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Warning: Spoilers below

Warning: Spoilers below

BioShock Infinite has been getting a lot of somewhat less than glorious press lately for its over the top violence. Kotaku calls it insane and ridiculous, a reviewer at Polygon argues that its too offensive for his sensitive spouse, and Slate says that the violence kind of just drowns out any meaningful interaction in the game. I think all of these folks are right, but each of them also somehow manages to apologize for the game, as though there were a kernel of an amazing game once you dig out the buckshot from the wounds inflicted by its horrible and boring “play” design. Mind-bending finale aside, I don’t think there is a patient to “save.”

There is no salvation for Bioshock Infinite.

There is no salvation for Bioshock Infinite.

I genuinely feel bad trashing a game like Infinite because its clear so much time, artistic talent, and money went into creating an immersive world. I mean, how can you fault the vision of a game designer who places hundreds of cultural artifacts all around the world, includes amazing details in the environment like a small orphan child hiding under a doorway (who Elizabeth hands an apple to), and has such a weird and evocative world to share with us? In light of these strengths, I think that Infinite should have been a short film, and not a game.

Welcome to Columbia - please don't touch anything or interact with anyone.

Welcome to Columbia – please don’t touch anything or interact with anyone. Image courtesy of Jblivin.

If I were to compare BioShock Infinite to a movie, it would likely not be the Dark Knight (as some have suggested), but rather Inception. Like Nolan’s mind-bender, Infinite bookends traditional fare with surrealist interpretations of reality. Infinite fails, however, because it has almost nothing interesting to say about the medium in which it is published. This failure of meaning starts with Infinite’s core mechanics of gameplay, which are ultimately tedious (apart from occasional spurts of thrills), vicious, and fail to interact with the game’s more polished artistic conceptions. This is in stark contrast to the original BioShock’s mechanics, which served to advance the story in key ways, while preserving an engaging and thrilling type of combat.


I mean, I’ll admit I was quite surprised the first time I decapitated someone in-game. This is in part because of Infinite’s odd cartoony graphics, as well as the disembodied feel of the violence itself (I always felt like I was shooting skeet, instead of people). Infinite has the “feel” of old-school shooters, rather than a modern FPS. Another reviewer compared it to Doom, and I think that the modern versions Time Splitters or Serious S.A.M. are probably more apt comparisons.

Booker would have felt right at home in Mars.

Booker would have felt right at home in Mars.

I started playing Infinite at the highest difficulty, having recently become acclimated to the satisfying combat of Tomb Raider and Dark Souls, but I almost immediately turned the difficulty down to medium – I’m simply not a polished FPS player, so I was dying alot. But soon, I turned the game’s difficulty down further to easy, not because I was dying, but because I was just so damned tired of the uninspired murder-marathons which involved killing huge numbers of random people with my relatively unexciting arsenal of vigors and weapons.

Mowing down people has never felt this...obligatory...

Mowing down people has never felt this…obligatory… Image courtesy of TheJiff

It started taking forever, and, well, I just didn’t care. Not that the combat was too boring to continue, but I just didn’t feel invested in anything that was happening – I felt like I was peeling potatoes in between segments of a particularly boring Saturday morning cartoon.

peeling potatoes

Eventually the game’s combat and collection mechanism started to feel like Borderlands 2, and not in a good way (2k was involved in both Infinite and Borderlands so this is not surprising). At least in Borderlands 2 the collection-mania had a lot of purple excitement, whereas in Infinite I am constantly picking up fruit or coins to buy upgrades. The upgrades are of course super boring themselves – enhance damage, clip-size, firing rate, etc. But generally, even assuming that you wanted to play a vanilla-flavored mash-up of Borderlands 2 and Serious S.A.M. (with a Half-Life 2 partner-AI character thrown in as a bonus), this is not that game.

This guy learned how to speak from the teacher in Peanuts.

This guy learned how to speak from the teacher in Peanuts.

I mean, I thought that Borderlands 2 had more character in its opening scene than Columbia has in its whole beginning-to-mid-game (amazing art design aside). What I mean is that once you get past the dull repetition of enemy invasions into your game experience – when all of the people disappear and 20 dudes start trying to kill you – the meat itself doesn’t offer an interesting experience. Even assuming that tacking on a boring shooter game to an actually interesting story is somehow a legitimate way to conduct a gaming experience (its not, though I quite like the reverse, I’m looking at you Borderlands 2) the story-parts of BioShock Infinite are utterly uninspired and fail to redeem the actual “game” parts of of the game.

