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BioShock Infinite: What we've learned from the new trailer

The fall of Colombia, boss fights, and plenty of violence

This article originally appeared in Xbox World magazine.

When Mr Betterman was creating the Handyman procedure that would let humans "live pain-free forever" and gain superhuman speed and strength from their giant, pneumatically-driven arms and legs, there must have been a point where he wondered (just in the back of his mind) if this fantastic invention could not somehow end up causing more problems than it would solve.

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Still, like many of BioShock Infinite's colourful characters, Mr Betterman was never one to let issues like morality or basic health and safety regulations get in the way of progress. A fantastic new trailer, constructed entirely of in-game footage, shows floating city Colombia in a pre-civil war light and its eventual decline into chaos as rival factions struggle for control.

We're taken on a tour through different districts such as Monument Park, where a towering angelic statue welcomes visitors to the island. We're shown Battleship Bay, a seaside resort built around the shell of an old navy destroyer, which manages (somehow) to boast sandy beaches hundreds of feet above sea level.

The Aerodrome, surrounded by militaristic architecture, seems to be some sort of transport hub for the Zeppelins that drift throughout the city. And a cult all dressed in white stand at the front of a candle-strewn church, welcoming the viewer forwards toward a baptismal pool. It all looks beautiful, so it's kind of a shame when everything gets set on fire.

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The first of the new enemies we meet goes unnamed, but resembles a space marine crossed with a steam train - it's unclear whether it's human, automaton, or a little of both. Lumbering around the battlefield and shrugging aside the bullets fired from protagonist Booker DeWitt's pistol, it can channel some of the roaring heat burning through through its boilerplate-style visor into an burst of flame - and a big one at that.

We're also shown a soldier of the Colombian army for the first time - as Booker launches himself off a zipline and punts the poor bastard off into space - and elite, power-armoured insurgent forces, surgically inserted via steampunk drop-pod to the player's location. Booker doesn't appear to be taking sides as he attacks both forces in a three-way conflict with him stuck in the middle.

But BioShock's grand tradition of action horror comes to a peak when we're shown what seems to be a boss fight, where a black-robed figure with a coffin strapped to its back and crows circling its head rushes right at Booker waving a rusty-looking spike. As you do.

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The Skyhook - Booker's tool for traversing the roller coaster-esque Skylines that criss-cross the city - has undergone a radical redesign with three rotating hooks that not only serve as a grappling device but also, as we're shown in what appears to be a cut-scene, can do a number on someone's face if they get too close. Booker shoves an unsuspecting police officer's head right into his colleague's whirring Skyhook, sending bloody lumps flying everywhere.

The Vigors have been updated, too. Where their older cousins Plasmids came with a graphical texture on top of the skin, Booker's flesh now twists and warps in reaction to the chemicals. The electrocution Vigor shows him sprouting weird, crystalline growths, the bird- summoning Murder of Crows sees feathers sprout down his arm, and the fire-blast melts the meat off his hands until there's nothing left but blisters and bone. Pretty grim stuff.

And of course, Songbird, the thirty-foot winged mechanical behemoth that serves as Elizabeth's jailer and protector, is never far away. Booker and Elizabeth fall through the clouds, desperately trying to grab hold of each other and make it to a skyline, as it looms overhead. It's no less terrifying than it was before, especially given Elizabeth's insistence that the player kills her rather than let her be taken by it ever again.

Precisely why she was imprisoned still isn't clear, although it's probably something to do with the way that she can summon rips in space and time with her mind. That's the sort of thing you want to keep an eye on.

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