We're big fans of Bioshock here at Dealspwn, and the third - non-chronological - entry in the series topped our list for 2011's upcoming titles. But other than a few teasers and a developer walkthrough, Bioshock Infinite has been kept carefully under wraps for much of its development. But with E3 just around the corner, 2K have opted to whisk away the curtain, with a veritable deluge of previews hitting the web.
First off, 2k is keen to stress the relationship between Booker DeWitt, Bioshock Infinite's protagonist, and Elizabeth, the mysteriously gifted girl he's been tasked with rescuing from floating metropolis, Colombia, is the core of the game. But don't expect the entire adventure to be one long escort mission; Elizabeth is totally capable of taking care of herself, and her relationship with Booker - while intrinsic to the narrative - is a strictly co-operative, rather than dependent, affair.
Elizabeth has been held on Colombia since she was five, guarded by a giant robot creature dubbed Songbird. DeWitt wrenched Elizabeth away from her shackles, but now Songbird is after him. And he's not happy. You'll encounter Songbird several times across the course of Bioshock Infinite's adventure, and he appears to be a fearsomely formidable foe.
Along with mechanical fowl, Colombia is ruled over by two factions; patriotic elite, the Founders; and rebel uprising, the Vox Populi. Each want Elizabeth and her gifts for their own devices, but don't expect every encounter to devolve into a gunfight. Developers 2K Marin - who handled the original Bioshock, not its lackluster sequel - are keen to stress that the local NPC populace aren't all aggressive brutes itching for a good old fight. A scene is described where Vox Populi are preparing to execute a man; DeWitt can either pass by and hope not to get involved, or intervene and risk the consequences.
But you will have to get down and dirty quite a lot in Bioshock Infinite. DeWitt has a variety of firearms at his disposal, from pistols to shotguns, but can also drink Vigors, which bestow him plasmid-esque powers. We've already witnessed Murder of Crows, granting DeWitt power over a flock of crows to pester or distract foe; and a second was revealed today, titled Bucking Bronco, which launches enemies into the air.
Elizabeth, however, is the key ingredient in your arsenal. We know she's in possession of some curious powers, but further light was shed on this in today's coverage, detailing the Tears in space/time Elizabeth can exploit. 'Tears' are represented as transparent portions of the map, allowing Elizabeth to teleport in a turret or rail-car for DeWitt to utilize.
And speaking of rail-cars, Infinite's exciting Sky-Line feature was further explained. At first seeming like a means simply for travel, the Sky-Lines in fact play a large part in combat, allowing DeWitt to reach key vantage points or intercept incoming foe. Even Elizabeth can hop on. Colombia is an ambitious place with great scope and ideas, and the Sky-Lines might prove to be its most jaw-dropping feature. [Eurogamer]