While next to nothing is known about the fourth installment, 2K Games’ confirmation earlier this year that BioShock 4 is in active development was all many fans needed to celebrate. A hardly surprising reaction, of course, considering Ken Levine and Irrational Games’ acclaimed third entry in the series – which traded the underwater art deco city of Rapture for the cloud-surfing Columbia – is inching ever closer to its eighth birthday, but such welcome news is only going to tide folks over for so long.
Unfortunately, the current period of radio silence shows no sign of abating anytime soon, as while the project now has a lead developer locked in, Cloud Chamber Games is far, far away from being ready to show anything of note. Indeed, we’ll no doubt be waiting a solid year just to learn of a projected release window for the franchise’s long-awaited continuation, though the discovery of new job listings today at least provide some insight into the structure and gameplay.
As spotted by MauroNL over on Twitter, a number of open positions over on Cloud Chamber’s recruitment site describe the title as an “ambitious, narratively-driven project full of character and personality,” with the successful applicant tasked with designing dialogue systems. Previous experience with RPGs is also listed as a requirement for the role of Systems Designer, which refers to the existence of an “emergent sandbox world.” Other duties include creating “interactive worlds and non-AI systemic ecology,” with one description alluding to an urban crowd mechanic and the “systemic tribal ecology of a sometimes hostile AI.”
All terms that sound indicative of a sprawling universe for players to explore at their own leisure, then, though it remains to be seen if this is the right direction for BioShock 4. After all, the original trilogy, while offering players the choice to diverge from the critical path, nevertheless remained a strictly contained ecosystem with RPG-lite elements.
Do you think that formula should be adhered to, though, or is Cloud Burst’s approach simply a result of natural IP evolution? Let us know in the usual place below!