Gaming Roundup: One Nation Over God


The impending release of BioShock: Infinite has developer Irrational Games slowly lifting the veil on game details and information, the latest of which is a sitdown with IGN to discuss the major themes of their latest game. The BioShock universe has never been one to shy away from literary grandeur—most notably, the first game’s exploration of choice and Objectivism springs to mind—and Infinite is no exception. So what themes are Irrational tackling with the floating city of Columbia?

The most apparent theme jumps out at viewers, game unplayed, from each preview trailer released to this point—the human fascination for, and fear of, machines. Bioshock: Infinite is set in 1912—an era in which the machine was very much a romanticized, celebrated ideal, and not much thought was directed toward their failure until they, well, failed. Animation director Shawn Roberts notes that “the artistic interpretations of these technologies [in this time period] offers a nice contrast between [the romantic notion of machines] and the actual reality.”

Another key theme is the idea of patriotism and the American Empire, evident from the game era’s artwork and propaganda pieces, and among other things, the mechanized patriot below. While Assassin’s Creed III and its subsequent DLCs explored this to an extent, Infinite looks to examine how history often results in the iconization of complex historical figures, which in turn leads to their oversimplification—boiling down their thoughts and ideas into one solitary, often inaccurate, representative ideal. Creative director Ken Levine states: “We turn [George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams] into these icons. I think that makes them a lot less interesting. If you look at the Motorized Patriot, to some degree he’s the iconic version of George Washington. He just walks around spouting patriotic aphorisms, versus the very complex thinker and complicated person that he actually was.”

IGN details these and other themes—including art, propaganda, and persuasion, and a fascinating look at the science of time—in more depth in their complete, comprehensive interview. Check it out. It’s an interesting read.

Bioshock: Infinite launches on March 26 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.

In other gaming news this week, Cyberpunk 2077 continues to sound badass, Injustice: Gods Among Us takes the DC universe where it has never been before, Prince of Persia is put on hold, and GTA V gets a release date. Read on!

  • Scott Pilgrim online multiplayer DLC will be available for $10 for Xbox 360 gamers. The DLC also adds Scott’s roommate Wallace Wells as a playable character. For a two-year-old game. Meh.
  • DC Comics-based brawler, Injustice: Gods Among Us, brought to you by the same studio that created Mortal Kombat, has a story mode between fights that kicks off with the destruction of Metropolis. Batman, The Joker, Deathstroke, and Superman all feature in the sneak preview IGN was given.

  • Ubisoft’s Prince of Persia series is currently on hold, according to Ubisoft Montreal CEO Yannis Mallat. Mallat went on to state that franchise fans have nothing to worry about, and that Ubisoft is simply giving the game “time to breathe.”
  • Finally….

…’nuff said.

If there are games you’d like us to cover or blogs you think we should be following for more news, please let us know @tdelucci or @pritpaulbains.


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