7 Things We Learned From the BioShock Infinite "Beasts of America" Trailer


Posted October 24, 2012 - By Jake Gaskill

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Irrational Games delighted BioShock fans everywhere this week by releasing a stunning, action-packed new trailer for its eagerly awaited BioShock Infinite. The new "Beasts of America" video revealed entirely new footage, introducing us to new locations, enemies, gameplay elements, and the extremely violent side of Columbia. As is customary with such a detail-filled trailer like this one, we have broken out a few of the trailer's juicier reveals and compiled the following easily digestible list of some of the key things we learned (after piecing our brains back together that is). Enjoy!

7 Things We Learned From the BioShock Infinite

1. Welcome to Columbia

It’s hard to say if the opening shot of Booker in a dingy riding through a rain storm on his (and whoever is in the boat with him, maybe Elizabeth?) way to a foreboding lighthouse is the opening sequence of the game, but it’s obviously a direct reference to the opening of the first BioShock wherein we see Jack on a plane looking at a package and a picture of his “family” just before the plane crashes. Whether it’s the beginning or the end, either way it’s the perfect way to get BioShock fanatics like myself jazzed and chomping at the bit to see more.

And taking a closer look at Booker’s box-o-plot-teasing-items we can see pictures of Elizabeth, a postcard for Monument Island, a piece of paper that appears to be a ticket of some kind from New York City, a couple gold balls (which also look a little like cufflinks), a super quick peak at what could be Booker’s Pinkerton badge, a slick Luger, and a key with an image of a cage (Songbird reference perhaps?) on it. Talk about a “boat load” of stories, huh?

7 Things We Learned From the BioShock Infinite

2. Oh, the places you'll see

Monument Island is referenced several times in the opening shots of the trailer, suggesting that it will either be a kind of hub area where players will be spending a good portion of their time, or it’s just one of the first locations in the game. Some other equally eye-catching settings include the New Jersey boardwalk-inspired Battleship Bay, Hotel Soldiers Field, The (can’t read the name) Aerodrome, Finkerton Whark Shipping Dock, a creepy temple with people dressed in white robes surrounded by candles, and even a delightful soda shop. Spoiler: I will enjoy exploring all of these places.

7 Things We Learned From the BioShock Infinite

3. Before the fall

One of my biggest hopes for BioShock 2 was that at least a good portion of the beginning would be set before Rapture’s collapse (I fully blame Half-Life for instilling in me this desire to watch my surroundings transform from peaceful and somewhat mundane to chaotic). I wanted to see Andrew Ryan’s underwater metropolis in all its vibrant and deco-y glory, and be able to witness the revolution that led to its downfall first hand. Assuming scenes like the one above aren’t simply going to appear in the game as some sort of pre-game montage, it would appear my wish for B2 will come true in Infinite.

7 Things We Learned From the BioShock Infinite

4. Elizabeth gets a makeover?

There has been quite a bit of discussion about the…buxomness of Elizabeth ever since the very first reveal trailer for Infinite. It was never made entirely clear why her design was so…bosomy. I always assumed it had something to do with her imprisonment, ala slave Leia), but it would appear that there has been some tweaking done to her appearance, her face and outfit from the looks of it, which I actually kind of dig. Again, there’s always a chance that we’re seeing her at a different point in the new trailer than we did in the previous ones. There’s actually a point where she tosses Booker a shotgun and it appears to be the model seen in other videos, so I don’t really know what the final design will end up being. Perhaps a mixture of both?

7 Things We Learned From the BioShock Infinite

5. Nice to meet/kill you!

We had previously been introduced to a number of Infinite’s “Heavy Hitters,” and while a couple of them appear in the new trailer, there are also a couple new faces added to the enemy roster.

  • The fire-spewing, walking boiler room-esque brute looks particularly gnarly (wonder if there’s an ice plasmid to calm down those flames), and it would seem that keeping your distance from this dude is the way to go.
  • The middle guy is just one of what appears to be several variations of “standard” troops players can expect to encounter. This model--with the gasmask, white boots, and puffy pants--is one of the more “realistic” in that it takes some clear inspiration from World War 1 styles, which makes sense since the game is set around the turn of the 20th century.
  • The third enemy seems like either the guy you kill to get the Murder of Crows elixir or just some awesomely gothic, crow-loving psychopath with a coffin strapped to his back. Either way, he’s a nightmarish figure who I’m going to shoot several more times than will be necessary just to make sure he doesn’t spring back to life and make me jump through the ceiling.

7 Things We Learned From the BioShock Infinite

6. Plasmi…I mean, vigors in action!

Aside from the previously mentioned Murder of Crows (which makes another appearance here, showing that Booker's hand sprouts feathers and his fingers turn into claws when the vigor is deployed), we haven’t really seen Booker’s others powers on display. In this trailer, there are several scenes showing off some new yet familiar supercharged abilities. Electricity is obviously back, but now you can see what look to be crystals or rocks of some kind protruding from Booker’s hand when he lets the sparks fly. There’s also a moment where we watch as Booker’s hands melt to the bone, which may or may not be a hallucination or simply a horrendously graphic introduction to the fire vigor.

Side note: The above sequence also shows off Columbia’s modified version of the security turrets seen in Rapture, which are now turret-mounted robot soldiers. For a couple seconds you can even see the all too familiar red glow shining out of the bot’s eyes as he scans for targets. I sure am going to miss those little chairs when I’m staring down the barrel of that cannon.

7 Things We Learned From the BioShock Infinite

7. Skyhooks aren’t just for skylines

We knew that those nifty Skyhooks wouldn’t only be used to zip around Columbia’s aerial transit system, but here we get to see some of those other uses in action. The first is an almost unwatchable demonstration of what looks to be a Columbia police officer having his face torn apart by the business end of a Skyhook being wielded by another cop (who I’m guessing suspected the other officer of being a traitor or just felt like demonstrating in the most horrific way possible just how versatile the Skyhook truly is). In the second scene, Booker latches onto a freestanding hook, allowing himself to hang and take out a nearby enemy in the process. This suggests that Booker will have even more mobility and traversal options than we previous expected.

Side note on the second pic: We can see very clearly that Booker has the letters “AD” scarred on his right hand, and it’s on his hand from the very beginning of the trailer (and perhaps even the game). After looking back over the other gameplay videos, this looks to be the first appearance of the scar, so unless, like Elizabeth’s “new design,” it’s merely a narrative timeline scenario, this “AD” business was a fairly recent addition. I’m just glad it wasn’t “AR,” so as to keep the “See?! Told Infinite was tied into the other games!” business to a minimum. It’s still quite a head scratcher though.

Despite all the turmoil and changes that have occured over at Irrational Games over the past few months, after seeing the game in action after such a long hiatus has me as excited as ever to see how this wild, wild vision comes together. And if you spotted anything in the trailer that I might have missed, definitely share in the comments section.

Have a tip, suggestion, or personal philosophy you'd like to share? Then feel free to E-Mail me, or follow me on Twitter.

7 Things We Learned From the BioShock Infinite "Beasts of America" Trailer


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