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Please note that while this piece contains no overt plot spoilers for any BioShock game, it does feature some allusions to their major events and does presume at least some familiarity with them.>
“The problem with utopia is it’s still full of people.” A fair sentiment indeed, but is it truly spoken by a dispossessed citizen of the fast-failing undersea brains trust that is Rapture, or is it a BioShock Infinite developer lamenting that they need to somehow insert humanity into their singularly lavish shooty-bang game?
It is wonderful to be back beyond the sea, but things are different now. (more…)
Oh look, here’s a release date for the first BioShock Infinite story DLC, Burial At Sea. This, you may recall, recasts Infinite’s protagonists Booker and Elizabeth in the undersea social experiment that is Rapture, and thus entails both a brand new story beneath the waves and a chance to catch up with old chums such as Big Daddy and his syringe-loving chums. Irrational have been coy about exactly when it’s due out, until about five minutes ago when they brazenly proclaimed it would be on November 12. That’s around one Earth fortnight, or 17 Venusian aafgf-ghhhrnights. (more…)
Bioshock has that one part>, the stunning moment that locks the game in the memory forever. I’m talking, of course, about the opening plane crash and the first view of the lighthouse. The descent into Rapture, like the ascent into Columbia, employed tidy, efficient techniques to build a world that was eerie, allusive and oddly attractive. Alec wrote an entire post about that first sight of Rapture. The opening five minutes of Burial At Sea, Bioshock Infinite’s narrative DLC, contain a different side of Rapture, as Booker and Elizabeth walk the corridors before the Fall. Spoilers abound, obviously, with the plot’s initial direction outlined as the two take in some familiar sights.
The Modern Day Icarus videos that heralded the arrival of Bioshock Infinite were thoroughly enjoyable as far as marketing nonsense goes. Faux documentaries that showed glimpses of the city in the sky, its populace and artefacts, they were entertainingly odd and managed to win my approval despite showing nary a glimpse of the game itself. As the Burial At Sea DLC approaches – and with it a return to Rapture – 2K have released a new video, in the same style, examining the Modern Day Atlantis. It’s not quite as effective, mainly because I expected more than the sort of annoyance I greet Jehova’s Witnesses with when the narrator gravely intoned, “That’s when this happened”.
As you’d expect, there are a bunch of screenshots to accompany the news of BioShock: Infinite’s DLC. There’s an odd, unhelpful and irrelevant shot of Elizabeth for today’s challenge pack, Clash In The Clouds, but more importantly, there’s the first glimpse of a pre-fall Rapture, for the forthcoming Burial At Sea campaign.
So, as guessed by people paying attention to Ken Levine last night, there’s to be BioShock: Infinite DLC. What a surprise. What’s more of a surprise is that one bit is out today. That is Clash In The Clouds, and is a bunch of challenges. Below you’ve got a trailer for that, and a teaser for something called Burial At Sea, which will be a new campaign set in Rapture!
He might not have quite the profile of a Levine or Smith, but as a lead designer on Thief 3, particularly of The Cradle level, not to mention the similarly nerve-torturing Fort Frolic map in BioShock, Jordan Thomas is a name just as worth knowing. While being granted more overreaching control of a project resulted in 2K Marin’s smart, improved but too safe sequel BioShock 2, followed by a disappearance into the black hole which eventually morphed into The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, Thomas also took on some creative duties late in BioShock Infinite’s development. Now he’s moving away from franchises into creator-controlled, independent territory, and I am not-entirely-quietly confident that this will mean great things. (more…)
For the first time in ages, Deus Ex director Warren Spector is unemployed. The man who created what’s regarded by many as the greatest game of all time isn’t cracking any whips, cooking up cyber conspiracies, or teaching cartoon mice to sing. Instead, he’s taking some time to both teach and learn, which is what brought him to UC Santa Cruz’s recent Interactive Storytelling Symposium. There, he echoed the refrain that’s recently become his calling card: take games to new, interesting places, and don’t just lean on crutches from film, TV, and the like to do it. It was a call to action – a plea for tomorrow’s burgeoning brains to break outside the box and then burn the remains. Do not, however, mistake that for an admission of inaction on Spector’s part. Unemployed or not, his gears are churning again, and he’s starting to think about his next big move. After his session, Spector and I discussed why he can’t simply make another Deus-Ex-esque game, why he really wants to put a “no weapons restriction” on his next project, Kickstarter’s popularity among his pioneering peers, Epic Mickey in retrospect, and more.>
Heavy Spoilers, obv. (more…)
The following theory is not true, but it could be. It’s surely no accident that BioShock Infinite often evokes The Wizard of Oz – there’s even an early stage of the game named after it. Even so, the similarities, be they deliberate or coincidental, run deeper than a turn-of-the-century character being mysteriously transported to an amazing world of technology and magic. Once I started down the yellow brick road of looking for parallels between Dorothy’s adventure in Oz and Booker’s adventure in Columbia, I couldn’t stop – I identified what seemed> to be dozens of them. Am I onto something, or am I projecting? It doesn’t matter – this is purely a thought experiment, not a claim to accuracy, and I’m entirely sure you could achieve a similar effect by comparing Binfinite to Star Wars or the Bible or Peppa Pig. I’m doing this for fun. Mostly.
Also, SPOILERS UNBOUND. Do not read past this point if you haven’t completed the game. (Or if you somehow haven’t seen/read The Wizard of Oz). If you have, fire up Dark Side of the Moon and let’s go off to see the wizard. (more…)