Come fly with me, let’s fly, let’s fly away…
Sorry, but it seems appropriate to start an article about a Bioshock game with the lyrics to an old song. Only this time, instead of going somewhere beyond the sea we are going sky high. Gone now are the dank and soggy streets of the dying underwater city of Rapture, instead replaced by the bright sunlight and dizzying heights of the floating city of Columbia. This is not your father’s Bioshock. This is Bioshock Infinite.
Now I wasn’t there in person to see the reveal, as the event was held in the luxurious Plaza Hotel in New York City. But from what I’ve gathered from the ol’ Intertubes Bioshock Infinite is actually a prequel, taking place around the turn of the century. Now if you remember, back then America was pretty high on itself. We were industrial revolutioning the crap out of ourselves and doing pretty good in the world. So, in crazy alternate dimension Bioshock universe, that of course means that we have to build a gigantic floating city. This is Columbia. Things go bad, though, when word gets out that our shining city on the clouds is quite well armed. There is an international incident and the city of Columbia just up and vanishes. How a floating city ever vanishes I don’t know, but okay, I’ll go with it.
So, we cut to 1912 and our hero, private eye Booker DeWitt, gets a job to find a girl. The snag is that said girl is on that gigantic disappeared floating city. But hey, no need to worry. Booker has an in. And so off Booker goes to shoot up jerks and punch out robots.
One of the big things that this game seems to do to set itself apart from the previous Bioshock games (well, aside from the whole flying city thing) is the theme. In Bioshock you were caught between the forces of capitalism and socialism, what is best for yourself vs. what is best for the group. Between the two games we saw what happened when a society adopts a me first attitude and when a society completely bends to a all for the greater good mentality. Here’s a hint: neither scenario turns out all that well. So, pardon the pun, the well of storytelling for Rapture had pretty much run dry. Infinite is tackling a new theme: jingoism. One look at this airborne metropolis will tell you all you need to know about the populace at large. These people love America. They also don’t want no stupid foreigners getting in there and screwing things up. Yes, that is the attitude of the people that have a flying fortress city with lots of cannons and killer robots. Hey, nobody ever said rescuing the girl was gonna be easy.
That’s about as much as I can say with what info I have. Be sure to check out the trailer and get a good look at Bioshock’s upwards upgrade. A word of caution for those who suffer from vertigo though. Its a long way down. Bioshock Infinite will fly onto store shelves sometime in 2012.