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BioShock Infinite announced for 2012 release

By now some of you may have seen the newly released trailer for Irrational Games' next title at the whatisicarus.com web site and said to yourself, "What in the Wide, Wide World of Sports is that?" The CGI trailer, which you can check out for yourself after the jump, introduces us to the flying (yes flying) city of Columbia. That's the setting for BioShock Infinite, the next game in the first person shooter series from publisher 2K Games.

The game is still a long ways from completion with 2K Games saying it will debut sometime in 2012. Our sister site Joystiq got to see a presentation of BioShock Infinite and also chatted with Irrational Games' head man Ken Levine about the game. They ask the big questions like, "Why a new BioShock game instead of a completely original title?" and "Why a city in the sky?" and more. You can bet there will be a lot more revealed about the game in the coming months. In the meantime you can check out the official press release after the jump.

Get the BioShock Infinite trailer at Big Download (134 MB)

2K Games and Irrational Games Announce BioShock Infinite

Creators of original BioShock look to the sky in the next chapter of the award-winning franchise

New York, NY - August 12, 2010- 2K Games announced today that BioShock Infinite, a first-person shooter, is currently in development at Irrational Games, the studio behind the original BioShock which has sold over 4 million units worldwide. Set in 1912, BioShock Infinite introduces an entirely new narrative experience that lifts players out of the familiar confines of Rapture and rockets them to Columbia, an immense city in the sky. BioShock Infinite is currently planned for release during calendar 2012.

Originally conceived as a floating symbol of American ideals at a time when the United States was emerging as a world power, Columbia is dispatched to distant shores with great fanfare by a captivated public. What begins as a brand new endeavor of hope turns drastically wrong as the city soon disappears into the clouds to whereabouts unknown.

The player assumes the role of former Pinkerton agent Booker DeWitt, sent to the lost city to rescue Elizabeth, a young woman imprisoned there since childhood. He develops a relationship with Elizabeth, augmenting his abilities with hers so the pair may escape from a city that is literally falling from the sky. DeWitt must learn to fight foes in high-speed Sky-Line battles, engage in combat both indoors and amongst the clouds, and harness the power of dozens of new weapons and abilities.

"We are excited to expand the world of BioShock, which is one of the industry's most critically acclaimed and beloved franchises," said Christoph Hartmann, president of 2K. "We believe that Irrational Games will lend their meticulous attention to detail and unique storytelling expertise to make BioShock Infinite an incredible entertainment experience that will immerse new and diehard fans of BioShock alike."

With the original BioShock, Irrational Games won "Game of the Year" awards from Game Informer, IGN, G4's X-Play, and BAFTA and redefined what players expect from a first-person shooter. "But when it came to begin work on BioShock Infinite," said Ken Levine, creative director of Irrational Games, "we only had one rule: No sacred cows. This game is both true to what people love about the series and unafraid to question every assumption."

Levine continued, "In order to explore the floating city of Columbia, we needed an entirely new engine. To bring Elizabeth to life, we had to build brand-new animation and AI systems. To create wide-ranging indoor and outdoor firefights at 30,000 feet, we had to rethink, rebuild and expand the BioShock arsenal. The only thing gamers can be certain of is this: the rules of the BioShock universe are about to change."

BioShock Infinite is in development for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system and Games for Windows ,and is not yet rated by the ESRB..

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