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Elizabeth from "BioShock Infinite"

, 2K Games

An 'Infinite' wait for 'BioShock Infinite'

  • Article by: DERRIK J. LANG
  • Associated Press
  • December 14, 2012 - 8:27 PM

Fans clamoring for the video game "BioShock Infinite," the highly anticipated spiritual successor to the legendary "BioShock," will have to wait a bit longer.

At a recent dazzling media preview of the game, creative director Ken Levine said "Infinite" is now scheduled for release on March 26, 2013, so developers can do further polishing. It had initially been set for release this month, then delayed to Feb. 26.

Just like the original, "Infinite" begins at a lighthouse. The protagonist, an ex-Pinkerton agent named Booker DeWitt, ascends the beacon in 1912 before he's transported to Columbia, a floating World's Fair city that looks like a twisted Norman Rockwell painting. DeWitt has been sent to this American haven to rescue a young woman named Elizabeth.

While "Infinite" very much handles like the original 2007 game, it feels different. The developers at Irrational Games have labored over forging a new path, all the while staying true to what helped make the original "BioShock" sell more than 5 million copies and achieve critical acclaim.

Here are five ways "Infinite" will be different from its predecessor:

Sky's the limit: Unlike the claustrophobic undersea enclave of Rapture, the richly detailed setting of the first two "BioShock" games, Columbia is drastically more open, requiring new tactics for players to take down foes with a combination of guns and powers called "vigors." One called "Devil's Kiss," for instance, can transform DeWitt's hand into a grenade launcher.

Religious experience: Before he can enter Columbia, DeWitt must submit to a baptism in a watery church by the believers of Father Comstock, Columbia's ultra-nationalist leader, whom many believe is a prophet. Columbia's religious overtones are in stark contrast to Rapture's boozy confines.

Talking heads: DeWitt and Elizabeth aren't strong, silent types. Unlike the mostly mum protagonists of the previous "BioShock" games, these two continually converse with each other and other characters. Levine said the most challenging part of crafting "Infinite" was writing all that dialogue, so much so that he had to hire other writers.

Revitalization: There are no Vita-Chambers to resurrect DeWitt. Instead, he'll have to step through the front door of a dreamy rendition of his office back home to return to Columbia. Once he rescues Elizabeth, she'll try to keep her new protector healed with medical supplies.

Race relations: Equality isn't lifting up Columbia. There are restrooms marked for blacks and Irish, and at the beginning of "Infinite," De Witt must choose whether he goes along with a hostile crowd to attack an interracial couple. If he assists them, the pair will help him out later.

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