Posts Tagged ‘BioShock Infinite’

BioShock Infinite: A Few Essential Tweaks

Hello down there. My FOV is now this big.
Hello. I am not at GDC, but I am at my desk with my lips on the RPS post horn, and I’m prepared to blow. My first honk on the Grand Parper of Postage today concerns my first few moments in BioShock Infinite. All those intro videos, that squeezed FOV, and an overly sensitive mouse . I’m used to having to drop out of games so I can go INI file wrestling, and Levine’s latest is no exception. I’ve been forum lurking and come up with a few fixes for the most common issues.
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Ten Intrigues I Didn’t Mention About BioShock Infinite

4500 words, and I still feel I didn’t get anywhere near close to covering everthing I wanted to about BioShock: Infinite – that I made lengthy generalisations but not enough specification of the smaller, or at least subtler, details and events of a game which consistently barrages the player with imagery and ideas. Here are a few I missed, just to get them off my chest. Could maybe, possibly be said to contain some minor spoilers, depending on how absolute you are about these sorts of things.
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Wot I Think – BioShock: Infinite

BioShock: Infinite is a new first-person shooter from Irrational, creators of BioShock, System Shock 2 and SWAT 4. It’s set on a flying city in 1912, where racism and religious fundamentalism dictate society. You’re up there, wielding guns and magic, to bring someone the girl and wipe away the debt. Here’s what I thought, spoiler-free.
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Finally, A BioShock Infinite Trailer!

From this angle, it looks like The Sims

After years of speculation, I’ve finally figured out what the ‘Infinite’ stands for in the new BioShock’s title. It’s the number of trailers that they’re going to release before the game comes out. The closer we’ll get, the sheer mass of the trailers they’ve made will start warping time. We’ll slow down the closer we get to the March 26th, and time will stretch on and on. We’ll never escape the trailer singularity, and the closer we the less chance we’ll have of playing. So I have another trailer for you, because I passed the event horizon a long time ago.
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I Ain’t Afraid Of No God: BioShock Infinite’s Liz Unbound

Grr!

As we all know full well and is entirely obvious, BioShock: Elizabeth is a straightforward damsel in distress with a pretty face and a nice dress, and there’s nothing more to her than that. There definitely isn’t anything surprising or sinister about her: she will be rescued by the big man with the big gun, the mean nasty boss will fall to his doom and everyone will live happily ever after.

Or maybe there’s some massive twist at the heart of the game and she’s not what she seems to be at all? Nah.
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Warble Face: Bioshock Infinite’s Songbird

The investigative documentary style of Bioshock: Infinite’s Modern Day Icarus videos tickles my pleasure-nodes. The earlier reveals of the clockwork catastrophes and mechanical malignancies that roam Columbia are failures of imagination in contrast, and anyone fortunate enough to have instigated some form of media blackout regarding the game last year would be well-advised to continue that policy, with a glimmering exception for these informative and menacing reels. The first covers the vanishing of the city and the second, below, contains dark children’s rhymes and the sinister Songbird.

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Wot I Read – BioShock Infinite: Mind In Revolt

Matters are rather different for the third BioShock game than they were for the first. While Irrational’s original had to grab attention from a machinegun-crazed mass audience, their next one comes with built-in renown, potentially affording the studio more opportunity and freedom to indulge themselves in other aspects of the game. Where BioShock’s undersea city of Rapture was, in hindsight, much more of a concept than a functioning place, BioShock Infinite’s floating metropolis Columbia seems to be striving harder to have an explicable and finely-sketched society.

Reflecting this is newly-released ebook novella Mind In Revolt, by Irrational’s Joe Fielder with assistance from Ken Levine, which could technically be described as a prequel but seems more designed to flesh out the social pressures bubbling under Columbia’s utopian surface in the way that the rollercoaster ride of an action videogame might not.
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Bioshock’s Ken Levine Talks Stories, Systems & Science


As if we hadn’t already heard enough from the man who steers the Irrational Zeppelin through developmental waters, Jim also had a long chat with Ken Levine, the creator of Bioshock and Bioshock Infinite. Read on for thoughts that span the sadness of cholera, the mystery of condiments, the joy of turn-based historical war, and some stuff about a game set in a flying city.

