BioShock Infinite begins similarly to the original BioShock. It's an intentional throwback—a rowboat is carrying Booker DeWitt through stormy seas to a lighthouse on a small island. A caption tells you that it's 1912, and you're off the coast of Maine. Booker's handed a cigar box with a gun and a photo inside—just like in the first game.
On the door of the lighthouse is a sign that reads, "Bring us the girl and wipe away your debt—this is your last chance," giving us the first hint at what Infinite's story is all about. There's creepy religious music playing inside the lighthouse, and bloody handprints on the wall lead toward a hooded corpse with a bullet in its brain. It's clearly a warning: don't fuck this up.
A chair at the lighthouse's peak straps Booker in once he sits down, and the room quickly condenses into a pod, echoing the first bathysphere trip from BioShock 1. But instead of going down, you're going up this time.