E3 06: BioShock Preshow Report

BioShock is back in the spotlight as developer Irrational Games settles down under new ownership. Get the details about this highly anticipated follow-up to System Shock 2 in our E3 2006 preshow report.

Earlier this year, developer Irrational Games was purchased by publishing giant 2K Games. News of the acquisition renewed the anticipation for one of the development studio's projects: BioShock. After poor sales of Tribes: Vengeance in late 2004 soured a deal between Irrational and then-publisher Vivendi, the BioShock project seemed to be put on hold. But now that the team is under new ownership, it looks like BioShock is once again back in the spotlight.

Ken Levine of Irrational Games mentioned in January that the BioShock project is about 50 percent complete. Despite that, details about the game are still scant, and it's been close to two years since any real information has been revealed. Thus far, even the platform the game will appear on is a mystery, with the only information being that it will appear on the PC and "next-gen" consoles.

So far we know that BioShock is being developed as a spiritual successor to the fan-favorite System Shock 2 for the PC. While the game doesn't tie in directly with the System Shock series, it will contain some similar themes and gameplay elements. The game takes place in a decrepit, abandoned laboratory where all manner of horrifying, failed biotechnology experiments haunt the halls. It's up to you to explore the facility and ultimately figure out how to put an end to these gruesome experiments. The game takes place from a first-person perspective and blends elements of combat, exploration, and role-playing.

The concept artwork shows off the creepy atmosphere the game is attempting to create. The images show a lot of blood-spattered hallways strewn with corpses and bullet casings to create a sense of disarray that's offset by eerily well-preserved pieces of mid-20th century artwork and furniture.

BioShock is currently scheduled for a 2007 release, and we're hoping to get more details on the game at E3 this year, so be sure to check back for updates.

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