Levine: BioShock Infinite would only work as FPS

Irrational Games creative director Ken Levine says first-person perspective "gets you so close to the detail of the world"; BioShock 1 and 2 composer Garry Schyman returning for Infinite.

BioShock Infinite would only work as a first-person shooter, Irrational Games creative director Ken Levine said in a recent Reddit Ask Me Anything session. The designer was asked if the first-person perspective is well suited for the BioShock universe and he explained that this perspective allows for a more intimate level of detail.

"I love first person because it gets you so close to the detail of the world," Levine said. "[BioShock Infinite] wouldn't work in any other perspective."

Levine was also asked if there are any genres outside of first-person shooters that he would pursue in the future. He did not respond to this question.

Elsewhere in the AMA session, Levine revealed that original BioShock and BioShock 2 composer Garry Schyman is returning to create the music for BioShock Infinite. Levine teased that Schyman's score this time around is "very different" from the first two games, but at the same time "very much guided by the same aesthetic principles."

BioShock Infinite was delayed earlier this month and is now due March 26, 2013. For more, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

88 comments
thereal-15-cent
thereal-15-cent

I preffer 1st person. If games like Dead Space were FPS, they would be a lot scarier. As for Bioshock, I can't imagine what it would be like in 3rd person. I know most people associate the FPS genre with generic military shooters, but there are also games like Condemned, FEAR, Bioshock, Dishonored and Riddick.

muppen
muppen

So, that's a no on the Bioshock MMO then? Bummer.

megakick
megakick

first person you feel like your in the game. 3rd person you feel like your watching the game.

Marky360
Marky360

After reading most of the comments here it seems as though the fan base is split down the middle as to weather the game would be best played in 1st or 3rd person. I think the best thing for irrational to do would be to include both view-points that way everyones happy.

RonTorque
RonTorque

Gonna be one of my top 2013 games ever.

tgwolf
tgwolf

BALONEY, that's a stupid simpering excuse for refusing to address the games REAL issue and failure, and with that I am not referring to the creator's annoyingly nasal and whiny voice. The game suffers from content-corruption, which is plain to see because it's INTRINSIC elements are just fine, and Fallout has shown from a mechanical standpoint that such a game could be done as well from an other-than-FPS perspective! Fact is, I would like to see a shooter that was more like Fallout, obviously rating in the realms of decency in terms of rating and with a whole lot more flavor than a post-fallout...

BlueRaptor7
BlueRaptor7

Kind of a silly article. It's like saying Half-Life would only work as an FPS, or Diablo would only work with an isometric camera. 

vihazur
vihazur

What, no, I think it could make a great FPRPG, too :) 

rasputin177
rasputin177

Maybe I am weird but I find "First Person" to be less immersive then "Third Person". I like to be able to look at my characters and see the visual change as they progress through the game.

 

On a side note, I would love to see a debate betwee Levine and Roger Ebbert.

Zloth2
Zloth2

!?!?  FPS means First Person Shooter, not First Person Perspective.  Crazy headline.

gufberg
gufberg

People here are suffering from severe modern-military-shooter indoctrination.

 

This game isn't supposed to be realistic. 

This game isn't supposed to have a 3rd person view. 

 

why? 

Because this isn't about you shooting a bunch of guys up and feeling awesome. This is about emotionally investing yourself in a person (Elizabeth) and making you care about her. 

 

Secondly, this is about creating an alternate reality in order to deal with subjects of american exceptionalism, patriotism and the role of technology in society. It wants to challenge you on an intellectual level.

 

People who bitch about not having a 3rd person option 'due to animations' are missing the fucking point. This game isnt made for you to screw around in for some momentary self-gratification. 

Its an invitation to a strange and disturbing alternate reality. You better fucking respect that. 

MooncalfReviews
MooncalfReviews

I enjoyed switching between 3rd and 1st person on Skyrim and Bloodlines. I also enjoyed the level of detail still visible on Deus Ex, Red Dead, Mass Effect 2, and LA Noire. There are far more important things in a game than level of detail.

essam24
essam24

this game FPS from its start i don't think so, but if they made 3rdps they must make it great as the FPS .

