BioShock 4 is an open world RPG reveals job ads
It sounds like the new BioShock is going to be a major advancement on the previous games, as the developer reveals more than they intended.
We were a little shocked on Wednesday, to find that ZeniMax Online hadn’t accidentally revealed what its secret new game is in job ads for new staff, because that’s a mistake that video games companies constantly make and never seem to realise.
It has happened again this week though, but with the makers of the new BioShock game. They’ve listed a set of new job descriptions implying the new sequel is going to be an open world role-playing game.
Cloud Chamber Games was set up specifically to work on the new BioShock, since original developer Irrational Games has been downsized to just 12 people, renamed to Ghost Story Games, and is currently working on a non-BioShock related game.
The original BioShock games were already open world to a degree, so it’s difficult to know whether this is a completely new approach or just a natural progression from the earlier titles.
The Senior Voice Designer job ad reconfirms that Cloud Chamber is working on the next BioShock, before describing the game as an, ‘ambitious, narratively-driven project full of character and personality’.
It also mentions ‘dialogue systems’, which is something the original games never had, and asks for people with ‘RPG experience’.
The Systems Designer role describes an ‘emergent sandbox world’ and talks about ‘interactive world systems and non-AI systemic ecology’, ‘player growth systems and progression’, and ‘game balance and economy’.
Meanwhile, the Game AI Programmer role describes creating ‘a meaningful AI urban crowd system’, which would be a major change from the largely empty worlds of the previous games.
The repeated references to role-playing style mechanics and open world environments does suggest something significantly different from the first three games, which while they had some evolutionary DNA from the System Shock series (director Ken Levine worked on both franchises) were really just first person shooters at heart.
Clearly the job ads don’t give away everything but it is The Game Awards tonight so you never know, the game may be officially unveiled then.
The setting will be of particular interest to fans but a previous job ad (so clearly nobody’s learnt their lesson on that one) suggested it was not Rapture or Columbia.
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