Kevin Levine: Bioshock Infinite is not a typical sequel

Posted By | On 13th, Aug. 2010 Under Industry News

Irrational Games’ Creative Director Kevin Levine, currently working on the next Bioshock title, says his upcoming Bioshock Infinite is not merely a sequel, rather a re-imagining of the series.

“In the game industry, people have a particular sense of what a sequel is. You know, they’re going to follow the story, it will be the same world, a lot of the same weapons,” said Levine.

“I guess “re-imagining” is a good way to describe it. Anything that was in the previous game has to earn its way into this game. We’re open to explode any ideas, change any ideas, re-imagine any ideas. That’s why we’ve been quiet for so long. That’s a question we’ve had to wrestle with for a long time, and it took us a few years to get to the point where we were ready to talk about it. Now the team is super excited about it.

“Once you make a game like BioShock, the audience expects to be surprised and amazed the same way they were by Rapture. We wanted to make sure we had something that felt familiar in some ways, but also felt different at the same time.”

Update: This video is no longer available.
Bioshock Infinite Announcement Trailer

He also wants his fans to know that the upcoming Bioshock Infinite’s world Columbia, which is floating, rather than the underworlf Rapture, will be much more alive this time, and have both, enemies and friends. We’re afraid it might ruin the atmosphere of the games. Anyway, here’s what Levine says.

“Going back to the System Shock 2 and BioShock days, we’ve given ourselves an out, which is ‘everybody’s dead.’ There wasn’t much character interaction, and when there is… I think I’m the guy who invented the [gameplay convention of the] player interacting with a guy on the other side of a glass. [laughs] I say that with dubious pride, because that idea is getting really long in the tooth,” creative director Kevin Levine told the PS Blog.

“Our concept in this game is that there are lots of characters who don’t necessarily attack you right away – they may not be interested in getting in a fight, either. The feeling we want is somewhat like the Wild West, where you go into a room and everybody has their hand on their gun because it’s a scary place.

“Part of your challenge in this world is figuring out who is a threat and who isn’t. Or, if you’re in a combat situation, if there’s a way to bring another person to your side somehow. We sort of pioneered this with BioShock with the notion of the Big Daddy, who didn’t attack you right away, and here we’ve extended this idea throughout the world.

“We realized quickly that this is much more like the way the real world works. In shooters, we’re not accustomed to that – we’re used to everyone seeing you and shooting you. From a narrative perspective, this gives us a ton of freedom.”

[US PS Blog]

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