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BioShock: Infinite religious content “highly altered” after feedback

Sunday, 20 January 2013 23:59 GMT By Brenna Hillier

BioShock: Infinite contains religious themes, and while Ken Levine won’t make cuts to avoid offending people, he has made some changes in response to feedback.

“I had some very valuable conversations. One of the characters in the game was highly altered based upon some very interesting conversations I had with people on the team who came from a very religious background, and I was able to understand they were kind of upset about something,” Levine told OPM.

But although Levine took the feedback on board, he didn’t censor himself.

“What I said to them was, ‘I’m not going to change anything to get your approval, but I think I understand what you’re saying and I think I can do something that’s going to make the story better, based on what you said,’” he explained.

“So I did that, and I’m grateful for them bringing in their perspective. The last thing I wanted to do was change something because it offends somebody, but the thing they pointed out was making it a lesser story.”

Despite recent talk of the game’s religious themes, Levine said that’s not necessarily the core of the plot.

“I think people first saw it and thought it was a game about the tea party in America, then they saw it as a game about the labourer movement. Now people are going to think it’s a game about religion,” he said.

“It’s about patriotism, it’s about all those things but I think we keep larger meanings a little closer to our vest.”

BioShock: Infinite is due on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in late March.

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20 Comments

  1. deadstoned

    That sounds ok, as long they’re not self-censoring themselves. I heard from the PC Gamer podcast that the racism stuff alone from the demos they’ve played gets you thinking on how bad stuff was back then and how much its improved since then. Not saying its perfect now of course, but certainly improved. Already pre-ordered this game looking forward to some hard issues to get us all thinking :) . There must be some tough morale choices to be made like with the little sisters from Bioshock.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Night Hunter

    “I think people first saw it and thought it was a game about the tea party in America, then they saw it as a game about the labourer movement. Now people are going to think it’s a game about religion,” he said.

    “It’s about patriotism, it’s about all those things but I think we keep larger meanings a little closer to our vest.”

    That’s why I like Levine. He at least tries to tackle some issues

    #2 2 years ago
  3. LuLshuck

    murica

    #3 2 years ago
  4. DSB

    Pretty stark contrast to something like Assassins Creed. Mixing assassination with religion and ideology in interesting time periods and doing absolutely nothing with it.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Samuel

    @4 Assassin’s Creed “did nothing” with it? The entire foundation of the overarching story is that the beings we think of as gods were actually members of the First Civilization, an advanced race of beings who created humans. The religious tales that we all know are actually about them and things that really happened, such as the reveal of Adam and Eve being two slaves who escaped their control. There’s also the element of the assassins and templars fighting each other all throughout history, with various historical figures being members of each, such as the Pope being a templar and trying to use the church to control the masses in line with the templars’ beliefs, etc.

    I wouldn’t call that nothing.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. DSB

    @5 Right, so they take a subject that is relevant and interesting, especially in an age where terror is one of the biggest buzzwords, and then they strap a few retroboosters on it, and launch it into silly-space so they don’t have to deal with any real significance, while cowering behind some patheticly simple sparring between two groups that are at most white hat/black hat charicatures.

    Neither represents any values what so ever, one is just a charicature of good, and the other is a charicature of evil, which makes both sides equally boring.

    They can’t even own the assassination bit. The whole point of assassination has always been malignant. It’s a means to intimidate or destroy, but they can’t handle that in a way that’s even remotely mature.

    Maybe I’m out of the target group with about 10 years, but actually taking those subjects and then completely ignoring any significance they might have had by hiding behind some lame science fiction premise is beyond disappointing to me. Why do they bother?

    It’s not like Dan Brown is any kind of great mind, but at least he has a hold on what makes any of those things worth using in his books.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. ps3fanboy

    THE DAMN MUSLIMS ARE WHINING AT VIDEO GAMES AGAIN!… YOU DIDNT HAVE TO CHANGE ANYTHING!.. BUT YOU DID, THEY WILL COMEBACK AND COMPLAIN MORE NEXT TIME NOW!.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. NeoSquall

    @7 Shut. Up.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. YoungZer0

    @7: I’m guessing it were Christians.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Gheritt White

    @7: Why are you blaming Muslims?

