I'll be straight up, and praise Ken Levine—the auteur of Irrational Games—for being honest, at the same time I jape at his justification for the generic bro-shooter motif of BioShock Infinite's chin-down-eyes-up cover. Bottom line, says Levine, this cover ain't for us. 'Us' being those who put more care into buying a video game than we do salad dressing.
BioShock Infinite's cover, comparable to say, Uncharted 3, Battlefield 3, and WWE '12, is for the shlubs who don't know any better, Levine told Wired.
"There are plenty of products that I buy that I don't spend a lot of time thinking about," he said. "My salad dressing. If there's a new salad dressing coming out, I would have no idea. I use salad dressing; I don't read Salad Dressing Weekly. I don't care who makes it, I don't know any of the personalities in the salad dressing business."
Substitute "video games" for "salad dressing" and you see where he's headed.
So, Levine says, he stepped back and looked at the original BioShock's cover and judged it from a dudebro angle, saying the first BioShock's art spoke more to "a game about a robot and a little girl," rather than a cautionary story about the wholesale, unquestioning belief in ideals with a rapacious application.
Admittedly, that last part's hard to illustrate on a video game box.
So he's cool with the Call of BattleShock look. "We need to be successful to make these types of games, and I think it's important, and I think the cover is a small price for the hardcore gamer to pay," Levine told Wired.
Now I get it. It's sort of like the innuendo in the art of an album like Ratt's "Invasion of Your Privacy," which features a Playboy Playmate sprawled across the cover, but whose songs kinda examine the loss of real feeling in the transactional relationships of one's youth.
Or maybe BioShock Infinite is actually a game about shooting the shit out of something with a shotgun.