I’ve marked out some mild spoilers towards the end of the piece. These are non-specific discussions of the plot themes, but you can decide whether to skip.
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Patriotic: Bioshock Infinite’s City In The Sky (Trailer)


Trailers are like dreams. You can’t really touch them or play with them in a way that is actually of any use, but they happen anyway, and when they’re over you’re left with a lingering feeling that they were trying to tell you something. I don’t know why I dreamed about eating marshmallows that morning when my pillows had disappeared, but I do know that Irrational want us to take note of what they’re trying to build with their setting for Bioshock Infinite: Columbia, a miraculous flying city at the turn of the 19th century. Here be philosophy and politics, there mechanical monsters and stuff on fire. There’s really no precarious uncertainty here, what they are trying to tell is that the expectations for this game should be sky high, and when giant metal ravens come for you, it’s time to find ammunition for the rocket launcher. Facts, you see, are super-true.

Bioshock Infinite will fall to Earth on March 26th.
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Today’s Best Video: Bioshock – Infinite’s Documentary

I’ve seen enough of Bioshock: Infinite for now. The next time I see Columbia, I want to be playing the game rather than watching somebody else falling out of the sky or presenting fast-cuts of footage. The latest video doesn’t show the game at all and, remarkably, that isn’t a problem. Presented as a fragment of documentary footage, a teaser for a fictional element of Infinite’s universe as well as for Infinite itself, the Truth From Legend video is as effective a piece of marketing as I’ve seen for a good while. Creepy, convincingly dated and mysterious, it’s an invitation to another world. More of this and less of that and that please, thank you.

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Ken Levine: The Conversation, Part Two

“This is like your nightmare interview here, huh?”

Nah. This might not be going too well, but I’ve had worse. Much worse. (The most terrible was probably with an executive at one of the industry’s biggest PC game developers a couple of years back, where I had the distinct impression I was interviewing a robot who’d much rather murder me than talk to me).

This half hour with the lead designer of BioShock: Infinite would definitely win a place in my Top 40 Botched Interviews, but it’s not up there in shotgun-to-the-head territory yet. The mutual acknowledgement that it’s been a misfire does wonders too. Eventually.
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Ken Levine: The Conversation, Part One

Some interviews with prominent figures, as in Polygon’s widely-circulated one with BioShock: Infinite lead designer Ken Levine, are held on top of skyscraping Californian hotels. While it’s not something I’ve experienced myself, I can entirely appreciate why this often leads their eventual write-ups to be somewhat defined by awe, be it overt or subtle: a famous figure is encountered in a dramatic setting, the trappings of aspirational luxury around them. Thus, they are inevitably presupposed to be superhumans of a sort, with achievements and a lifestyle far beyond those of mere mortals such as the humble interviewer. This is the tale. Notoriously, this week also saw the outermost extreme of this, in Esquire’s absurd interview with/clearly lovelorn ode to the attractive but otherwise apparently unexceptional actor Megan Fox.

I can’t ever imagine going as far as Esquire, and I’d hope someone would throw me into the nearest sea if I did, but I do understand why it can happen. The scene is set in such a way that the interviewer is encountering, if not a god, then at least royalty. Even on a more moderate level, I have never conducted an interview in a Californian luxury hotel’s roofgarden, and my own interview with Ken Levine last month was no different, but I am nonetheless left thinking about the narrative created in that half hour. What tale could I now tell from just a talk with a guy in a room? Initially, I thought it impossible, or at least redundant, to spin a story out of a short, slightly awkward conversation in a dark little room somewhere in London: this is why Q&As are the standard interview format here. Let’s try, though. I want to tell you about what happened in that interview, and how it felt to me, as well as sharing Ken Levine’s comments about BioShock: Infinite’s characters, pacing and mysteries with you.
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BioShock Infinite Claims Infinite PC Bells And Whistles

'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.

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4 Hours With BioShock Infinite, Part 2: War In Heaven

I’ve talked a lot about the setting of BioShock: Infinite, but let’s not lose sight of what the game really exists for. To (Booker De)whit, shooting people in the face and magicking them to death. (Actually I’m also going to talk a whole lot more about the setting too, because I can).

