The game that has for some time been known as Project Icarus has finally been revealed – and it’s no less than a third instalment in the BioShock series.
Named BioShock: Infinite, the new title will leave behind the setting enjoyed by the first game and its rather similar sequel and instead head to the skies. Set in 1912, the action will take place on the sky city of Columbia.
Designed as a symbol of American power, Columbia is sent off to foreign shores – only to be lost. Players assume the role of Booker DeWitt who is sent to the lost city to rescue a prisoner named Elizabeth.
“We are excited to expand the world of BioShock, which is one of the industry’s most critically acclaimed and beloved franchises,” 2K president Christoph Hartmann stated.
“We believe that Irrational Games will lend their meticulous attention to detail and unique storytelling expertise to make BioShock Infinite an incredible entertainment experience that will immerse new and diehard fans of BioShock alike.”
Infinite is being developed by the team behind the first title and will be lead by Ken Levine, who skipped work on the second instalment.
Levine said of the new game: “When it came to begin work on BioShock Infinite we only had one rule: No sacred cows. This game is both true to what people love about the series and unafraid to question every assumption.
“In order to explore the floating city of Columbia, we needed an entirely new engine. To bring Elizabeth to life, we had to build brand-new animation and AI systems. To create wide-ranging indoor and outdoor fire fights at 30,000 feet, we had to rethink, rebuild and expand the BioShock arsenal. The only thing gamers can be certain of is this: the rules of the BioShock universe are about to change.”
Though the first game sold in excess of 4m units on Xbox 360, PC and later PS3, the second game was described by Take-Two chief executive Ben Feder as being “not hugely successful”. The publisher will be hoping that the change in setting and return of the original developers will allow it to recapture the debut title’s spark.
BioShock: Infinite is due out on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC some time in 2012.