Saketume
Saketume

When I complain about there being too many FPS games it's not because I dislike FPS games (I don't). What I'm complaining about is the fact that they are pretty much the same game over and over and over with little innovation in mechanics or storytelling.

 

I felt the same way about the constant snowboard games popping up on the Playstation for a while (or was it Playstation 2? I forgot).

 

This new Bioshock looks like a perfectly fine game from what I've seen so I have no problem with it whatsoever. It's not really the first person perspective that is the problem with the FPS genre.

Alucard_Prime
Alucard_Prime

Is it just me or is this game getting insane amounts of media coverage recently. Don't get me wrong it's a day 1 purchase for me, it's just something that I've noticed that's all. 

baszzer
baszzer

To all those who complain on today's FPSs... please.. this genre isn't about story, or the characters, it's all about the experience from the perspective, a First Person perspective. It's your attachment with whatever you're holding in your hand. Be it a gun, lipstick, or a crowbar. It's the familiarity with that object. Are protagonists in this genre supposed to have a fully functional voice, and to emote? No.. they should not. An FPS was made in order for YOU, the player to dictate the flow. Not the character you're playing. YOU are the player and therefore protagonists in FPSs should  remain blank like canvas in order for you to fill in the void of the character.

Kravyn81
Kravyn81

I think it depends on the game and how it's designed. After playing both BSs, I can't imagine playing those in third-person.

tgwolf
tgwolf

Saying that assumes, incorrectly, that the game works in the first place...NO, with all the M-content, THE GAME AIN'T GOING NOWHERE!

Homeless-_-
Homeless-_-

I agree with this statement, especially when there are so many generic, soulless fps games with no real purpose. And then you have Bioshock. I mean I love seeing my character and when i have the option to switch from third person to first. But it really wouldn't fit in Bioshock.

xophaser
xophaser

can't play fps, makes me dizzy. 

MVan86
MVan86

FP is definitely a great way to experience a game world - though in my opinion it works best with a mostly silent character we can experience the world through like a camera, rather than a more talkative and defined character.

Dredcrumb9
Dredcrumb9

This game looks like it may be the first to steal the throne of best FPS campaign ever from Goldeney 64 and Perfect Dark 64.

1valiantknight
1valiantknight

 @Marky360 That would require A LOT of work on Irrationals part. I love 3rd and 1st person games and I have always liked it when in a 3rd person game if you can choose to go 1st person to look around. But adding the ability to play the entire game from either perspective is going over board. The entire game is based around the player experiencing the adventure in first person from the protagonists perspective. 

1valiantknight
1valiantknight

 @tgwolf Your kidding right? The third person perspective in Fallout is terrible. It's only good for looking at your character when you get new armor and seeing your character in turn based combat. For actually moving around the environment and combat in real time, the 3rd person view is hugely inferior, in Fallout anyway not in general.

 

In Skyrim the 3rd person view is improved but still far inferior to the 1st person view. Again it's best used to see how your character looks and not much more. In order for a 3rd person perspective to work the game has to be designed to work that way from the ground up. Like in Uncharted, Dark Sector or Gears of War.

 

In short for a game to work in both 1st and 3rd person an equal amount of time has to be put into both ways of playing. I have yet to see a game achieve this level of quality in both. Some games have come closer than others, but thus far any game allowing for both perspectives has had one perspective that is less apt than the other.

 

In conclusion if adding a 3rd person view to Bioshock Infinite means floaty looking and feeling movement and poor 3rd person animations, I'd rather not have it at all, it would only detract from the over all experience.

 

I'm not saying I wouldn't like to have the option. I would, as long as it is done properly. However there just isn't enough reason for Irrational to put that much time and resources into adding a 3rd person perspective. And if you think it wouldn't take a lot of time and resources, if you think it would be easy. You are very very mistaken. 

guitardude1243
guitardude1243

 @tgwolf Confused how anyone could infer the sound of Ken Levine's voice factors into a games "REAL issue and failure."

JodileGamers
JodileGamers

 @Zloth2 FPS means First Person Shooter, but he's talking about the perspective of FPS

Marky360
Marky360

 @gufberg

 I think your missing the reason some ppl myself included want a 3rd-person perspective. For me 3rd-person is more engaging then 1st-person especially when your doing actions other then just shooting much like you will be doing in this game. the 1st-person perspective leads to this deceptive perception that this is a 1st-person action shooter because the 1st-person perspective is best suited for shooting most ppl understand that this game is more then just shooting and ppl feel that it's not suited for the 1st-person perspective. 

