2K Games has announced that BioShock Infinite, a first-person shooter, is currently in development at Irrational Games, the studio behind the original BioShock which has sold over 4 million units worldwide. Set in 1912, BioShock Infinite introduces an entirely new narrative experience that lifts players out of the familiar confines of Rapture and rockets them to Columbia, an immense city in the sky. BioShock Infinite is currently set for release in 2012.
Originally conceived as a floating symbol of American ideals at a time when the United States was emerging as a world power, Columbia is dispatched to distant shores with great fanfare by a captivated public. What begins as a brand new endeavor of hope turns drastically wrong as the city soon disappears into the clouds to whereabouts unknown.
The player assumes the role of former Pinkerton agent Booker DeWitt, sent to the lost city to rescue Elizabeth, a young woman imprisoned there since childhood. He develops a relationship with Elizabeth, augmenting his abilities with hers so the pair may escape from a city that is literally falling from the sky. DeWitt must learn to fight foes in high-speed Sky-Line battles, engage in combat both indoors and amongst the clouds, and harness the power of dozens of new weapons and abilities.
Watch the BioShock Infinite debut trailer:
“We are excited to expand the world of BioShock, which is one of the industry’s most critically acclaimed and beloved franchises,” said Christoph Hartmann, president of 2K. “We believe that Irrational Games will lend their meticulous attention to detail and unique storytelling expertise to make BioShock Infinite an incredible entertainment experience that will immerse new and diehard fans of BioShock alike.”
With the original BioShock, Irrational Games won “Game of the Year” awards from Game Informer, IGN, G4’s X-Play, and BAFTA and redefined what players expect from a first-person shooter. “But when it came to begin work on BioShock Infinite,” said Ken Levine, creative director of Irrational Games, “we only had one rule: No sacred cows. This game is both true to what people love about the series and unafraid to question every assumption.”
Levine continued, “In order to explore the floating city of Columbia, we needed an entirely new engine. To bring Elizabeth to life, we had to build brand-new animation and AI systems. To create wide-ranging indoor and outdoor firefights at 30,000 feet, we had to rethink, rebuild and expand the BioShock arsenal. The only thing gamers can be certain of is this: the rules of the BioShock universe are about to change.”
I find it interesting how BioShock Infinite is not a direct sequel/prequel to previous BioShock games. Instead it takes place at a previous time and different setting. Opposed to the underwater city of Rapture’s secretiveness, the floating city of Columbia was publicly launched in 1900 by the American government.