Welcome to Rapture. Three simple words that had little to no meaning to me until the latter half of 2007 when BioShock hit stores shelves and found its way into my heart. What could have easily been “Generic First-Person Shooter # 35, 766”, BioShock was able to provide a game-play experience rivaled by none with a great atmosphere, intriguing story and environment that was so fascinating it easily took the spot of MVP. Three years later, BioShock 2 came out and while the change in priorities from alluring atmosphere to action-filled shooting play-style was palpable, seeing Rapture again from a different perspective was enough to get me excited and keep my attention for the following eight hours. I love BioShock but I am sure I was not alone being somewhat skeptical about what was going down with the announcement of a new game in the same year as the release of the last one.
To say that my worries were misplaced is an understatement. The other day saw the release of a 10-minute long game-play video of the newly announced BioShock: Infinite and it looks to out-do the previous installments (particularly the second game) in a way that only the original developers at Irrational Games could do. It is no secret to them what had turned the tides of the first game in their favor; Rapture resonated extraordinarily well by providing players with an interesting environment to explore in an exotic location with an absolutely fucked up background and creatures wandering around so the obvious thing to do was create BioShock again from scratch in a different location… which seems to be exactly what they did.
Playing as a character named Booker DeWitt, the central story known so far is that your character is sent to the Columbia to rescue a young woman, Elizabeth, who has been held captive in the city floating high in the sky since a child. Elizabeth, as we are to understand, will play an integral role supporting the player in providing new options to enhance game-play, providing some suggested direction and to further the story. Columbia looks absolutely stunning so far and is sure to boast diverse scenery from the cramped, dark walkways reminiscent of Rapture to a beautiful sunny day with large open platforms on a backdrop of blue sky which is sure to keep players interested, along with a new Skyline system of movement for travel and combat. In talks with Ken Levine, a lot of work has been done to re-vamp how weapons and powers play to better involve all weapons provided rather than sticking with one for the whole game which should be a nice change (I remember playing through almost the entirety of BioShock with simply the shotgun and ElectroBolt plasmid). All-in-all, BioShock: Infinite is promising to provide us with a new, exciting experience that BioShock 2 should have, but failed to, live up to and I can’t wait!