    #10 2 years ago
  11. YoungZer0

    @10: Because he’s a big, stupid jellyfish.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. The_Red

    Sorry but that does NOT sound ok. This is not some normal feedback. This is publisher sponsored focus group testing based on mostly people that don’t have any business to be there in the first place.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. TheWulf

    @1

    Except racism hasn’t improved at all, people can still be racist little teabags. What’s changed is human rights and laws, both of which tend to be very progressive, and I’m thankful for that. Though the media in regards to homophobia, misogyny, and racism isn’t perfect, and people are even less perfect than that. Whilst the death toll has lowered a bit, and slavery isn’t a thing any more (thank goodness), it’s still bad.

    We need to realise it’s still bad, otherwise we’ll be stuck with the xenophobia of every first world, English-speaking, straight caucasian, borne of the belief of their own superiority. There is a hell of a lot of xenophobia out there, still. Only yesterday I was reading a Western gamer rant about ‘animu’ art styles and how ‘utterly shit’ everything that comes out of Japan is. (Solely because Japan is Japan, apparently.)

    There’s still a lot of xenophobia out there, we have a long, long ways to go. We’re a slightly less barbaric peoples, but we’re still very barbaric at the end of the day.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. xino

    after trying Bioshock 2 on PSN+, after 15-20min I had to turn that trash off!
    too much blasphemies.

    hate things like this that just take a p*ss out of the bible and start twisting all the words.
    No wonder why when you tell people the “truth” they rebuke it and find it silly, part of the blame are people like this!

    #14 2 years ago
  15. Gheritt White

    Love blasphemy, hate racism/sexism. Personally speaking, natch.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Kira97

    Thats good that they did this, gaming isnt about hate and arguments, we game to escape the harsh reality.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. Joe_Gamer

    If you could reason with religious people…there would be no religious people.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. Shuklar

    @14 Bioshock 2 wasn’t made by Levine/Irrational Games, yet by 2K Marin. I would imagine the original creator will take better care of not to offend those willing to be offended.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. DopeyPhoenix

    @13
    True that about sums it up :)
    Now concerning the ending. I honestly have no problem with the change of the characters (which really wasn’t a change )And am actually thankful for it. The reason because Bioshock infinite (I assume) is trying to be a self-reflective gaming experience, hyperbolizing traits present the early 19th century america, like racism xenophobia and religions as a justification tool for atrocities that(and sadly still some what) widely present. And that that this issues are so touchy today that its welcoming that through this(relatively new) medium, he wants to explore the topic. A-ok with me.
    Now where the issue with the one of the artists, causing for revision of the “character” Comestock “allows” for a better understanding of the ending. Some people immediately jump the bandwagon assuming that he compromised the game story as to not offend a group of people(which he continually denies), which isn’t true. My self being A muslim (who has studied Islam to degree and am quite comfortable with it) is always looking for a well thought out opinions and criticism on my faith( or any religion for that matter). Because it always leads to dialouge and discussion makes both parties benefit. Rude and incessant insults not so much since all they do is to mearly degrade you making you seem “unintelligent” and “sup bar” due to your way of thinking. Reason being why i don’t like insult and driven to wards iconic religious figure, it doesn’t lead to dialogue only conflict. Now if ken ken levine found Comstocks character to be black and white and just a paper thin going “I’m a leader of an organized religion, so organized religion is BAD BLARGH”. I would have been REALLY disappointed since all ken levine would have been doing is spitting at religion. If he decided to portray comstock as a “human” allowing for the player to understand why anyone would follow this crazed man leading for a deeper reflection on one’s own belief system and how such individuals come about (all religions have their crazy cults and zealots). And really is about organized religion a whole or the human nature of interpretation of religion? Since most religions teach a doctrine of love, peace and justice but are twisted in order to meet ones agenda i.e Jihad which just means “struggle against” has now been linked with holy war sadly enough). Even looking at the internet, people are all ready talking about it (yay!) how the game was hitting to close to home ( I thought that was the point) and Ken levine “should” of done something about Islam and the middle-east (lol exoticism really? Though i Loved DUNE, People tend to forget Islam is global religion, oh the wows of a somali girl :) And the ending being really offensive. But who cares? As long as it was delivered tastefully and allowed for reflection and dialogue to come after, I’m one happy camper. Anywhoo to paraphrase Levine “Anyone who has a problem with the game must really be insecure about themselves”
    sorry about the long post I had to put it out there :)

