BioShock Infinite floats onto shelves October 16

Irrational Games hopes to rapture us away to the cloudborne city of Columbia on October 16, the date publisher 2K Games has announced BioShock Infinite will drift onto PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in North America. The international release will follow on October 19.

Jettisoning the underwater world of the first two BioShock games, Infinite rises into the skies of 1912 to visit another great city founded upon an ideal which turned out to be troublesome in reality--American Exceptionalism. Amid a civil war, we'll be a former Pinkerton agent sent to rescue a young lady with extraordinary powers, who's guarded by some awe-inspiring monstrosities.

Courting the hardcore/curmudgeonly market, BioShock Infinite packs '1999 Mode,' an "old school" twist which amps up the difficulty and encourages specialization. 1999, by no coincidence, is of course the year Irrational and the late, great Looking Glass released System Shock 2.

Irrational is working on Infinite with its former sister studio, the branch of 2K Marin previously known as 2K Australia, and Irrational's Australian studio before that.

Here's the 15-minute Infinite gameplay demonstration from E3 in June 2011, and Garnett's impressions of it:

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