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PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to BioShock Infinite artist almost resigned over game’s depiction of religion">BioShock Infinite Comstock







Two of the many -isms supercharging BioShock Infinite's narrative is the religious extremism and racism of Zachary Comstock, the zealous ultra-nationalist founder of Columbia and a figure of worship for many of its citizens. In an interview with GameSpot, Creative Director Ken Levine stresses the difficulty in creating Comstock as a designer from a non-religious background, and he recalls how a certain end-game scene with the character nearly caused an Irrational artist to quit in protest.



"There was a scene in the game at the end where one of our artists got to a point in the game, played it, turned off BioShock, opened up his computer, opened Microsoft Word, and wrote a resignation letter," Levine says. "It had offended him so much."



Last month, Levine spoke of a certain Infinite character getting "highly altered" after input from religious team members. It seems the character in question is Comstock, and Levine used the artist's concerns as a springboard for deepening the character's traits regarding faith beyond his limited interaction with religion.



"I realized that something I could connect to was a notion of forgiveness and what an important part that is of the New Testament and why Christ was such a revolutionary figure," Levine explains. "And thinking about how I would incorporate the power of that notion to Comstock into his world was, to me, the key. Because who hasn't done things that they don't want to be forgiven for?



"And it occurred to me that I had to figure out why people follow him," he continues. "That was the key to his character. Why do people follow him? What does he provide to them? And I struggled with that for a long time because obviously an ecstatic religious experience is something that a religious leader provides but I don't have a connection to as a writer. And it's always hard when you're trying to write something that you have never felt. And that would feel dishonest to me."



Head over to GameSpot for the full interview.
Kotaku

The Most Beautiful Opening Stages In Video Games



A video game's opening stage or starter zone has an extremely important role: it sets the tone for the rest of the game. Getting it right is essential. Below, we've collected some of the best-looking and most iconic starting zones, first stages and opening missions.





Green Hill Zone in Sonic


The Most Beautiful Opening Stages In Video Games






Central Highway in Mega Man X


The Most Beautiful Opening Stages In Video Games






Welcome to Rapture in BioShock


The Most Beautiful Opening Stages In Video Games






Contra III Stage 1


The Most Beautiful Opening Stages In Video Games






Metal Slug Mission 1


The Most Beautiful Opening Stages In Video Games






City 17 in Half-Life 2


The Most Beautiful Opening Stages In Video Games






Make Eggs, Throw Eggs in Yoshi's Island


The Most Beautiful Opening Stages In Video Games






Comix Zone Chapter 1


The Most Beautiful Opening Stages In Video Games






Ikaruga Stage 1


The Most Beautiful Opening Stages In Video Games



Post your picks for the most intense, best made and most beautiful first levels below with visual support.



sources: SEGA Wiki, ThePressStartProject, BioShock Wiki, Primeevi's LP, Gustavo Costa's LP, SectorW, Ericthestickman, VideoGamerParadox, kirgeez


PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to BioShock Infinite’s “Pre-Purchase Rewards” revealed – but there’s a catch">BioShock Infinite TF2







Worried that the download copies of BioShock Infinite will sell out, when it lands on the 26th of March? You might want to sit and think about that for a moment, or alternatively you could pre-order the game from Steam - you know, before you know whether it's any good or not. Your wallet may or may not thank you in the long run, but at least you'll get a bunch of free stuff, including the spin-off Industrial Revolution puzzle game, some in-game tat, and a copy of the original BioShock. If an unspecified number of other people put their money down as well, you'll also get a copy of XCOM and several TF2 items, but I don't see how anyone would be interested in those.



Those TF2 items you won't be interested in include Vox Diabolus (a "Vox Populi anarchist mask"), The Pounding Father ("Heavy cannot tell lie. Heavy is first President of United States. Of crushing little baby men"), and The Steel Songbird ("Why not treat yourself to the haunting rhythmic symphony of bolts being constantly pooped by this mute, easily terrified incontinent bird?") However, they will only be unlocked if other people pre-order too - the counter is currently at 19%. The reward tier after that doles out a copy of the excellent XCOM.



