Tag Archives: BioShock

Remastered BioShock: The Collection Officially Revealed

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In the best news I have gotten in months, Irrational Games, 2K, and Blind Squirrel Games have officially announced BioShock: The Collection, a remastered compilation of all three games in the series. And if youre like me, you can finally get rid of that 360 you were holding on to just to play the BioShock series.

The collection will be released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on September 13. The bundled content for BioShock: The Collection includes:

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  • The video series, “Director’s Commentary: Imagining BioShock,” featuring Ken Levine, creative director on BioShock and BioShock Infinite and Shawn Robertson, animation lead on BioShock and animation director on BioShock Infinite.
  • Museum of Orphaned Concepts: Walk through a Rapture-inspired virtual museum that gives you a behind-the-scenes look at discarded concepts that never made it into the original game.
  • Challenge Rooms: Outside the story of BioShock, tackle puzzles, splicers and Big Daddies. And achievements, of course.

BioShock 2 (**Multiplayer will not be included)

  • Minerva’s Den: A self-contained BioShock story, presenting a side of Rapture you’ve never seen before. Use expanded combat abilities with the experimental Ion Laser and chaotic Gravity Well Plasmid, unique to Minerva’s Den, as you face off against the Lancer Big Daddy.
  • Protector Trials: Take control of an Alpha Series Big Daddy woken out of hibernation just before the events of BioShock 2.

BioShock Infinite

  • Burial at Sea – Episode 1 & 2 Add-On Packs: This major two-part DLC pack completes the BioShock trilogy by taking the series back to where it all began. Return to Rapture just before the events of the original BioShock!
  • Clash in the Clouds Add-On Pack: Face 60 waves of challenges across four additional maps for leaderboard glory and unlock areas to explore in The Columbian Archaeological Society hub museum.
  • Columbia’s Finest Pack: Combines the contents of the Industrial Revolution Pack and the Upgrade Pack and includes 500 Silver Eagles, five Lock Picks, six unique Gear items, and two weapon upgrades: Comstock’s China Broom Shotgun and Comstock’s Eagle Eye Sniper Rifle.

In short, BioShock: The Collection offers more than $100 of content remastered for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and digital PC for only $59.99. Pick it up on September 13 and watch the reveal trailer below:

Concept Art Reveal Offers Glimpse At BioShock That Almost Was

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For a while there was a movie adaptation of the video game “BioShock” with director Gore Verbinski at the helm. The project was for Universal Pictures but it ultimately fell through due to budget issues and creative differences between Verbinski and the studio.

Now, the project that both intrigued me and terrified me as an intense fan of the game has released concept art for the film from artist Kasra Farahani.

You can see the concept art below:

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“BioShock” is set in 1960 and picks up when the player crashes his airplane in the ocean near a lighthouse. A bathysphere found in the lighthouse takes the player, Jack, to the underwater city of Rapture, built by the business magnate Andrew Ryan. Rapture was initially intended to be an isolated utopia, but the discovery of ADAM, a plasmid which grants superhuman powers, initiated the city’s turbulent decline. During the events of the game, Jack tries to find a way to escape Rapture while fighting through hordes of ADAM-obsessed enemies, and the iconic, deadly Big Daddies, and engaging with the few sane humans that remain and eventually learning of Rapture’s past.

BioShock Heading to iOS Platforms

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Last week 2K Games teased that something new was coming for “BioShock.” Unfortunately, it is not a new game. What it does mean is that the beloved original game in the franchise is heading over to iOS platforms.

Later this summer, “BioShock” will release on iPhone and iPad though there is no specific date just yet. The touch-screen controls will definitely take some practice. Left screen touching is movement while right screen touching is shooting and aiming. Graphics will not look as they do on the original console version as they transition to mobile platforms. However, the iOS game will come with a digital art book.

The official price has not been announced but it has been described as a “premium-priced mobile game.” The mobile version was developed by 2K China.

2K is Teasing Something BioShock Related

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2K Games knows just how to entice fans without telling us ANYTHING. Their UK Twitter account sent out a tweet last week of an image from “BioShock.” More specifically a Rapture BioShock image. But they have yet to tell us what it means.