The combat aspect of the game is broadly in keeping with BioShocks 1 and 2, though amped up noticeably, while the environments feel significantly more open and the bulk of your enemies are straight-up police and soldiers rather than the creepy, scuttling Splicers. It does perhaps feel a less distinct combat experience than its predecessors despite the dramatic, often open-air backdrops, which is partly because shooting soldiers is such a familiar 21st century videogaming experience and partly because the weapons available in those fourish hours I had generally cleaved a little closer to a traditional videogame arsenal, even though they were in theory from an alt-universe 1912.
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The First Five Minutes Of BioShock Infinite, If You Want

Do you want to see the first five minutes of BioShock: Infinite? I don’t. I want to play them at the time! However, should you be of a more curious mind, or simply incapable of waiting now you know it exists, desperately trying to, but horribly aware that like the beginnings of a sneeze it’s inevitable that you’re going to have to press play eventually, you can watch them in the video below.

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4 Hours With BioShock Infinite, Part 1: Columbia

Earlier this week, I played around four hours of BioShock: Infinite, which is due for release next March. While this was at a publisher-held event (disclaimer – I ate some free salt and vinegar flavoured Hula Hoops and a small bowl of Moroccan tagine. Alas, I hate aubergine) and I was part of a gaggle of journalists, I was not guided or observed during my playthrough, so I approached it at my own leisure and pack-rat pace.

It has given me much to think upon, a few examples of which I shall share with you below. I will avoid all spoilers as regards to the events of the plot, but please be advised that I do talk in detail about the setting, its population and its backstory as presented by these initial hours of the game.
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To 3 Mins 29 Secs And Beyond: Bioshock: Infinite In Action

No I'm not going to say anything about the professional cosplayer either
We’ve seen sad news that the next Bioshock will NO LONGER BE RELEASED ON MY BIRTHDAY GODDAMNIT WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE WORLD AM I BEING PUNISHED FOR SOMETHING I AM NOT ALLOWED TO HAVE ANYTHING NICE IT’S SO UNFAIR I HATE YOU I HATE YOU I HATE YOU and we’ve seen Uncle Ken chatting about the game, but what we haven’t seen for a while is a big chunk of in-Infinite footage. I’m off to play the game tomorrow and will report back with findings shortly thereafter, but in the meantime the noisy death of popular culture that was the VGAs brought some new stuff for us all to look at with our human eyeballs.

The VGAs being the VGAs, it’s primarily shooting-men-in-the-face centric, but it does afford a good look at enemies, weapons and powers, as well as just what Elizabeth gets up to while the player’s busy attacking people will bullets, rockets and crows.
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28 Days Later: BioShock Infinite Delayed

A visual representation of my sadness. HURRRR!
There’s a lot you can do in a month. You can write a novel, you can fill in one 12th of your calendar, you can take ride around the Earth once while on the moon. It depends on the month, though. For example, from February 25th to March 25th 2013 you’ll be unable to play BioShock Infinite. It was due out on the 26th of February, but Irrational are taking an extra month to ‘polish’ it. At least they chose February. If they delayed it for a month at any other time of the year, it would have taken longer to complete it. Thank you, February. You’re the best month.
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Cognition: Bioshock Infinite’s Industrial Revolution

The Dishonored pre-order ‘incentives’ incited my blood to boil by appearing to chop parts of the game off and deliver them piecemeal, but when I played the game I was so content that my blood remained at a comfortable, non-volatile temperature throughout. I don’t think any of the preposterous packages can have done very much at all. Bioshock: Infinite is now offering a means to earn in-game rewards before its February release and I expect and hope that they will turn out to be similarly unnecessary. While it’s essential to pre-order to begin the process of unlocking bonuses for a game that isn’t out for almost half a year, there is a nifty puzzle game tied to the promotion. Industrial Revolution is available now to anyone with a pre-order.

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Bioshock Infinite And The Beast of America


Bioshock Infinite has seen a few high-profile members of the team leave of late, but that doesn’t seem to have caused it to waver from its February 26th release date. The latest trailer shows off happenings of light and fury, with lots of combat. The skyline, Elizabeth, and the Handyman baddy feature heavily. If the original Bioshock was a colourful and visually offbeat shooter, then we’ll need to dust off rarely used 19th-century adjectives for this one. Go take a look.
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