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Irrational Games reveals BioShock Infinite PC details

Irrational Games reveals BioShock Infinite PC details

BioShock Infinite won't repeat the transgressions of its predecessors, Irrational Games claims, with proper PC support this time around.

Irrational Games has released the official PC system requirements for BioShock Infinite - and perhaps the biggest shock, given the current trend toward nailed-down console ports in the PC gaming industry, is the sheer wealth of options available to gamers.

BioShock Infinite, a reboot of the BioShock franchise which was in turn a spiritual successor to System Shock 2, will be launching on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Windows later this year - which, in today's gaming market, usually means PC gamers will be treated to a locked-down console port with little control over graphical settings. Except, refreshingly, that's not to be the case with BioShock Infinite.

'Fifteen years ago, Irrational Games got its start making PC games, and the PC gaming experience has always been near and dear to our hearts,' begins a post on the Irrational Insider by Irrational's technical director Chris Kline. 'But it’s been a long time since we released the original BioShock, and PC gamers have come to expect a lot more for their money. So it’s understandable that you might be wondering: Will BioShock Infinite treat you right?'

That's a very good question: when the original BioShock launched for Windows, it came with a serious hitch: a locked field of vision that meant widescreen gamers weren't seeing the full picture. The same problem cropped up in BioShock 2, although both games would eventually receive patches to address the cropping problem.

Irrational Games clearly wants to avoid the BioShock franchise being three-for-three, and Kline's post goes quite some way to detailing the ways in which the Windows port of the game is superior to the console releases. Controls, Kline explains, will be completely remappable through the options menu, while high-end gaming mice aren't hindered by artificial smoothing and both sensitivity and mouse acceleration are adjustable. Those who prefer a console controller - 'don’t worry, traitor, your secret is safe with us,' Kline quips - will find three controller configurations and options for aim assist, sensitivity, vibration and look inversion, as well as four analogue stick configurations for left- and right-handers. All user interface elements are also controllable via the keyboard and mouse or game pad - and you can switch between either input methods without even pausing the game.

Kline's explanation of the graphics options is where things get interesting: six presets ranging from Very Low to Ultra will be included, while a custom configuration menu provides access to anti-aliasing, texture detail, texture filtering, dynamic shadows, post-processing, light shafts, ambient occlusion and object level of detail controls - many of which include special modes only accessible under DirectX 11, for which Kline promises full support at launch including contact-hardening dynamic shadows, diffusion depth of field, high definition ambient occlusion and specially optimised anti-aliasing. Support for V-sync control and in-game field of vision adjustment are also included.

Impressively, Irrational Games will also be providing full studio-resolution textures on the game discs, allowing those with enough video memory and compute throughput to enjoy pixel-perfect renditions of the games' various sky-borne environments. 'You may not enjoy the three-DVD install,' Kline admits, 'but we hope you will appreciate the jaw-dropping detail our amazing team of artists lavished on the game.'

As if that wasn't enough, Kline has also revealed that the widescreen SNAFUs of BioShocks past won't be repeated. 'This time around, we’ve fully embraced widescreen gaming. With our implementation of “horizontal plus” widescreen support, the wider you go, the more you’ll see of Columbia’s gorgeous vistas.'. That widescreen engine also extends to multi-monitor configurations, Kline explains, with out-of-the-box support for AMD Eyefinity, Nvidia Surround and Matrox TripleHead2Go hardware, while also providing separate controls for aspect ratio, resolution and a choice of fullscreen, windowed and fullscreen-windowed display modes. Support for the Big Picture mode introduced in Valve's Steam digital distribution service is also included - as is support for Steam Cloud.

But what sort of a rig will you need to play this wonder-game? Kline claims that his company has worked hard to ensure the engine scales up and down the hardware spectrum, making it compatible with mid- to high-end gaming rigs. The minimum specification recommends a 32-bit install of Windows Vista with Service Pack 2 running on an Intel Core 2 Duo at 2.4GHz or better or an AMD Athlon X2 at 2.7GHz or better, with 2GB of RAM, 20GB free hard drive space and an ATI Radeon HD 3870, Nvidia 8800 GT or Intel HD 3000 Series graphics chip and 512MB of video memory.

If you want to see what the high-resolution textures and DirectX 11 support can really do, you'll want to check out Irrational's recommended specifications: a Windows 7 Service Pack 1 64-bit install on a quad-core processor, 4GB of memory, 30GB free hard drive space and an AMD Radeon HD 6950 or Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 with 1GB of RAM or better.

'We’re incredibly excited about the quality of BioShock Infinite on the PC platform,' claims Kline in conclusion, 'and we can’t wait for you to experience it for yourself on March 26th.'

20 Comments

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damien c 16th January 2013, 10:51 Quote
Sounds good but will have to wait and see how it pans out.

Never played any of the Bioshock games, but this one seems like one I might try.

