I must have missed the scoop or had been on vacation because the Internet apparently went on a tizzy over the BioShock Infinite box art without me noticing. When I finally caught wind of the controversy, I looked it up and immediately felt…meh, it's not so bad. Maybe it was because I had just given my two cents about the Fuse box art and my standards were rock bottom at the time, but I didn't find it overly offensive.
At a second glance, I can see where some might have a problem with it. I mean, BioShock Infinite doesn't star Uncharted's Nathan Drake does it? If so, why is he on the cover? I find it a little strange that the most inspiring piece of imagery pulled to represent the entire game on store shelves is a character who we will never see, unless we control him to stand in front of a mirror. I mean, the faceless hero from the first-person perspective is half of what made the first BioShock so absorbing, right?
Where are the floating cities? The mechanical George Washingtons? The iconic image of a rose falling from the sky? Even the much hyped heroine Elizabeth drips with more character than this unshaven everyman with a shotgun.At least they got the burning flag right. It's offended some people, but the obvious themes of BioShock Infinite are dark secrets hidden behind the lies of a picturesque Americana dreamworld and the fall from grace many Americans believe we are going through now. George Washington and the colonial times of our forefathers, as well as scenes from the wild west and roaring twenties. If BioShock Infinite explores half as much as the trailers have teased, all of these iconic periods of American history will be called into question as we watch an outside force bring them down blazing from the sky.
I don't know if I'm giving it too much credit though. In the end, a burning flag might just be a burning flag, and Ken Levine has come forward saying that the box art has been created to appeal to the lowest common denominator. In an interview with Wired, Levine stated he wants frat boys to turn the game over.
"I looked at the cover art for BioShock 1, which I was heavily involved with and love, I adored. And I tried to step back and say, if I'm just some guy, some frat guy, I love games but don't pay attention to them,"
"I wanted the uninformed, the person who doesn't read IGN… to pick up the box and say, okay, this looks kind of cool, let me turn it over. Oh, a flying city. Look at this girl, Elizabeth on the back. Look at that creature. And start to read about it, start to think about it."
Yeah, all that imagery I mentioned before? It's on the back. The guy on the front is just to get the uninitiated to turn it over, and then they're supposed to think. Don't be too offended gamers. Nobody is out to get you here, and Levine even stated an alternative cover will be released soon.
BioShock Infinite will be released on March 26th for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.
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