BioShock Infinite is out in just a few weeks, and Tom was rather impressed with it in his recent hands-on with the game.
Kotaku

BioShock Infinite's Pre-Order Scheme Is A Bold Step In Consumer ManipulationEach week it feels like the video game industry is coming up with new ways to get you to pre-order games. Packaged bonuses, collectors' edition cases, limited edition figures, in-game items, early access to betas, and more.



Today, Irrational Games announced new Steam pre-order incentives for their hotly anticipated action game BioShock Infinite. The rewards sound pretty good at first: "Pre-order BioShock Infinite on Steam today to help unlock exclusive rewards and free copies of BioShock and X-Com: Enemy Unknown!"



But then, you read on:




Here's how it works: if enough people pre-order BioShock Infinite, a free copy of the original BioShock gets unlocked. If that's not enough, a series of exclusive BioShock Infinite-themed items (details below) in Team Fortress 2 will be unlocked if the number of pre-orders reaches the next level. Lastly, Steam will sweeten the pot by unlocking a free copy of X-Com: Enemy Unknown once pre-orders hit that magic number. Of course, this is in addition to the Industrial Revolution pack that you will receive immediate access to just for pre-ordering!




In other words, they not only want you to pay them for their game before it comes out and anyone has had a chance to review it, they want you to act as marketers and encourage your friends to pre-order. Both of those bonus games are great, and make for outstanding pre-release rewards. Both are published by BioShock: Infinite's publisher 2K, which is doubtless why they're part of the deal. I'd take a free copy of XCOMKotaku's 2012 game of the year—over an in-game outfit or weapon any day. But surely I can't be the only who finds this whole racket sketchy.



Look, pre-orders are bad enough on their own. They're entirely designed to help game publishers circumvent game reviews and get people locked into purchasing games before the press has a chance to tell the public whether the game is good or not. As Stephen so recently pointed out, the entire preview-to-preorder cycle is a challenging one for the press. Previews of BioShock Infinite have been no different: Stephen was confident that the first four and a half hours of BioShock Infinite are good, since that's what he played. But none of us can say for certain how the next four and a half hours are, or how the finished game is. Of course we can't. We haven't played it. But the people selling this game don't care: They're perfectly happy for you to buy it right now, sight-unseen.



With this method of pre-order incentivizing, 2K and Irrational have taken a bold step forward in manipulation.

With this method of pre-order incentivizing, 2K and Irrational have taken a bold step forward in manipulation. I'm not sure if they're the first company to try this, but I've never quite seen anything quite like it, at least in video games. (Update: It's not the first: 2K has done something like this at least once before, with the initial release of XCOM last fall.) While a lot of people pre-ordering Infinite have likely already played BioShock, the more-recent XCOM remains something of a good get. So of course, it'll also require the most pre-orders to unlock.



Further complicating the matter is the fact that this is for Steam only, meaning that these are "Steam Pre-Purchases," which work a bit differently than your run-of-the-mill GameStop preorder. If you preorder a game from GameStop, you aren't charged in full until you actually come down to the store and pick it up. If you wait for a day after the game launches, you can call in to the store and cancel. So if, say, you pre-ordered Aliens: Colonial Marines, then saw the terrible reviews, you could save yourself the purchase price. GameStop would keep the $5 deposit you put down, but as store credit—you could put it toward another game.



But if you've pre-purchased on Steam, you can only get your money back if you contact Steam support before the launch date. After the game launches, you own it. "As with most downloadable software products, we do not offer refunds for purchases made through Steam," reads the Steam FAQ. "An exception is made for games purchased during a pre-order period if the request is received prior to the games' release date."



So let's say that Infinite gets some negative or conflicted reviews, for whatever reason. It's not important why. You decide that you don't really want the game after all. If it's past the release date and you pre-purchased through Steam, you'll be out of luck. You'll own BioShock Infinite.



