People are excited about Bioshock Infinite. Forget that the original Bioshock has become a part of the gaming canon. Zip-lining your way around a crumbling city in the sky while protecting a blue-eyed psychic from an evil bird robot sounds like a good time regardless of the name slapped on the package. And that power where you call down a cloud of crows to eat your enemies? Pretty awesome. It’s a shame then that people won’t get to engage in all those zip-line good times until next year. Bioshock Infinite has officially been delayed into 2013.
Irrational Games’ Ken Levine said in a message posted on the studio’s official website that Bioshock Infinite has been moved from its original release date to February 26, 2013. That extra time will be devoted to improving the quality of what Levine calls a huge game. “I won’t kid you: BioShock Infinite is a very big game, and we’re doing things that no one has ever done in a first-person shooter,” said Levine, “We had a similar experience with the original BioShock, which was delayed several months as our original ship date drew near. Why? Because the Big Daddies weren’t the Big Daddies you’ve since come to know and love. Because Andrew Ryan’s golf club didn’t have exactly the right swing. Because Rapture needed one more coat of grimy Art Deco. The same principle now applies to BioShock Infinite.”
The delay doesn’t just mean that Bioshock Infinite will be out of players hands for a longer than expected stretch. The game is going to disappear from the whole gaming landscape for a goodly while. “We are also going to hold off on showing Bioshock Infinite at the big events of the summer, like E3 and Gamescom,” said Levine, “That way, the next time you see our game, it will be essentially the product we intend to put in the box.”
Irrational’s decisions to not only take the time necessary to make the best game possible but also to remove it from the often damaging preview process are very admirable. Bioshock, System Shock II, and games of their ilk thrive on the element of surprise, so the less players know going into these experiences, the more they’ll get out of them. Games can also always use a second coat of polish. If six more months in development will ensure that Bioshock Infinite doesn’t need a patch on day one, or that it doesn’t have a crap final boss fight like the original, then bully for the game. Well done, Irrational.