicates and XCOMs out there…). So that’s fair.

    Fingers crossed.

    • DK says:

      Yeah he was so honest saying it was the sequel to System Shock and an upgrade in every way only to drop that line the moment the game was out and it was obvious it was a straight downgrade from the Shock games.

    • Wildeheart says:

      I agree with DK

    • Thants says:

      I disagree with DK. A different genre of game isn’t a “straight downgrade”, unless you want every game to be System Shock.

    • bill says:

      They were always very clear that it was more action oriented and more focused on graphics than the old system shocks. Because they were also very clear that, while they loved system shock, it didn’t sell well at all.

      Frankly, I think a lot of people have done themselves out of enjoying a very nice creative game by insisting on comparing it with their expectations of it being system shock.

      Considering they were going for “simplified system shock with mainstream appeal” i think it’s pretty impressive that they managed to make it as unique in setting and vibe as they did. There must have been a lot of pressure to make it all generic sci-fi space marine.

    • DK says:

      That’s a nice bit of revisionist history there bill. Levine repeatedly claimed it was the successor to Systemshock. The “but it was always supposed to be dumbed down” only came about after release.

    • bill says:

      No. they claimed it was a spiritual successor to system shock but aimed at actually selling.

    • Justin Keverne says:

      In this GameSpot interview and in many others prior to the release of BioShock, and in various videos. Ken Levine used phrases like “the next generation of shooters” or “Shooter 2.0”.

      Whether you think Irrational succeeded in that goal or not, it was made clear repeatedly and consistently that BioShock was a FPS first and foremost, it is a spiritual successor to System Shock 2, but what Irrational believe that spirit is, and what you or I do are not necessarily the same thing.

  7. Kleppy says:

    I’m putting $5 on it right now: BioShock Infinite will be the best reviewed game of 2012. This game is just drenched in AAA values, so even if the gameplay will only be standart Bioshock fare reviewers are going to eat this up like theres no tomorrow.

    • DK says:

      Of course they’ll eat it up: It’s Ken Levine, the boy who can do no wrong.

  8. Gundrea says:

    I still can’t forgive Ken for turning Bioshock into an FPS.

  9. Wildeheart says:

    Bioshock? Still? Really? *yawn*

    • Thants says:

      If you’re not interested in a Bioshock game set on a rogue Worlds-Fair floating city in 1910s it’s your own issue.

  10. WaaWaamp says:

    no one had objections to alyx vance’s knockers in the half life series and those bad boys could be observed actually bouncing when she was running, meaning the guy who made her character animations took the time and effort to make these DDs react to gravity, inertia etc. your talking at least an hour’s work on a pair of videogame breasts.

    so why all the hubbub about these particular cartoon chest cushions?

    i plan to buy this game but if i get it installed and start playing and find it’s all about these damn tits i’ll be requesting a refund.

    • John P says:

      DDs? Be honest now, you were using a mod to make them bigger weren’t you? Alyx was remarkably in proportion for a video game character.

      I don’t have a problem with the boobs in Infinite. It’s kinda the style of the time. I just wish her face looked appropriate.

    • WaaWaamp says:

      DDs Bs Cs Xs whatever, i don’t keep a measuring tool about my person lol

      wait, there’s a mod for that? lol

      i get what you mean about the face, but then how many real people have you seen with eyes that massive? in essence, Elizabeth is simply a cartoon, and shouldn’t be viewed as a sex symbol at all rendering the debate of a 12 year old with a 21 year old rack completely irrelevant.

    • Grey Ganado says:

      When I played Half Life 2 Alyx didn’t have bouncing boobs.

    • WaaWaamp says:

      she did in epispde 2

    • Apples says:

      @WaaWaamp: are you trying to say she isn’t a sex symbol because she looks cartoony? For what reason, then, would they give her those massive knockers in the first place, if not to make her sexy? Is Jessica Rabbit not supposed to be (or at least look like) a sex symbol? What are you on about?

      Also you were using FakeFactory, weren’t you? Come on, admit it…

    • Theory says:

      Just checked the Ep2 Alyx in model viewer. No bouncing.

      FakeFactory seems a likely explanation. ¬_¬

  11. Tyrone Slothrop. says:

    Am I the only one who’s really disappointed Stephen fucking Russell of Thief‘s Garret fame is no longer voicing the protagonist? His world-weary tone was perfect for the part of a former strike-breaking Pinkerton-fascist. I love you Mr. Russell, please be in Thief IV. ;_;

    • verminspeaker says:

      I share your disappointment. I adore that man’s voice and I want to hear it in more games!

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      Yeah, I agree. Pity they replaced him with one of the Backstreet Boys.

    • ziusudra says:

      THEY TOOK HIM OUT? I really hope hes in Thief4. Why the hell did they do that?

  12. Retconned says:

    I really hope they get the mouse input right. Bioshock 2 was unplayable for me due to mouse control issues.

  13. Arglebargle says:

    Wow, very nuanced approach on Booker’s background as a Pinkerton agent. Pinkertons were pretty terrible, high priced thugs. Pinkerton himself was a US Civil War spy who delivered really bad intelligence, but managed to make himself look good in reports and the press. They were the union busters of choice for many years.

    Someone there’s a history buff. Loved the broomhandle Mauser as well….

  14. PleasingFungus says:

    RPS comments crack me up sometimes.

    I love you guys.