BioShock Infinite Cover Story - Bioshock Infinite - Xbox 360 -
Switch Lights

The lights are on

What's Happening

Bioshock Infinite

BioShock Infinite Cover Story

Our subscribers originally saw this story when it appeared in issue 210 of Game Informer, but now our online readers can get check out the full text of the article.

Out Of The Sea, Into The Clouds
A young girl named Elizabeth was whisked away to a faraway city and locked up in a tower. Confined to a single room, a hulking beast guarded her for 15 years until a brave man came to her rescue.

This premise sounds like a fairy tale populated by idyllic characters and unambiguous intentions, but it serves as the narrative core for the next BioShock – and the situation is more complex than it seems. The minds responsible for Rapture’s flooded corridors, Andrew Ryan’s twisted ideals, and the Big Daddies’ fatherly instincts wouldn’t be content to tell a simple fairy tale. With BioShock Infinite, Irrational Games returns to the series it created, leaving the ocean behind and turning its gaze toward the sky.

Elizabeth isn’t a typical damsel in distress; she has latent, dangerous special abilities that are slowly awakening. The faraway city where she is kept is called Columbia, a world-famous floating metropolis and one-time testament to America’s power and industry. While the hulking beast is Elizabeth’s jailor, it is also the only friend she has known during her long years of captivity. And the brave man who saves her – that’s where you come in.

Starting Over
The city of Rapture defined the identity of the BioShock series when Irrational Games released the original title in 2007. The ruined underwater utopia was more than just a collection of tunnels and rooms for players to shoot splicers – it became another character in the story with its own dark secrets. Given the popularity of the setting, gamers weren’t surprised to learn that the sequel (developed by 2K Marin) returned to Rapture. The art deco paradise and its iconic denizens – Big Daddies and Little Sisters – seemed to be inextricable aspects of the BioShock brand.

You won’t see any of them in BioShock Infinite.

“When we started working on this game, we decided that even though it’s a BioShock game, there are no sacred cows,” says Irrational’s president and creative director Ken Levine. In other words, everything gamers associate with BioShock was up for assessment. This process began shortly after the first game’s release, and resulted in a comprehensive look at its strengths and weaknesses.

“If you’re not the most critical person of your own stuff, you can’t progress as a game developer,” Levine says. “For us, we have this game that gets great reviews, and this great Metacritic average. But, it’s not about continuing what we did. It’s about saying, ‘Where are the opportunities?’”

For Irrational Games, finding opportunities isn’t simply about adding a few new weapons and characters. Three years after the project’s inception, the Boston-based studio has a brand new game engine, a visually stunning setting, a multifaceted story, and deeper gameplay – all while retaining the core of the BioShock experience.

“For us, BioShock has never been about a city,” Levine says. “It’s been about an idea. It’s about going to a place that’s mysterious and strange and learning about that place and the powers you can use. It’s about how you interact with that environment, how you interact with those characters.”

Even without the trappings of Rapture, fans will still see thematic and gameplay connections to the previous two games; this is still BioShock, but any lingering homesickness you may have for Andrew Ryan’s failed experiment will fall away the second you lay eyes on Columbia.

Email the author , or follow on , , and .

  • So are we going to be able to read all cover stories online after some months?

  • @ Jl11mla6 Not to be mean but, I don't think you should be able to read any cover stories online, ever. I pay to read stories like this so it is beyond me why GI is just giving them out online.
  • I agree with dmusic09 and jacktheglueman

    I've been a subscriber to GI for about 6 years, which obviously me and  all other subscribers pay for. So I think the cover story articles should be a magazine exclusive.

  • I too am a subscriber and I do find this unfair.

    But other then that, I can't wait for this game. I really love Bioshock and Bioshock 2. I wonder how it is going to be.

  • Danm, I still need to play the second...
  • Wow, nice feature...thanks for posting this, I still need to renew my subscription.

  • I have that magazine and I want the game ever so badly...Please don't put the cover stories online...

  • Thank you for this. I never received the issue this story was delivered in so it warms my heart that I can still see it, too bad I missed the other features of the magazine.

  • I agree with everyone when they say that Cover stories should be kept offline.

    Anyone else get the feeling that the girl's character was modeled off of Snow White from the Disney cartoon?

    Regardless, she looks like a Goth Snow White and my gamer nerdiness forces me to type that I find that incredibly sexy.

  • All online readers should subscribe (if they are able) so GI's staff can get a nice raise for their hard work.

    Great cover story.  I can't wait to play Bioshock Infinite.  A fresh new location with the same Bioshock atmosphere is very enticing.

  • 2012 is a long wait... sigh...

  • Why are you people complaining? We get to read this stuff months in advance, and for those who might have missed the issue or wanted to re-read it, why not? You people are acting like such children. You think you have the right to this material over everyone else? F@ck you. We pay 15 bucks a year. That works out to $1.25 an issue. I don't need to go any further, I think I've made my point.

  • Cant wait for this game. Not sure why they released this exclusive story online though.

  • This going to be one hell of a game.

  • More online cover stories

  • cant wait

  • I agree with Mark Zufelt. I do subscribe, but that doesn't mean I own the story. What's it to you if GI decides to put one of their cover stories online? If that keeps people from subscribing, that's their loss, but I'm willing to guess that most subscribes choose to subscribe to get their news FIRST, which they still did. So if you don't want to pay for something you'll get free in a couple months, go ahead and cancel your subscription, but I feel like staying on the bleeding edge of video games.

  • This is one game to especially look out for... I know most of you already know that, but, for the people who just hate Bioshock... Play it.  Pay attention.  Look at something with an eye for detail.  These guys are good.  Not only is there genius in its design, but the gameplay is also fun.

  • Mod

    I remember reading about this in GI. I've definitely got to pre-order this as it looks and sounds amazing thus far.