I've asked Valve to confirm with me that you can only return pre-purchased games before the launch date, though I've no reason to believe that's not the case. I've also asked Irrational and 2K for some clarification regarding the finer points of this operation, specifically whether they'll be telling people who pre-order how close they are to unlocking the next target, or if those numbers will be hidden from customers. Lastly, I've asked what would happen if both BioShock and XCOM are unlocked but someone decides to subsequently cancel their preorder. Would they get to keep the two free games? It's unclear. I'll update if and when I hear back.



"To unlock all these rewards, you'll need to spread the word and work as a team," Irrational's marketing copy says. "The more people who pre-order, the more rewards gets [sic] unlocked. Simple enough, right?"



Sure, I guess it is pretty simple. Irrational, 2K and Valve want you to help them sell a game that hasn't come out yet. But for the time being, steer clear of this scheme. Pre-orders are bad enough—you don't have to take part in a viral marketing campaign, too.



Update: Lots of discussion happening here, which is great. I wanted to note a couple of things. First of all (I put this in a comment, too): Several of you guys have pointed out that XCOM did a similar thing last fall, and that Tomb Raider is also currently doing tiered incentives on Steam. That's true, and I added a note to the article to make it clear that 2K has done this before. Though that doesn't make this kind of thing any less manipulative, it just means this isn't isolated.



Also, a couple of people have said that it's self-important of me to suggest that pre-orders are designed to circumvent reviews. As if game reviews are so powerful! Sorry about that, I didn't intend to come off that way. Let me clarify: There are all sorts of "reviews." Once a game is out, people ask their friends whether it's good, they see what people they trust think of it—be they friends, professional critics, or message-board compatriots. That information can help make a decision as to whether or not to buy the game. Pre-orders let publishers get around all of that. It's in their interest to lock in your purchase as early as possible.


Kotaku

Extend Your Adventures in Columbia with the BioShock Infinite Season PassBioShock developer Irrational Games has just announced the Season Pass accompanying their newest entry into the franchise, BioShock Infinite. The $20 pack will give access to three pieces of post-release DLC, along with some other goodies. Irrational said:




The BioShock Infinite Season Pass will be available on March 26, 2013 when the game is planned to launch, and provide nearly $30.00 of add-on content for $19.99 (PlayStation®Network, Windows® PC) or 1,600 Microsoft Points (Xbox LIVE® online entertainment network)—a savings of more than 30%. The Season Pass will include all three add-on packs, and can be pre-ordered today through www.preordernow.com or at a participating retailer.



Those who purchase the BioShock Infinite Season Pass will also receive the Early Bird Special Pack at no extra cost. This bonus pack contains four pieces of exclusive gear, a Machine Gun Damage Upgrade, a Pistol Damage Upgrade, a gold skin for both weapons and five Infusion bottles that allow players to increase their health, their shield durability or their ability to use Vigors by increasing the quantity of Salts they can carry.




BioShock Infinite will be released worldwide on March 26.


Kotaku

BioShock Infinite Has At Least Three DLC PacksBioShock developer Irrational Games has just announced the Season Pass accompanying their newest entry into the franchise, BioShock Infinite. The pack will contain three pieces of post-release downloadable content—DLC which, so far, Irrational hasn't talked about. Their press release follows:




The BioShock Infinite Season Pass will be available on March 26, 2013 when the game is planned to launch, and provide nearly $30.00 of add-on content for $19.99 (PlayStation®Network, Windows® PC) or 1,600 Microsoft Points (Xbox LIVE® online entertainment network)—a savings of more than 30%. The Season Pass will include all three add-on packs, and can be pre-ordered today through www.preordernow.com or at a participating retailer.



Those who purchase the BioShock Infinite Season Pass will also receive the Early Bird Special Pack at no extra cost. This bonus pack contains four pieces of exclusive gear, a Machine Gun Damage Upgrade, a Pistol Damage Upgrade, a gold skin for both weapons and five Infusion bottles that allow players to increase their health, their shield durability or their ability to use Vigors by increasing the quantity of Salts they can carry.