What was the point to this whole narrative? Why couldn't one of Daisy's hundreds of annoying soldiers have gone to the workshop?   Also, why did these guys need to have stereotypical accents?

What was the point to this whole narrative? Why couldn’t one of Daisy’s hundreds of annoying soldiers have gone to the workshop? Also, why did these guys need to have stereotypical accents?

The first thing you will note about the social interactions in the game (apart from Elizabeth) is that people are constantly yammering all around you on a megaphone or on a voice recording. Unlike Handsome Jack in Borderlands 2, I didn’t care about what these people are saying, because (a) I hadn’t met them, (b) they are difficult to understand, and (c) oftentimes the megaphone’s blare meant that another group of indistinguishable baddies was about to appear out of nowhere, start shooting at me and totally interrupt my progress in the story and my exploration of all the visual treats of the world. I wish that at some point the megaphones would shut up, people would stop communicating with me via tape recorder like some sort of illiterate roommate mad about my bathroom mess, and have someone come down and engage in an actual conversation with me! I seriously got lonely in the game, and not in the Dark-Souls-Despair-For-My-Plight-Lonely way, just plain old boring-lonely.

Infinite fails, however, because it has almost nothing interesting to say about the medium in which it is published.

Even the main character is an obnoxious and silent narrator who only engages with his female companion in cursory conversation (like omg are you sad, let me comfort you), and this dullness means that the big reveal at the end of the game is totally and utterly hollow – Booker/Comstock’s death merely enhanced my already ambivalent attitude towards the whole enterprise.

The exception that proves the rule is the touching scene where I play a guitar and Elizabeth sits and sings. I mean, that was the most human thing that happened in the game’s main narrative, but about 5 seconds later I mowed down like 50 more dudes, and me and Elizabeth NEVER SPOKE OF IT AGAIN.

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One of the first characters who you actually interact with is the leader of the Vox Populi – an opposition leader to Comstock’s, well…racist regime? What follows is a series of unintelligible quantum activities on the part of Booker and Elizabeth in search of certain “gun technologies” for Daisy (wtf was up with this storyline? It is seriously the most hackneyed and dumb way for our character to interact with the coolest new person on the block – the revolutionary), leading to Booker’s transformation into a revolutionary and Elizabeth’s violent turn.

This entire storyline is discarded in significance once the Vox become simply another group of men that I must murder with my murder-skills.

Daisy could have been an interesting frenemy.  Instead she goes crazy too quickly.

Daisy could have been an interesting frenemy. Instead she goes crazy too quickly.

As an aside, Bioshock Infinite never really explains the racism of Columbia, other than, presumably, the religious nature of Comstock/Booker’s rebirth.

Religious people are racist you see.

Religious people are racist you see.

These developments, in addition to being poorly scripted and poorly integrated into Booker’s story (itself boring until the very end), fail to compensate for the lack of an intelligible game structure outside of the murder-sprees. Thus they are further drained of any emotional significance, and the game comes full circle when you begin murdering both Vox and Comstock’s men. There aren’t even any mini-bosses to enable me to gloat and cheer about my ruthless bloodshed! (Lady Comstock does not count).

Elizabeth LOVES dancing.  Because she is a girl, get it?

Elizabeth LOVES dancing. Because she is a girl, get it?

Infinite has no puzzles, no blocks to manipulate with my mind, and even the most interesting mechanic – RIPPING HOLES IN THE UNIVERSE – is wasted on creating ammo and other boring stuff. Really? The closest thing to interactivity is when I zap a SINGLE ELECTRIC switch (literally) which Elizabeth tells me to zap (and by the way, getting the electric power to zap this switch takes forever and constitutes a huge section of the early game). The other mechanic that approaches interactivity is the roller-coasters, but these are basically just advanced grappling hooks/ziplines (ala Arkham Asylum/Tomb Raider/Every Other Game In the Last 5 Years). Its not like I can go anywhere interesting on the roller-coasters (It would have been cool if they had a roller coaster that went all the way around the game’s environment!).

