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

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Is the Heavy Hitter in the trailer limited to indoor areas or any particular locations? He doesn't necessarily appear to be the most mobile of opponents. It might seem a bit unfair for you to be riding on the Skyline network taking him out from above, for example.

Well he's actually pretty good against/on the Skyline. I'm trying to remember how they balance his gun at the moment because everything's in flux right now. When you encounter an enemy, some are really good against you on the Skyline and others aren't that good. I'm trying to remember where the Motorized Patriot ended up falling.

The reason we do that is we want the player to be forced to think strategically about whether they should be on the Skyline or not. Some enemies have heat-seeking missiles which aren't as powerful on the ground as they are against you when you're on the Skyline and are particularly vulnerable. The game forces you to think about how you structure your approach to combat in each scenario so that you're as effective as possible, so you might take out a couple of guys on the ground before getting on the Skyline to take out another type of enemy.

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So you can tailor your approach to enemies in different ways. Will you still be able to lay traps for them like you could in previous BioShock games, or is that not really a feature of the combat this time round?

I think being able to lay traps for people is one of the really fun things in BioShock games. We are in fact actually at this stage doing a retooling of some of the powers in the game [to allow for that], so yes, definitely, to be able to lay traps for these guys, to be able to hack enemies and take control of them [is something we're looking at offering].

Does the Vox Populi rebel movement in Columbia have any secret or powerful weapons of their own to counter the Heavy Hitters?

We're going to be talking more about that later, but there are sort of Vox Populi versions of many weapons and powers and the Motorized Patriot in particular is one of those. You'll see some Patriots who are taken over by the Vox and their voice box has been changed so their propaganda message is changed to Vox Populi propaganda.

Will we get to see the Heavy Hitters around other residents in Columbia and if so, how do they behave around the general population?

When you first actually encounter the Motorized Patriot, he's working at a museum. It's the like the Hall of Presidents at Disneyworld, you have these automaton presidents saying 'I'm Thomas Jefferson and I lived in Monticello'. These sort of robotic creatures would tell you stories about themselves and they were kind of interesting and charming and uncanny valley-ish. When you first encounter the Motorized Patriot he's in that role, a sort of museum tour guide character, a propaganda machine, a town crier who wasn't actually built for combat but gets modified with a security system as the situation in Columbia sort of goes downhill.

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Is there anything else you can tell us about the Heavy Hitters?

I think we're going to be revealing them in sequence and I'd rather wait until people have had an opportunity to see them before talking more on the subject.

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