For me graphics is a big factor when playing some games, and if I have never played any of the game in the series I simply don't bother with new ones but when I hear of stuff like this where they are going to pay extra attention to the pc version then, it gets my attention.
ev1lm1nd666 16th January 2013, 10:51 Quote
Cool, looks like my pc will handle the game at high/full settings....
r3loaded 16th January 2013, 11:09 Quote
PC gaming sure is making a comeback! :)

Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk 2
Si_the-dude 16th January 2013, 11:16 Quote
I am beyond desperate to get my hands on a copy of this. It's nice to see they've actually put some thought into the PC version of the game though I'll believe it when I see it!! :D
Deders 16th January 2013, 11:39 Quote
Do pre release specs even mean anything these days?
Mankz 16th January 2013, 11:53 Quote
30Gb's of space...

Daymn.
lacuna 16th January 2013, 12:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by damien c


For me graphics is a big factor when playing some games, and if I have never played any of the game in the series I simply don't bother with new ones but when I hear of stuff like this where they are going to pay extra attention to the pc version then, it gets my attention.

Because who gives a **** how it plays so long as its pretty

</PC Gamer>
damien c 16th January 2013, 12:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by lacuna
Quote:
Originally Posted by damien c


For me graphics is a big factor when playing some games, and if I have never played any of the game in the series I simply don't bother with new ones but when I hear of stuff like this where they are going to pay extra attention to the pc version then, it gets my attention.

Because who gives a **** how it plays so long as its pretty

</PC Gamer>

As I said graphics are a big factor but not the only factor.

I like the Call Of Duty games, not because of there graphics but because of the gameplay.

There are other games that have poor graphics that I play such as Minecraft etc because the gameplay is good.

It's just I would rather play games that are nice to look at aswell as being good at gameplay, in this day and age games should have really good graphics and good gameplay and not look like they were made over 10 years ago.
abezors 16th January 2013, 13:30 Quote
The inclusion of high-res textures is a nice bonus to us PC guys. Come to think of it, I wish more PC releases followed this idea. Having a 3 or 4 disc install is awesome if it gives you enhanced content. Plus it gives even more people a real reason to switch to a PC over consoles
kingred 16th January 2013, 14:31 Quote
Please change to disc 2...
Shirty 16th January 2013, 14:50 Quote
Positive steps, but yet another game which proves my theory that at 1080p or below, a 560Ti will handle anything acceptably.

The top cards of this generation are fantastic products and essential for big or multiple monitors, but are utter overkill for mainstream PC gamers.
damien c 16th January 2013, 15:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shirty
Positive steps, but yet another game which proves my theory that at 1080p or below, a 560Ti will handle anything acceptably.

The top cards of this generation are fantastic products and essential for big or multiple monitors, but are utter overkill for mainstream PC gamers.

There are games that require the higher end cards if you want to max them out on the current generation though, Battlefield 3 whilst can be maxed out at 1080p on a GTX480 or similar it just does not feel smooth enough or atleast to me it doesn't.

I know Crysis 2 is also graphics heavy and Crysis 3 is supposed to be even more intense on the graphics card.

Granted a 560ti will handle most games, but it will start to struggle this year I think.
r3loaded 16th January 2013, 18:54 Quote
Actually, Crysis 2, Metro 2033 and Battlefield 3 are three games I can name that my 560 Ti will struggle with if everything is maxed out at 1080p.
Shirty 16th January 2013, 20:32 Quote
That's the difference between "acceptably" and "maxed out" though. I don't think any games will crucify the 560Ti yet.
spolsh 16th January 2013, 21:37 Quote
I suspect that to a few gamers - maxed out is exactly equal to acceptably. The rigs that quite a few bit-techers have would seem to confirm that.

While true that a 560 ti will run pretty much everything thrown at it (especially if settings are reduced from max), there'll always be some that need the extra eye-candy to truly enjoy the game.
Shirty 16th January 2013, 22:21 Quote
Don't worry folks, I haven't lost my mind. I'm just trying to soften the blow of having to downgrade from a 670 to a 560Ti 448 to buy tyres of all things.

But you get my point ;)
spolsh 16th January 2013, 22:38 Quote
I know what that's like ... Given the choice, I'd of chosen tyres too.
Xploitedtitan 17th January 2013, 05:43 Quote
GTX 580 w/ 3 GB RAM, no toning down for me, even w/ native res of screen at 2560x1440 o/
LordPyrinc 17th January 2013, 06:37 Quote
@1080 Skyrim with all the high rez texture packs loaded and all the eye candy maxed out, it was playable on one 550Ti, but with two 550Tis, the difference was amazing. I never tried running it with a 560Ti though. I'm still on the fence though about SLI v's a single next gen card since this is my first foray into SLI. I had some power fluctuation issues initially, but those turned out to be related to my surge protector and had nothing to do with the PC itself.
liratheal 17th January 2013, 09:07 Quote
I might buy the game for the sake of buying it - Because they did it right.

You know, assuming this isn't all guff.
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