I hope you like zip-lines!

I hope you like zip-lines!

As an aside, why is it that every time I interact with the environment my hand has to come out and slowly do something, like I was a weird animatronic puppet masturbating a woodland creature? I mean, is it necessary for me to ACTUALLY CATCH EVERYTHING THAT ELIZABETH THROWS? Did the game developers think that if I saw Booker’s hand pop-out occasionally it would somehow substitute for the lack of meaningful character interaction? Was there a point in having my hand push open doors? They didn’t add quick-time events (like Arkham City), but even this small amount of immersion would have been a welcome change.

I myself would like to tear open a hole in the universe where I get to play an actual game.

I myself would like to tear open a hole in the universe where I get to play an actual game.

I think the lack of interactivity/exploration is the rot at the core of Infinite’s failure. Not only does the game have zero choices that matter (or maybe there is one? I don’t really know), the structure of the environments themselves are linear and discourage exploration. The lack of choice, of meaningful interaction extends to the plot. It is highly ironic that a game purportedly based on quantum dynamics and choice, contains no actual choices. Think about that – by the end, I literally did nothing in the game except move from one scene to another. While lots of games are like this, exploration and discovery form a significant part of the emotional core of a game. Even a game like Tomb Raider, which is similarly linear in plot, at least at times made me feel like there was a world to explore. An actual masterpiece like Dark Souls permits the brain to map out an entire world, and traverse through it with reckless glee, discovering and letting the plot unfold around you.

Is it wrong to have polyamorous incestual desires in a videogame?

Is it wrong to have polyamorous incestual desires in a videogame?

The lack of interactivity, the abandoned storylines, the weird boring, never-ending violence all stand in stark contrast, however, to the final 25 minutes of the game, which are pretty fascinating and very well produced. Still, while the odd salvation of Elizabeth is a bright spot in the story, it was wasted because I simply didn’t care about her or myself by the end of the game. Oh I’m her dad and I’m Comstock? This outcome, nominally shocking, only demonstrated to me that my time with the game – which already felt pointless – really amounted to nothing.

Top image courtesy of stickergiant.

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Steve likes the internet, dogs, and food. He writes humor and technology news.

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  1. Terry on 04/10/2013

    I just finished this bullshit stupid game. You basically hit everything.

    What’s most infuriating is that the game will briefly touch greatness and then promptly invalidate it. The most fun part of the game for me was when you fight the Siren, because you actually have to control the crowd with Vigors, look for safe places while deflecting dudes that are actively looking for you, all while making progress on heavily and quickly damaging the boss, who can both summon more bad guys AND hurt you. It’s the closest the game comes to uniting all its mechanics.

    And then you have to do it TWO MORE TIMES.

    And, holy shit, talk about a convenient fucking plot device. Even the characters think it’s kind of bullshit.

    “It’s like… It’s her, but it’s also my perception of her…”
    “What do you mean?”
    “It’s like a memory of a song… but a song no one wrote yet…”
    “Sounds weird to me.”

    That exchange happens like five times – Elizabeth knowing something but not REALLY knowing it, Booker not really caring, and me walking around like a moron until the big reveal, because, well, she’s gotta know it EVENTUALLY.

    For like, the last four hours, I was like, “Is this the last place? Is THIS the last place? … IS THIS THE PLACE?” God, tell me I’m Comstock already.

    I waited the entire fucking game to learn that I’M THE BAD GUY? Oh, GREAT.

    You know what REALLY SUCKS? I’d suggest to anyone who played this game to play the vastly more compelling Virtue’s Last Reward, but Infinite is basically the same story told but a moron. This game is so bad it actually ruins other better games.

    • Whale on 04/22/2013

      Graphics were good. Game was alright. Violence wasn’t that bad. Killing was repetitive and boring and took forever. Lack of customization compare to the first Bioshock. Completed the game on normal and then wanted to try the newest difficulty but could not because I did not want to deal with the annoyances the game had. Worth $60? No, but I do recommend getting it cheaper. The Song Bird had little to no story to it which was disappointing. Needed more enemy varieties for I was tired of looking at the same people. I was using my weapons more then I was using the Vigors, the useful/fun ones were the crows and the ram (Charge) which gave me invincibility depending on clothing abilities. Game had no creepy or scary atmosphere as Bioshock 1 maybe just Lady Comstock.