BioShock Infinite will be released worldwide on March 26.


PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to BioShock Infinite goes gold, Irrational says it cut enough content to “make five or six games”">BioShock Infinite







It's time to make sure your tickets are in order and your tweed vests are properly packed in your steamer trunks, because the (sky)train to BioShock: Infinite's floating metropolis is on schedule to depart on March 26. That is, Irrational's Ken Levine wrote in a blog post that the game has gone gold.



"When we first announced BioShock Infinite, we made a promise to deliver a game that was very much a BioShock experience, and at the same time something completely different," Levine says. "And our commitment to making good on that promise, no matter what, has been our driving force for the last three years or so."



Levine breaks down the damage in delivering a worthy successor to BioShock after five years in development: "The total cost of the game was five years, 941 billion Klingon darseks (plus tip), 47 camels, a cranberry flan, and the blood, sweat, and tears of the Irrational team." Useless fact of the day: a darsek roughly equals one half of a bar of gold-pressed latinum.



Over at Polygon, Design Director Bill Gardner talks about the bumps and design redirections encountered in Infinite's long skyrail leading to release, revealing he initially conceived the game's setting taking place during the Renaissance period and that the team ultimately culled enough content to "make five or six games."



"I will say that I was actually pushing for something more Renaissance, but within six months, Assassin's Creed II was announced and I was like, 'OK, well they beat us to the punch,'" Gardner says.



With one of the most contextually sensitive remarks I've ever seen, Gardner comments on Infinite's canned content: "I mean, it pains you when you're talking about about cutting one of your babies, but ultimately, you've got to to look at the final piece."



Though Gardner didn't elaborate on how fleshed-out the cut content actually was, I find it somewhat difficult not to address the slight hyperbole in the reported quantity of Infinite's axed portions. It's more likely Gardner is referring to possible ideas for levels and mechanics that were eventually discarded or half-finished areas eliminated for the sake of time or to ensure what the player experiences jives with Irrational's intended theme. And from what we saw during our recent and lengthy visit to Columbia, its surviving districts pull off that obligation most handily.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

Grr!

As we all know full well and is entirely obvious, BioShock: Elizabeth is a straightforward damsel in distress with a pretty face and a nice dress, and there’s nothing more to her than that. There definitely> isn’t anything surprising or sinister about her: she will be rescued by the big man with the big gun, the mean nasty boss will fall to his doom and everyone will live happily ever after.

Or maybe there’s some massive twist at the heart of the game and she’s not what she seems to be at all? Nah. (more…)

PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to BioShock Infinite hands-on: five hours in cloud city">cityinthesky__ONLINE_wideuse







There’s something I can’t tell you about BioShock Infinite. Not because it’s a spoiler – I’ll avoid those too – but because I can’t quite communicate it. It’s something I felt after playing Half-Life 2, and again after playing BioShock 1. It’s the sense you get after experiencing something so vivid and rich that you know you’ll never be able to fully describe what it felt like. But I’ll try.



"‘City in the clouds’ doesn’t really express the sheer size of it: there seem to be several of those in every direction."

That’s not how I expected to feel after playing Infinite for the first time. They’d kept it out of journalistic hands until suspiciously close to release, and the trailers and walkthroughs didn’t give a good sense of what kind of game it was. Somewhere in my head, I just copied BioShock 1 from the bottom of the sea and pasted it into the clouds.



Some of that is accurate. In BioShock 1, you played an outsider discovering a failed utopian city at the bottom of the sea; in BioShock Infinite, you play an outsider discovering a failing utopian city floating in the sky. Both games let you explore an extraordinary place, piecing together its story from evidence left lying around. And both games alternate that with combat: you wield both conventional guns and a suite of basically-magical powers that let you do interesting things to your enemies.



