BioShock: Infinite, which allows psychic Elizabeth to open a tear in reality to summon a choice of aid, are integral to the overall plot of the game.
According to Levine, gameplay mechanics should be more than just a gameplay option. “I’ve always felt that the game systems and your narrative have to be interwoven. You didn’t just find magic powers in Rapture. They were very tied in to what happened with the city," he stated.
"They were very tied in to the vision of the city, these people trying to perfect themselves and the hubris of that. But that’s tied into the splicers and your powers and everything that happened to you and who you were. Elizabeth’s story and the tears and why she was in that tower and what her powers mean are central to the game,” he described.
During the E3 2011 demo, for instance, Elizabeth opened a reality tear that took her and protagonist Booker briefly to an alternate reality 1983 with a theater showing "Revenge of the Jedi".
“We really had trouble explaining, even to the press, exactly what the tears were until we did that thing at E3 with the Revenge of the Jedi thing,” he noted, adding, "Obviously it evolved into a slightly different form in the actual game, now that you’re playing the actual game. But it very quickly explained a lot to people, in a very clear way, what was going on. Some of these things are just useful for conveying information, and some of them are useful as part of a larger mystery.”
BioShock Infinite is due to be released on PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in March 2013.