BioShock was one of 2007's greatest games. But not everyone could play it. While Xbox 360 and PC owners enjoyed the terrors of underwater city Rapture, PS3 owners were left out in the cold. Now, with Microsoft's exclusivity deal with publisher 2K Games over, it has decided to rectify that fact and bring the first-person shooter to Sony's console. But, is it too little too late? At E3 last week we sat down with 2K Games senior producer Melissa Miller to find out and to get the low down on the exclusive Challenge Room DLC.
VideoGamer.com: Do you think there's less interest in BioShock PS3 because it came out on 360 already?
Melissa Miller: Well, I don't know. We've had a couple of interviews with people to find out what's different on PS3. Yeah, I don't know.
VideoGamer.com: Everyone is excited about the exclusive content the PS3 version is going to get. Is the DLC going to be there from launch?
MM: Right now we're not discussing our release window just yet. Right now we're just concentrating on BioShock PS3 launch in October. Our strategy for E3 is just to say, hey, we are going to be doing this add-on content. I mean, it's a really great thing. One of the designers from the first game, Dorean Hart, was really the leader for designing these challenge rooms. It was just great to be sitting there with him and talking about all the different ideas. The challenge rooms ended up being this really really cool idea. At E3 we just wanted to announce that they exist, because we are doing some other unique stuff for the PS3 version that will be on the disc. For the 360 and PC versions we did release a series of patches as well as downloadable content with the new plasmids and gene tonics - all that stuff is already going to be on the PS3 disc. You can play through and get Sonic Boom and some of the other gene tonics that were released after the initial launch. We've added a new survivor difficulty mode. It's super hardcore! We're actually excited about that. I can't even play it, it's so ridiculous.
VideoGamer.com: Are there any other changes or improvements?
MM: Well, we're also going to have trophy support. We're one of the first third-party PlayStation 3 games to be including trophies. In terms of anything else, we feel like the original was such a great experience, and we want to be be respectful and bring that same experience at the same quality to the PlayStation 3 audience. I think that's why if you look at the challenge rooms, we're within the themes of Rapture, but we're not necessarily trying to revise the story. We know it's a great story and we appreciate that fans think it's a great story and we want to bring that the PS3 audience intact.
VideoGamer.com: Are trophies going to be awarded for similar things that you got achievements for in the Xbox 360 version?
MM: At the moment we're not talking about what the trophies are, just that we're going to have them in the game.
VideoGamer.com: What's the reasoning for bringing the game to PS3 now?
MM: In terms of the timing, we wanted to make sure the PS3 version was just as great as the original, and we're taking our time to make sure we hit that bar of quality that we held ourselves too with the original. We're not trying to rush out the door to get it there. We want to do this right and we want to do this respectfully.
VideoGamer.com: So are the challenge rooms going to all be completely new environments or will some use areas we've already seen in BioShock on Xbox 360 and PC?
MM: Well, Ferris Wheel was actually designed for the original game and we ended up cutting it, so when we were talking about these new spaces and designing them, that was one of the first ideas that came up - there as a little sister trapped at the top of the Ferris wheel. We were like "yeah, that's really cool" and you could immediately imagine it and it fitting nicely thematically with how the little sisters have been treated in the game. We're not giving you the choice to harvest or save, but rescue her for the Ferris wheel. They really went to town with all the carnival stuff, so that's all new and just really really cool. Again, we're not talking about other rooms, but we're excited when we will be able to show them off, because it's really nice to get back into Rapture and to be making these new spaces.
VideoGamer.com: Are you able to confirm how many rooms there'll be or how many hours of gameplay they'll add to the game?
MM: Sorry, but I can't say. At E3 we just wanted to show people that we're doing this exclusive PS3 downloadable content.
VideoGamer.com: Have you been able to improve the graphics in the PS3 version?
MM: We're looking to match the quality of the original version. We want to make sure that the water is just as great, and I think you can see from the demonstration, that it looks no different from the 360 version.
VideoGamer.com: Is there enough here to interest existing owners?
MM: Yeah, I think the new survivor difficulty mode is really cool. People can see how good they really are, and understanding BioShock and the rules of Rapture, and the tools. I love that feeling when you play through and wonder if you can do certain things and then you do and it's awesome. Challenging people with the new mode is awesome. With the add-on content we think that's another thing that offers people another reason to re-visit Rapture.
VideoGamer.com: Thanks for your time.
BioShock is due out for PS3 this October.