Once you arrive, though, it’s hard to call them similar. ‘City in the clouds’ doesn’t really express the sheer size of it: there seem to be several of those in every direction. Columbia’s huge districts are disjointed, drifting in loose formation as the impossible flotilla tours the world. The first one I explore feels disjointed in itself: half the buildings seem to be bobbing and lurching independently, like some weird dream. Curving skyrails take massive carriages of cargo, like sidewinding trains. Airships propel themselves slowly between districts on twin fans. And the smoke from every chimney streaks in the same direction: we’re moving.







But the most startling difference from BioShock 1 isn’t the views: it’s the people. Rapture was a failed utopia, Columbia is still very much in the process of failing.



"Exploring a dead place by yourself, with you being this cypher, we’ve kind of done that."

Plenty of times in my five hours, I’d enter a new district of the city where no-one has any particular reason to hate, fear or shoot me yet. Columbia is full of civilians milling around, gossiping, griping, and going about their business. It’s exactly what Irrational Games had avoided doing not only in BioShock, but in its spiritual predecessor System Shock 2, simply because it’s so hard to make it work. I asked creative director Ken Levine: what changed?



“If we went back to that now, I think people would say we were just repeating ourselves. Listen, it would have been a lot easier. We would have been having this conversation two years ago... but exploring a dead place by yourself, with you being this cypher, we’ve kind of done that.”



Was it as hard as they feared back then? “So, I don’t want to bore you with my problems, but the writing task was monstrous. It was huge. I remember the first level I wrote, the first draft for this prologue, I sat back and looked at this script, and I realised this script alone was longer than my entire script for BioShock.”







As I’m playing it, though, it’s not a game of long conversations. A lot of that work seems to have gone into a depth of story, rather than length. Even more so than in BioShock, the density of information encoded into the world around you is overwhelming. Every poster is propaganda for a faction you’ll meet, or a product you’ll buy, or a cryptic hint to one of the game’s dozens of connected mysteries. Pre-television viewing booths show flickery greyscale government infotainment, with title-card dialogue and jaunty music.



"Almost every line of dialogue has some payload of information about this foreign place."

Plot characters still leave audio diaries of their thoughts lying around, but now they’re joined by living people having normal conversations. And almost every line of their daily lives has some payload of information about this foreign place.



“It’s damned inconvenient when buildings don’t dock on time,” a well-dressed man complains to his companion as I walk by. “Yesterday I had to take a gondola, rubbing shoulders with all sorts.” If you’re ‘someone’ in Columbia, your destination comes to you.



Later on, I actually see it happen. As I’m walking towards a bridge, Chas White’s Home and Garden Supply shop floats slowly towards me and docks noisily with a pair of metal teeth jutting out of the street, clanking into place and steadying as it locks. A nearby troupe of a cappella singers harmonise over the noise.







It’s all terribly... nice. It has the atmosphere of a cheerful village fete, but in a village that couldn’t exist. At one point, we seem to be in a cloud: a thick haze turns everyone in the street to silhouettes, picked out by spectacular rays of golden sunlight. Confetti floats through the air, and hummingbirds pause to probe flowers. Two children splash each other in a leaking fire hydrant.



"Blood geysers all over my face. I’m drenched. Everyone’s screaming."

Half an hour later, for reasons I won’t go into, I’m ramming a metal gear into a man’s eye socket until blood geysers all over my face. I’m drenched. Everyone’s screaming. Four more men are coming for me, and this blunt steel prong is all I have to kill them with.



I skipped ahead there for two reasons: one, I don’t want to spoil why violence does finally break out in BioShock Infinite. It’s a moment that will become notorious in gaming, and a hard one to forget.



Two, I wanted it to sound jarring, because it is. Extremely, intentionally and upsettingly so. When I ask Ken about it, he describes the intended effect as “biting into an apple and finding the worm at the core”.



It works as that. But it’s also jarring in another way. A moment ago I’d been enthralled by this place, fascinated by how different and fresh it was, hanging on every word of these people’s everyday lives. When I realised my next task was to ram a piece of metal into eight different people until they were all dead, part of me thought, sadly, “Oh yeah. Videogames.”







