The man behind the BioShock universe talks about his latest game.
With BioShock Infinite being celebrated at PAX East 2013 in Boston, home to Irrational Games, the man behind the franchise was more than happy to talk about what’s new. Ken Levine, founder of Irrational Games, talks about this sequel in the exclusive interview below.
Can you talk about the two central characters players will be interacting with?
So you play a character named Booker Dewit who is a former Pinkerton agent. He’s sort of an undercover agent of his time -- a strikebreaker. He’d be the guy busting heads at the strike at U.S. Steel in 1900s and he proved to be even a little bit of a too rough a character for the Pinkerton’s and when you meet him and the player becomes him, he’s sort of in debt and not doing so well, and he gets basically an offer he can’t refused from somebody he owes money to to go to Columbia and find this woman Elizabeth and bring her back to New York, and he gets into it not realizing what he’s getting into when he takes this job offer. And Elizabeth is your companion in this game, is a woman who is put essentially in this almost like a Repunzel story. She was put in this tower when she was just a little girl and she doesn’t know why and she’s in isolation up thee except for this large mechanical creature called the songbird, this huge 30 foot tall, almost bird-like creature. That’s her only friend, her only guardian and her jailer as well. And so when Booker busts her out of this tower she’s about twenty now and first reaction is she’s been looking out the window of this world her whole life. She just wants to go and explore and she’s so excited and then she doesn’t realize what kind of world Columbia is when she’s busted out and it turns out she’s got this incredible suite of powers that she wasn’t even aware that she had and she becomes the center of this conflict that’s tearing apart the city of Columbia.
Can you talk about the unique way that Elizabeth interacts with the player as you go through the game?
She has two big roles and one is that she’s a narrative partner for you to go through the game. Hitchcock would call her the McGuffin in the sense that she’s the one that the various factions are pursuing in this game. She’s the entity that everyone wants a piece of. But the way her powers interact with the world is basically you come across these things called tears in the world, and when you see these tears they’re basically things that could exist in your world but don’t, and everybody can see these tayers in Columbia. They exist in Columbia for a reason which the story reveals, but Elizabeth, her powers, she can actually bring these things into our world.