BioShock Infinite hits retail this week, and Irrational Games has dropped a bombastic trailer to herald the game’s arrival.
Ostensibly, the purpose of any videogame trailer is to entice players into laying out $60-plus of their hard-earned cash for the title in question. There’s a number of ways to go about this, but personally I prefer the classic approach: Pack your trailer with as much action as a mid-1980s Schwarzenegger flick and watch as the dollars pour in. Apparently somebody at Irrational Games feels the same way, as the newly-released launch trailer for BioShock Infinite might be described as a “white-knuckle thrill ride” were it an actual film and I a hack movie critic.
Despite my personal fondness for all things that go “boom,” this is kind of an odd approach to take when promoting BioShock Infinite. As fans of the series will attest, while BioShock falls into the “first-person shooter” genre, the true draw of the franchise has always been in its cerebral story and detailed, clever gameplay design that, while liner, makes a player feel as if they have true agency within the virtual world. That concept was the actual plot of the original BioShock, so it seems bizarre to focus a trailer for this latest sequel on explosions and people shouting.
Then again, it’s probably really difficult to convey the nuances of Randian Objectivism, the horrors of free will and the inherent depravity of man in a little over a minute of videogame footage, so the safest way to promote BioShock Infinite is probably to just focus on the shiny bits. Like a baby raccoon entranced by a ball of foil, the average consumer is easily placated by pretty aesthetics, so given the time constraints, it’s perfectly understandable that this trailer focuses on the less thought-heavy aspects of the game.
But forget all of that. Did you see those explosions?! They were all like “BOOM! POW BOOSH!” and then that big bird thing was all like “PUNCH! ATTACK! MENACE!” and so on. Needless to say, we’re kinda excited for BioShock Infinite.