|Platform Win, 360, PS3, Mac||Publisher 2K Games||Developer Irrational Games||Release Date 03/26/2013|
By Arthur Gies on Mar 25, 2013 03.25.13
Pop culture references, sinister whispers, and dizzying heights make Columbia disorienting BioShock Infinite immediately disoriented me as it disorients player character Booker. There's a clear effort to play with any expectations of setting and content through moments of humanity and horror, wonder and ugliness. Irrational quickly establishes some basic ideas of what the world of Columbia and BioShock Infinite is. Almost as quickly, it peeled at the edges of my understanding of that world. Pop culture references and vague allusions to preconceptions formed from past games in the franchise create an uneasy tension, but more importantly, this atmosphere made me desperate to search everywhere for any hint of an explanation as to what made Columbia tick, how it got where it was and where...
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By Chris Plante on Mar 06, 2014 03.06.14
Irrational Games, the developer that created the BioShock series along with a number of other critically beloved video games, was viewed, by a number of sources close to the studio, as closure-proof: It had pedigree, talent and — to the outside world — creative carte blanche from its parent companies, 2K Games and Take-Two Interactive. When the studio's co-founder and president, Ken Levine, invited the team of nearly 100 employees into a meeting about the company's history last month, many were surprised to realize, as the presentation progressed, that this very history was coming to an end. More than a half dozen individuals who worked for Irrational Games during the development of BioShock Infinite, some of whom were there that final day, agreed to speak with Polygon anonymously...
By Samit Sarkar on Feb 28, 2014 02.28.14
The shutdown of Irrational Games resulted in 75 layoffs, and the job fair that the company hosted to help them find employment brought in 57 studios, an Irrational Games spokesperson told Polygon today. Earlier this month, Irrational co-founder Ken Levine announced that less than a year after the release of BioShock Infinite, the studio would be "winding down," which meant that everyone but Levine and 15 others were being laid off. Levine and his team will start a new studio under Irrational's parent company, Take-Two Interactive, where they will focus on creating smaller, digitally delivered titles that are "narrative-driven games for the core gamer." According to an Irrational representative, 70 permanent employees and five contractors lost their jobs as a result of that decision. ...
By Michael McWhertor on Feb 27, 2014 02.27.14
The second downloadable episode for BioShock Infinite, Burial At Sea Episode Two, will feature an optional mode which challenges players to complete the episode stealthily and using only non-lethal methods, Irrational Games announced today. Dubbed "1998 Mode," the optional challenge appears to be inspired by Thief: The Dark Project, Looking Glass Studios' first-person stealth game released in 1998. Irrational even created a piece of artwork for Burial At Sea Episode Two's "1998 Mode" that harkens back to the original Thief's trapezoidal box art, seen below. "In Burial at Sea Episode Two we put a focus on balance and stealth mechanics," said Ken Levine, creative director of Irrational Games. "As we were developing this new style of gameplay, we started to see people self-impose...
By Michael McWhertor on Feb 18, 2014 02.18.14
BioShock developer Irrational Games is "winding down" in its current form and all but approximately 15 members of the studio will be laid off, according to an update from co-founder Ken Levine. "I am winding down Irrational Games as you know it," Levine wrote on Irrational's official website. "I'll be starting a smaller, more entrepreneurial endeavor at Take-Two. That is going to mean parting ways with all but about fifteen members of the Irrational team. There's no great way to lay people off, and our first concern is to make sure that the people who are leaving have as much support as we can give them during this transition. "Besides financial support, the staff will have access to the studio for a period of time to say their goodbyes and put together their portfolios. Other...
