BioShock 4, which is rumored to be titled BioShock Isolation, is reportedly an open-world game set in the 1960s-era Antarctic twin cities of Aurora and Borealis, with a graphic design similar to Deathloop. While the game was seemingly set for unveiling earlier this year, it got delayed due to developers leaving, and now 2K plans to reveal the game once they are certain of a launch date.
BioShock has been one of 2K’s most iconic franchises, with retrofuturistic themes and a narrative influenced by concepts such as objectivism, total utilitarianism, and American exceptionalism. The series is known for exploring different philosophical and moral concepts.
A first-person immersive sim RPG, the franchise takes players to unique locations, be it the underwater city of Rapture or Columbia in the clouds. The franchise has been more or less dormant after 2013’s Infinite. 2K released a remaster of the first two titles in 2016 as part of a collection.
Previously, well-known industry insider "Oops Leaks" (@oopsleaks on Twitter) reported the existence of a fourth BioShock game, including its logo, as well as the rumored Netflix adaptation. The leaker recently shared more details regarding the title, including its 1960s Antarctic setting, a Deathloop-inspired graphic design, and a release timeline.
BioShock 4 will reportedly have a graphical design inspired by Deathloop, with an open-world Antarctic setting
Oops Leaks, a well-known industry insider who originally leaked the game's existence, has released a detailed report titled, “Everything I know and heard about the new BioShock.”
They started by recalling their previous leaks and mentioned the leaked BioShock Isolation logo, which came from a 2020 Slack messenger data breach. They added that while the game was originally planned to be revealed late last year or early 2022, it was delayed due to personnel changes.
The world of BioShock Isolation
The settings of the previous games in the series have become iconic in the community, be it Rapture under the ocean or the floating city of Columbia in Infinite. It seems like the next title won’t be an exception. According to Oops Leaks sources, the game will be set in Antarctica during the 1960s.
It will be an open-world title, where the theme of aggregate states of water will play a significant role in the story with multiple endings. The game will reportedly also feature a female protagonist.
The game will center around refugees, where the central cities of Borealis and Aurora have become a haven for people who have left Rapture. According to the leaker, this has resulted in multiculturalism, and players will find areas sprouting with traditional architecture "from Scandinavian and Asian motifs to Victorian, Bauhaus, and Brutalism."
Possible story details - A Tale of Two Cities
There will reportedly be two cities, the upper one Borealis and the lower one Aurora, named after the "cruiser that played an iconic role in the Communist Revolution in the Russian Empire, hiding under the layers of ice."
Aurora is rumored to be a Soviet city built and maintained by slave laborers from prisoner camps, including the protagonist. The leaker further states that the protagonist will "enter the prosperous city of Borealis," intending to unite both cities.
While Oops Leaks does mention that they are unsure about this part, it sounds pretty interesting with a very strong, BioShock-esque setup. They also teased the return of familiar characters as well as alternate versions of theirs.
Trippy combat and art styles like Deathloop
The most exciting part about the report is that the game will reportedly have an art style and graphic design similar to that of Arkane’s Deathloop. With features such as the "1960s The British Invasion and counterculture vibes," a psychedelic and trippy style, which they guess also extends to the music, setting up a whole atmosphere.
The devs will reportedly diversify the title's combat system with various utilities and combinations of abilities, where the terrain will also impact the conduct of combat.
Overall, the game sounds extremely promising, evolving the BioShock IP in the right way and building upon the work of Ken Levine. While Oops Leaks previously stated that the game was set to be revealed at the 2021 The Game Awards, with Geoff Keighly’s tease, it was changed due to many structural changes at the studio.
BioShock Isolation is currently scheduled for a release date before December 2024 and a reveal once 2K has finalized the release date.
Disclaimer: It should be mentioned that the above information is based on credible rumors and, as such, should be considered with a grain of salt until confirmed officially by 2K.