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Writer on BioShock Infinite Describes Gameplay as “Endless” in a Big Open Area

December 14, 2012 Written by Jesse Meikle

Most story focused games follow a strictly linear approach to the world, and the combat that resides within. For such a narrative heavy game like BioShock Infinite, many would assume this trend would be followed, but apparently things are a little more open than we may be expecting. Irrational Games writer, Drew Holmes, spoke with the PlayStation Blogcast, about just how open the combat in BioShock Infinite is:

This isn’t just a linear corridor shooter, the world is big and open, it’s in the sky. The Skyland system allows you to not just go from corner to corner and from alley to alley; you can jump on the Skyland you can zip around the world, hop up on the roofs and now you’re in a sniper position. [You can] have Elizabeth open up an oil slip tear on the ground, use your devils kiss vigor to light that on fire so guys are burning while you jump back on the ground, hit them with your sky hook. There’s so many tools available to the player that the possibilities are really endless in these big open combat arenas that we set up.

With such radical changes, and improvements in the game over its predecessor, some may be wondering why exactly Infinite carries the “BioShock” title. Well, Drew has a way to rationalize the BioShock brand within such a different, yet allegedly thematically similar concept:

What’s most important in a BioShock game is nothing is quite as it seems. There’s always something sort of behind the curtain, there’s something that you’re going to uncover as you play through the game. Columbia’s no exception; we present this very idealic world at the start, but you quickly see that the core is sort of rotten. I think BioShock games are very much known for these ideologies that are sort of driven to their extremes, and the unintended consequences that spur out of them. It’s about someone’s rigid belief in a singular idea is probably going to lead to their downfall because it’s not how you really should view the world. There are many different viewpoints and people who are sort of unwilling to see both sides of the coin are probably not going to come to a happy end. I think we’re careful to not show our hand in terms of what exactly it is we’re trying to say, we like to leave as much of the game open to interpretation of the players as possible. But I think there is a common thread of extremism being…bad.

Drew Holmes description of the gameplay reminds me largely of Dishonored, which is nothing but a good thing. Do you feel a more open approach to combat will benefit BioShock Infinite?

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