E3 2011 – BioShock Infinite Looks Great, But Also Like It’s On Rails

Hiding behind a fruit cart with Elizabeth nearby, DeWitt starts taking fire from a distant position high above. Flickering objects surround him — objects that Elizabeth can bring into existence. The first is a set of box cars on the Sky-Line system above DeWitt’s position, which would shield him from flanking fire. The second is a weapon, the third, an escape route; the choice is made by looking at one of the objects and hitting X, but the player only gets one. DeWitt opts for the cover and Elizabeth uses her abilities to bring the hanging box cars into reality.

DeWitt, meanwhile, uses one of his Plasmid-like abilities, which, until now, we haven’t seen outside of trailers. Flexing one hand, he lifts two men out of cover on the other side of the cart, levitating them in the air, and quickly shotguns them. Then DeWitt calls for Elizabeth and the pair jump to the Sky-Line above, riding it to the station just a little further away, where Vox troops had been positioned to fire at DeWitt before Elizabeth warped in the train cars. Landing nearby (it appears a cursor allows the player to choose where he will land when he leaps from a rail, either to other rails or to the ground below), he quickly shotguns a pair of them.

Circling the platform to the far end, DeWitt clears out a few other enemies. We eventually see his Murder of Crows ability, one of the other “plasmids” that have appeared in the trailers up to now — it sends a flock of birds to disrupt enemies, leaving them open to attack. A few more enemies down and DeWitt and Elizabeth are momentarily in the clear, until they see a huge dirigible moving into position in the distance, then firing a hail of fireworks-like rockets in the direction of the pair. DeWitt asks if Elizabeth can manage to summon a nearby flickering turret; it’ll take too long, she says.

Roller Coaster Warrior

“Wait here — I’ll be right back!” DeWitt calls, leaving Elizabeth behind as he leaps to the nearby Sky-Line rail and rides it clear of the rockets. The rail takes him all over, all the way forcing him to engage other Vox soldiers as they whoop like Native American warriors in old Westerns. They come barreling down tracks, diving through the air without fear, firing weapons and attacking DeWitt as he struggles to fight them off or dodge them.

Through the course of the next two minutes or so, DeWitt wings all over the place, taking a confusing route of interconnecting rails, jumping from place to place and fighting all along the way. At one point, he lands on a platform where he fires explosives at the dirigible; at another, he kills a few guys as they fling themselves at them; further on, he lands on the airship itself, getting inside and setting off and explosion in the boiler after fighting off a Vox soldier or two, then diving off and catching a rail on the way down as the airship explodes and burns above him. And suddenly, confusingly, he winds up back at Elizabeth’s platform, making a giant convoluted loop.

The Vox are scattered, and Elizabeth and DeWitt make their way to a nearby building to make good their escape. But it’s not over — just when they are safe from the Vox, there’s a blast as Songbird explodes onto the scene. DeWitt is sent flying; he tries to fight Songbird off, trying to get his gun, but Songbird is huge and he’s easily overpowered. The creature rears back, ready to end DeWitt with its massive mechanical hands.

“I’m sorry!” Elizabeth shouts. Songbird turns to her, murderous rage quelled momentarily. “I’m sorry,” she says again. “I never should have left you.”

DeWitt lies helpless as Songbird scoops up Elizabeth, turns, and rushes back through the wall through which he had come. A second later, the Pinkerton agent is on his feet, running after them, and diving off the side of the platform in pursuit.

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