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BioShock Infinite artwork released

Bioshock has been a very popular game series, selling millions of copies across both the console and PC platforms. The upcoming title Bioshock Infinite isn’t due for release yet for some time, but Irrational are building some interest by releasing some information and imagery.

Some interesting information is already published on Wikipedia for the upcoming title.

The primary setting of BioShock Infinite is a city suspended in the air by giant blimps and balloons, called “Columbia”, named in homage to the “female personification” of the United States. Unlike the secret development of the underwater city of Rapture, Columbia was built and launched in 1900 by the American government to much fanfare and publicity. The city was meant to symbolize the ideas of exceptionalism; the reveal trailer for the game alludes to the 1893 Worlds Fair which is historically considered to be the emergence of American exceptionalism.

On the surface, Columbia appeared to be designed as a floating “Worlds Fair” that could travel across the globe; however, some time after its launch but before the game’s events, the city was revealed to be a well-armed battleship, and became involved in an “international incident”. The city was disavowed by the United States government, and the location of the city was soon lost to everyone else.

As a result of the city’s isolation, a civil war eventually broke out on Columbia between different factions of citizens, each trying to seize control of the city from the powers-that-be. At the time of the game’s events, only two main factions remain. One group are the Founders, the remnants of those retaining power over the city. This is the city’s ruling class, which seeks to keep Columbia purely for American citizens while denying foreigners the same privileges. The other is a group named Vox Populi (Latin for “voice of the people”), a rag-tag resistance group opposed to the ultranationalists. The Vox Populi is formed from several factions with similar ideologies that fought to seize control and restore the rights of Columbia citizenship to all. However, years of war and struggle have driven the Vox Populi to fight the powers-that-be solely out of blind hatred, resulting in more violent and brutal methods and leading to subfactions in the group.

The game takes place in 1912 and the player will take control of Booker DeWitt, a disgraced former agent of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency who was fired for unacceptable behaviour. He is then hired by unknown individuals and asked to rescue a young girl called Elizabeth who has been held aboard the air city for the last twelve years.

Though DeWitt finds Elizabeth easily enough, he quickly discovers that Elizabeth is central to the civil war raging in the city as each faction seeks to use Elizabeth to turn the tide of the conflict in their favor, forcing DeWitt and Elizabeth to trust each other in order to escape. To complicate matters, the pair is chased by Songbird, a large, robotic bird-like creature who had been Elizabeth’s friend and warden over the last twelve years of her imprisonment.

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