BioShock Infinite trailer analysis – we dissect it frame by frame

We’re all plenty excited at the just revealed BioShock Infinite and its big, open skies. The trailer was a great way to throw you straight into the world of Columbia. Maybe you’ve seen the trailer below already, and are planning to re-watch it over and over to catch all its secrets. Don't bother, we’ve done it for you already.

Sitting at the bottom of a fish tank, this model’s silhouette tries to trick gamers into thinking they’re returning to Rapture’s soggy depths for BioShock Infinite. It also serves as a neat little nod to creator Ken Levine’s concept of a “Flying World’s Fair” as the inspiration for Infinite’s Columbia (the Chicago World’s Fair was also known as the Colombia expedition).

Until developer Irrational sets us straight, we’ll refer to these part man, part machine, 100% creepy monsters as Columbia’s Big Daddies. They earn extra spine-chilling points for the very deliberate mechanical ratcheting sound they make when they move. And for one other thing, we’ll chat about shortly.

Intentional call-out or not, this quick-cut battle totally evoked memories of BioShock’s first trailer, where a man battled a Big Daddy before being silenced by a buzzing drill through his midsection. If you squint, you can see the faint shape of the creature’s chin and nose. Keep an eye on that chestplate.

Gah! This Frankenstein-looking heart beats in the armored chests of Infinite’s robot-like menaces. One guess where this monstrosity is most vulnerable, though. We hope.

Nice coat there, horrifying cyborg thing – we never saw a Big Daddy wear clothes over its diving suit.

Infinite trades Rapture’s under-the-sea claustrophobia for Columbia’s sun-soaked skies, where even from a distance American flags  hint at the patriotic fervor coursing through the city’s veins. Oh, and the silvery things in the air are the shards of a window you were just thrown though by the cyborg.

Columbia’s towering structures sit atop platforms held aloft by hot air bags underneath. Leave it to Irrational to come up with a setting as inspired as Rapture.


  • Strangleme - September 8, 2010 2:19 a.m.

    Wow. I can't believe there is already another Bioshock announced. I am really looking forward to this.
  • mysterioso - August 25, 2010 2:26 a.m.

    I know it probably won't lead anywhere. But what about the flags? How many stars are on the flags? less than 50? 51 including Columbia?
  • Mirako - August 18, 2010 8:40 p.m.

    I'm just assuming that they want to hide Columbia like they did with Rapture here but, how can they keep that thing hidden? you could just look up and bam! floating city! If it's known to the public I'd like to see why they let this place exist (With it's amoral scientific experiments and all)
  • Dracosphinx - August 18, 2010 1:08 a.m.

    One of the few developers that can scare the shit out of you without putting you into hallways... All the time...
  • Syncmaster - August 17, 2010 3:20 a.m.

    I dont get the new bigdaddy, why would someone keep the heart on a fullmetal robot? the heart is pretty easy to replace. you must keep the brain dammit, thats unique
  • Syncmaster - August 17, 2010 3:18 a.m.

    @Seyu yeah, my thought was the ppl from Columbia selects only the strongest children to live there, rejecting any weakling. something like sparta :P
  • RonaldRayGun - August 14, 2010 6 p.m.

    I bet the Big Daddy type enemies are called Uncle Sams.
  • GangsterJew92 - August 14, 2010 1:37 a.m.

    I can't wait for this game!
  • shyfonzie - August 13, 2010 9:49 p.m.

    If you're going to make a robot with a heart, shouldn't you cover that shit up? It's like a huge arrow pointing to his chest saying "Hit here to kill me." And I swear one of those ads looks like it's selling an original Game Boy.
  • ultimatepunchrod - August 13, 2010 7:41 p.m.

    this looks pretty cool but does anyone else think that a giant floating city in the sky BEFORE there was a giant city underwater kind of makes rapture look unoriginal. idk it seems like this could have been a different series all together, but maybe it will link up in a really cool way.
  • MrSuitMan - August 13, 2010 6:52 p.m.

  • ensabahnur - August 13, 2010 6:23 p.m.

    Thanks for breaking it down, helps in analyzing it on our end.
  • w40kfanatic - August 13, 2010 5:53 p.m.

    @sleepy92ismypsn Columbia is the name of the city, theyre not in country columbia.
  • CH3BURASHKA - August 13, 2010 5:14 p.m.

    That video player MUST go...
  • BarbwireTino - August 13, 2010 4:47 p.m.

    I am so excited to see another BioShock game already in the works. Now if we can just talk them into leaving their multi-player at home.
  • ryno - August 13, 2010 4:40 p.m.

  • Clovin64 - August 13, 2010 4:23 p.m.

    I still have to play the original Bioshock, but Bioshock 2 was awesome. I cant wait for this new game. Maybe the mechanical dudes are some kind of police force that protect the city from un-patriotic people?
  • rubblemaker - August 13, 2010 11:57 a.m.

    @philipshaw its got the Bioshock name because they are turning the word 'Bioshock' into more of a brand moniker to represent an all encompassing gaming idea, for the sake of argument lets call it 'Psycho City'. i.e Big city gone bad, augmented super powers, mystery, intrigue and story focused action. You have to unlearn what you've learnt and stop thinking 'Bioshock' means 'Rapture', I mean if you think about, at what point whilst you were stomping around Rapture in either of the Bioshock games did the word Bioshock appear?, apart from the game title of course the words relevance exclusively to Rapture itself has never been defined by the games story content.
  • philipshaw - August 13, 2010 10:43 a.m.

    This looks great but I still don't get why it has the bioshock name, it seems to be there just for marketing purposes
  • elpurplemonkey - August 13, 2010 8:40 a.m.

    I like the analysis, but the mechanical Big Daddy-like creature (I think everyone got that impression at first) is not a Big Daddy. Ken Levine said as much in an interview with Joystiq. It's definitely not a Big Daddy, but it is an interesting mix of cool and creepy.

Showing 1-20 of 40 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000