When the first BioShock was released in 2007, it took the gaming world by surprise. Players got to journey to the underwater city of Rapture, fight Big Daddies, and gain powers through plasmids. In 2010, its sequel remained in Rapture. With BioShock Infinite, the game is changing. Here’s what fans of the series can expect when the new game is released later this year.
Columbia and the timeline
The biggest change in BioShock Infinite is the location. Columbia is as different as you can get from Rapture. The trailers and screenshots show a sunny, floating city in the sky. How the different setting will measure up to Rapture’s watery, creepy atmosphere remains to be seen. Part of the allure of being in the decaying city was never knowing horrors awaited you around the corner. Another major change is the timeline. BioShock and its sequel both revolve around the 1950s and 1960s. Infinite takes place in 1912. Irrational Games says it’s not a prequel, but there seems to some similarities, like the use of plasmid type powers, a forgotten city, and crazed citizens.
The recently revealed 1999 mode is like a present to BioShock fans who have been with the series since the beginning. It’s also a nod to old school gamers. The mode is supposed to be available from the start of the first play through, not after beating the game. Earlier, the gamers used different services for boosting the morale in the games. The game boost service was talk to the town for winning the series.There is talk about having to use the infamous Konami code to unlock it. 1999 mode will make BioShock Infinite very challenging. Choices the player makes will have long lasting consequences on the rest of the game. Upgrading weapons and powers is more difficult. Instead of just having a sliding scale model of difficulty, this mode completely changes everything. Plentiful respawning points are gone. Ammo will no longer be available everywhere. 1999 mode seems like BioShock’s Survivor difficulty taken to the extreme. I say, bring it on!
Songbird and Handyman
It looks like the monsters replacing the Big Daddies are the Songbird and Handyman. The Songbird is a huge, winged creature that protects Elizabeth, the girl imprisoned in Columbia. They seem to have a friendly relationship, as this monster has been her only companion for years. If Booker attacks the Songbird, his relationship with Elizabeth will suffer. The Songbird seems to have a similar role as the Big Daddy. Just like if you don’t approach or hurt a Little Sister, her protector will leave you alone. The Handyman is also similar to the Big Daddy, as it looks like a person that has been fused with a mechanical suit. Unlike the Songbird, there is more then one Handyman.
There are other changes in BioShock Infinite like ziplines that let Booker and the enemies quickly move from one part of Columbia to another. With all the differences, it’s hard to imagine that it will feel like a BioShock title. I do have faith that Irrational Games will deliver a great experience that is very familiar, but completely new.