BioShock Infinite is not a sequel to the other games in the series — in fact, it’s an entirely new story that pulls on the themes and design elements of those that came before.

And there are some key differences. Players get right into the middle of the action in this game, as opposed to dealing with the fallout from a major conflict, said lead designer Ken Levine in an interview with Spike TV.

And rather than spend their time in the dark, underwater city that was the setting of BioShock and BioShock 2, in BioShock Infinite, players get to explore the floating city of Columbia. Columbia is an idealized city based on the principles of the American dream that’s on the verge of cracking wide open.

“With its gorgeous, yet eccentric visuals, intelligently insane plot and larger than life characters, BioShock Infinite comes on like the illegitimate offspring of John Steinbeck and Fritz Lang,” wrote The Guardian’s Nick Cowen of the setting.

The game is in development, and expected to hit stores sometime in 2012.

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