BioShock Infinite capitalizing on PS3 strengths

Gabe Newell did a surprising about-face at E3 2010 by appearing at the Sony press conference to declare some nifty PlayStation 3-exclusive features for Portal 2. Sony might be making it a yearly tradition, as this year Irrational head Ken Levine appeared on stage to talk up the PS3 version of BioShock Infinite, and he promised a Vita BioShock title to boot.

In a new wide-ranging interview, Levine shows a desire to do right by PS3-owners after former timed exclusivity with rival Xbox 360, talks about his attitude towards stereoscopic 3D, and hints at a plan to add replay value to the game.

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"We were Xbox-first for the original game, and now we have something to demonstrate to the PlayStation 3 audience," Levine told the PlayStation Blog. "The PS3 has a different architecture than we had encountered before, but because we helped port BioShock to the PS3, we've become very familiar with it. And we have a new engine for BioShock Infinite, so we started the game knowing we'd be on the PS3. We started thinking about how to leverage the multiple cores from the start of development, so we're in a much better place this time on PS3."

Levine was complimentary toward Killzone 3's Move support and the Vita, without sharing more details on Irrational's plans for either. Meanwhile, he seems less sold on Sony's other proprietary push: stereoscopic 3D. "I'm never interested in technology in terms of checking a box," he said. "Anything we do has to be unique, interesting, and be appropriate for the game. So we're thinking about that stuff now. So if we have that, then that's a road we may go down."

Asked about a New Game Plus mode to add replay value, Levine hints that the team is thinking of something along those lines, but didn't specify their solution. "I'll just say that yes, we do think a lot about this topic. I can't talk about what we're thinking specifically. If we're going to do it, we want to find a BioShock way to do it. People will see more as time goes on."

Of course, BioShock was praised for its narrative punch, and Levine wants to repeat that sense of building a relationship. "I didn't want Atlas to betray the character so much as the gamer," he said. "When Andrew Ryan tells you that you've been manipulated the whole time, you think, 'Screw you, man!' In the same way, I want the player to build this relationship with Elizabeth in BioShock Infinite."

BioShock Infinite won big at the E3 Game Critics Awards, which wasn't too surprising after seeing the stellar preview. We'll have to wait a while to play it though; it's not due until 2012.