You can see the image above. It comes from a section of Rapture known as Eve’s Garden and it is an advertisement from Fort Frolic (one of my personal favorite levels of the game.) However, it should be noted that only the UK branch of 2K has posted the image.

It’s doubtful that a new game is on the horizon so soon after Infinite (but a gal can dream, right?) And because it was only posted by UK is might be just a regional promotion. Hopefully they stop playing without hearts and announce something soon.

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Ken Levine Would Still Make BioShock Vita If He Could

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It was long rumored that a PlayStation Vita release in the BioShock franchise would happen but then somehow it ended up in the gaming nether space. However, recently Ken Levine, revealed that he would still make the game if he could.

In a series of tweets this week, Levine stated that the fate of “BioShock” on the Vita was out of his hands. He said,

“[Publisher] 2K and Sony couldn’t put a deal together when I last checked. They seemed way more optimistic about this back in 2011.” “Wish I could do it myself,” he continued, “but lawyers and all that. I still love my Vita.”

A Twitter user went on to ask Levine what “BioShock” on the Vita would have looked like, and frankly his response was a game that I would bought the fuck out of. Levine described a game that was a “Final Fantasy Tactics style thing set in pre-fall Rapture.”

The game was teased way back in 2011 but was never even started. It has remained dead. Since Irrational Games has official closed, it seems that it will honestly never happen.

BioShock Not Dead, Life Goes On At 2K Marin

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After Ken Levine left Irrational Games, the future of the “BioShock” franchise was, to say the least, worrisome. However, it seems that the games are not dead, at least not for good.

Strauss Zelnick confirmed at a recent analyst press conference that the series will continue via 2K Marin, the company who developed “BioShock 2.”

Zelnick said,

“We haven’t given any color on how you should think about it yet except we do believe it’s beloved. We think it’s important [and] certainly something that we’re focused on, something 2K Marin will be responsible for shepherding going forward. I don’t want to say much else except to agree with you. I think there’s a lot of upside in that franchise.”

“It hasn’t necessarily been realized yet. And the question for the future, assuming we decide to answer the question, would be ‘How do you stay true to that creatively?’ ‘How do you do something exciting?’ and ‘How do you do expand the market?’ That would be the natural drill. We’re starting from a good point on it. And certainly it’s been a great piece of business for us. It’s been a profitable piece of business.”

I could think of worst companies to take over the franchise and at least 2K Marin has some background with Rapture and the other components of the underwater pseudo-topia.

It will be interesting to see if they have anything up their sleeves…

Sony Pictures Registers BioShock Movie Domains

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Could the movie adaptation of “BioShock” be in the works yet again? Sony Pictures has recently registered three domains that hint at the progress of the film.

Sony Pictures now owns the domains bioshock-movie.combioshock-movie.net and bio-shock.net. At the moment none of the URLs will bring up nothing related to a possible movie or the game. But it could be that Sony is acting out a preemptive move in case the movie is greenlit later down the road. 

Recently, IGN reported that Courtnee Draper, the angel of voice acting who voiced Elizabeth in Infinite, has been begging Ken Levine for the live action role in the event of the movie moving forward.

Don’t get too excited yet though. This does not mean the BioShock movie is entering into production.

2K Games still says “No Comment” about the rumors unfortunately.

Ken Levine Talks His Future In Gaming

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Ken Levine is most famously known as the creator of the video game franchise, “BioShock” with the latest installment, “BioShock Infinite” topping best game lists all around the world. The Irrational Games’ co-founder recently spoke at GDC 2014 about the concept of building replayable narratives, a process he calls “Narrative Legos.”

This concept is in stark contrast to his famous games “System Shock” and the “BioShock” series. Levine commented on during the talk about how he didn’t want to keep doing grandiose game experiences explaining that how linear storylines puts boundaries between developers and the audience. For example, he remarked how the iconic “Would you kindly?” moment only works once.

Levine also described how systematic games don’t lend well to narrative focused games and vice versa. He explains they are expensive to make, aren’t player driven, and don’t fully embrace the unique power of video games that separate them from any other medium.

According to his talk at GDC 2014, Levine wants games where story elements are non-linear also interact with each other. He also wants events that are triggered by the player but exist transparently to the player at the same time. He doesn’t want to overwhelm the player with too many characters; thusly he wants to limit the number of “stars” in a given area. His idea of a star is an NPC with very specific passions which the player can act upon. The player should be able to see these passions and have the ability to respond to them. This game style is similar to the Bethesda created game series, “Fallout.”

