Irrational Games’ Ken Levine has shed some light on the lack of a multiplayer mode in the studio’s upcoming FPS – Bioshock Infinite. Levine revealed in an interview with IGN that the multiplayer game mode was mostly an experiment that couldn’t be finished in time for the release date.
"We look at this way: we play around with a ton of things," Levine told IGN. "So much of it is experimental that you really have no idea... In a game like this, where we start this thing and we’re like 'okay, it’s in a flying city in 1912 and you're this guy and there's this girl who can change the nature of reality,' you don’t quite have a lot of guidelines to go with. We probably tried 40 different versions of [Songbird] before we found the right one."
Multiplayer was a risky experiment
"So, like everything, you try certain things, and the multiplayer, we got to a point where we said 'okay, this is the you-know-what or get off the pot moment,' and we decided to get off the pot because it wasn't there yet. But that makes it sound like I'm dissing on what the guys did. No. Actually, I think they did some really extraordinary stuff, but we felt we didn't have the resources and time to finish the experiment to the level we wanted to. And we weren't going to ship something that was not consistent with the overall package."
That makes the modes sound pretty mysterious, but Levine isn't talking about what exactly set them apart from the average multiplayer shooter. He declined to elaborate, saying that "you never know when we'll go back and revisit something. There was some really cool stuff there, but it just wasn't ready for what we were doing."
Levine had revealed that the game would not have multiplayer back in November through a tweet. The tweet by Levine was an answer to a fan asking, "can you clear up whether or not Bioshock Infinite will have multiplayer modes?" Levine responded with a simple "Nope".
The lack of multiplayer in the next game ensures that the company will spend development effort on the single player campaign. This gives the promise of a much more polished experience than we would get if multiplayer mode was to take up development time.
BioShock Infinite is the third game in the BioShock series and is set in 1912 in the sky-city of Colombia, “designed to demonstrate to the world by example the founding democratic principles of the United States, the product of American ideals, endeavor and industry,” according to the description of the game. The city, on its arrival to China, showed its true colours when it turned out to be heavily armed and bombarded a group of Chinese civilians. The government has disowned Colombia and has caused the floating city to go rogue.
The player steps into the shoes of Booker DeWitt, charged with the task of retrieving a woman named Elizabeth who has been trapped in the city since she was five years old. The task is difficult for reasons other than lack of information, as there is a civil war taking place in the city between two factions called the Founders – who are the xenophobic ruling class – and the Vox Populi – a terrorist group that fights out of blind hatred. Both the factions believe that Elizabeth is the key to winning the conflict, which will create further problems for the hero.
The first two BioShock games take place in the underwater city of Rapture. In the first game, the player takes on the role of Jack, who discovers the underwater city after his plane crashes near one of the entrances. Rapture is an Objectivist utopia built by Andrew Ryan and has descended into chaos after the residents got their hands on ADAM – a substance that gives you the ability to use plasmids. Jack has to stop Andrew Ryan and his army of splicers so he can escape from the city.