Before you Begin “Bioshock: Infinite”, Ken Levine Would Like to Talk to You About the End

While the home stretch of “Bioshock” was not exactly the highlight of the experience (that would be opening moments actually), the third act obviously didn’t tarnish the game’s legacy too much, and just stands as an asterisk on an otherwise pristine title.

It seems, however, that lead designer Ken Levine took the criticism towards the game’s final moments to heart, and has now thrown out significant bit of hype concerning “Bioshock: Infinite”, claiming that the ending to “Bioshock: Infinite” is unlike anything gamers have seen, and admits that he’s not sure how people will react to it.

“The end of the game, I can’t tell whether people will like it or not like it. I can say it’s something we’re incredibly proud of. It’s like nothing you’ve actually experienced in a video game before.”

I have to say, I don’t know if I’ve ever heard anyone hype the ending to something like this. We’ve seen developers like Bungie or Bioware hype the ending of a whole series, or critics note the quality of a finale in their reviews, but I don’t know if I’ve ever heard a major developer come out and specifically isolate the ending as a selling point in promoting a single title.

And you know what? There is probably a good reason for that. While the initial hands on previews have assured people that “Bioshock: Infinite” will be supremely entertaining at the least, the early trouble concerning the amount of developers leaving the game, along with the somewhat mysterious nature of the game’s development, are not advisable circumstances to be in to come out and say that the very end of your game is going to be a one of a kind, mind blowing and perception altering experience, which you may or may not like at all, and not expect it to result in backlash down the road.

It sounds like more of a warning than anything actually, or like when you pose a question to a friend about yourself that you don’t want to admit you know is true, and are hoping they will contradict you. In fact, as a general tip to Mr. Levine and the rest of the “Infinite” development team, if you’re about to do something that sounds like it is something that Peter Molyneux might do, just shut up and get back to work.

Whatever He’s Saying, He’s Overselling It


What is “Infinite” Minus Two?

News is slowly pouring in today that two of the biggest developers on “Bioshock: Infinite” are leaving Irrational Games.

Director of product development Tim Gerritsen and art director (and designer of the series’ iconic Big Daddies) Nate Wells have both updated their LinkedIn profiles to indicate that their employment with Irrational Games is now done. While no further official announcement has been made, Nate Wells also made a Twitter post earlier that read “New Job…Details to follow.” That tweet has since been removed. For those who don’t remember, “Bioshock: Infinite” was also delayed earlier this year until 2013, in order to give it “specific tweaks and improvements” that would make the game “into something even more extraordinary,” according to lead designer and Irrational founding member Ken Levine.

Now some sites are already panicking about this pretty hard. I’m not quite there yet myself. For one thing, it’s a sad but true fact that developers at all levels will often leave a studio before a project is completed. Moves of this nature traditionally have no bearing on the quality of the final product on any consistent level.

No the real news here is that there is no real news. Ever since the delay of “Bioshock: Infinite” was announced, updates on on the game have gone ice cold. This is okay if you’re a title like “Grand Theft Auto V” (another Take-Two production). It’s “GTA”, and everyone knows there’s going to be a lot of secrecy involved leading up to the release. But “Bioshock: Infinite” didn’t even bother to poke its head in at E3 this year. Plus, even though “Bioshock” was possibly the game of the decade, the fact that the only news on its true successor in the last year has been a delay and the departure of your manager of content creators (Gerritsen) and a 13-year veteran of your studio (Wells), makes even the most level headed gamer start to wonder what’s really going on at Irrational.

Ultimately, “Bioshock: Infinite” will still sell millions, and I don’t believe that its overall quality will have anything to do with these departures. However, I’m curious how Irrational addresses this news. Do they remain silent and let speculation rule, or do they make a move as bold and innovative as “Bioshock” itself and actually shed some light on this situation, beyond the typical PR release?

Simply put, if there’s no fire to report, then why fan the flames?


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