He told the audience,

“With good writing, players should have to balance emotional gain with physical rewards.”

Levine’s talk came just over a month since Irrational massive layoffs and a major change in focus. Don’t forget that “Burial At Sea: Episode 2” releases next week!

BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea — Episode 2’s 1998 Mode Revealed

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1998 Mode is coming for “BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea – Episode 2.” Irrational Games announced the new difficulty mode which calls back to the original game, “Thief” by finishing the story without killing anyone.

1998 Mode is similar to Infinite’s 1999 Mode. Irrational Games director Ken Levine said,

“In Burial at Sea – Episode Two we put a focus on balance and stealth mechanics. As we were developing this new style of gameplay, we started to see people self-impose non-lethal playthrough’s. Given the fan reception of 1999 Mode, we thought it would be cool to give them another way to play Burial at Sea that challenged their mastery of stealth tools.”

Burial at Sea — Episode 2 will be available on March 25, and will conclude Irrational’s time telling BioShock stories.

BioShock Developer: Irrational Games to Close

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I can safely say I am a bit shocked. Ken Levine, the creative director and co-founder of “BioShock” developer Irrational Games, announced today that the company is closing. Thank the GODS, this does not mean Levine is leaving the game creating world. In the announcement, he also revealed that he’ll be starting a new endeavor at Take-Two. Levine will now concentrate on developing digital games with a small team.

You can read his full press release below:

A Message From Ken Levine

When Jon Chey, Rob Fermier and I founded Irrational Games seventeen years ago, our mission was to make visually unique worlds and populate them with singular characters.
We built Rapture and Columbia, the Von Braun and The Rickenbacker, the Freedom Fortress and some of the nastiest basements a SWAT team ever set foot into. We created Booker and Elizabeth, the Big Daddy and the Little Sister, MidWives and ManBot. In that time, Irrational has grown larger and more successful than we could have conceived when we began our three-person studio in a living room in Cambridge, MA. It’s been the defining project of my professional life.

Now Irrational Games is about to roll out the last DLC for BioShock Infinite and people are understandably asking: What’s next?

Seventeen years is a long time to do any job, even the best one. And working with the incredible team at Irrational Games is indeed the best job I’ve ever had. While I’m deeply proud of what we’ve accomplished together, my passion has turned to making a different kind of game than we’ve done before. To meet the challenge ahead, I need to refocus my energy on a smaller team with a flatter structure and a more direct relationship with gamers. In many ways, it will be a return to how we started: a small team making games for the core gaming audience. 

I am winding down Irrational Games as you know it. I’ll be starting a smaller, more entrepreneurial endeavor at Take-Two. That is going to mean parting ways with all but about fifteen members of the Irrational team. There’s no great way to lay people off, and our first concern is to make sure that the people who are leaving have as much support as we can give them during this transition. 

Besides financial support, the staff will have access to the studio for a period of time to say their goodbyes and put together their portfolios. Other Take-Two studios will be on hand to discuss opportunities within the company, and we’ll be hosting a recruiting day where we’ll be giving 3rd party studios and publishers a chance to hold interviews with departing Irrational staff.*

What’s next?

In time we will announce a new endeavor with a new goal: To make narrative-driven games for the core gamer that are highly replayable. To foster the most direct relationship with our fans possible, we will focus exclusively on content delivered digitally.

When I first contemplated what I wanted to do, it became very clear to me that we were going to need a long period of design. Initially, I thought the only way to build this venture was with a classical startup model, a risk I was prepared to take. But when I talked to Take-Two about the idea, they convinced me that there was no better place to pursue this new chapter than within their walls. After all, they’re the ones who believed in and supported BioShock in the first place.

Thanks to Irrational and 2K’s passion in developing the games, and the fans who believe in it, BioShock has generated retail revenues of over a half billion dollars and secured an iconic place in gaming. I’m handing the reins of our creation, the BioShock universe, to 2K so our new venture can focus entirely on replayable narrative. If we’re lucky, we’ll build something half as memorable as BioShock.

-Ken Levine