Tears: Windows Into Other Worlds

by IG.Chris on June 23 2011

43 comments

Our series of BioShock Infinite video featurettes continues as creative director Ken Levine explains the “tears” that litter the world of Columbia–and Elizabeth’s power to manipulate them.

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And head over to the BioShock Infinite official website for three new screenshots from the upcoming gameplay demo.

Avatar Image Posted this June 23 2011 06:55 pm, under Insider
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  • bioshockways | June 23, 2011 6:59 pm

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    Nice !

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  • juan29zapata | June 23, 2011 7:00 pm

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    JESUS CHRIST. That’s amazing! Send my congratulations to the entire IG staff for such a great preview. Now I wonder how great the new gameplay demo will be.

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  • batchick21 | June 23, 2011 7:27 pm

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    Phenomenal, I can’t wait to play this game. Everything looks so different and unique from anything I’ve ever seen in a video game!

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  • huffenstein | June 23, 2011 7:34 pm

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    FREAKING SWEET!!!!!!! I can’t wait for this game!

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  • warsmith13 | June 23, 2011 7:40 pm

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    one word: AMAZING!! god i cant wait for that demo!

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  • felonious | June 23, 2011 7:43 pm

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    Another great video, next up the video of the award winning gameplay demo!

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  • albto | June 23, 2011 8:02 pm

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    Mind = Blown!

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  • lustrick | June 23, 2011 8:06 pm

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    Very interesting, this looks like it really won’t just be a new environment but allow for entirely new play styles in how we go about the game ^_^

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  • t.j.bandla | June 23, 2011 9:38 pm

    Wow —– really deep in-game options. Can’t WAIT!!!!

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  • jub8jub | June 23, 2011 9:45 pm

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    Are you trying to blow my mind.

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  • chrisredfield | June 23, 2011 11:21 pm

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    Did anyone else just jizz in their pants?

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  • japester | June 23, 2011 11:49 pm

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    Everyone is missing the TRUE genius of this. The IG crew have taken some of the most common complaints about graphics–tearing and texture pop-ins–and made them part of the gaming experience! LOL! “We meant to do that.” ;-D

    It’s probably already been postulated elsewhere on the forums, but this makes me think the “Infinite” in the title refers to the infinite possibilities of infinite dimensions. All accessible by Elizabeth.

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  • alexanderquinn | June 24, 2011 3:10 am

    Omg did you all see what Movie was gonna play in the backround XD hahaha Return of the Jedi!!! haha this game is gonna be fkn amazing just by how it works!!!! Beauitful!

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  • justincavnor | June 24, 2011 3:19 am

    I dunno why but I always read tears as crying tears and not tears as in ripping and now even though I know its tears as in the ripping kind I always see it first of as the crying type. Kinda like the way I look at Subject Delta and only see Bomberman.

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  • number47 | June 24, 2011 6:07 am

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    Erm, dare I oppose the massive patting IG on the back that is going on in this thread?
    Well I am not convinced about this game mechanic!!!

    To me it definately shows the limitations on creating (truly) emergent gameplay in videogames, the limitation of course being content creation.

    Great, my companion (Elisabeth) can reach in to other version of the universe and pull things in to help Booker, but there are only three choices? This clearly contradicts the Infinite part of the title. Infinite worlds, infinite possibilities, but only three choices when opening tears. I know that creating infinite possiblities is impossible in videogames (yet), but when the limitations are so glaringly put on display it puts me off.

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    • japester | June 24, 2011 7:20 am

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      Not to nitpick, but emergent gameplay doesn’t refer to the number of variables (ie, tears) or their complexity per se, but rather the complex ways they can be combined or used. You can build emergent gameplay using a small number of simple variables, if done correctly.

      But I think I get your concern about the tears. Now, if each tear produces an obvious outcome (or maybe a clear Outcome A or Outcome B), then it might seem limiting to only have a few. But what if tears are less predictable than that? You could have just one tear that produces a variety of outcomes. Didn’t Ken say that a tear showing a doorway could allow Vox troops in, or Founder troops, or maybe an escape route? Each outcome could drastically alter the current situation enough to produce near infinite results all by itself. Now add in a couple more tears with equally unpredictable results….and it gets interesting. ;-)

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    • felonious | June 24, 2011 2:46 pm

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      Well cycling through 20 different options in real time wouldn’t exactly work would it? You would get your ass kicked by whatever your fighting by choice 5. It’s not going to be the same 3 options every time, rather different options at different places. As Japester said, a doorway could yield a variety of results.

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  • carleyquinn | June 24, 2011 2:45 pm

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    I’m just floored by the attention to detail in these games, to at once ground the player in a familiar and yet all too alien environments. I’d never made the scientific connection between Tennanbaum and what was really going on in research at the time of Rapture’s conception. It just goes to show how deep these games are layered!
    As for tears, I’m a fan of them, but I’m a little wary. I think it’s good to have something very different from the mechanics of gameplay we saw in BioShock to set the games apart in ways other than environments but I’m curious to see how they’ll play a part in the storytelling. Playing around with time in games is always challenging and just lends itself all too well to creating massive plot holes or just a convoluted mess. That being said, I have enormous faith in this production team and I think they can take up the challenge and do something not only unconventional, but super interesting and exciting!

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  • quancro | June 24, 2011 5:59 pm

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    only one word.. is gorgeus..

    but one think at the end of the video.. when Elizabeth is healing the horse.. she transforme the enviroment at all and looks like in modern times 80´s and in the back is a cinema that the movie title say ¨REVANGE OF THE JED¨ that make confuse now in this part but the rest looks amazing.. any one can tell that .. why is that… ????