      The only fun fight part I had was with Lady Comstock spamming the Charge Vigor.

      I would rather they had made a movie instead of a game.

      I played and COMPLETED the first Bioshock for the very first time a few days after Infinite and Bioshock WAY better. I played it with the Hardest Difficulty which wasn’t really that difficult.

      That’s what I think of Infinite any-who.

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  2. max on 04/11/2013

    Dark souls is shite.

    • Steve Robinson Author on 04/12/2013

      I think we’re going to have to agree to disagree.

  3. Dillon McDougald on 04/11/2013

    “Infinite fails, however, because it has almost nothing interesting to say about the medium in which it is published.”

    …Wow, you really, really missed the point. You could not have missed the point more if you were aiming in the opposite direction in another country.

  4. Joe on 04/12/2013

    I was trying to think of a way to put this nicely, but I’ll just get directly to the point: You sound like you’re about 8 years old. You come off as uninformed, and lacking any sort of attension span.

    I was trying to think of a way to put this nicely, but I’ll just get directly to the point: You sound like you’re about 8 years old. You come off as uninformed, and lacking any sort of attention span.

    You where dieing too much on hard? On Medium? And for god sake, even Easy? I beat it on hard on my first go with relatively little difficulty and am currently near the part where you rescue Elizabeth, having only died one time, on 1999 mode. Once you get used to the fact that right clicking casts a Vigor instead of aiming down the sites, the combat is easy and no different from any other shooter. So why do you fail so much? I can only conclude it is because you don’t think. You’re not careful, you just run into every encounter guns blazing and hope for the best as opposed to planning or thinking on the go. This, as already said, is probably due to your short attention span that can’t deal with any sort of hesitation or caution. Because of this you die, and probably lose interest soon after.

    Now, I will be honest: the combat was nowhere near as good as it could have been. But in what game is it? The only games that I would say have better combat is the pure shooters such as Cod and Battlefield, and in those combat is one and only focus. Infinite’s combat could have been legendary, but it settled for above average.

    You say the storyline isn’t good enough to make up for the bad combat, I say just the opposite: the combat isn’t bad enough to overshadow the perfect storyline.

    And finally, you ask why they are racist, theorizing it somehow has to do with their religion. That, my friend, would not be the correct answer: The correct answer is because it is 1912. That is what the country was like in 1912. How do you not know this type of thing?

    • Steve Robinson Author on 04/12/2013

      RE: Difficulty- I’ll grant you that I didn’t have a lot of patience for the shooting aspects of the game (which were the only aspects of the game, to be clear). But I didn’t purchase BioShock thinking it would be ONLY a shooter, and a mediocre one at that! Like I said, I didn’t have the patience to deal with the game’s shooting sections because I found them boring & poorly conceived. I don’t have any problems plotting out tactics in numerous other games. I don’t waste my time on shiite, so I scaled the difficulty down to easy, so I could finish the game.

      re: Racism – I understand that it was 1912, and therefore some people were racist. I just don’t understand why it was such an emphasis in the game, or in Columbia, or for Booker himself. Was the idea that Columbia became more racist than the U.S. because it was all southern people who got pulled up? I also don’t really understand Comstock himself (the supposed villain), or how/why Comstock came to rule Columbia. Similarly, why does Elizabeth have powers? Did Comstock inject her with the quantum powers that he got from the two quantum jumpers? This would be the only way it would make sense, because he steals his own girl WITH those same powers.

      You would think these types of questions might be addressed in the game, considering Comstock/Booker is the villain & the protagonist.

      Like I said, I enjoyed the ending, but I thought that there were lots of questions that could have been better addressed, particularly with some actual other people in the game, to give Columbia some flavor. To me, as a gamer expecting an adventure/shooter hybrid, the game felt hollow.

      • Joe on 04/14/2013

        First, what about the combat seemed bad? The Vigors are so-so, but the gunplay is like any other shooter…. what specifically didn’t you like? Where the guns too weak? Not enough variety? Too much variety? I’m trying to get what the problem is here.

