BioShock Interview

GameSpy is offering up an extensive five-page BioShock interview with Irrational Games' fearless leader, Ken Levine.
Q: In the years since System Shock 2, it's gained a huge cult status among hardcore gamers. Where is your middle ground between satisfying the expectations of that demographic, while making a game that's accessible to gamers who've never played a System Shock, or who are primarily shooter fans?

A: If you look at BioShock from a hardcore gamer perspective, it's everything that we wanted both System Shocks to be in terms of visuals and depth; it's just that we didn't have the resources possible back then to do it. I don't know how far you got in the first demo, or with Arcadia, but the amount of depth is where we want it to be. There's the idea, not just of numbers and polygons and what's under the hood, but what you can do in battle.

If you look at what you can do in a battle in System Shock 2 versus what you can do with BioShock in a battle, there's no question. The choices that you have in a battle are paradigms away than what you had in past Shock games. The depth of the story, of visual storytelling, I'm sure that we'll get some interesting reactions. I got a call from this guy one night, who was a hardcore Shock 1 fan, and I don't know how he got my number, but he had a forty-five minute long conversation asking me "Will you have Feature X?" "Will you have Y supply?"

The problem was that he didn't want Shock 2, he wanted more of Shock 1. And he was upset. And I think that the question is: do you want a new experience that evolves past what you've already done? Maybe you guys are in a better position to ask yourselves that. And are you moving that genre ahead? It's not so much about trying to make another game that's like something else, but deepening the genre of game that you're developing, such as by giving the player choice within the game space.