A few ideas to make the new Bioshock game the best yet
Irrational Games may be no more, but the beloved Bioshock series lives on. Speaking to investors earlier this week, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick reiterated that Bioshock is a “permanent franchise” for the publisher and that a new game is in development. Exactly what form that game takes is anyone’s guess.
There have been three Bioshock games to date. The first two focused on the underwater objectivist utopia of Rapture, while the most recent chapter spotlighted Columbia, a city in the clouds founded on the ideals American exceptionalism. Ken Levine, the director of the first and third games, is also out of the picture, so a fourth game could build on what’s come before or take a completely new direction. Either way, here are four things we’d like to see the new Bioshock game.
4. New Setting
With the Bioshock games only spanning two settings, it’s up for debate exactly what a “Bioshock locale.” Though most gamers associate the franchise with the city of Rapture (and Infinite’s Burial at Sea DLC even went back there), Infinite’s Columbia showed that a Bioshock game can work just about anywhere as long as it embraces themes of historical upheaval and ambiguous morality.
At one point in development, Infinite was set to take place in the Renaissance, so it’s possible that 2K would pursue that setting in the new Bioshock game. There are also more exotic possibilities. If 2K keeps with the idea of exploring 20th century American movements to their dark conclusions, the company could pursue a game based on America’s flirtations with fascism in the ’30s, or maybe McCarthyism in the ’50s. A fascist American government with vast underground cities would be a novel setting for a game. Or maybe they could get a little goofy with some sort of eccentric ’60s hippie commune that built a space station for a game that explores the ethical hazards of space-age technology.
3. Better Combat
So Bioshock was never meant to be the next Call of Duty or Halo. The fact remains that by the time Infinite rolled around, the slow feel of the controls and atrocious melee combat were seriously showing their age. Just speeding up movement would be a big help here. Also, given the role technology has played in previous Bioshock games, there’s no reason that the developers can’t include more (and better) weapons, or even a large variety of futuristic laser or plasma guns. If the new Bioshock game features more of Infinite’s time-traveling hijinks, then there’s really no reason for it to include more modern weapons to tear apart a world stuck in the past.
2. More Unique Plasmids
The Bioshock games have been rightfully praised for the plasmids and tonics that give the player the ability to wield the power of the elements against enemies. Plasmids are a lot of fun in Bioshock (they control a lot better than the guns and melee weapons), but most of them aren’t terribly unique in the gaming world. Games where you can shoot fire or electricity out of your hands are literally dime-a-dozen.
The new Bioshock needs to think outside the box with new abilities that have been rarely used in games to truly feel innovative. A plasmid that lets you control gravity would be welcome (especially since there’s no new Half-Life game in sight), or maybe an ability to pause time and rearrange a couple enemies to more advantageous positions, like putting a couple grenadiers right next to a Big Daddy to take out all three of them simultaneously.
1. Maybe Not An FPS
In 2011, soon after the Playstation Vita was announced, Ken Levine told the world that an original Bioshock game would be coming to Sony’s handheld. Unfortunately, Sony and 2K were never able to come to deal to make that happen, though Levine has since revealed that the game would have been a strategy-RPG set in pre-fall Rapture, not unlike Final Fantasy Tactics. That’s a tantalizing idea with a lot of possibilities that excite Bioshock fans.
Even though the three previous Bioshock games were first-person shooters, there’s no reason that the new Bioshock game has to follow that formula. If 2K insists on setting the new game in Rapture, it could still spice things up by finally making that strategy game a reality, or possibly pursuing a third-person RPG that truly makes the world of Rapture come alive.