One of the most anticipated video game titles of 2012, BioShock Infinite, now has a release date after 2K Games revealed exactly when the third installment of the franchise will hit the shelves - available for Xbox, PC and PS3 - later on this year.
Developed by Irrational Games, the same developers who produced the award-winning titles BioShock and BioShock 2, BioShock Infinite sent fans and video games analysts into a frenzy at E3 in 2011 after the game racked up 75 editorial awards at the convention, including the Game Critics Awards' Best of Show.
Two-and-a-half years in the making, BioShock Infinite will finally be on store shelves and available for purchase on October 16, 2012 in North America for the Microsoft Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 console and Windows PC. The horror first-person shooter title will then hit international markets on October 19, 2012 for the same video game and computer platforms.
In the upcoming title, players will control former Pinkerton agent Booker Dewitt and AI companion Elizabeth who must work together to escape a post-apocalyptic version of 1912 America, which will be much different than the franchise's first two installments, BioShock and BioShock 2, which were set in between 1960 and 1968.
"After BioShock, we had a vision for a follow up that dwarfed the original in scope and ambition," said Ken Levine (@iglevine), Creative Director of Irrational Games (@irrationalgames). "BioShock Infinite has been our sole focus for the last four years, and we can't wait for fans to get their hands on it."
Irrational's director of product development, Timothy Gerritsen, explained in a 2011 interview with Shacknews about the process of bridging the three games, using concepts and, ultimately, taking the BioShock franchise to new levels in 'Infinite'.
"We really enjoy the BioShock concept. The ideas of what BioShock is. We're not done yet," Gerritsen explained. "We have a lot more to say but it's really so much bigger of a concept than just a location. We had these ideas and concepts and we said, "Let's do it. Let's throw out all the rules. Let's kill the sacred cow. Let's make a game that is a BioShock game but it's totally a new IP."
Those expecting the same trip through the underwater city of Rapture will be sorely disappointed as BioShock Infinite is expected to explore new realms and take the two main characters deeper into the heart of Irrational's acclaimed universe. That's not to say that there wont be parts of Rapture incorporated into the game, but the game is expected to reach new heights, literally, with the primary setting of BioShock Infinite being a city suspended by air blimps called "Columbia."
"It's totally something new. How can we create that, "Oh my god, what the hell is this?" experience that people had in BioShock 1," Gerritsen continued. "If we just keep going back to Rapture, because we felt we had said what we wanted to say in that universe. We wanted to move on. And corporate, Take-Two Interactive, gave us this freedom and said, 'All right'."
The freedom given to the developers is just one of the many reasons that BioShock Infinite is expected to be one of the hottest video game titles of 2012. Released in 2007, BioShock sold more than 3 million copies for Windows PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 platforms. The much-anticipated sequel, BioShock 2, was released in 2010 and has sold more than 5 million copies since that time.
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