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- BioShock 4
BioShock 4 Parkside is a highly anticipated title, considering that the previous three main BioShock games are widely regarded as some of the best examples in the immersive genre. Some BioShock 4 leaks point to a new chapter being in development under the Parkside codename, hinting at an imminent return to this exciting multiverse.
Released in 2013, BioShock Infinite was a critical and commercial success, but this masterpiece was the last that we have heard from the series. So, what could 2K Games have in store for us, after such a brilliant episode? Is the BioShock 4 release date going to be announced soon, or is it even going to happen at all?
Here is everything we know about BioShock 4 Parkside.
BioShock 4 Parkside release date
No matter how much we want it to happen, it’s unlikely that we’ll get to play BioShock 4 during this console life cycle. With the looming release of the PlayStation 5, it’s likely that the BioShock series is going to skip a generation. This wouldn’t be a bad thing, because it would give the devs enough time to fully realize their vision under the best hardware available at the time.
With no official announcement in sight, it’s impossible to accurately predict a BioShock 4 release date. However, there are a few leaks hinting at a 2020 launch, including a strong rumor coming straight from popular industry analyst Michael Pachter. While Pachter is known for his hits and misses, he is used to make predictions based on his knowledge of the market and boasts some correct forecasts on his sheet, such as the battle royale mode for Call of Duty Black Ops 4.
Unless it is one of those surprise launches, the idea of having BioShock 4 releasing in 2020 is only conceivable if this translates into “late 2020.”
Who is the BioShock 4 Parkside developer?
Ken Levine, the creator of the BioShock series isn’t at the helm of BioShock 4, and the original development studio Irrational Games is also out of the picture. Irrational Games was restructured in 2014, with a full rebrand taking place in 2017. Now operating under the moniker of Ghost Story Games, the studio’s mission is to create smaller, non-linear player-driven games.
In 2014, 2K Marin, makers of BioShock 2, were assigned to work on future Bioshock games, which implied that the studio would be handling Bioshock 4 development duties. However, this wasn’t meant to be, and a new team under the 2K Games umbrella is now potentially working on BioShock 4.
Hot on the heels of Mafia 3, Hangar 13’s flawed but commercially successful debut title, some employees were recruited to help on a secret project codenamed Parkside, according to a 2018 report by Kotaku. As we now know, this is the upcoming Bioshock sequel, under development by an undisclosed 2K studio that started out with a small number of people. Slowly but surely, it enlisted the help of other developers across the video game industry, along with some key staff from Hangar 13.
Where will BioShock 4 Parkside be set? Is it a BioShock Infinite sequel?
It’s not likely that BioShock 4 will be a direct follow-up to BioShock Infinite, considering that the Burial at Sea DLC for the latter tied some loose ends. It’s also doubtful that a return to Rapture is in the cards, as this underwater city was covered throughout in BioShock and BioShock 2.
According to the words of one Hangar 13 employee, the BioShock 4 team is “trying to be really smart about figuring out what the core thing is.” Although all BioShock games share some of the mechanics and concepts, that “core thing” probably refers to the location and narrative.
A new location also jeopardizes the return of Big Daddy, Songbird, or even Elizabeth, although there are other elements at play that contribute to this, but we don’t want to spoil the series for new players.
Following several years of hiatus, it only makes sense for BioShock 4 to be set within a fresh new world, severing ties with the previous games as to not alienate players who aren’t familiar with previous events.
Which engine powers BioShock 4 Parkside?
BioShock 4 is rumored to be in development using Unreal Engine 4. This follows on the tradition of the series, as the two previous games were created with previous iterations of the Unreal Engine. Once again, this was confirmed by Hangar 13 staff, who in turn was using proprietary technology for its new IP.
Considering that Unreal Engine 4 is one of the best current solutions for game developers, it’s highly unlikely that BioShock 4 will be subject to a mid-development engine change, or even that Epic Games releases Unreal Engine 5 in the coming years.
BioShock 4 Parkside platforms
Previous BioShock games were released for the usual trinity, making it fair to assume that BioShock 4 will follow suit. BioShock 4 on PC is pretty much a given, with PS4 and Xbox One releases also likely to happen, in case the game releases during 2020 as some rumors point to. If the BioShock 4 release date slips to 2021, we’ll probably be talking about playing BioShock 4 on PS5 and the next Xbox, Project Scarlett.
A Nintendo release shouldn’t be ruled out, although the BioShock games are praised for their detailed and complex game worlds, with the visual art design of Columbia and Rapture pushing the envelope. A BioShock 4 release on Nintendo Switch would surely imply a visual downgrade, but hopefully nothing that capable of hindering immersion.
Is BioShock 4 Parkside going to happen?
There is no doubt that a BioShock 4 release is planned. 2K Games is sitting on one of its most acclaimed franchises and it is no secret that a team of developers is working on the next chapter. The question here isn’t if, but when the next BioShock game will hit the stores. Let’s hope that Pachter’s forecast is right and BioShock 4 releases in 2020.