Few gamers have yet to dive into the world of Rapture. We’re all familiar with the impending footsteps of a Big Daddy, the juvenile cries of a Little Sister and the monster that is Frank Fontaine. Many of us went on to embody the Big Daddy and view Rapture through the convex lens of a deep-sea diving helmet. The eerie environment and the implications of the world will live with us forever. That’s the kind of impact Bioshock leaves a player with. While many English majors have trouble finding work outside of Starbucks, Ken Levine has manipulated his knowledge of Ayn Rand into an unsettling world within our monitors and televisions.
And he’s about to do it again.
Bioshock Infinite is slated for release in August, and we’ve seen quite a bit of gameplay up until this point. This gameplay, however, has been specifically selected to keep us in the dark about the overarching story. Even people on the development team have admitted to a mere trickle of knowledge coming from Mr. Levine. And this is what makes Infinite so exciting.
Bioshock wasn’t about gameplay or big plot twists or any other traditional draw to a video game. Instead, Levine created a socio-political environment to send a message. He’s addressed an over-arching theme, and in all interviews, that theme is what he has pushed. That’s the defining part of Bioshock – not Rapture, but what Rapture stood for, which is why we’re seeing the drastic shift to Columbia, a world floating in the clouds.
We’ve seen some of Elizabeth’s powers, some of the enemies, and even have a little bit of knowledge on Booker. All of these things could be within a game that isn’t bearing the Bioshock title, but they aren’t. They’re in a Bioshock game. We don’t know what makes this a Bioshock game. All we know is that we’re probably going to be faced with socio-political themes that are going to really get us thinking and probably leave us with a new perspective on things. Aside from this, we’re about to play what is essentially a new franchise.
We’re not simply expecting something good from a stalwart developer, which can be a frightening thing. Gearbox gave us the generally favored Borderlands, but at the same time underwhelmed with Duke Nukem Forever. Infinite is like a new franchise with an established premise.
I wouldn’t expect too much more from Levine preceding the August launch. He’s keeping it under wraps, and for a good reason. The hype is well-deserved. I think I speak for the entire community when I say that we’re itching for a chance to take to the skies and tackle this new title. Here’s to six more-or-less patient months.
If you’ve been living under a rock, check out this mesmerizing trailer for the title. It’s dripping with impact.