Friday, August 13, 2010

Irrational's Ken Levine on Bioshock Infinite

With the announcement of Bioshock Infinite, Irrational Studios head hit-man, Ken Levine sat down with the press to be peppered with mundane questions. But he also released a statement on Irrational's Website to the rest of us. With his State of Union address, gamers are clamoring for more information, but here is an editorial that the rest of the gaming media is igrnoing. Bioshock Infinite is changing how we think big-budget sequels are made.
Is Bioshock Infinite a prequel? Star Wars like prequel? Or is it only loosely based in the Bioshock-verse?

Levine is clear, there are no sacred cows in Bioshock Infinite (the sky is the limit). Viewing the trailer there is a sense of American expansionism (a la Red Dead Redemption), a Manifest Destiny of sky, before the invetible space-race. A floating sky city by the famed American ingenuity, a city that could of been built if a Rockefellar had of thought of it first. Columbia, as the sky city is named after one of the famous explorer known, is a departure of Rapture. As Levine points out, "that's the easy path for us... we took a harder path for ourselves."

Levine paints BI as a departure from their highly rated 2007 splicer-thriller Bioshock. The only core values that these titles share are the obvious; a fantastical world created by the same Irrational team. And there is no confusion on the Levine's view of American 1900 Historcity, nationalism and internationalism are key themes in the game. These ideas are not ones would link to a sequel or a prequel to milti-million sold series.

Levine is adamant on Infinite is more of a "re-imagining" of the original Bioshock, building on ideas of their precedent game and exploring the world artistically and questioning the bigger, badder and better philosophy other game series fall into. With that in mind, Bioshock Infinite swoops in our space with breath of fresh air.


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