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  • blahz7 | June 24, 2011 8:25 pm

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    Uhh…skip to 2:45, do not look at the video, and tell me what that sounds like. I hope they change that… Also, is this a time traveling game now? Lolz, throw out some scientists with name recognition and suddenly tears make sense…

    @number47 and carleyquinn: The final product will likely be completely different from your initial impression. IG knows what they are doing, even if they do not exactly know what they are doing. Only time, money, and talent shortages limit them.

    And yes! A thousand times yes! The attention to detail makes the city and conflict real. Tears and those “plasmids” do not make sense to me, but many others will enjoy them. The skyline makes sense, but it would probably lead to many dislocated arms. Whatever, it definitely looks like a nice vacation from work. However, I hope this does not turn into a time traveling game.

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    • precarious | June 28, 2011 1:47 pm

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      Before I respond, I want to say, as a crazed BioShock fan, my opinion of this game faltered in the beginning. It’s taken a bit of time and seeing what’s to come to become a loyal fan of Infinite as it’s own separate entity. I’m long past appreciating the name of the game, but can’t wait to see what else is in store. Imagination is a powerful tool/weapon in today’s world.

      My response to you is to ask you what you’re expecting from a video game. The game doesn’t have to make perfect sense to you, and it doesn’t have to be something that can actually happen. That, my friend, is the beauty of gaming.

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  • maximus | June 25, 2011 4:18 am

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    Every innovation is welcome because the other FPS games have no innovation and all the same.

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  • maximus | June 25, 2011 4:21 am

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    But BioShock is different from everyone and therefore it is best

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  • knightcarver | June 25, 2011 6:34 am

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    This game sounds more amazing by the day…scooped the awards over at GT for E3 as well. :)

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  • icegrove | June 25, 2011 11:53 pm

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    If is like a rip of time see does when making those chose and as we saw with horse, with background then it could be nice if they one day make something like that with Rapture so could see it glorys time.

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  • huft | June 26, 2011 1:40 am

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    Sounds like it’s gonna be crazy i can’t wait.

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  • cycrum | June 27, 2011 1:01 am

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    This game rlly is a new high point in the gaming world

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  • dannysal | June 27, 2011 7:44 am

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    Sort of Fringe-esque but not really. Regardless, I love the concept.

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  • senyadraquille | June 27, 2011 10:02 pm

    WOW nice addition, thats really unique, im very exited to play this game, but can you actually like change the area apppearence, or was that just in the cut scene?

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  • mbourgon | June 28, 2011 12:57 pm

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    You guys know that you don’t need to do any more of these? We’re already well and truly hooked. But, wow.

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  • gladiator49 | June 28, 2011 3:10 pm

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    It’s nice to get some new info.

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  • bobogoldman | June 28, 2011 6:00 pm

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    WOW she not only healed the horse but took us to the 80s at the showing of STAR WARS : Revenge of the Jedi. Now that is a freakin’ tear.

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  • axident | June 29, 2011 3:20 am

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    BioShock Quantum? :P

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  • azlaroc | June 29, 2011 5:07 am

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    Love System Shock 1 & 2, and Bioshock, can’t wait for Infinite to come out. However, I do have a question since this video came out:

    Are these tears just another facet of possibilities that Elizabeth can manipulate, or have they become the one exclusive power that Elizabeth has? Unless it’s time constraints or engine limitations ( or could very well be a change/rewrite in the story itself ), I would hate to see such a deep character with mysterious and unknown capabilities margianalized into a time traveller, that all choices are now reduced down to just “Tear 1, tear 2, tear 3…”

    I apologize for the inconvenience in the long delay between video release and response, just letting the fanboy giddiness die down a bit…

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  • mpress24 | June 29, 2011 10:02 am

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    Number 47: Ken Levine has already stated that towards the latter stages of the game depending upon your progression, you will have 5 or possibly 6 different, “tear”, options. Even if it was only three, these combined with all of the new vigors, nostrums, and the verticality in combat via the skylines allow for a very flexible and exciting combat system. Why do people feel the need to complain?

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  • azlaroc | June 29, 2011 10:43 am

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    Ten Things You Should Know About Bioshock Infinite, Number 3: “Elizabeth is a crucial element of Columbia’s story and mystery, but she can also have a dramatic effect on gameplay–if you want her to. With her wide range of abilities, she can aid you in combat, setting up opportunities to combine your powers in even more effective ways. Of course, if you choose to take on your enemies all on your own, you can; she won’t interfere. And while that’s happening, Elizabeth can take care of herself, with no need for escorting.”

    With the trailers starting from “wide range of abilities” seemingly coming down to just “interact with tears”, it just seems to me that, taken into account that the game supposedly had a more deep morality system based on how much you used, or didn’t use, Elizabeth’s powers, narrowing the focus of abilities down to plainly one can easily setup up a more “this way, that way” based system. I mean, even earlier trailers had marketed the point that too much use of her powers were costly on Elizabeth herself.

    I’m just hoping that interacting with tears is just one of the abilities, not the only ability, she has.

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  • aguayocastro | July 8, 2011 4:23 am

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    Hahaha I like how with every vid they show it makes us crave the game bad.

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  • joelotoole | July 15, 2011 3:48 pm

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    Looks really cool

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  • devilturnip360 | July 17, 2011 11:39 pm

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    daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn that is awsome suck about loss of control tho

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  • theoldharbing | August 1, 2011 11:38 pm

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    These inventors of the game should receive the proper recognition for the world their creating on a screen; the dream that some people don’t understand by picking up a controller and experiencing firsthand. Elizabeth is a beautiful and unique character; I can almost garantee myself that the people here at irrational will have more to amaze me with.

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