BioShock Infinite at E3 2011

We were lucky enough to check out 2K Game’s BioShock Infinite ten minute live demo this year at E3. This is one of the games that I have been looking forward to for quite some time now. No longer are you beneath the waves in some New Year’s celebration gone wrong, as now you’re above the clouds in the floating city of Columbia, with a Fourth of July extravaganza theme. Players will be taking on the role of the down-on-his-luck, ex-pinkerton agent Booker DeWitt, on a mission to rescue Elizabeth, a girl with very special abilities from the metropolis in the sky.

What makes Elizabeth so special you ask? It seems that she has the power to manipulate rips in reality called ‘tears’. She is able to tap into these tears briefly and bring objects or even transport herself and Booker into them. A good example would be when she discovers the scene of a dying horse and after intense concentration, the horse appeared live and well with the area around them filled with vibrant grass. But as in most cases, Elizabeth has yet to master her powers and soon pulls herself and Booker into an empty trash filled street of our present time and reality. During gameplay, Booker is able to use her ability to his advantage, like having a large wagon appear to use as cover, or have Elizabeth bring forth a gun turret in case Booker needs some added firepower.

Speaking of fights, one of the groups Booker DeWitt must contend with are the Vox Populi, an extreme socialist group which began originally as a worker’s rights movement. Our first encounter with the Vox Populi features the roller coaster-like skylines that connect the floating platforms of Columbia. While being able to ride these rails from point A to point B, players must be careful as foes will be using them as well to rain down death from above. But what’s good for the goose is also good for the gander as Booker is able to use the rails in the same way. One of my favorite scenes during the demo, was when he used the skylines then leapt onto a large blimp, where he dispatched members of the Vox Populi and then blew up the engine before escaping, using the skylines again. The explosion, as if you can imagine, was quite impressive.

Nearing the end of the demo, the creature known as Songbird appears; a massive winged beast that looks like the cross between the Man Thing from Marvel Comics and a clockwork bird with elements of the Big Daddy thrown in. And when I say massive, I mean Songbird makes the Big Daddies from the previous games look like dwarves from Snow White. With its King Kong like oven mitts, Songbird snatches Elizabeth away and takes off making Booker’s job that much more difficult.

After just sitting though the demo, it makes me excited want to turn the lights down low and pop in a copy of BioShock Infinite once it comes out and make a night of exploring the secrets of Columbia. But sadly I must wait until 2012 to zip about the skylines and blow up airships.


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