Bioshock Infinite Catch-All

More updates from Kotaku, and depending on your perspective, it can be good or bad news, if true.

In 2010, Levine told Kotaku that multiplayer wasn't guaranteed to be in the game, but in May of this year, job listings at Irrational hinted that the studio was in fact working on a multiplayer component. Two of our sources confirm that was indeed the case. In fact, Irrational placed a large internal emphasis on multiplayer, at least partly in an effort to keep BioShock Infinite from being traded in to used game stores as quickly as the first (single-player-only) BioShock was. Irrational went through two potential multiplayer modes for Infinite, both of which were eventually cancelled. (We're unclear on whether any multiplayer modes remain.)

The first mode involved players being miniaturized and placed into an old-timey arcade machine, where they would fight against waves of enemy toys that would roll out on tracks. It was essentially a cooperative tower defense game, but it never worked; the decision was made to can it so that the multiplayer team could focus on a second co-op mode.

That mode, internally dubbed "Spec-Ops," was similar to the Spec-Ops mode in the most recent two Call of Duty: Modern Warfare games. In it, four players would cooperatively work their way through levels lifted from the single-player game. The mode wasn't working, however, and some of the multiplayer team was taken off of it and tasked with getting the 2011 E3 demo into shape. The Spec-Ops multiplayer mode has since been canned, and it's possible that despite Irrational's initial multiplayer mandate, BioShock Infinite will ship as a single-player-only game. Levine declined to comment on those specific multiplayer modes, but said, "As I've always said we are experimenting with things, and only if they are good enough will we put them in the game."

Personally, I'm perfectly OK with there being no multiplayer for BI.

So am I. I like the atmosphere and style of Bioshock Infinite, so far... Hopefully it won't get messed up by trying to force multi-player on everyone.

(Still a little torqued about ME3. I bought that on release day and then didn't touch it for 3 months out of disgust. I wish all the MP folks out there the best, but every time I've put money down on that kind of game, it's been $$ flushed down the toilet. )

Yep. And I actually like the fact that they're willing to say it wasn't working.

No multiplayer means that I might actually buy it. Never did play Bioshock 2.

Given previous experiences, I think I'd prefer separate releases for SP and MP given how it's turned out in a lot of games. Make both of them full featured games I want to buy on their own merits, rather than one hanging on the other's coat-tails (and *shock is known for single player).

The other factor which may or may not be true, but we'll never know because it's internal information is how resources are allocated to each side of the game, and there's always the feeling that one side is stealing from the other, I guess partially because I really doubt game companies are so good willed and altruistic to give us in one game what they could sell in two, especially if it cost them more to do.

Playing through SS2, I'd say my bigger fear than all that though is that BI is just retreading old ground again with a new theme over the top. I guess my wish is that I never think "This is the .... bit", as much as that's possible within that *shock template.

It's a little bit worrisome in the grand scheme of things that a AAA game has to have MP to be considered a success. Reading articles about MP essentially being jammed in and possibly delaying the project is really disheartening.

Yeah, I wish they would invest the money they would have to dump into a MP mode into a Vita version instead. Are they still doing that?

tuffalobuffalo wrote:

Yeah, I wish they would invest the money they would have to dump into a MP mode into a Vita version instead. Are they still doing that?

The Vita game Ken's talked about is a different game in the BioShock universe. He's also stated that proper development of that won't start until Infinite 'srelease, if it even happens. The Vita is dead, after all. Haven't you heard? >_>

DSGamer wrote:

Reading articles about MP essentially being jammed in and possibly delaying the project is really disheartening.

Is there anything that's stated MP specifically delayed the project? The Kotaku piece impliedthey were wrestling with other issues in the single-player design even though they were showing some really impressive, albeit canned, demos.

BadKen wrote:

No multiplayer means that I might actually buy it. Never did play Bioshock 2.

You missed such a good game - even without the MP. I highly recommend on next steam sale picking it up!

shoptroll wrote:
DSGamer wrote:

Reading articles about MP essentially being jammed in and possibly delaying the project is really disheartening.

