Ken Levine is disappointed in your boob-focus in Bioshock Infinite

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With 2012 gearing up to be yet another banner year for gaming, one of the highlights on the horizon is Bioshock Infinite. The upcoming FPS takes place decades before the original games, and swops the objectivist underwater utopia setting for a paradise in the sky that is tainted with an ongoing civil war between factions.

Caught in the middle of that, is our main protagonist Booker, and Elizabeth, a naive yet wonderfully developed leading lady that accompanies players throughout their quest. So far, she’s been a hit with fans due to her emotional range and charming personality, but it seems that her well-developed chest has taken centre stage, much to Irrational Games Boss Ken Levines’ disappointment.

“You know I think there’s two questions there, one is ‘does she need to be pretty?’ and another is ‘does she need to be voluptuous?’ or whatever,” Levine said in an interview with OXM Magazine.

In terms of her body type, I think certainly people on the Internet have spent way more time thinking about Elizabeth’s chest than I have. It’s something I’ve barely thought about. We sort of evolved her over time, and that’s the challenge when you show stuff early on – you’re still in the creative process and you’re still evolving the creative process.

I’m sure Elizabeth may evolve a little bit more over time because until it’s out, I haven’t made the definitive statement on it… so I certainly don’t spend as much time thinking about this issue as the Internet does, and I’m not sure what that says about the Internet but, you know.

Besides providing some insight into the civil war occurring on the flying city of Columbia, Elizabeth also has a few handy tricks at her disposal, such as an ability to access parallel dimensions. It’s a gift that many want however, which also provides for the reason why players are constantly pursued by the enigmatic creature known as the Songbird, who happened to be both the jailor and guardian of Elizabeth.


Rescuing Elizabeth and escaping Columbia not only sets up the core focus of the game, but also provides an underlying foundation of liberation, something that Levine has spoken about before, but has currently been ignored by eager fans who are more interested in ogling the cleavage of Elizabeth.

It’s disappointing when (Elizabeth’s appearance) becomes a focus for conversation because that was never my intent and it’s sort of a disincentive – I’d much rather talk about what she’s going through as a person, but whatever, they have the right to shout out whatever they want.

But if players have to focus on one exact part of Elizabeth’s anatomy, it has to be her eyes Levine says, as he explained how much work went into creating an emotional access point for players.

To me, the most important thing with Elizabeth was just honestly her eyes because, you know, they’re somewhat exaggerated and the reason for that is because there’s so much expression you can do there, with her eyes, and you see her often at a great distance.

I’ve spent way more time thinking about her eyes than her chest because eyes show a ton of expression, and you see her at a great distance. AI characters get very, very small, very, very quickly so you need to be able to recognise her silhouette, the shape of her body.

Levine brings up some interesting points, as Bioshock Infinite is shaping up to be an action-packed shooter that somehow manages to balance a well-developed story and characters alongside thrills and explosions, making for a game that focuses more on the tale to be told than some well-placed cleavage.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go finish off the construction to my shrine dedicated to that sexy-voiced Tali from Mass Effect.

Last Updated: January 4, 2012

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