Bioshock 3 is coming. But when? And how? Let’s unpack the rumors and see what we find.
In January, analyst Michael Pachter told GamesIndustry.biz that Take-Two would announce a new Bioshock sometime this year, to be released in 2020.
Now, Pachter’s not always right. In that same interview, he claimed Elder Scrolls VI development would be “accelerated” and that it would release this year. That didn’t happen. But he also claimed Nintendo would release a Switch Lite in 2019, which was (or soon will be) correct.
So, where does that leave us? There are more than a few reasons to believe Bioshock 3 really is just over the horizon. Since early 2018, rumors have swirled about a potential 2019-2020 release date, and things are starting to heat up.
It all revolves around a project code-named Parkside.
Bioshock 3: Project Parkside?
The biggest rumor circulating about Bioshock 3 is that of an “internal source” and the secretive “Project Parkside.” Rumors of this “Parkside” have been floating around since early 2018.
According to this rumor, Bioshock 3’s development is somehow related to Novato, California-based developer Hangar 13, whose previous credits include Mafia III, as well as work on the Ultra HD remastered versions of Borderlands 2 and The Pre-Sequel.
However, in reality Hangar 13 may not be the ones actually developing it. Instead, they might be hanging out next door. A Kotaku article in April 2018 revealed that, after finishing Mafia III, some Hangar 13 devs slid on over to a “top-secret studio next door” to work on what might just be the new Bioshock game.
There’s good reason to believe that Bioshock 3 has been under development for quite some time.
So what’s it all about, according to this rumor? If what follows is true, there may be potential spoilers ahead (as well as spoilers for Bioshock 2), so keep that in mind before you continue reading.
Rapture Leaks to the Surface
Just this month, an anonymous poster on 4chan, under the username Zhykionn, shared an alleged outline of Bioshock 3’s setting and minor plot details, along with a possible announcement timeframe.
According to this individual’s sources, production on the game began three years ago, and it’s currently at an “advanced state of development.”
Set in 1971 London, Bioshock 3 will continue following the events directly after Bioshock 2. As Eleanor Lamb stated in most of 2’s endings, “the world was about to change” with her arrival to the surface. And so it did. The discoveries of Rapture made their way out of the deep ocean and into the everyday lives of ordinary people and nations. Rapture was just the beginning.
“The genetic discoveries of the Plasmids, and of the Adam, have brought many nations of the world to an unprecedented new golden age. Unleashing innumerable crises, towards the search for a perfect utopia.”
In Bioshock 3, you’ll play as Lucas, an American orphan who spends his time in London as a thief, though he previously worked for Ryan Industries. Due to some shenanigans involving the Pinkertons, he finds himself “accused of being connected to” the fall of Rapture. Eventually, he runs into Eleanor Lamb herself, within a clock tower.
“The prologue of the game takes place during another robbery, like so many others, but during the escape, while is hiding inside the clock tower, Lucas will casually meet a young woman, Eleanor Lamb, who will warn him to pay attention to the so-called Gentleman…”
These so-called Gentlemen were created by the top minds of Columbia City, apparently a new form of Big Daddy. The Gentlemen are tasked with protecting their respective Ladies, presumably adult versions of Rapture’s Little Sisters, who go about the similar task of recovering Adam from “those who have abused it.”
Characters returning to the story are said to include Brigid Tenenbaum and, strangely, the Lutece Twins.
As for the gameplay, according to the leak, Bioshock 3 will feature a cross between Bioshock 2 and Infinite, with a mixture of open areas with “environmental destructibility” and traditionally linear levels.
Bioshock 3 Release Date & Platforms
Allegedly, Bioshock 3 will be announced sometime this winter, between December 2019 and March 2020, and might even show up both on current and next gen consoles. Some have speculated, however, that the game may end up an Epic Store exclusive on PC, given the current situation with Borderlands 3.
For now, these are all just rumors, but I can’t say I’m not intrigued.
The Bioshock series remains one of my favorites, and despite Irrational Games closing and Ken Levine moving on from the franchise, a Bioshock 3 might just be worth a look. I liked Bioshock 2 well enough, and think there are plenty of interesting directions to take the series.
I like parts of what I’ve heard in the above rumor. The idea of continuing on directly from Bioshock 2, seeing the discoveries of Rapture integrating with the world above, and following Eleanor Lamb makes sense. I’d like to see that.
However, the possible inclusion of both Columbia and the Lutece Twins makes things a bit murkier, considering the ending of Bioshock Infinite.
Then again, while every possible version of Elizabeth may have snuffed out every possible version of Booker DeWitt during his baptism, therefore preventing Comstock from ever existing, Lutece is still out there. There’s no particular reason Columbia couldn’t go on to exist in some other form, led by some other person. Or that Lutece wouldn’t follow the same path and perform the same experiments.
After all, if you really think about it, Lutece, not Comstock, was the reason the universe started tearing itself apart to begin with. Elizabeth may have broken one circle, but another one continued.
Perhaps that’d be the theme of this one: That utopia is a fool’s errand and bad things are going to happen no matter what or who is involved.
Anyway, whether or not the plot details of the Parkside Project rumor are true, I do think we’ll likely see something related to Bioshock in 2020, whether in the form of an announcement or even a full release at the end of the year. The next console generation is swiftly approaching, after all.