Theories regarding Infinite’s greater meaning, as well as its many sub-plots, will become commonplace in the months to come, but are some jumping to conclusions prematurelly?
Ex-People Can Fly developer Adrian Chmielarz has written his initial impressions of BioShock Infinite (over on Edge-online), citing the game’s over gamefication as jarring, pulling him out of the experience.
According to Irrational’s design director Bill Gardner, though, to truly understand BioShock Infinite and why Irrational made certain design decisions, it’s best to wait until you’ve finished the game…
“Every time we [showed] the game, journalists and gamers react to what we’ve shown and develop a theory about what the game is about,” explained Gardner.
“The first time we showed it, the prevailing theory was that the game was about right-wing politics in America. The next time we showed the game, people began to dig into the notion of multiple realities.”
“And with the hands-on first three hours of the game, people began to tune into the aspects of religious fundamentalism and racial bias that exist in Columbia.”
“There are lots of hints in what we’ve shown, but to really understand what’s going on this world, you really have to play the game to the end.”
Obviously the Tears are part of the storyline’s secrets in BioShock Infinite.
In terms of storytelling, what prompted their inclusion and what do they offer you in terms of storytelling opportunities?
“The Tears in time and space are a key part in the story. So much so that by getting into them in-depth you run the risk of spoiling something. There are all these windows into what appear to be other worlds in Columbia.”
“Elizabeth discovers that she is the only one who can actually interact with them – by opening them and pulling objects into Columbia. From when you first see Elizabeth and witness her open a Tear to some alternate version of Paris, you get a glimpse of just how incredible her abilities are.”
“And you also get a sense for how potentially dangerous they could be. This power becomes important for Booker and the player. By asking Elizabeth to open one of the Tears, you can completely turn the tides of combat.”
“You can save your skin tactically by bringing in cover or bring in a friendly Motorized Patriot to mow down your foes.”
You can read X360’s review of BioShock Infinite
If you want to know more about Irrational’s approach to BioShock Infinite’s design, you should check out what Ken Levine has to say below: