In BioShock: Infinite, AI companion Elizabeth’s power to open “tears” into other realities is tremendously useful in combat – but it’s also going to be an important part of the overall story.
Speaking with PC Gamer, Irrational Games boss Ken Levine said the tears aren’t just a neat gameplay feature.
“They’re actually central to the plot of the game,” he affirmed.
“I’ve always felt that the game systems and your narrative have to be interwoven. You didn’t just find magic powers in Rapture. They were very tied in to what happened with the city. They were very tied in to the vision of the city, these people trying to perfect themselves and the hubris of that. But that’s tied into the splicers and your powers and everything that happened to you and who you were.
“Elizabeth’s story and the tears and why she was in that tower and what her powers mean are central to the game.”
Levine went on to say that “some aspects” of the tears are more important than others – some are there just to help communicate precisely what the tears are.
“We really had trouble explaining, even to the press, exactly what the tears were until we did that thing at E3 with the Revenge of the Jedi thing,” he said, referring to a section from the E3 2011 demo in which Elizabeth opens a portal into what seems to be the 1980’s.
“Obviously it evolved into a slightly different form in the actual game, now that you’re playing the actual game. But it very quickly explained a lot to people, in a very clear way, what was going on. Some of these things are just useful for conveying information, and some of them are useful as part of a larger mystery.”