It’s not a new thought, it only stands out here because Infinite is so superb at conjuring this place and luring you into its story. When I mention it to Ken, he’s sympathetic. “It’s an intensely bizarre concept that you play a character – whether it’s Uncharted, or this game, or even like an Indiana Jones movie – who’s essentially a psychopathic mass murderer. You’re fucking insane. I’m very aware of this issue... it’s something we actually attempt to confront at some point.”



"It’s strange to see white-on-black discrimination so unflinchingly depicted."

The other thing Infinite confronts, with surprising directness, is racism. I’m so used to games having some orc- or elf-based analogue for it that it’s strange to see regular white-on-black discrimination so unflinchingly depicted.



“I didn’t want a game that just had some racism in the background,” says Ken. “I wanted you to be engaged and confront those issues – in the same way we confronted you with what capitalism does when it goes to its maximum extreme.”



“In this game we think it’d be honest to deal with these topics, and these aren’t topics we take lightly, and they’re not necessarily going where you think they’re going. This is not... I don’t want to spoil anything.” Well, mission accomplished.









It’s a very story-driven game – you’re always heading to an excitingly new part of the city with a specific purpose. As far as I played, it never lapses into a formula, which gives it a sense of adventure and discovery that BioShock didn’t always have. And the places it takes you to are what really made me fall in love with it.



"You’re always heading to an excitingly new part of the city. It never lapses into a formula."

I’m in a temple. Soulful gospel music echoes through the dark halls as I wade through knee-deep holy water. Spectacular statues sparkle in shafts of sunlight. A preacher’s speech to his damp-robed congregation crosses the line from passionate to unhinged.



I’m on a beach. There’s actual sand, and an ocean of sorts. I can still see Columbia in the sky... and after a moment I realise I’m still in Columbia. The ocean runs off the edge of this district in a vast, Niagara-style waterfall.



I’m in an exhibit, of sorts. A huge statue of Columbia’s first lady catches beams of brilliant pink light, as plaques tell the story of her life. In the next room, a spectacular diorama has larger-than-life statues of dozens of soldiers tumbling off a cliff, a frozen snapshot of a massacre, shrill opera music blaring out of bad speakers to underscore the unmoving drama.



I’m in a mansion, old and gloomy. Stairs lead up. A banquet hall is to the left, and I see what looks like a butler in there. He’s facing the wall. I walk around to get his attention, but he just stares blankly. I look at the table. It’s piled with rotting food, and there are crows everywhere.







Even taking it slowly, these new places come at a rate and a density of detail that feels like sensory overload. Each one has that depth of story I described earlier: dozens of clues and hints and references and traces of people’s lives and stories. And each one has an extraordinary visual design that makes you stop and gawp.



Most of them, of course, are also battlegrounds. At first, I didn’t think much of Infinite’s combat. Not just its videogameyness in a world that’s otherwise so real; I also felt like I didn’t have a lot of options, and you’re fighting a crazy number of soldiers and turrets. There doesn’t seem to be a good way to avoid getting hit.



"Taking cover gets you cornered. Hooking onto a skyrail and going full throttle makes you too fast to track."

It gets better when skyrails are introduced. Steel tracks worm their way through the plentiful empty space in Columbia, and your sky hook lets you launch yourself onto them and ride them like a rollercoaster. That, ultimately, is how you avoid getting hit. Taking cover usually just gets you cornered by someone you can’t take on at close range, but hooking onto a skyrail and going full throttle makes you too fast to track.



From there, you can aim a jump to any of the various platforms and vantage points, pounce on an enemy with lethal force, or just stay on the rail until it loops around, to get an overview of the war zone.



Your set of abilities expands gradually, and the spaces you’re fighting in get bigger and have more interesting stuff going on in them. So to get a sense of how it scales up, I asked to play a late-game fight.







The first thing I do is hop on a skyrail and take a tour: a bunch of heavily armoured soldiers are shooting at me from a central balcony, some more from a moving airship, and a half-robot giant – a Handyman – is stomping around below.



