Bioshock: Infinite

BioShock Infinite is an upcoming first-person shooter video game, and the third game in the BioShock series. Previously known as "Project Icarus", it is being developed by Irrational Games for a 2012 release on the Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 platforms. BioShock Infinite is not a direct sequel or prequel to previous BioShock games, taking place in an earlier period and different setting, though it features similar gameplay concepts and themes. The player controls a former Pinkerton agent, Booker DeWitt, as he attempts to rescue a woman named Elizabeth trapped aboard the collapsing air-city Columbia in 1912.

The primary setting of BioShock Infinite is a city suspended in the air by giant blimps and balloons, called "Columbia", named in homage to the female personification of the United States. Unlike the secret development of the underwater city of Rapture used as the settings for BioShock and BioShock 2, Columbia was built and launched in 1900 by the American government to much fanfare and publicity. The city was meant to symbolize the ideas of exceptionalism the reveal trailer for the game alludes to the 1893 Worlds Fair which is historically considered to be the emergence of American exceptionalism. On the surface, Columbia appeared to be designed as a floating "Worlds Fair" that could travel across the globe; however, some time after its launch but before the game's events, the city was revealed to be a well-armed battleship, and became involved in an "international incident" by firing upon a group of Chinese civilians during the Boxer Rebellion.
The city was disavowed by the United States government, and the location of the city was soon lost to everyone else. The city became, as described by Nick Cowen of The Guardian, "a kind of roaming boogieman moving from place to place and imposing its will on people below".
As a result of the city's isolation, a civil war eventually broke out on Columbia between different factions of citizens, each trying to seize control of the city from the powers-that-be. At the time of the game's events, only two main factions remain. One group are the Founders, the remnants of those retaining power over the city led by Zachary Hale Comstock. This is the city's ruling class, which seeks to keep Columbia purely for American citizens while denying foreigners the same privileges. The other is a group named Vox Populi (Latin for "voice of the people"), a rag-tag resistance group, led by Daisy Fitzroy, opposed to the ultranationalists. The Vox Populi is formed from several factions with similar ideologies that fought to seize control and restore the rights of Columbia citizenship to all. However, years of war and struggle have driven the Vox Populi to fight the powers-that-be solely out of blind hatred, resulting in more violent and brutal methods and leading to subfactions in the group.
Like Rapture, Columbia is considered a dystopia, but with signs present suggesting a theocratic government taking control at some point, and similar racial-purification concepts such as Nazism, jingoism, and xenophobia. One of the items in the press packages for the game included a tag that would purportedly be worn by immigrants aboard Columbia, requiring those of non-European descent, which includes Papists, Gypsies, Irish and Greeks, to list out numerous details, including religious affiliation and data relating to eugenics; another item was a Columbia propaganda poster that warned "We must all be vigilant to ensure the purity of our people."Columbia has been compared to a cross between steampunk and the Star Wars Bespin cloud city, as well as the airships of Final Fantasy settings though Irrational's Ken Levine has compared the weaponized city to the Death Star.

(Relase Date: June 1, 2012)


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