BioShock 4 is in development at Cloud Chamber, as confirmed on the studio's website. With little official news about the upcoming title speculation and rumors have been circulating among fans of the franchise.
There are some details about BioShock 4 which have been confirmed. Similarly, there are some details which have a stronger grounding in reality than others. Here's how to separate the fact from the fiction.
BioShock 4 is in development at a new studio set up by 2k called Cloud Chamber. The development team will include some developers who worked on previous BioShock games, but series creator Ken Levine will not be involved in the project.
So far it has not been confirmed whether BioShock 4 will take place in Rapture, Columbia, or a new setting. Similarly, it has not been confirmed whether or not the new game will take place in the same BioShock multiverse that was established in BioShock Infinite, which connected Rapture and Columbia in part of the main game's plot and its DLC, Burial At Sea.
There have been several rumors regarding the direction of BioShock 4 which have been inferred from job listings described on the Cloud Chamber website. A listing for a Lead Environment Modeler described the position as follows: "We want you to set the example, leading efforts to help us breathe life into a new and fantastical world." This led many to speculate that the next game would take place in a more fantastical setting than previous games, but ultimately this has not been confirmed.
There were also several job postings which led fans to conclude that BioShock 4 could be including more RPG elements. A listing for the position of Systems Designer said that the ideal candidate would have "an innate sense of how game systems connect and enhance one another in an emergent sand-box world." This could indicate that BioShock 4's world will be more of a sand-box than previous games, but again this is not confirmed. The description could simply be the experience the Cloud Chamber team is looking to bring to the table to diversify its conversation.
In a similar vein, there has been speculation that BioShock 4 could have a more Fallout-style dialogue system. It has been rumored that, unlike previous games, players will be presented with multiple dialogue options when dealing with NPCs instead of simply witnessing their character's response from a first-person perspective as in BioShock Infinite. This is based on a listing for the position of Senior Voice Designer.
This listing described the game as an "ambitious, narratively-driven project full of character and personality" and requested experience designing dialogue systems. Once again, however, this may not actually mean that BioShock 4 will have the kind of branching dialogue system seen in RPGs like those in the Fallout franchise.
Ultimately, the thing that has been undeniably confirmed about BioShock 4 is that it is in development. While some inklings of Cloud Chamber's aims can be inferred from the game's job listings, these listings can hardly be considered leaks or definitive information about features which will be included in the game. Over eight years since the release of BioShock Infinite, the franchise could go in any direction.
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