Two screens. Normally not enough to get excited about, but these are for the brand new and still surprising BioShock Infinite, a game which was first announced - and which immediately shattered every BioShock fan's expectations - less than a week ago. Even the smallest tidbits of information are fascinating at this point.
Stare at the fresh pair of images for long enough, though, and you'll actually notice more tantalizing clues than you might have originally expected. Here's what I found... click on either screen to view the supersized image and let me know if you spot anything else!
This is Elizabeth, the mysterious and psychically powerful woman we met in the trailer... and the reason our protagonist, Booker DeWitt, has boarded the floating city of Columbia. From what we've been told, he rescues her early on, and she acts as a companion and combat partner for much of the game.
But what can we learn from this particular screenshot?
Study Elizabeth's face and you'll see a lot more intricate detail than on past BioShock characters - freckles, makeup and individual strands of hair. Most intriguing, however, is the strange reflection in her eyes.
Green lightning? A new plasmid of some kind? And then there's this...
At first, I assumed this image was taken in one of BioShock Infinite's shadowy interiors. But this zoom seems to reveal an outside window and evening setting. So the game won't be all sunshine. Will Columbia cycle through day and night automatically, or will different sections / missions take place at pre-determined times?
Here's a depressed-looking chap, clutching to his gun and liquor with equal desperation. While his unexplained situation and saggy old man face are creepy enough, the clues scattered in the background behind him are even more so.
Does something about this collapsed banner strike you as familiar? Columbia appears to be falling into chaos and disrepair just as the city is celebrating a symbolically significant holiday... the 4th of July, 1912. Recall that Rapture erupted into war on a different holiday... New Year's Eve, 1959. Another thematic similarity between the two games. Zoom past the banner and...
Yikes! Who the hell is that? An evil warlock fanning the flames of Hell? No, if you read our first-look preview, you'll recognize this as a woman in unsettling denial. She's the owner of the grocery store and continues to sweep the front step even as her livelihood burns down behind her.
A closer shot of the signs in the far distance. Most are meaningless advertisements, with the possibility of one: Robert & Sons. The same names appeared on the crate that Elizabeth is crouching next to in the first screenshot. Coincidence? Or could this family play a crucial role in BioShock Infinite's storyline... perhaps even filling in for the tyrannical role of Andrew Ryan?
It's all merely guesswork for now, but that's half the fun of a game like this, especially when it's not releasing until 2012. On that note, I'll leave you with a final tantalizing zoom. Speculate away!
Aug 18, 2010