The much-loved BioShock franchise has been lying dormant for nearly half a decade. 2K Games has only come around to release a collection during this time that bundled the remastered versions of the first two installments and BioShock Infinite. When it comes to BioShock 3, though, the publisher has been maintaining radio silence.
Earlier this month, that silence was broken by an anonymous source who claimed to have gotten hold of a company document from inside 2K Games. The leak carried several details about BioShock 3, as well as stating the installment to be in a “rather solid and advance state of development”.
There’s obviously no way to confirm the legitimacy of the claim. However, the leak wasn’t that surprising since there have been various other reports about the game being in the works for a few years now.
The following is all that can be gathered about BioShock 3 for the time being, and will be updated once new information surfaces.
Will it be a prequel or sequel?
BioShock 3 will be a direct sequel to the second installment and will continue the story of Rapture, the fictional underwater city. However, since the post-release expansion packs of BioShock Infinite merged with the main narrative, it’s likely that the new installment will bridge the storylines of both the past and future.
What’s the setting?
BioShock 3 will be set during the year 1971. This will be over a decade after the events of the first two installments, which left a deep scar on the world. However, instead of diving back into the underwater dystopian city of Rapture, the narrative will unfold in the city of London.
Thanks to the genetic discoveries making their way to the surface, many nations used them to ascend into a golden age. Unfortunately, the newfound technology also resulted in creating a new crisis, much like how it led to the fall of Rapture.
Who’s the protagonist?
BioShock 3 will have a brand new protagonist, an orphan named Lucas. He has lived on the streets of London for years, surviving as a petty thief. Lucas will become involved in the narrative when he’s accused of being the one behind the downfall of Rapture. It will be part of a big conspiracy that ties in with the plot.
Will there be returning characters?
Eleanor Lamb is possibly returning in BioShock 3 from the first two installments. She’s the daughter of Sofia Lamb and a previous Little Sister of Rapture. There’s also the Lutece twins from BioShock Infinite, quantum physicists who can apparently travel through alternate universes.
Will the Big Daddies return?
They definitely will but as new models that are an evolution of the older-generation prototypes. They will serve as protectors of high-ranked individuals who are tasked with recovering as much ADAM as possible in London.
Will there be an open-world?
The franchise has never been an open-world. All three installments have featured a linear design to drive the narrative home, albeit BioShock Infinite did boast larger areas in comparison. BioShock 3 will take a different approach by supporting a semi-open-world. There will be more freedom to roam and explore London without being confined to halls and alleyways.
What’s with the delay?
Looking at how the first three installments released on a three-year cycle, BioShock 3 should have been released in 2016. What happened was that Irrational Games, the studio that worked on the whole franchise, shut down in 2014. Ken Levine, the creator himself, moved on to smaller, narrative-heavy games with his reformed studio, Ghost Story Games. Hence, 2K Games probably started work on the new installment with a fresh pair of hands in 2015, as speculations dictate.
Which developer is involved?
Since Irrational Games bowed out, there have been reports that 2K Games created a small studio to head BioShock 3. However, the publisher has been keeping a tight lid on things and is why it’s been difficult to ascertain the staffers involved. There’s a possibility that some of the developers from Hangar 13, the studio that developed Mafia III, might have been reassigned.
When’s the release?
If rumors are to be believed, BioShock 3 will be announced in the first quarter of 2020 for a release somewhere in 2021 or 2022 at the latest. Even games analyst Michael Pachter has given legitimacy to this timeline and he’s… rarely wrong.
What platforms are in development?
Given that the next-generation consoles are just around the corner, BioShock 3 will release simultaneously for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One as well as PlayStation 5 and Project Scarlett, the Xbox successor. There’s also the PC release to take into account since the franchise has never been exclusive to consoles.