As I watch, he jumps onto the rail I’m on and sends an electric charge through it, shocking me. I stay on until I’m in a position to pounce on one of the armoured guys on the central balcony. My flying skyhook attack knocks him clear off it, but his partner fights back hard. My shotgun doesn’t do much against him, so I try a new ability: Charge. I fly forwards and slam into him with alarming force, and he goes down.



"Elizabeth's most useful ability is to open a ‘tear’ – a rift in space that brings forth some useful object."

I’m low on health, so I run over to some medkits – or rather, where some medkits could be.



Your companion, Elizabeth, joins you in combat, riding skyrails with you, tossing you ammo, and reviving you when you’re down. But her most useful ability is to open a ‘tear’ – a potential rift in space that brings forth some useful object or feature. You can see all the potential tears in an area in grey fuzzyvision, and ‘use’ one to ask Elizabeth to make it real. She can only sustain one at a time, and by this point in the game, a big combat space like this has at least eight.



So I ask Elizabeth to open the tear in front of me, grab a medkit from the box that appears, and heal myself. I decide to try another new ability: Undertow. As I hold down the right mouse button, a tendril of water creeps out of my hand, curls around the arena, grabs onto the Handyman and sucks him in front of me. Oh, thanks Undertow!







I switch to Shock Jockey and electrocute him while he’s wet, then ask Elizabeth to open a nearby tear that brings in a pool of water. I try to lure the Handyman into it in order to shock him again, but he has an annoying habit of jumping directly to me. He’s pounding me to oblivion with his articulated fists.



I skyrail over to a high balcony to get away. A tear here handily contains a barrel of rocket launchers, so we open it and I grab one. Another tear has an automated turret, so I tell Elizabeth to open that one before we move on.



"Late-game combat is still hectic, but you’ve got a lot of options."

The Handyman chases, and is pelted by both the turret and my rockets as I ride away. He grabs the rail in both hands, but I’m wise to it this time: I drop down just before the current shoots through the metal. I hit him with two more rockets as he leaps around the arena, then use Undertow – intentionally this time. A snake of liquid seeks him out and pulls him to me, and holds him in place for a second. I use the time to back up a little, switch to Charge, and hold down the right mouse button. The moment he’s free, I slam into him full force, and he crumples.



Late-game combat is still hectic, but you’ve got a lot of options and they’re more satisfying than just shooting dudes with the bog-standard weapons. The constant skyrailing and leaping around make it fast, dramatic and acrobatic to play.







I’m glad the combat gets more interesting, but combat wasn’t the most common complaint about BioShock – it was the ending. I ask Ken if he agrees that BioShock got less interesting after the Andrew Ryan encounter. “Yeah,” he says succinctly.



"The ending of the game is the most ambitious thing we’ve ever done, as a company."

I ask if they’ve learnt anything from it, hoping for a post mortem. Instead, he jumps straight to BioShock Infinite.



“I would say that the ending of the game is the most ambitious thing we’ve ever done, as a company. It is either going to be something incredibly wonderful, or people are going to burn down our office... So I can’t tell you whether people will like it or not. I can tell you it is absolutely different to anything you’ve seen in a videogame.”



It’s the sort of ridiculous thing Peter Molyneux would say. But after playing BioShock Infinite, after coming away with an experience I can’t fully express, and after thinking back to the scene in Andrew Ryan’s office in BioShock 1... I half believe it.



Kotaku





width="500" height="333" allowscriptaccess="always"
allowfullscreen="true">

The first installment of the Columbia: A Modern Day Icarus? video series reminded Luke, me and loads of other folks of the low-budget, off-putting documentaries and filmstrips that aired in the ‘70s and ‘80s. I used to have to watch those things in class, too, with some annoying homework assignment attached to them. Imagine if anything as disturbingly cool as the Songbird was ever shown in your classroom. All fart jokes and note-passing would cease. And a quiet terror would settle over the student body.


...

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