Global developer, marketer, distributor and publisher of interactive entertainment software 2K Games has announced the release date for the highly anticipated video game BioShock Infinite. The first person shoot will be available on Oct. 16 2012 in the U.S for PlayStation 3, XBOX 360 and PCs, and will be released internationally three days later.

The game, originally called Project Icarus, was developed by Irrational Games, which won more than 75 awards for their work at last year's E3 conference, including the Game Critics Awards' Best of Show. The BioShock franchise has sold over nine million games worldwide in total.

According to Irrational Games the new title takes the franchise to a whole new level of gameplay.

In order to explore the floating city of Columbia, we needed an entirely new engine. To bring Elizabeth to life, we had to build brand-new animation and AI systems, creative director of Irrational Games, Ken Levine said in a statement. To create wide-ranging indoor and outdoor firefights at 30,000 feet, we had to rethink, rebuild, and expand the BioShock arsenal. The only thing gamers can be certain of is this: the rules of the BioShock universe are about to change.

BioShock Infinite is set in the fictional floating sky-city of Columbia, an alternative, fictional version of America in the year 1912. The game follows protagonist former Pinkerton special agent Booker DeWitt, who is sent to the floating city to rescue Elizabeth, a young woman imprisoned there since her childhood. The two then battle a series of enemies and attempt to escape from the crumbling city of Columbia while their relationship blooms.

What sets the new BioShock game apart from the rest of the pack may be its focus on character driven story and serious voice acting coupled with deft CGI animation to bring the game to life. In one cutscene Elizabeth cries and behind the scenes, voice actress Courtney Draper forced herself to cry while acting out the scene.

The reason it was so difficult for [Courtnee] to get to that place was because... these scenes are so truncated in a lot of ways, compared to what you have in a movie, Levine revealed this month. So that took a lot of trust on their part, but it helped a lot to get that scene done.

As Elizabeth and DeWitt converse throughout the game, Levine hopes the player will connect emotionally with the protagonists.

BioShock Infinite is a prequel, set several decades earlier that the original BioShock, which was released in 2007, and BioShock 2, which came out in 2010.

After BioShock, we had a vision for a follow up that dwarfed the original in scope and ambition, said Levine. BioShock Infinite has been our sole focus for the last four years, and we can't wait for fans to get their hands on it.

There are plenty of other highly anticipated games coming out in 2012, including Mass Effect 3 which will soon be available in store, and Grand Theft Auto 5, set for release in November.