BioShock Infinite's floating Columbia will be a more alive world than the deserted Rapture, full of characters both friend and foe - although you won't know which they are at first.
"Going back to the System Shock 2 and BioShock days, we've given ourselves an out, which is 'everybody's dead.' There wasn't much character interaction, and when there is... I think I'm the guy who invented the [gameplay convention of the] player interacting with a guy on the other side of a glass. [laughs] I say that with dubious pride, because that idea is getting really long in the tooth," creative director Kevin Levine told the PS Blog.
"Our concept in this game is that there are lots of characters who don't necessarily attack you right away - they may not be interested in getting in a fight, either. The feeling we want is somewhat like the Wild West, where you go into a room and everybody has their hand on their gun because it's a scary place.
"Part of your challenge in this world is figuring out who is a threat and who isn't. Or, if you're in a combat situation, if there's a way to bring another person to your side somehow. We sort of pioneered this with BioShock with the notion of the Big Daddy, who didn't attack you right away, and here we've extended this idea throughout the world.
"We realized quickly that this is much more like the way the real world works. In shooters, we're not accustomed to that - we're used to everyone seeing you and shooting you. From a narrative perspective, this gives us a ton of freedom."