BioShock Infinite:First-Person Shooter Video Game
BioShock Infinite is an upcoming first-person shooter video game and the third installment in the BioShock series. Previously known as “Project Icarus”, it is being developed by Irrational Games for a March 26, 2013 worldwide release on the Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 platforms.
Like BioShock and BioShock 2, BioShock Infinite is a first-person shooter with role-playing elements similar to the previous two games. As Booker, the player moves about the various structures of Columbia using a grappling hook, a series of railways connecting the buildings called the Skyline, and other transport means to search for Elizabeth. The player will gain weapons which can be used in numerous ways within the environment, including on the Skyline, to defeat enemies; however the player is only able to carry two weapons at any time.Booker gains powers and abilities by using vigors and wearing gear that are found through Columbia, the equivalent of BioShock’s plasmids and tonics respectively. Vigors grant activated powers such as telekinesis, electricity manipulation, or animal control while selected gear are passive abilities that can improve the player’s strength or damage resistance. Vigors require Salt, the equivalent of magic points or BioShock’s EVE for powering their abilities. With gear, the player only has four available slots, and has to make decisions on which combination of offensive and defensive capabilities work for them.
Once reunited with Elizabeth, who also has a set of such powers, the player must work together with her to escape Columbia.
Though BioShock Infinite shares the same name with the other two games, Levine has stated that this is a new direction, and was coy to answer if they shared the same universe. Levine referred to the term BioShock not as a specific location or setting, but a concept conjoined by two ideas: the exploration of a fantastical setting, and the use of a large number of tools and abilities in creative manners to survive. Along with the System Shock games, which Levine and other Irrational developers had worked on, the titles share the same idea of a “component of learning about a new place” and shocking the player into discovering more of the setting, according to Levine.Levine affirmed that with the similarities between the games, “It would be dishonest to say this is not BioShock”. Similarly, Timothy Gerritsen, director of product development, stated they wanted to keep the feel of the BioShock experience but still consider Infinite to be a new intellectual property; as a means to sever the implied connection to the previous games, the teaser purposely shows a Big Daddy figurine being crushed at the onset.This was furthered by the selection of the word Infinite as part of the title, to reflect the “many possibilities” they wanted to explore with the BioShock concept. The game does not completely eschew BioShock, as certain elements like the sound effects representing the player’s health or for gaining new quests from BioShock are reused without modification in Infinite; Levine stated that they had worked these common elements as former BioShock players would already understand their impact, and that they had spent a great detail of time during BioShock to get these elements right and felt no need to reinvent the sounds again. Further, the introduction of Infinite purposely mimics several elements from BioShock’s opening: one example given by writer Drew Holmes is the act of walking through a candle-lined water trough in a Columbia church to be baptized, which visually is similar to swimming through the flaming wreckage of the plane to reach the bathysphere terminus for Rapture.
BioShock Infinite was on display for the general video game audience at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2011, and won the “Best of Show” award from the Game Critics Awards, as well as “Best Original Game”, “Best Action/Adventure Game”, and “Best PC Game”.