Levine: BioShock games are “improvisational” combat, “fantastical” setting

By Brenna Hillier
7 December 2011 23:03 GMT

The bottom of the ocean isn’t what makes BioShock what it is, according to creator Ken Levine.

Asked by PlayStation Access, as reported by OPM, what makes a BioShock game, Levine said it’s two things:

“A very improvisational way of doing combat. You have weapons in one hand, powers in the other hand and character growth in your body,” he said.

“There’s a lot of improvisational elements in the world as well,” he noted, segueing into BioShock’s second identifying feature, “Having a very detailed, rich environment that are both fantastical but also very grounded in reality.”

Levine said that as long as BioShock: Infinite had both those things it would be a true follow up to the first BioShock, but after that, “everything else was up for grabs”.

“The first thing we said was what if we go to a different time period? The turn of the century was very attractive to us,” he said.

The game’s setting, Colombia, is rooted in the rapid technological progress and optimism of the time.

“Here are some of the things that were introduced: Airplanes, Electricity, Phonogram records, movies, cars – the list goes on and on. All these transformative technologies.

“If you asked someone back then might we be living in the sky in 10 years? They’d have gone ‘Well, maybe. That sounds reasonable.’”

BioShock: Infinite is expected on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2012. A new trailer will air at the VGAs this weekend.

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