        Secondly, alot of stuff you complain about not being addressed in the game is actually addressed, if you had payed attention. The reason Elizabeth has those powers is because her finger was severed when she was a baby – meaning her body and tip of her finger exist in two separate universes at the same time. Because nobody else is like this, nobody else has the powers she does.

        The racism of the city was probably in part a reflection of Comstock’s own personality, but I don’t think it was that far off from the attitude of the day. In 1912, the poor where overwhelmingly black and the rich pretty much exclusively white. When you live in a society like this, its not hard to see why people would believe whites to be superior, especially if their parents taught them so and they never really tried to question it themselves.

        • Steve on 04/14/2013

          I found the combat to be repetitive, as I stated in the article. I also found the controls themselves to be “floaty” in the sense that I didn’t have the satisfactory chug & plug of a game like Halo 4, etc.

          The finger thing= really? I mean, you can see a debate on this topic here:

          So not only does Comstock develop independent time-space dimension travel technology (in addition to randomly, without explanation, becoming the leader of a nuevo-racist floating city), he crosses time and space to steal his own daughter, who just so happens to develop her own, independent super powers by virtue of the fact that her finger is sawed off in the portal while she is being kidnapped from her father by her alternate universe father.

          • Joe on 04/14/2013

            Most games have repetitive combat, though I’d almost say Infinite had this problem less so then, say, games like CoD and Battefield where you kill human after human opponents. I don’t see the controls as being any different then usual, either. And it was the Luteces who developed time-space dimension travel technology, not Comstock. Comstock is the one who secured the funding from Washington for them to build the city, and thus became the city’s leader. Again, more stuff you must just not have observed but contribute alot to the story.

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    • Smitty on 05/30/2013

      I agree completely with Joe.
      If you actually pay attention and play this game for real, you can easily see how great of a game it is.

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  5. Joe on 04/12/2013

    Sorry for the double part at the beginning of my comment, it appears to be the result of some copy and pasting.

  6. InvictaVultis on 04/15/2013

    Childish review. Stopped reading it in a middle. Negative points in this game are absolutely player-related. And i understand just one thing after first few parts of text and that stupid image with DiCaprio – you are very very bad player .

    I did not noticed any repetitive combat in this game as i was simply playing fast and enjoyed well put action. This is not a hitman for fks sake. Charge enemy use vigor’s, kill them and continue forward. I almost never released SHIFT button all game.

    Reviews like that really proves to me that best way is not to read them at all.

    P.S. Game is EASY on HARD level. Maybe except Lady Comstock and Command Deck fights. If it was to hard then stop, please STOP playing and reviewing games like that…

    • Terry on 04/15/2013

      Classic strategy – “If the reviewer might be a worse player than me, that means all of his points are invalid!” I blasted through this game, and I still thought it was pretty dull. No battle in Infinite compares to, say, fighting a Big Daddy in Bioshock. There’s almost no thought involved. It’s dull. Even the coolest fights like that one against Lady Comstock (Who, by the way, may not be Lady Comstock but the way Elizabeth feels about Lady Comstock? Whatever, they clearly designed a monster and had to justify its existence) are repeated again and again for no reason. For a game that is so short that took so long to make, that kind of lazy copy-pasting is insufferable. Mr. Robinson, do you have a Twitter? I would follow you.

      • Joe on 04/15/2013

        Classic strategy – pick out a target’s arguably weakest point and act as if thats all they have. Infinite is driven by its story – thats the core of the game, what the game is built around. Second to that would probably be the setting/graphics, another area in which it was as good as gaming gets. With these two areas aced and more by the developers, the combat/gameplay is almost just a bonus, just the cherry on top of an already delicious Sunday. There are things that could be better about Infinite, but that doesn’t take away from what is already great.

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  8. Lee on 04/24/2013

    Spot on review. Too much shooting and repetitiveness killed this game. Bioshock 1 is so much much better than this overrated game. Maybe they tried to make it to shooty shooty for the console demographic? A huge letdown of a game.

    • Steve Robinson Author on 04/24/2013

      Yes, I got the feeling they wanted to make a robust shooter at the same time as a mind-blowing epic. I feel like they failed on both fronts unfortunately.

      I was just watching my friend play through it (he likes the game BTW), and I immediately began to think about how much I disliked the game in so many ways.

