We're pretty excited about BioShock Infinite, the latest project from Irrational Games. As if revealing a new BioShock game, screens, and a trailer weren't enough, Irrational also showed a lengthy gameplay demo, and we are going to tell you all about it.

The demo opens with protagonist Booker DeWitt in Columbia, the floating city that serves as the setting for BioShock Infinite. Unlike the previous two BioShock titles (and Irrational's System Shock 2), it doesn't seem like your player character will be a complete blank slate. As a former Pinkerton agent, it appears that Booker has his own backstory. He even speaks; as he gets moving, he says "That thing took Elizabeth. I've gotta find her..." in a voice that sounds like (but wasn't confirmed as) Garrett from Thief.

Booker begins walking through the streets of Columbia, which aren't in great shape. A robotic (!?) horse pulls a newspaper cart with an unresponsive man slumped over in the driver's seat. Another cart lies ruined in the middle of the road, and propaganda posters portraying George Washington as a godly figure standing against foreigners adorn the walls.

Throughout these first steps, a bell can be heard chiming in the background. We see the source – a giant town hall-style bell tower floating in mid-air. However, whatever is holding it up isn't reliable, and the whole tower slowly starts lilting and ultimately collapses, sending the bell itself skidding toward Booker and stopping just feet away.

As Booker proceeds, he comes across an old man on a park bench surrounded by crows. He doesn't seem to notice Booker, who walks further into the park toward a gazebo at its center. Along the way, we see signs with alarming campaign slogans, apparently aimed at instilling fear and xenophobia in the citizens of Columbia.

In the gazebo, we see the reason for the signs – a politician named Saltonstall is preaching about the evils of outsiders and the importance of preserving the purity of Columbia. It is a rousing speech, except for one problem: No one is listening. Saltonstall is campaigning to several rows of empty chairs (spoiler alert: Saltonstall might not be totally sane).