By Rafael Rodriguez / Staff Writer
By Rafael Rodriguez / Staff Writer
Coming late October from Irrational Games is a first-person survival horror game called “Bioshock Infinite.” Set in the early 1900’s, it takes place aboard Columbia, a floating civil war-torn dystopia in the sky, which is run by the American Government. Columbia was built to help spread the idea of “American Exceptionalism,” or rather, the idea of spreading American ideologies to the rest of the world.
Aboard this dystopia, the player will take control of the game’s main character Booker DeWitt, an ex-American agent of Pinkerton National Detective Agency. His main mission is to retrieve and rescue a woman named Elizabeth, who has been captured for 12 years aboard the flying city. Upon arrival and rescue of Elizabeth, the player finds out that she is the center of two clashing forces who believe the girl will help turn the tide of war in their favor. This is due to Elizabeth’s power to alter space-time that she acquired during her capture.
These two forces make up the main opposition of the player and consist of “The Founders” and “Vox Populi,” which is Latin for “voice of the people.” The Founders, as their name suggests, are individuals fighting to keep the city up and running in the manner it was built for and believe that the use of Elizabeth’s newly acquired gift of altering space-time will give them the upper hand in defeating their foes. On the other hand, the Vox Populi factions wish to eliminate Elizabeth altogether, hoping that doing so will also lead to the downfall of their foes.
As if things weren’t bad enough for Booker and Elizabeth, they also appear to be chased by a towering, mechanical, bird-like creature called Songbird. This creature’s sole purpose was to tend to and watch over Elizabeth during her capture. Once it figures out that Elizabeth has escaped, it does anything in its power to retrieve her, whether it be destroying buildings or trampling helpless citizens.
Joining Songbird are Heavy-Hitters who serve as the game’s mini-bosses, meant to disrupt the player’s progress. So far, these Heavy Hitters come in four distinguished forms that vary greatly. One that stands out is a wood-carved, mechanical robot in the shape of George Washington that comes at the player with guns blazing and spouting out quotes from the dead president.
In the mini-bosses, the player will have the choice of whether they want to attack their foe head on or simply sneak by the monstrosity, conserving both munitions and resources to use later. The player will have plenty of weapons at their disposal if they wish to gun down their foes. The game also features vigors, which empower the player with a sort of telekinetic power, granting them the ability to manipulate the elements, as well as nostrums that empower the player with more passive effects, such as greater health regeneration or an increase in movement speed.
The game’s big star, however, would be the locales the player has to traverse. Columbia is an enormous city floating in the sky held up by giant balloons. The city looks great but while traversing it, the player can easily tell that there is a civil war happening. This is exemplified by the old broken down structures, as well as all the famine and violent uprisings that are occurring.
Unlike the setting of Irrational Game’s last “Bioshock” title, an underwater city called Rapture, which felt crowded and had limited space and movement, Columbia was made to feel like a more open-ended area that the player can roam around in and explore at their own will.
This will more than likely be fun thanks to a roller coaster-type system entangling the city that the player can latch onto and ride in order to reach different locales, as well as getting beautiful views of the airborne city during the journey.
There is a lot more to talk about in this game such as the game’s use in anachronistic elements of altering the world and the deep backstory for the game, but these will be covered more in-depth when the game releases on October 16.