Bioshock titles are pretty linear, although they often boast decent-sized maps that require a little exploration.
But as we've seen in some gameplay footage of Bioshock Infinite , the world definitely seems more open than normal, and this has been verified by developer Irrational Games. We'll have more freedom when it comes to wandering around that immersive, fascinating environment, but that doesn't mean we're looking at an open-world game. Lead artist Shawn Robertson clarified this point in a recent interview :
"As far as exploration, the amount a player can explore and the amount of narrative we’re going to present to the player, it’s going to be roughly the same as we had in the original BioShock. In terms of open space, we’re not creating a Grand Theft Auto game, it’s not like everywhere in the city will be open to the player. Narratively, where we want the player to go will definitely be open. A specific example: the skylines that you saw. Yes, there are rails that you’re traveling on, but you saw a few different rails and all of those represent different options you can jump to. You’re also not stuck on one rail you’ve jumped on. You can turn around, jump off at any point, and there are roofs you can get onto. So you can use those rails to get to other places, or you can just ignore them and stick to the narrative. They’re just another tool that we’re providing to the player.
We certainly don't need every game to be open-ended and in fact, we enjoy the excellent narrative found in this franchise. That tends to take a definite backseat to exploration in sandbox adventures, and we'd hate to lose the Bioshock Infinite storyline amidst a huge Fallout -like world. At any rate, we know we want this game. Badly.
Related Game(s): Bioshock Infinite