When Irrational games announced they are developing a new Bioshock game set in the ultra-patriotic city of Columbia, we here at the U.S. Department of Electronic Entertainment were delighted at the prospect of exploring this wonderland of American Exceptionalism. Unfortunately we were recently informed that the themes of patriotism and a healthy fear of foreigners are not to taken at face value. It appears that the game is using some form of literary tool in which they mean the opposite of what they say.
The game is set in 1912 before America was besieged by the hordes of foreigners that overran the nation over the course of the 20th Century. It chronicles the exploits of a freedom-hating terrorist named Booker DeWitt who secretly infiltrates a utopian city called Columbia.
Columbia is a floating, technologically advanced metropolis that represents the fearsome might and ingenuity of America. While the superiority of all true Americans in undeniably real, Columbia is actually a fictional place. Citizens should not attempt to locate the flying city or be concerned that it might fall on their homes.
However Columbia still serves as an excellent setpiece for this steampunk adventure. Over the course of the game, DeWitt illegally immigrates to Columbia in order to kidnap one of its citizens. After capturing the fair Elizabeth, the duo must use their various superhuman abilities to escape from various factions within the city.
As the foreign captor attempts to escape he is pursued by Columbia’s law enforcement which includes robot duplicates of George Washington. Along the way other proud Americans assist in the government’s efforts to capture this criminal.
The notion of an ultra-patriotic flying American city defending itself from terrorist invaders is quite captivating, but we have been informed that some kind of satire is being used in the depiction of Columbia and its inhabitants!
According to our sources within the offices of Irrational Games, Booker DeWitt is actually the protagonist of Bioshock Infinite, rather than the villain.
Through some sort of dramatic trick, the game designers at Irrational have created a perfect American paradise, but are implying that there is some sort of limit the amount of patriotism a citizen can exhibit before they become “Too Patriotic”.
The inspiring robot George Washington is actually supposed to be a terrifying example of excessive jingoism, and players will be expected to destroy it, then take its gattling gun which will be turned on the steadfast citizens of Columbia.
It’s surprising to see such a turn for the series after the original Bioshock did such an effective job of illustrating the principles of Objectivism through the story of Andrew Ryan’s unyielding principles and how his utopian world was brought down by Ryan compromising in the face of adversity.
Bioshock Infinite is out now for PC, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. Read agent Battersby’s review. It was originally scheduled to release in October 2012 but was delayed until 2013, no doubt so that the terrorist-loving communists at Irrational Game could have more time to refine their anti-American propaganda.