    #19 2 years ago
  20. creamtown

    Yeah, i kind of agree with what Levine says about this game. This game has nothing to do with religion, although it uses a lot of religion materials in it. But i think the point of this game is, Booker feels extremely guilty by all of his actions in the past, like being a brutal soldier, selling his child, embracing gambling and drinking, collecting debts, etc. So as a normal human, he feels that all of his sins just cannot be washed off by the dunk in the water or the baptism. He believes that the only way to redeem himself is by fixing all of sins by saving Elizabeth, etc. Great game though!!

    #20 2 years ago

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    The Warcraft movie will no longer hit theatres in March 2016. The release date of the Warcraft movie has been pushed back by three months. The movie was expected in March 2016, but Legendary Pictures announced yesterday that it is now due on June 10, 2016. No reason was given for the delay. This is […]

  • Destiny: Iron Banner returns on April 28

    Destiny’s Iron Banner PvP event will return this Tuesday. Bungie has announced that the Iron Banner, it’s once-every-few-weeks PvP event, will make a return with next week’s weekly reset. It was initially due this week, but because of the recent Crucible changes that were implemented with patch 1.1.2, Bungie wanted to wait and see. That […]

  • Deus Ex devs take the piss out of Black Ops 3

    Deus Ex developers have been having a bit of a laugh at the expense of Call of Duty’s official Twitter account. You would be forgiven to think that yesterday’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 ‘Ember’ teaser was part of an ad campaign for a Deus Ex game, with all the biohacking, wearable tech, augmentation, […]

  • Bungie weekly update: Commendations begone

    Destiny’s weekly update is here to determine the fate of all those Commendations you’ve been earning in the past few months. Bungie started off this week’s update with a recap of the details revealed during the recent livestream. There wasn’t really anything on this front that they haven’t talked about already. With the exception of […]

  • This GTA 5 trainer lets you play as almost anything and it’s the best thing ever

    Want to play GTA 5 as a monkey, a cat, a fish, a deer or some other non-human thing that we eat or keep as a pet? ScriptHook has you covered. Not only can you play as critters, it change other game values, according to an explanation from PC Gamer. These values include making changes […]

  • EA Sports moves Rory McIlroy PGA TOUR release date to July

    EA Sports has announced Rory McIlroy PGA TOUR will be released in July. Originally announced for June, the golf game will now release the same week as the Open Championship at St. Andrews, on July 14. EA also provided some more color on gameplay features such as the ability to customize the game by borrowing […]

  • Jason Voorhees joins Mortal Kombat X in May, Kombat Pack owners get first dibs

    Jason Voorhees will arrive for Mortal Kombat X players in May, NetherRealm Studios announced today during the latest Kombat Kast. Jason will be shown for the first time on Monday, May 4 during a special Kombat Kast. According to EventHub which watched the livestream, the developer will also show off the character’s move and Variations. […]

  • The Witcher 3: Nvidia heads to Poland for a behind-the-scenes look – video

    A video for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has been released, taking you behind-the-scenes with CD Projekt RED. Nvidia’s GeForce crew went to the firm’s studio in Poland to talk with the game’s executive producer John Mamais, who provides a look at the PC version of the upcoming RPG. CD Projekt, according to the video […]

  • Microsoft notes decline in Xbox unit sales for Q3 FY15 to 1.6 million

    Microsoft reported its Q3 FY15 earnings today, citing growth in Xbox Live usage as one of the contributing factors to the firm’s reported revenue. However, the firm noted a decline in units sales for its Xbox consoles during the quarter. Microsoft Q3 2014 (yoy comparison) Microsoft Q1 fiscal 2015 Microsoft Q2 fiscal 2015 The firm […]

  • Powerplay is a new feature included in the Elite: Dangerous May update

    The next update for Elite: Dangerous is coming next month and it includes a new feature called Powerplay. According to Frontier Developments, Powerplay allows players to participate in an ongoing battle that “enhances every aspect” of the game. Players can become allies with a number of galactic Powers and guide their strategy, pursue objectives in […]

