These are literally the first words you hear in BioShock Infinite:
“Booker… Are you afraid of God?”
Yeah, it gets less subtle from there. But a lot more interesting.
Here are the first five minutes, largely lacking spoilers but with plenty of information about Booker DeWitt.
The first, and likely very relevant, piece of information was that Booker participated in or was at least present for the Wounded Knee Massacre. Stating right up front your hero was involved in one of the more severe atrocities against Native Americans in the history of the country is… well… yikes.
Also, the whole setup with the boat couldn’t be less subtle if we learned it was named the Charon. Although this does raise the question of what two Brits are doing on the Maine coast in the early twentieth century.
Anyway, once you get into the lighthouse, in a bit clearly meant to evoke the original BioShock, you start hearing That Old-Time Religion, a gospel song that dates from 1889. The samplers aren’t a specific reference to anything outside of the game, aside from being creepy. It is worth noting that with the technology at the time, somebody had to specifically pick that song and set it up for Booker to hear. They’ve also got pretty good timing, considering when “It will do when I am dying” kicks in during the sequence.
The map you see, for those wondering, seems to have stops in, among other places, Buffalo, Atlanta, Baton Rouge, Chicago, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Birmingham, St. Louis, and Salt Lake City. It’s hard to tell from the map, but it seems that Columbia’s Maine stopover is Portland.
Finally, it seems that Columbia is well ahead of the space program in many respects. That… can’t be good.
We’ll know more this March.