The general consensus seems to be that gamers loved Bioshock, created by Ken Levine’s Irrational Games, but were disappointed with Bioshock 2, which was created by a host of other game developing companies.
Here, with the sequel created entirely by Irrational, instead of the underwater city Rapture, we’re transported to an steampunk, art nouveau city in the clouds. We’re the original game was a manifestation on objectivism, it looks like this one will be tackling patriotism-gone-awry or even the downside to early 20th Century American progressivism?
After the trailer unfurled Infinite’s world, Levine began explaining the game to his audience. Infinite is set in the early 1910s. Its main setting is Columbia, a city that floats on balloons and drifted across an ascendant United States, showing the accomplishments of a post-Civil War American ready to express its idea of excellence.
“Something terrible happens,” Levine said, establishing the stakes and the mystery. Columbia proves to be something worse than a beacon of prosperity. “This is not a floating world’s fair. Columbia is a Death Star.” In the lead-up to the events of Infinite, Columbia is embroiled in an international incident of unspecified horror and then disappears into the clouds. Our character, a “disgruntled former Pinkerton agent” named Booker DeWitt, is contacted by a mysterious man who knows where Columbia is. In that city, DeWitt is told, is Elizabeth, a woman who has been raised there and who the man wants rescued. DeWitt accepts the mission, which will be ours as a player: to rescue Elizabeth and, with her super-powered help, get out of the patriotic-turned-violent Columbia.
It’s fascinating to me that we’ve reached the point where video games can allegorical lessons in philosophy, history, and culture.