  • Facebook says it’s “too early” to discuss large-scale shipments of Oculus Rift

    Facebook has said it is “too early” to discuss large-scale shipments of Oculus Rift as the VR headset is still in the development stages. Speaking during a call to investors, Facebook CFO David Wehner said the company had nothing to announce regarding the amount of stock it expected to ship. “We have not announced any […]

  • Battlefield Hardline’s first patch and rental server program hits next week

    Battlefield Hardline’s first patch has a release date for both consoles and PC. PC & Console patch and RSP for Consoles coming April 28th. Fixes include TDM spawns and more: http://t.co/BZYJeomPlr pic.twitter.com/27TCiY8hmf — Battlefield (@Battlefield) April 23, 2015 The update will include fixes to Punkbuster, Nvidia DirectX drivers, TDM spawns, contains weapon balance tweaks and […]

  • Modders can now earn money through Steam Workshop starting today with Skyrim

    Valve has introduced a new functionality within Steam Workshop which will allow mod makers to earn money for their creations, starting with Skyrim. The update will allow content such as mods, items, or maps to be sold through Steam Workshop for titles which have the feature enabled. A new “streamlined process for listing” has been […]

  • Play Skyrim for free this weekend on Steam and take 75% off while you’re at it

    Skyrim is free this weekend on Steam providing wanna-be Dragonborns who have procrastinated on wetting their blades with Stormcloak blood the perfect opportunity to give the RPG a try. Head over to Steam and download the game and play for free until April 26 at 1am PDT. The game is also 75% off if you […]

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 “Ember” teaser video released ahead of full reveal

    Activision has released a Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 teaser video titled “Ember” and you can watch it right here. Here’s the video blurb: “In the next 50 years, technological advancements will lead us into a world where only those who risk going too far, will find out how far we can actually go.” […]

  • Dragon Age Keep update includes more customizability and control

    Bioware has updated Dragon Age Keep after listening to community feedback. The update includes more customization and control over heroes, world states, career and more. Players can now customize hero portraits or delete Dragon Age: Inquisition heroes from the Hero section. They can also remove playthrough states from the World State Manager and keep up […]

  • Here’s a look at some Conker community creations in Project Spark

    Conker’s Bug Reunion releases today, and below is a video showing some of the community creations you will be able to download using the creation pack. Project Spark is a free download on Xbox One and Windows 8.1, and you can download the Conker Creation Pack today. It contains 350 assets in order for users […]

  • Rainbow Six: Siege video shines spotlight on the British Counter Terrorist Unit

    Ubisoft has released a Rainbow Six: Siege video which gives you a look at the British Counter Terrorist Unit which features “the best of the Army, Navy, and Air Force.” The firm said that over the next few weeks it will introduce the public to each of the units in the game. Rainbow Six Siege […]

  • Mario Kart 8 DLC and Mewtwo for Super Smash Bros. headline eShop update in North America

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with an update and new DLC for Mario Kart 8 and the Mewtwo DLC for Super Smash Bros. Other highlights include Mario Kart DS on Wii U Virtual Console, the continuation of International StreetPass Week and more. Full update is below. Nintendo eShop Mario Kart […]

  • Square Enix host E3 2015 conference this year on June 16

    With Final Fantasy 15, Rise of the Tomb Raider and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided on the horizon, it should come as no surprise to learn that Square Enix will be hosting a dedicated E3 2015 conference this year. The presentation will take place Tuesday, June 16 at 9am PDT/12pm EDT/5pm UK. It will be broadcast […]

  • Final Fantasy 4: The After Years 3D remake releasing on Steam next month

    Final Fantasy 4: The After Years has been given a makeover and will be released on Steam of PC next month. You can now pre-order it on Steam and take 10% off for the time being. The game will be released on the digital service May 12 and will include trading cards and achievements. Thanks, […]

  • This Project Cars video shows off the racer’s multiplayer

    Project Cars developer Slightly Mad has released a new video giving you a look at the game’s multiplayer. The game is out next month, and if you would like to refresh yourself on the tracks included,  give this a look. While you are clicking links, here’s the minimum and recommended PC specifications which dropped last […]

  • Looks like Logitech is getting out of OEM mouse production business [Clarification]

