Interviews

BioShock Infinite: 'Heavy Hitters bosses will add variety, strategy to combat'

Ken Levine talks to us about the wider role the game's new adversaries will play

Irrational Games has taken the lid off BioShock Infinite's Heavy Hitters, a series of "mini bosses" creative director Ken Levine says will add more variety and strategy to the franchise's combat.

The Motorized Patriot Heavy Hitter was revealed in a new trailer (which we've grabbed some stills from), and Levine said Infinite's previously shown Handyman (below) will also be one of these new adversaries.

Each of them will have a back story and a wider role to play than that of a simple boss when the game launches this October, and we recently had a chance to quiz Levine on their significance in the world of Columbia.

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Is the enemy in the trailer part of a mechanical security force created by Columbia's nationalist Founder faction?

That's right on the money.

And is the new enemy just one part of a wider group of Heavy Hitters?

Yes. The Motorized Patriot gets called in via the security system. There are other Heavy Hitters but they're not necessarily part of the security system. The concept of the Heavy Hitters is really about giving mini bosses to BioShock which it never really exactly had before as a class, and just adding a variety to the game that the first game didn't have. We wanted a bunch of enemies who all played pretty differently from each other and the traditional enemies in BioShock games that added to the combat in strategic ways.

Does each of the Heavy Hitters have their own power or weapon that players can pick up after defeating them?

That's a unique feature of the Motorized Patriot. They all have their own sort of unique things. The Motorized Patriot is all about security and he's hackable, so you can take control of him. Also, when you destroy him, you can take the Peppermill gun and use it as a weapon, and that's the only way you can get the gun in the game.

How many Heavy Hitters will appear in the game?

We haven't announced them yet, but you'll encounter several Heavy Hitters.

Will the other Heavy Hitters be inspired by real life characters too, or are we likely to see some even weirder, wackier ones?

They'll all have their own stories, and their powers will be more tactical than some of the other enemies in the game. You've now seen the Motorized Patriot and the Handyman. They'll all have their own back stories and I'm really excited about the origins of these characters and how they came along, and you'll probably be surprised by some of them. The Motorized Patriot in particular is fun because you kind of see him in his original role in the city of Columbia, which is sort of as a tour guide, as a spokesperson, a town crier. He's a propaganda device who's modified when the Patriots need a weapon.

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So the Heavy Hitters essentially offer a series of boss battles. Will they need to be defeated to progress beyond certain sections of the game, or can players choose to avoid fighting them like they might have chosen to do with a Big Daddy, at the cost of relinquishing the chance to pick up the Peppermill in the case of the Motorized Patriot?

Well, in the nature of BioShock games generally, there are enemies you can avoid. You can hack into the Motorized Patriot and then take control of him, which is one way you can avoid him, in addition to the sort of traditional stealth ways that you can avoid enemies in BioShock games.

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