We've known for a while that 2K Games and Cloud Chamber are working on the next entry in the BioShock series, but a handful of recently discovered job listings suggest that BioShock 4 could be a major departure from the previous three entries.
According to a bunch of new listings over on Cloud Chamber's careers page spotted by PCGamesN, BioShock 4 (not the game's official name but I'll be calling it that for now for the sake of clarity) will be an open-world adventure. These listings go on to confirm the game will feature "character-driven stories" and plenty of side-quests to compliment the primary missions. That's certainly a break from tradition for the predominately linear BioShock series.
Cloud Chamber is currently hiring for several positions, including an AI programmer, a tools programmer, senior world designer, a senior technical designer, and a senior writer. This last position will be based in the studio's Montreal office, and the ad explains the ideal candidate will be able to "weave impactful, character-driven stories in an open-world setting."
The senior writer ad also reveals that the writing team will work to come up with "primary and secondary mission content with the design", and will also assist in "the creation and execution of the core story including the writing of dialogue and other narrative elements as director".
None of the other job ads are quite as informative, but the AI programmer role does touch on an "urban crowd system" and "the systemic tribal ecology of a sometimes hostile AI". That definitely suggests Cloud Chamber's open-world setting will feel much more populated and alive than previous BioShock adventures.
This isn't actually the first time Cloud Chamber job listings have teased a more open BioShock 4. Late last year, a listing for a systems designer touched on an "emergent sandbox world" with "interactive world systems and non-AI systemic ecology, player growth systems and progression and game balance and economy." This obviously suggested an open-world, but the new job listings have pretty much outright confirmed that theory.
Still, it's worth remembering that a lot can change during development. Just because job ads are teasing open worlds and side quests now doesn't necessarily mean that's going to be BioShock 4's final form.
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