    Logitech will no longer produce “low-end” mice, citing a decline in PC accessories. This story has been updated to include a clarification. According to a Reuters report, per MCV, the firm will instead focus on video accessories and streaming music, as its wireless Bluetooth speakers are now its best-selling product rage. This will help offset […]

  • Win! We have 1,000 Heroes of the Storm beta keys to give away

    Must have more MOBA? Win one of our 1,000 Heroes of the Storm beta keys and see if you’re more Blizzard than LoL. Can’t wait for June 2? Of course you can’t. We have 1,000 closed beta keys for Heroes of the Storm to give away this week, allowing you access before Blizzard’s MOBA goes […]

  • Xenoblade Chronicles X Nintendo Direct airs tomorrow, April 24

    A Nintendo Direct devoted entirely to Xenoblade Chronicles X will air this Friday, April 24. The video showcase will start at 11am PDT/2pm EDT/7pm UK. After the showcase, a new Nintendo Treehouse: Live presentation featuring the game will air. This is the second Xenoblace Chronicles X Nintendo Direct, but the first in English. The first […]

  • Blizzard will have 500 game stations set up at gamescom 2015

    Blizzard is heading to gamescom 2015 in August and it will have 500 game stations set up for attendees to get their hands on five of its titles. The developer will be set up in Hall 7 and those who stop by will be able to get hands-on with the latest content for Heroes of […]

  • PS4 price cut to £299 in UK

    Sony has dropped the price of the PS4 in the UK. For a limited time only, you can grab the console for £299.99 from Argos, Game, Tesco and Very. Go to Amazon.co.uk and you’ll get it for £289. You’ve only got until April 28, then it goes back up to £349. Go, go, go. For […]

  • Mad Max: first ever gameplay footage revealed

    Today, we get to finally take our first look at gameplay from Mad Max. Avalanche and Warner Bros. have shown off the first gameplay trailer for Mad Max today. The trailer below offers a look at melee combat, car combat, customisation and much more. Give it a watch below: There are a few new screenshots […]

  • Overlord: Fellowship of Evil has four-player co-op like we figured

    Codemasters has pulled the veil back on the next Overlord game, and its a four-player co-op game called Overlord: Fellowship of Evil. Rhianna Pratchett is back to write the story. The game may be co-op at its core, but it can still be played single-player. Each of the four playable character have strengths and weaknesses, […]

  • Update now available for Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, Pokemon X and Y

    Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire along with Pokemon X and Y are being updated by Nintendo to fix a few bugs and in-game text. There’s also the possibility of a few hacks and exploits being fixed. Per Nintendo Life (via Serebii), both patches are 250-270 blocks in size, and it’s a mandatory update which […]

  • Side-scrolling cover shooter Not a Hero gets a demo

    Not a Hero, the upcoming game from OlliOlli developer Roll7, has received a demo. The demo for Not a Hero was made available today on Steam. In the game, you play as Steve, the campaign manager for BunnyLord. A time-travelling rabbit who’s running for mayor of London. Think this is an absurd premise? This trailer […]

  • You have until April 30 to export your Green Day: Rock Band tracks to Rock Band 3

    Harmonix has announced that those looking to export their song collection from Green Day: Rock Band into Rock Band 3 can only do so until the end of the month. April 30 will be the cutoff date for anyone who wants to export tracks from Green Day: Rock Band into their Rock Band 3 library, […]

  • Batman: Arkham Knight minimum, recommended, and ultra PC specs revealed

    Batman: Arkham Knight is looking like it’s going to be quite a taxing game. Nvidia has released a list of the minimum, recommended, and ultra PC requirements for Batman: Arkham Knight. Here’s the full thing: Minimum OS: Win 7 SP1, Win 8.1 (64-bit Operating System Required) Processor: Intel Core i5-750, 2.67 GHz | AMD Phenom […]

  • Bloodborne patch 1.03 is live, reduces loading times, fixes suspend/resume bugs, more

    Patch 1.03 is now live for Bloodborne. The patch reduces loading times, adds item descriptions to loading screens, and fixes other various bugs. From Software has pushed update 1.03 live to all Bloodborne owners. As promised, it reduces loading times by approximately 5 to 15 seconds. Another new addition is showing item descriptions instead of […]