The_Last_Paladi
The_Last_Paladi

 @baszzer I disagree fully on your opinion of what you believe FPS should be.  Granted, it can be exactly all of those things, but to say that is the oly thing it should be is the reason why people find FPS to be stale as they are.  If it wasn't, for example, the fantastic storyline of the Bioshock series, this would simply be just another FPS on the market that I would not be paying attention to.

MooncalfReviews
MooncalfReviews

 @baszzer Speaking as the character, then, I'd like to actually speak as the character. Thanks! :D

KeviNOlighT
KeviNOlighT

 @baszzer The genre isn't about story or the characters? I really think that those and everything that makes the game depends on the type of game and experience intended.

Marky360
Marky360

 @00J

 I don't know that this games going to fail but I do believe that it won't do as well as they expect and it may undersell a bit. I think it's going to be do to the 1st-person perspective that Mr.Levine is so deadset on using even though many ppl complained that it should have been in 3rd. Alot of ppl are going to see this as just another action 1st-person shooter and pass because of that.

mutley89
mutley89

 @xophaser I can relate to that, depends how frantic the action is, some are worse than others.

LightEffect
LightEffect

 @MVan86 I agree with the silent character, voice coming from your character while still in first person works but is a little weird, better if it pulls out into a cutscene.

Marky360
Marky360

@Dredcrumb9

I don't know about that but I know for sure it won't touch best FPS weapons that one will be Perfect Dark's forever as they had some of the best guns ever in a video game

brok
brok

 @Dredcrumb9 I doubt it. Somehow I think we've moved away from the ability to craft a story as addictive. Deus Ex, though....

Dredcrumb9
Dredcrumb9

 @Marky360  @gufberg go play a 3rd person game than. I have fun with 3rd person and 1st person games. I don't see why Bioshock would ever be 3rd person, Bioshock was always about adventuring through a fucked up world through the eyes of a first person view.

Zloth2
Zloth2

 @Marky360  @gufberg

 If somebody thinks this is some sort of shooter because it's in the first person then that somebody is going to get a well-deserved shock.  There have been first person RPGs since the 80's (Alternate Reality).

wexorian
wexorian

 @brok  @Dredcrumb9 You had not played Half life seems if you say That Crap Story liek Deus EX had, Original  Deus Had better story also.

Marky360
Marky360

 @Dredcrumb9  @gufberg

 Yea I will go play a 3rd-person game I plan on buying Fuse next year as it looks to be a really interesting game this one looks like it could be interesting but hindard by the 1st-person perspective

Marky360
Marky360

@Zloth2

LOL okay thankyou for your kindness

Zloth2
Zloth2

 @Marky360  @ImpliedBunny

 Hmmm, well clearly your brain is working quite a bit differently than mine, Marky.  I'm afraid I'm going to have to persecute you now...

 

Oh bother it - it's New Years.  I'll let it pass this time.  But next time you'll be burned at the stake!  (umm, unless it's too hot out, of course) ;)

Marky360
Marky360

 @ImpliedBunny  @Zloth2

 Yea but 1st-person never gives me that immersive feeling it always feels disjointed because of small things like that lack of a peripheral view or the fact that the main characters hands are out in front where mine are firmly planted to the controller or the fact that the main characters name is different from mine yet everyone keeps calling me by it. FPS games just never immerse me in a world the way 3rd-person sshooters do. Not to mention that actions in FPS games other then shooting look wierd like platforming or climbing and especially melee. overall the 1st-person perspective is horrible and abosolutely nothing like real life and does a terrible job at trying to immetate real life.

ImpliedBunny
ImpliedBunny

 @Marky360  @Zloth2 but i think he means the first person perspective draws you into the story more, because you ARE the character, not controlling the character.  you wouldnt want to go through real life in third person.  it is all about immersion in the gameworld.

Marky360
Marky360

@Zloth2

I agree ppl buying this game expecting it to be your run of the mill shooter will definitely be surprised and I believe pleasantly so I just feel that this game would perform better in the 3rd-person perspective.