During the Summer Game Fest Xbox Showcase, developer inXile revealed its new steampunk roleplaying game called Clockwork Revolution. “New” though the game may be, the trailer had some viewers experiencing deja vu, as in some ways it appears to ape ten-year-old trailers for Irrational Games’ BioShock Infinite beat-per-beat.
Clockwork Revolution sees players traveling back in time to key moments in the creation of an opulent steampunk city called Avallon to alter the course of events for the metropolis using an assortment of old-timey-looking guns and psychic abilities against an army of soldiers and robots. And while these story details certainly sound quite similar—though not identical—to plot elements in BioShock Infinite, it does seem as if one piece of Infinite which Clockwork Revolution’s developers may have taken particular inspiration from are its trailers, as imagery in the Clockwork Revolution reveal is often strikingly similar to shot compositions and framings we see in BioShock Infinite’s 10-year-old launch trailer.
A since-deleted Twitter thread from a user named Butmac (who claims they produced the BioShock Infinite trailers around 10 years ago) featured side-by-side screenshots showcasing how similar the propaganda signage littering the steampunk cityscape, mechanized automaton enemies, and character design flourishes we see in Clockwork Revolution’s trailer are to equivalent details from BioShock Infinite’s.
Kotaku reached out to Butmac for comment.
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Since the release of Clockwork Revolution’s official reveal trailer, both inXile studio head Brian Fargo and a representative at Microsoft have responded to folks claiming the “time-bending steampunk first-person RPG” aped major story beats from BioShock Infinite.
In a recent report from IGN, a Microsoft spokesperson said “any similarities are unintentional” and stressed the gameplay differences between the two titles by highlighting the fact that, unlike in BioShock Infinite, “players will be able to fully customize their own main character” in Clockwork Revolution.
“Important to know that Clockwork Revolution is a true RPG with all of the stats, crunchy details and deep reactivity that we’re known for,” Fargo wrote in a Twitter post.
Clockwork Revolution does not have a release date, but when it does, it’s slated to release on Xbox Series X/S and Windows PC.
Update 06/14/2023 7:23 p.m. ET: Changed text to reflect deletion of Twitter thread.