By Samit Sarkar on Feb 13, 2014 02.13.14
Valve launched Steam Tags yesterday, whereby Steam users can categorize games with any label they can think of, and while some Steam users are using the feature as it was designed, others are already abusing it in a variety of inappropriate and ugly ways. Steam Tags have only been available for a day, and at this point, the tags on many games tend to be less useful as labels and more indicative of the problems that Steam users have with those games and their developers. Sometimes, people are raising legitimate concerns about a game; other times, they're just trolling. Numerous threads in Valve's Steam Tagging Beta sub-forum offer comments about issues with Steam Tags. Some individuals are complaining about trolling, such as tags that contain spoilers. Other users point out that...
By Dave Tach on Feb 12, 2014 02.12.14
Warning: Those concerned with spoilers for BioShock or BioShock Infinite should read no further. This story and the video above are full of them. A cast of memorable characters is returning for BioShock Infinite's closing chapter, Burial at Sea - Episode Two, and a video released today shows who's coming back and hints at why. The upcoming downloadable content will bring back series characters and their original voice actors including BioShock's Andrew Ryan (Armin Shimerman) and Atlus (Karl Hanover) as well as BioShock Infinite's Booker DeWitt (Troy Baker), Daisy Fitzroy (Kimberly Brooks) and Elizabeth (Courtnee Draper). According to developer Irrational Games head Ken Levine, BioShock's connected universe will coalesce and add "completeness" to its stories. "Fans of both the...
By Alexa Ray Corriea on Feb 11, 2014 02.11.14
Two new game bundles featuring four of the most well-received games of the past two years are available today, publishers 2K and Bethesda announced today. Players can now buy Irrational Games' BioShock Infinite paired with Bethesda Game Studios' The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim or Gearbox Software's Borderlands 2 packaged with Arkane Studios' Dishonored. The BioShock Infinite and Skyrim bundle also includes the original 2007 BioShock. Both bundles cost $29.99 and are available for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Neither bundle includes additional downloadable content, which can be purchased separately. The bundles were first announced in early January. 2K and Bethesda previously teamed up in 2009 to publish a bundle featuring BioShock and The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion for Windows PC and Xbox...
By Megan Farokhmanesh on Feb 09, 2014 02.09.14
One of BioShock Infinite's many foes, the Motorized Patriot, is looking a little more blocky these days thanks to a makeover from Lego artist Carl Merriam. Merriam created the Patriot as part of the Iron Builder competition with fellow Lego builder Pepa Quin. Both participants were required to build high quality creations with the "secret ingredient," a modified white brick. More of Merriam's Lego creations are available on his Flickr. For more on BioShock Infinite, read our review. Its next downloadable content pack, the second episode of Burial at Sea, will be available March 25.
By Tracey Lien on Feb 07, 2014 02.07.14
BioShock Infinite Season Pass holders on Steam will soon receive BioShock-themed items in Team Fortress 2, developer Irrational Games announced today. The items include a Benjamin Franklin mask, a George Washington mask and the Team Fortress 2 version of the Little Sister's Big Daddy Pocket Doll. The items are exclusive to BioShock Infinite Season Pass holders and will come free in addition to all the other downloadable content that pass holders receive. The pass costs $19.99 and includes the Clash in the Clouds add-on (focuses on combat with new weapons and environments), Burial at Sea — Episode One (DLC that takes players back to Rapture), Burial at Sea — Episode Two (play as Elizabeth with a new storyline and new combat experience) and the Early Bird Special Pack (exclusive...
By Colin Campbell on Feb 07, 2014 02.07.14
Earlier tonight, the winners were announced with The Last of Us sweeping multiple awards (full list below) including Game of the Year and Best Direction. The winners and losers were debated, furiously, on social media. The event, slightly ramshackle at times, managed to capture the off-the-cuff spirit of gaming, with entertaining appearances from the likes of Mike Capps and Palmer Luckey. These awards are organized by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences. The winners are voted on by its 22,000 members. There are other awards that are honored and valued, like the GDC Choice Awards and the BAFTAs. But this is where the game industry honors its own. The trophies are handed out by established game developers. Tonight, making a rare public appearance, Sam and Dan Houser as well as...