Keen readers will know we're more than a little enthused by Irrational's BioShock Infinite. We were enthused when we saw its world premiere in New York last month. We were enthused when we sat down with Irrational head honcho Ken Levine to chat about the game. And we were enthused when we were shown a live gameplay demo behind closed doors at German expo gamescom.
Now, we're enthused again. But this time it's with BioShock Infinite lead artist Shaun Robertson. Here delve deeper into Irrational's dystopian city in the sky.
Eurogamer: Can you tell us about the powers the main player has? How is it this normal human being has these magical powers?
Shaun Robertson: We don't want to go too deep into the weapons and powers at this time. We'll definitely have more of that to reveal in the future. I will go as far as to say there will be a much wider variety of weapons and powers available to the player.
Also, as you saw in the demo, the combination of your powers along with Elizabeth, who's basically like an alley-oop for you, she'll set things up that you can either choose to take or not to take to help to solve certain problems within the game.
Eurogamer: So you can simply ignore what she's doing? Is there a button to press to accept her help?
Shaun Robertson: It's not a quick time moment where you just hit X and something happens. For instance, in the demo, when she creates the molten ball of metal with the pots and pans, if you wanted to kill those guys behind cover with your gun, you can just ignore her, walk around the boxes and start laying into them with the weapons you have at hand.
If you do decide to use the tool she's given you, you use it like a plasmid. You hit the trigger, you pick it up, you aim it and then you throw it. It's not just a hit a button and everything's done for you. There's still an amount of skill.
Eurogamer: Telekinesis looks important once again. Why is that such a great power for you guys?
Shaun Robertson: The demo did focus a lot on the TK power, but, without going into too much detail, just because we haven't shown something doesn't mean it's not going to be just as important an element at a later demo or in a later thing we're going to show.
Eurogamer: What is the power you'll use the most?
Shaun Robertson: Honestly, if we do our job right there will be a different answer for everybody.
Eurogamer: One of the criticisms of BioShock was you could play it a certain way and be very successful. I used the wrench almost exclusively. Is that something you're keen to address?
Shaun Robertson: You look at BioShock, small corridors, small groups of enemies, there are not a lot of problems that electro bolt and shotgun couldn't solve in that situation.
We want to provide a wider variety of tools and a reason to use those tools in BioShock Infinite. There's a saying that if you have a hammer then every problem looks like a nail. We want to provide you with a hammer and a saw and a measuring tape and a pencil, things that will let you be more creative with how you solve those problems.
Eurogamer: Why are the enemies motivated to kill you?
Shaun Robertson: In the demo when you enter the bar, people pretty much ignore you. They don't immediately grab their weapons and start attacking you, which would be the case in BioShock 1. Any time you saw a human they were just going to come right at you and attack you.
We want to create more moments in BioShock Infinite where you've time to soak in what's going on with the people. And there will be a lot more people in BioShock Infinite than there were in BioShock.
In the demo the bartender's the one that gets mad at you and tells you to leave. His reaction to you and your killing him with the shotgun is what wakes those people up and sets them off after you. But in another playthrough you could walk into the bar and then just walk out.