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BioShock dev's new teaser site explained!

Go to whatisicarus.com. Go on. Stick it in a new tab, have a look, and then come back and tell us what you found. We'll still be here, we promise.

Black background? Smoke? A small grey fleck of something with a slightly segmented pattern? Pretty dull, yeah? Well how about if we told you that unidentifiable grey thing was very probably an unidentifiable grey thing with DEEP, EARTH-SHATTERING SIGNIFICANCE to the next title from Irrational Games, developer of BioShock and System Shock 2? Pretty important grey thing now, right?

Back in Jauary, it was revealed by the medium of LinkedIn profile that a programmer at Irrational was working on something codenamed Project Icarus. The project was dated as 2008 - present, making it very much Irrational's current, post-BioShock project, having passed Bio 2 to 2K Marin.

'But what is Icarus?', the world asked. And coincidentally, that very question now exists in URL form. On a site registered to 2K. 2K being Irrational's parent company and publisher. And on top of all that, Irrational has sent out invitations to a big project reveal in New York on the 11th of August this year. All ties in pretty nicely, does it not?

One interesting point to note though, is that Rockstar Games is also referenced in whatisicarus' registration details. What this means, if anything, is currently anyobody's guess. Rockstar is Irrational's sister company under 2K, so it could be a co-production (doubtful) or something as simple as some sort of cross-promotion effort.

Also interesting is that the site's content appears to have changed already, albeit very slightly. If Joystiq's screenshot from earlier on hasn't been manipulated in any way, then the pattern of the smoke has shifted and the grey dot itself has moved. This is obviously of MAJOR IMPORTANCE, and we currently have Radar's entire scientific research budget dedicated to getting to the bottom of it. Though that's only about £8:50.

Current options are:

  • The grey dot is a tiny metallic island in a nighttime sea, viewed from high above (as if viewed by Icarus himself!). It is the setting of Irrational's new game, and this website contains a screenshot from the game's first-person intro sequence.
  • The grey dot is actually light at the end of a very long tunnel, or at the top of a pit. This means that Irrational's new game will involve a lot of running down smokey tunnels or falling down smokey pits.
  • The grey dot's segmented colouring and dark surround are because it is actually the view down a black-and-white kaleidoscope. This explains the slight change in the grey dot's configuration over the last few hours, and proves that Irrational's new game will be set in Victorian times (when all entertainment was slow-moving and in black-and-white), and will cast you in the part of an old craftsman of children's amusements.
  • OMG THE GREY DOT IS THE SETTING FOR GTA V!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • We should stop getting excited about uninformative video game teaser sites as there is no prize for working it out first, and they exist only to generate exactly this kind of hysterical fan-driven hype with minimal effort needed from the publisher. And everyone will find out the answer at the same time via the actual reveal.

But what do you reckon? Any more likely theories? Any even sillier? And how excited are you for Irrational's new project? Let us know in the comments, or via our pulsing opinion orbs on Facebook and Twitter.

39 comments

  • GangsterJew92 - July 29, 2010 4:02 p.m.

    I can't wait to see what "Project Icarus" is
  • foxyexplosion - July 29, 2010 5:46 a.m.

    My entirely educated and intelligent opinion is that it is the new trailer played at one screen per hour. That way in like 90 days we will have the entirety of the commercial all layed out perfectly in 90 seconds. This is simply the first second when someone is looking at the moon or something.. Im not really sure. It could be anything but if its not my idea i kinda want to do that now for my own video game i dont really have...
  • Valntyne - July 28, 2010 10:31 p.m.

    I concur that the grey dot is GTA V.
  • HawtKakez - July 28, 2010 8:40 p.m.

    Man, that website, even though it is very minimalistic, creeps me the heck out. From a subjective standpoint, I viewed the image as the first person viewpoint of a person in a dark, secluded area where a small hole is open to see out in the foggy night. Whatever it is, it's without a doubt intriguing.
  • Amnesiac - July 28, 2010 8:20 p.m.

    What, it's not obvious? Icarus Shock, slated for release 12/21/12.
  • NightAce84 - July 28, 2010 8:03 p.m.

    Does anyone else see an eye? I may be crazy, but it looks like it with it being darker around the outside, then lighter in a circular pattern, then a tiny bit darker again right outside the grey dot. I think that it is an eye, and the grey dot is something being reflected from the eye, obviously he is looking at something. I don't know, just my 0.02
  • musclesdylan - July 28, 2010 7:49 p.m.

    sorry for the double post but i forgot to mention irrational games or the devs
  • musclesdylan - July 28, 2010 7:46 p.m.

    it is prob space flight sim thingys no idea there proper name is but thats what it is.... no its not system shock 3 they said it is an individual ip something theve never done before so no 1st person shooting free roam 3rd person etc it could be a racing game i suppose or a pure rpg but whatever it is it new to 2k martin or rockstar
  • Farid - July 28, 2010 6:43 p.m.

    i know that their not made by same company but Dues Ex: Human Evaluation trailer is similar to the story of icarus, the main character Adam Jensen fly's to close to the sun burns his wings and falls from the sky i wonder if there's any connection
  • abcabc - July 28, 2010 5:51 p.m.

    Its Bioshock on the moon! Same thing as with Rapture, a super rich visionary builds a city on the moon before the americans even got there!
  • alienkid771 - July 28, 2010 5:40 p.m.

    It's nothing. It's a clever device made by the developers to keep people busy trying to figure out what it is, meanwhile their actual project is completely unrelated
  • NuQLER - July 28, 2010 5:36 p.m.

    now... witness the power of this fully-operational little, uhrm... grey... dot.
  • Defguru7777 - July 28, 2010 5:36 p.m.

    Isn't Project Icarus that program in Mirror's Edge designed to capture the Runners?
  • obie191970 - July 28, 2010 5:20 p.m.

    @Tygerclaws. Our sun is about halfway through its life cycle - We're about 5 billion in with about the same left before it goes Red Giant on us. And while we typically know and can predict when a star will die, if it's a large enough star to Supernova(Which ours is not), the closest we can usually come is a couple of hundred thousand years - So in a sense, stars can and do die out of nowhere on a very regular basis.
  • obie191970 - July 28, 2010 5:11 p.m.

    @JeffGoldblum1 Funniest thing I have read today. Please go and do some research on basic Astronomy and come back and apologize for making Games Radar readers look like a bunch of morons.
  • Tygerclaws - July 28, 2010 4:41 p.m.

    @kompressorlogik No, no it does not. Stars do not randomly die out of nowhere. They go through cycles. They age, and then they die. Our sun is still barely out of its infancy, so there is NO way that it could possibly just up and "die" for no reason, and even if it did, we would NOT have advance notice. Films like The Core and Dante's Peak also had scientific advisors, and look at how unscientific they are.
  • croatianmaniac232 - July 28, 2010 3:49 p.m.

    sherlock got a new assignment
  • kompressorlogik - July 28, 2010 3:45 p.m.

    @JeffGoldblum1: This is true; stars don't just start dying unexpectedly. They do have a backstory for this, involving something called a Q ball. Brian Cox (crazy physicist at CERN) was the science adviser on the movie, and he helped work up this hypothetical Sun-death, so I'm pretty sure it holds water as far as it needs to for a fairly hard sci-fi movie.
  • DrRock - July 28, 2010 3:15 p.m.

    It looks like a whole lot of nothing that will end up meaning a whole lot of something. recaptcha: teeth worrier
  • pin316 - July 28, 2010 3:01 p.m.

    That's not a moon... that's a space station!

Showing 1-20 of 39 comments

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