Why Irrational passed up BioShock 2: “We said what we wanted to say about Rapture”, says Levine

Friday, 13th August 2010 08:56 GMT By Johnny Cullen


2K Marin may have built BioShock 2, but we could have had an Irrational-made sequel. So why not, Ken Levine?

“The reason we didn’t do BioShock 2 is because… the time-frame that game had, and [2K] understandably wanted another game in Rapture,” the studio boss told Eurogamer.

“But we felt we had said what we wanted to say about Rapture, about those kind of environments and that kind of feel.

“We want to scare the hell out of people, we want to shock people, but we didn’t want to have any of the tools, the crutches, that we knew how to do that with.”

Levine wasn’t directly involved in the development of BioShock 2, but was a consultant on the game. What did he think of it?

“I think it’s a very talented team, and I think it fulfilled the mission of completing the story of Rapture.”

Irrational finally revealed BioShock: Infinite as the title once known as “Project Icarus” last night for a 2012 launch on PS3, 360 and PC.

Get the first details here. Our impressions from the New York event will go live later today.



  1. Hunam

    Whilst the story in the second didn’t match the first, the gameplay was better.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. Boris Fett

    As much as this franchise doesn’t actually *need* a sequel, Ken Levine’s involvement is at least encouraging.

    Ken Levine basically just blasted the second game (and rightly so) for being the utterly needless sequel it was. He’s barely even being subtle about it.

    The purpose of Bioshock 2’s creation was so blatant – to blindly cash in on the success of the first game – and in the process it failed to understand anything about what made the original title so refreshing and appreciated in the first place.

    As the dire sales of the second game proved, they should have given the fans a little more credit and respect than that.

    The trailer paints an interesting and unique artistic image for this game that manages to adhere to the style and identity of the first without being utterly derivative and uninspired like the second one was.

    If I’m likely to consider any game a true sequel to Bioshock, its going to be this one.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Robo_1

    I never got around to completing the first Bioshock (around the time you got the camera my interest dropped) but I picked the sequel up on the cheap, and I’ve found myself quite hooked on it.

    I can’t really put my finger on the differences really. Generally they’re very much cut from the same cloth, but I find the second game far less frustrating. The way point markers seem a lot more useful, and the Big Daddy/Little Sister fights seem less of a grind than before.

    The story and atmosphere is so rich, to be honest, I feel the franchise is wasted on the FPS genre. It would make for a stunning RPG.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. Johnny Cullen

    I’m still to finish both of them.

    I’m stuck on the first one (although I know what happens at the end, thanks to what people are playing on when I see their gamercards) while I haven’t gone back tot the second in ages.

    I really need to finish them off.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. Crysis

    so was 2K Australia was a part of irrational games(at the time 2K Boston) then split from them & merged with 2K Marin?

    #5 4 years ago
  6. freedoms_stain

    “We thought Bioshck 2 was a bad idea”

    in a nutshell as I see it.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. DiodeX

    Bioshock may of been better if they did like Half Life and Opposing Force. The games taking place at the same time and cross paths occasionally.
    I liked both games and the whole visual style of the games really impressed me.
    I also wonder if they did 2 so they could do some MP in the Bioshock/Rapture world.

    #7 4 years ago
  8. Samuel

    For me, the first Bioshock is a masterpiece, one of the best games I’ve ever played. So I was thrilled to hear that not only are Levine and his team, the original creators, back for the next installment, but that they’re doing what is best creatively for the series by making an entirely new setting and story yet in the same spirit, instead of just yet another retread of Rapture.

    Yes, Bioshock 2 did not reach the staggering heights that the first game did, as the first was such a stunningly creative and original game that a sequel by definition is bound to not be as special. But that’s why I believe my high hopes for this new title are justified, because it can’t really be called a sequel in the sense that we usually use the word. Everything about it is going to be fresh and new, yet dreamed up by the same minds that came up with the first game. That’s enough for me to be completely confident in this game. I can’t wait for it.

    #8 4 years ago
  9. Happy Hardon Harry

    The first Bioshock was a good game, but it was no masterpiece, that’s for sure.

    As for the second game, well i didn’t bother with it as i felt (like many) it was a needless sequel.

    BioShock: Infinite will be the real, true sequel for me. Hopefully it’ll better the first game.

    #9 4 years ago
  10. KAP

    I dont get it? who made bioshock 1 then?
    Seems to me part 1 & 2 are made by two seperate game devs?!

    #10 4 years ago
  11. Johnny Cullen

    BioShock 1 was made by 2K Boston, who were previously and are now known again as Irrational Games.

    BioShock 2 was made by several developers in some parts, like Arkane, who were bought by Bethesda last night, but it was mainly 2K Marin.

    Infinite is coming from Irrational.

    #11 4 years ago

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