Is there anything that's stated MP specifically delayed the project? The Kotaku piece impliedthey were wrestling with other issues in the single-player design even though they were showing some really impressive, albeit canned, demos.

It certainly appears to be that way. And that they were doing the MP solely to combat used games.

In fact, Irrational placed a large internal emphasis on multiplayer, at least partly in an effort to keep BioShock Infinite from being traded in to used game stores as quickly as the first (single-player-only) BioShock was. Irrational went through two potential multiplayer modes for Infinite, both of which were eventually cancelled. (We're unclear on whether any multiplayer modes remain.)

Double posting for double-dislike of MP in Skyoshock.

DSGamer wrote:

It certainly appears to be that way. And that they were doing the MP solely to combat used games.

Well you can certainly have a second team working on the multiplayer without holding up the rest of the game.

Personally I would prefer additional story-based DLC over MP. Even if it's ancillary to the main plot.

cyrax wrote:
tuffalobuffalo wrote:

Yeah, I wish they would invest the money they would have to dump into a MP mode into a Vita version instead. Are they still doing that?

The Vita game Ken's talked about is a different game in the BioShock universe. He's also stated that proper development of that won't start until Infinite 'srelease, if it even happens. The Vita is dead, after all. Haven't you heard? >_>

I missed the memo on that one. What am I gonna do with this brick now? I would love it if they did some sort of weird Bioshock game that isn't necessarily an FPS and takes advantage of the Vita. I really don't know what it would be, but it could be cool.

tuffalobuffalo wrote:
cyrax wrote:
tuffalobuffalo wrote:

Yeah, I wish they would invest the money they would have to dump into a MP mode into a Vita version instead. Are they still doing that?

The Vita game Ken's talked about is a different game in the BioShock universe. He's also stated that proper development of that won't start until Infinite 'srelease, if it even happens. The Vita is dead, after all. Haven't you heard? >_>

I missed the memo on that one. What am I gonna do with this brick now? I would love it if they did some sort of weird Bioshock game that isn't necessarily an FPS and takes advantage of the Vita. I really don't know what it would be, but it could be cool.

A side scrolling Bioshock?

A Bioshock adventure RPG?

Bioshock: Dating Sim

Big Sister: What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Big Daddy: Drillin' stuff.

Play to the studio's experience: a Bioshock tactical strategy game in the vein of Freedom Force.

tuffalobuffalo wrote:

Bioshock: Dating Sim

Big Sister: What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Big Daddy:MRRASRRARGGGHLAARGHLAAAAAUUUGGGHH

FTFY

BadKen wrote:

No multiplayer means that I might actually buy it. Never did play Bioshock 2.

Bioshock 2 was a good game, as was the Minerva's Den DLC. The main game takes a bit to get rolling, but ramps up pretty high. I don't see why you'd need to skip something just because it includes something you have no interest in. I never touched MP.

MannishBoy wrote:
BadKen wrote:

No multiplayer means that I might actually buy it. Never did play Bioshock 2.

Bioshock 2 was a good game, as was the Minerva's Den DLC. The main game takes a bit to get rolling, but ramps up pretty high. I don't see why you'd need to skip something just because it includes something you have no interest in. I never touched MP.

Because I don't want to support studios tacking on multiplayer for reasons other than making a great multiplayer game in the first place. Bioshock is not a multiplayer experience, multiplayer doesn't belong in it, and I don't like the fact that they wasted time and money on multiplayer that could have gone toward a better or at least more expanded single player experience. I don't care if it was a completely different team or a different studio - it still cost time and money, and that time and money could have been used to make a game experience that I would enjoy.

Same reason I'll probably never play Mass Effect 3. I don't want my dollars going to those kinds of games.

I feel you BadKen, that's why I don't buy Reese's, because peanut butter does not belong in my chocolate!! ;p

BadKen wrote:
MannishBoy wrote:
BadKen wrote:

No multiplayer means that I might actually buy it. Never did play Bioshock 2.

Bioshock 2 was a good game, as was the Minerva's Den DLC. The main game takes a bit to get rolling, but ramps up pretty high. I don't see why you'd need to skip something just because it includes something you have no interest in. I never touched MP.

