BioShock Series May Be Going in a More of an Open-World RPG Direction in its Next Game

Nathan Birch
BioShock PS Plus

Last year 2K Games made it official that another BioShock is in the works at their new studio Cloud Chamber, but beyond that initial announcement, details have been scarce. Well, a new round of Cloud Chamber job postings (spotted by Twitter users MauroNL) may reveal the new BioShock is going to be a little bit different than the old games developed by Ken Levine at Irrational Games.

According to a Lead System Designer job ad, the new BioShock will take place in an “emergent sandbox world,” and the successful candidate will be responsible for “interactive world systems,” “player growth systems and progression,” and “game balance and economy.” Meanwhile, a Senior Voice Designer ad asks for somebody with RPG experience, and describes the project like so…

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We would like you to help design the dialogue systems, asset pipeline, and tools for the project. [...] This is an ambitious, narratively-driven project full of character and personality. Think of the possibilities!

Finally, a Game AI Programmer ad states the applicant will be tasked with creating a “meaningful AI urban crowd system.” Hmmm! This all seems to add up to a much more open, RPG-flavored BioShock. Granted, the BioShock series always allowed for exploration and included some simple RPG-like elements, but when you boiled them down, they were still mostly-linear Metroidvania-style experiences. That said, you got the sense Ken Levine had greater ambitions for his worlds than he was able to achieve, so I wouldn’t say an open-world BioShock would necessarily run contrary to the spirit of the series.

No release date has been set for the next BioShock, although 2K said it will be in development for “several years” when it was announced back in late 2019. What do you think? Would you be into an open-world BioShock, or is the more linear approach preferable?

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