Bioshock Infinite Trailer and Everything There is to KnowBy Jared Newman
There’s just no way I can give you the comprehensive Bioshock Infinite details that other publications have — I wasn’t at the high-security preview event, after all — but therein lies the opportunity to share the best Bioshock 2 previews and commentary from around the web, and of course the trailer.
Kotaku and Joystiq, of course, have full previews of Bioshock Infinite. I like the former site’s straightforward description of its hands-on time, and the latter’s meditation on setting, as the game unfolds in Columbia, a turn-of-the-20th-century cloud city:
And so they build a city floating in the sky, a literal metaphor for the country’s rapid ascent on the world stage. But it’s not as well-intentioned as it may seem. [Says Irrational Games founder Ken Levine:] “Columbia is a Death Star.”
For more insight on Bioshock Infinite’s back story, check out the article in the Boston Globe, which explains Levine’s inspiration for an America that was starting to flex its muscle:
At the press conference, he read a statement made by President William McKinley to a church group in 1903, justifying McKinley’s decision to annex the Philippines. McKinley said the Filipinos were “unfit for self-government’’ and that America had a duty to “uplift and civilize and Christianize them.’’ In the resulting occupation and the insurrection that followed, at least 220,000 Filipinos died, though some historians think the number is closer to 1 million.
What’s the early reaction to Bioshock Infinite, the third game in a series that was arguably complete after the first go-round? Brad Gallaway has a good perspective, noting that as the thoughts of his fellow writers fluctuated, it occurred to him that Bioshock 2 is the problem, even though it was a good game:
If the IP had used BioShock 2 as a DLC holdover and had reserved using the actual number 2 for Infinite, I think most people would understand more quickly and easily that the BioShock name is now meant to be applied to an entire world concept, rather than solely what was contained under the sea.
Finally, if you can’t watch the Bioshock Infinite trailer right now (maybe you’re at work), Terminal Gamer has a written rundown of what happens. The most interesting observation:
The buildings appear to be made of stone, and as the man swings around on the zeppelin’s cloth we see a billboard saying, “Burden not Columbia with your chaff.” Chaff, literally, is the husk of a small seed, though it also serves as a metaphor for something worthless.
I’m tempted to say there will be a theme of abandoning the needy running through Columbia, but it’s going to be a while until we find out for sure; according to GameSpot, Bioshock Infinite will be released for Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC in 2012.