Columbia, that city in the skies was a relatively peaceful place, and then all hell broke loose. Citizens have had to pick a side, either with the extreme elitist Founders, or with the deadly democrats the Vox Populi.
Needless to say, a lot of blood is being shed and people are dying by the bucketload. And it’s all the fault of Elizabeth, your naive sidekick as you make your way through this aerial Civil War.
“When you arrive in Columbia, Elizabeth has been trapped in this tower since she was a little girl, and you bust her out”, Irrational Games head Ken Levine told CVG. “That’s essentially the catalyst that heightens the conflict. You really turn the heat up in a way that it wasn’t before.”
“The Vox Populi believe that the city is corrupt, so they want to demonstrate to the workers and the downtrodden of the world that this symbol of American imperialism has to fall. A prophecy says that if Elizabeth falls then the city falls with her. So they want her dead.”
Fortunately, Elizabeth isn’t just a helpless tagalong on the adventure, reducing the game to an unending nightmare of escort missions. She’s got some special skills of her own, and will fight back to protect herself and you from anything that stands in your way. Having access to other unique worlds and dimensions, Elizabeth can tap into these strange forces to alter outcomes in the upcoming game.
“We started to think about this notion of her interacting with other versions of reality. It’s a notion of things that don’t necessarily exist in our reality, but that she can bring into the gameplay”, Levine said.
“What if she could bring in a skyline? What if she could bring in a turret? What if she could bring in ammo, or access to a new area that you can’t get to? What if you’re fighting the Vox Populi and you can summon in some Founders from another reality to fight for you? All these ideas came up in one meeting!”
Elizabeth however, has a complicated relationship with her strange mechanical jailor, the Songbird, which is desperate to return her back to her cell, and will kill anyone that gets in its way. Levine explained how this story idea came around, in part due to his interactions with a domestic abuse victim.
Levine revealed that Elizabeth’s complicated relationship with her captor, the Songbird, was inspired by his personal experience with a victim of domestic abuse who inevitably returned to her abuser.
“That’s not Elizabeth, Elizabeth is trying to get free, but she definitely has a connection”, Levine said. “This is the thing that raised her, this was the only contact she had. He brought her food, and her clothes and her books. He played with her when she was a kid.”
“So she’s conflicted. And I think conflicted characters are way more interesting than characters who act with a certainty.”
Bioshock: Infinite is shaping up beautifully so far, and its not just the exciting gameplay that it features, but the potentially deep story and characters that it features, that make this one of the more highly anticipated games of 2012.