Teaser Trailer: Bioshock Infinite

Irrational Games and 2K Games today released a two-minute teaser trailer for Bioshock Infinite, the forthcoming title which won the Game Critics Awards “Best in Show” prize for its showing at this year’s E3 convention.

The teaser-trailer’s release precedes a scheduled July 7 broadcast of a 30-minute Bioshock Infinite special on Spike TV’s “Game Trailers TV.” The broadcast is set to include a play-through of the game’s 14-minute demo and an interview with Irrational Games president Ken Levine,

The teaser trailer, available here, introduces audiences to former Pinkerton agent Booker DeWitt and Elizabeth within the floating city of Columbia. In the game’s world, Columbia is a floating city that resembles the United States of the late 19th/early 20th century. The game takes place in 1912.

The first Bioshock immersed players in the underwater city of Rapture and a violent critique of Ayn Rand’s proposition of the virtue of selfishness. Game critics – especially philosophically-inclined ones – regard the title’s “would you kindly moment” as a pointed commentary on the illusion of choice within video games.*

Bioshock 2 also took place among the art deco architecture of Rapture, but Bioshock Infinite trades that venue for the Americana of Columbia. I expect the game’s writers to use the venue to express some kind of satirical viewpoint regarding American politics and culture, while simultaneously providing players with the chance to shoot at many, many enemies.

Bioshock Infinite is being developed for PC, PlayStation 3 and XBox 360.

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Bioshock Infinite website live

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Today, the wraps come off of Irrational Games’ next big project, something that has been cloaked in secrecy on the official site, whatisicarus.com with a countdown clock locking it away until now. Bioshock Infinite is on its way.

That it’s another Bioshock title wasn’t too surprising. That it takes place in 1912 in a floating city was, turning the “Bioshock” brand into more than something that takes place underwater. According to the main site, the story (set in 1912) goes something like this:

“Former Pinkerton agent Booker DeWitt has been sent to rescue Elizabeth, a young woman imprisoned in Columbia since childhood. Booker develops a relationship with Elizabeth, augmenting his abilities with hers so the pair may escape from a city that is literally falling from the sky. DeWitt must learn to fight foes in high-speed Sky-Line battles, engage in combat both indoors and amongst the clouds, and harness the power of dozens of new weapons and abilities.”

But looking further ahead, what Irrational seem to be hinting at with this change of venue is that the series could be extended into other interesting historical periods where aberrations in technical know-how embrace the social strata of each in surprising extremes.

We had a taste of the 1950′s with Andrew Ryan’s Rapture. Now we’ll get to see what Ken Levine and his crew have planned for the year that the Titanic sank, Queen Victoria was still on the throne, and which stood at the beginning of a decade that would change a world where the spirit of discovery remained stronger than ever.

I’m already psyched over steampunkish take shown off in the first trailer below. Weird science and psychic powers? Irrational is such a tease. The only thing that would probably make it better is a cameo by Edgar Cayce. Or an actual release date.