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Levine: Why I passed on BioShock 2

And what he thought about it.

Irrational Games founder and BioShock creator Ken Levine passed on the opportunity to create BioShock 2 because he'd said all he wanted about underwater city Rapture.

Levine told Eurogamer at a preview event for Irrational's new game BioShock Infinite that the development team wanted to avoid repeating itself.

BioShock: Infinite, due out on the PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2012, takes place in the city of Columbia, a metropolis that floats above the clouds, and is set in the early years of the twentieth century.

"For me and the team it was about not repeating ourselves," he said.

"If you look at, whether it's a Final Fantasy where one game in the series is very different to another, or even Alien and Aliens is a great example: two very different stories, one's a haunted house movie and one's an action movie.

"For us I think the guiding principle is: if they never stopped making horror movies where everything was a house on a haunted hill with lightning going in the sky, you'd never have The Shining, that antiseptic bright look. How do you create horror in that?

"That's what we're doing. We're always trying to challenge ourselves. We've done that, we've done the dark rooms, but that's a crutch, eventually, for a team."

BioShock 2, released in February this year, was developed by 2K Marin. Irrational was known as 2K Boston when it created the original game, released in 2007.

"The reason we didn't do BioShock 2 is because... The time frame that game had, and the company understandably wanted another game in Rapture... But we felt we had said what we wanted to say about Rapture, about those kind of environments and that kind of feel.

"We want to scare the hell out of people, we want to shock people, but we didn't want to have any of the tools, the crutches, that we knew how to do that with."

So, what did Levine think of BioShock 2?

"I think it's a very talented team," he said, "and I think it fulfilled the mission of completing the story of Rapture."

Oli Welsh saw BioShock Infinite this week and returned with plenty to say. The first teaser trailer is below.

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Wesley Yin-Poole avatar

Wesley Yin-Poole


Wesley worked at Eurogamer from 2010 to 2023. He liked news, interviews, and more news. He also liked Street Fighter more than anyone could get him to shut up about it.