      The saddest thing is that the best aspects of the game are the smallest in number and importance- the songbird, the scripted oddities (like the racial scene), the unique boss (Lady Comstock), and the initial introduction to Columbia (like the beach).

      Its almost like a shitty shooter game invaded BioShock during its construction, and we only see the remnants of a much better game.

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  9. Nathan Holden on 04/25/2013

    You’re right, dude! I just bought this game, and after about four hours, despite really wanting to like it, I DO NOT FIND IT COMPELLING. IT’s only so so. But, I’ll finish it. The story is not compelling.

  10. John Howe on 04/25/2013

    Every point in this review is exactly how I felt playing this highly overrated game. Columbia was tantalizingly dangled in front of us, yet so far out of reach. The tactical options available compared to the original Bioshock were non existent. The only interesting aspect of the game was the ending, but even that was so utterly contrived.

  11. LEX on 05/02/2013

    First let me say that I’m a 65 year old gamer that can’t compete with the gaming expertise you people have. My favorite games have been the HALO group, Oblivion, Skyrim, Call of Duty & similar war games, Red Dead Redemption. FPS, RPG is what I’m into. I just bought this Bioshock Infinite game after reading a great review in a gaming magazine and seeing that Target had already dropped the price to $45. I’ve only played through a few check points and I don’t understand something that has turned me off already – The graphics, to me, are like a game of maybe 10 years ago. The people, especially, look crude in design, which is obviously what the developer intended. I don’t get it. (My platform is the xbox by the way) Someone explain this to me. In the reviews I’ve read, no one has mentioned this.

  12. LEX on 05/02/2013

    Correction: I purchased the game at Best Buy not Target.

  13. pachanko on 05/03/2013

    It’s bad form to include a spoiler of the ending in your review.

    • SkoLaR on 05/09/2013

      I agree. But that’s why he included “spoilers” in the title.

  14. Ogman on 05/13/2013

    Thanks for the honest and realistic review. I appreciated the spoilers, too, because no I can stop playing this horrible game.

    • Jovan on 05/14/2013

      HAHAHA, thats the same reason I’m here. Gave up playing it last night. Wanted to see how it ended, so I could finally just stop playing it! Now, back to gamefly!

  15. Chad on 05/20/2013

    Wow. You, my friend, need to learn to appreciate a game for what it is. The graphics are amazing and it’s supposed to have a retro feel to the game. The creators did an amazing job developing the random misc. conversations and little kids dancing in the street as well as the combat-strategy feel to the game. I think you must obviously be a Call of Duty fan, because this game is amazing, whereas Call of Duty is a pointless shooting around type of game. Get a life.

  16. yusuf on 05/22/2013

    you read my mind man…! it is kinda boring and dill and you just can’t get attached to the game… i have just clocked about three hours and I can’t get into the game… feels like I am watching a very dull movie with lots of aiming to do at odd points of time right when I start to enjoy looking at the artistic designs… a complete waste…
    i thought it would be a bit like assassins creed with the entire city open for exploration but it’s like a bulletstorm with a little better storyline and nicer art…
    almost everything you said is the way I feel while playing this game…

  17. Ludwig on 05/24/2013

    I couldn’t agree more with your review, because I shared most of your experiences while playing through the game. My biggest point of critique is that the mechanics of the game constantly exhibit a huge contradiction: On the one hand, they carefully create this illusion of Columbia for the gamer by the means of really admirable visual, auditive and narrative elements, most of all throughout the beginning, in which the possibilities in this city had still seemed endless to me. On the other hand, the mechanics simultaneously shatter that illusion by forcing the player into a very narrow path of possible actions which – for me – became tiresome really quickly. In other words: First I stroll through Columbia fare, endlessly entertained by all the cultural and philosophical details and references, then suddenly I’m seeing myself forcing the head of a policeman into a sky-hook (a decision I didn’t make) after throwing a baseball at random people (a decision I was forced to make). Personally, that’s just not the kind of challenging entertainment that I’m after.
    Now, one could argue that Super Street Fighter II is just as primitive in this regard, but let me say that SSII is not trying to be anything else, but it’s using the primitive for its own advantage. It works only in the frame of beating somebody up in the most skillful and creative manner, offering a multitude of possibilities to do that. Anything else, like characters and story, world exploration and so forth are simply left out – and that’s okay! Bioshock Infinite on the other hand compromises every game element for the other, and therefore gains nothing.