Because I don't want to support studios tacking on multiplayer for reasons other than making a great multiplayer game in the first place. Bioshock is not a multiplayer experience, multiplayer doesn't belong in it, and I don't like the fact that they wasted time and money on multiplayer that could have gone toward a better or at least more expanded single player experience. I don't care if it was a completely different team or a different studio - it still cost time and money, and that time and money could have been used to make a game experience that I would enjoy.

Same reason I'll probably never play Mass Effect 3. I don't want my dollars going to those kinds of games.

I can understand you feeling that there should have been no loss of focus on the single player, but I can't agree it was wasted as I thought they did create an excellent multiplayer, maybe most importantly a multiplayer that had a unique feel that I found myself picking up when I wasn't in the mood to focus the way you have to with other multiplayer shooters. I was pleasantly surprised by how glad I was that they had a multiplayer in Bioshock 2, and didn't feel it was tacked on at all.

When people say X is not Y and should never be Z. I can't help but feel sorry for them and their very narrow outlook on things...I also extrapolate it to all sorts of other things that are far worse and thus a monster is born.

Just saying.

BadKen wrote:
MannishBoy wrote:
BadKen wrote:

No multiplayer means that I might actually buy it. Never did play Bioshock 2.

Bioshock 2 was a good game, as was the Minerva's Den DLC. The main game takes a bit to get rolling, but ramps up pretty high. I don't see why you'd need to skip something just because it includes something you have no interest in. I never touched MP.

Because I don't want to support studios tacking on multiplayer for reasons other than making a great multiplayer game in the first place. Bioshock is not a multiplayer experience, multiplayer doesn't belong in it, and I don't like the fact that they wasted time and money on multiplayer that could have gone toward a better or at least more expanded single player experience. I don't care if it was a completely different team or a different studio - it still cost time and money, and that time and money could have been used to make a game experience that I would enjoy.

Same reason I'll probably never play Mass Effect 3. I don't want my dollars going to those kinds of games.

Where does that stop? I won't buy an Xbox because studios sometimes put Madden games on there that I have no interest in?

(BTW, ME3 has fun multiplayer. Surprisingly fun. And it makes you better at the single player game if you spend a bit of time with it.)

TheGameguru wrote:

When people say X is not Y and should never be Z. I can't help but feel sorry for them and their very narrow outlook on things...I also extrapolate it to all sorts of other things that are far worse and thus a monster is born.

Just saying.

Really? I generally don't like online multiplayer games. Mostly because I am old and my reflexes are sh*t. So that means I have a very narrow outlook on things? A plethora of colorful retorts present themselves. I think I'll just not comment further on that because I don't want to get banned from the site.

Every year there are more multiplayer games and less exclusively single player games, and that makes me sad.

I think his point is more that good single player gaming and multiplayer features are not mutually exclusive. I'm inclined to agree. The Assassin's Creed MP seemed like a silly tacked on feature until I actually tried it, and now I eagerly look forward to it each year.

nel e nel wrote:

I feel you BadKen, that's why I don't buy Reese's, because peanut butter does not belong in my chocolate!! ;p

Now THAT'S just crazy! You are a monster.

Blind_Evil wrote:

I think his point is more that good single player gaming and multiplayer features are not mutually exclusive. I'm inclined to agree. The Assassin's Creed MP seemed like a silly tacked on feature until I actually tried it, and now I eagerly look forward to it each year.

Another good example.

nel e nel wrote:

I feel you BadKen, that's why I don't buy Reese's, because peanut butter does not belong in my chocolate!! ;p

Legumiscegenation!!

I also really enjoyed Bioshock 2's multiplayer mode. It had its issues, as all multiplayer systems do, but it didn't feel superfluous. It was a fun multiplayer experience.

BadKen, I'm genuinely curious: how do you decide when a multiplayer component has been tacked on and when it was intentionally and meaningfully crafted? Is it the quality of the final experience? Media reports about development? Your own gut?

Hell, even with Bioshock Infinite, press reports are assuming multiplayer is being added to stem used game sales, but isn't Ken Levine also a big Call of Duty fan? Maybe he just wants multiplayer because he likes it.