    Beyond that, the clichée of an innocent (and almost anorexic looking) princess into a hostile tower of some sort is almost as old as video games themselves. Of course, if a company puts so much money into the development of a game, they want it to reach the widest possible audience by employing the same old stereotypes and mythemes over and over again. I’m glad that a lot of people find Bioshock Infinite so superb, but personally, I think it’s a hopeless case that once more shows how infinitely great the technological possibilities of today are, but how restricted major game companies are by their self-imposed target audiences and sales strategies.

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  18. nowso on 06/03/2013


    That was a very thoughtful comment, thanks for your insight. I entirely agree, particularly with your conclusion, which is that this is a business problem related to games becoming more “blockbuster” in their marketing & development process.

  19. CLS on 06/08/2013

    What I see in this review is a gamer who lacks the attention span to try and comprehend the story. Even when explained, this person lacks the ability to suspend disbelief. After all, this game hits on ideas like time travel, inter-dimensional travel, and the multiverse.

    These are the people who view video games like porn flicks. If it has a plot, it sucks. In this reality TV driven age of cookie cutter pop music radio stations and social networks, it pains many when they are given the opportunity to think and offered a subject to ponder.

    I was so surprised by the ending (especially the major twist of who Comstock is) I started the game again to retrace and put the pieces of the puzzle together. Yes, there are some small holes, but not many. Despite how unbelievable you may consider the tale, answers ARE given.

    Personally, I would much prefer a game with a rich “spacey-wacey, timey-wimey” story lines over JUST game play. That is like dating a hot chick who is boringly droll and lacks intelligence. It’s fun for a minutes, but it soon wears off because there is nothing else but that ONE thing. This game balances game play, scenery, and story rather well.

    No, the gameplay is perfect and some of the battles are “lather, rinse, repeat” to a point, but it changes up from chapter to chapter. Even the best shooters are themed, when it comes to combat. Halo 4? CoD? Battlefield? ALL of these games try to stick with what works. That being said, there are some things I wish were improved. I’ll list them here.
    – More A.I. to try and flank you (other than just saying it)
    – A little more visibility to where tears can be created by Elizabeth. Sometimes I see great resources after the battle has ended because I am bottle knecked under a bridge
    – More incentive to use Vigors. I found weapons far more enticing.
    – More weapon caches and less having to loot every corpse I find to keep ammo up.

    There were a few bugs, too. The most annoying to me was Elizabeth offering first aid or ammo refills while I am zoomed in, only to never actually get them from her when I back out of zoom.

    A perfect game? No, not perfect. However this game has a lot of features that I thoroughly enjoy and wish I could find more smart games like this that give you something to think about long after it’s over.

    If you don’t like the game, that is understandable. Not everything is built with everyone in mind. However, instead of just crying like a little girl with a skinned knee, why not try and make suggestions on what would be better?

  20. Danny j on 06/10/2013

    I think this review is accurate. Bioshock games in general are always a little too overrated. I did play the first 2 and enjoyed them and thought they were good, but I’ve always felt what’s the big deal with these games that warrants a 9.5 or 5 star rating.

    I really did want to like infinite the production value was very high and it had that charming quality of a world you can get lost in. I played more than half of this game and it felt like, when is it gonna start? It always seemed like it went from one random event to another. I’m all for twist and turns but Infinite felt very disjointed. Side quests were a disaster and the rail system got confusing and frustrating at times. Ironically a game that was setup not to be linear had very linear boring combat. I didn’t mind that all too much but it got tedious when all I wanted to know about was the story. None of the combat was rewarding which sometimes can be ok but in a game like this as a player you want to be rewarded. The 2 guns system was silly. Why introduce so many guns if you can only carry 2? They should have just given you 2 that you can posibbly keep ugrading or moding. The suit or wardrobe options, what was that all about? I don’t even know if it made an overall difference. Didn’t really make any sense to customize or waste any time doing so. Really not rewarding in that respect.

    I think BioShock Infinite had potential to being a great game. The story wasn’t bad it was just executed poorly with the game play. It’s like they had a great story and the game got in the way. Looking back BioShock 1 and 2 we’re masterpieces in comparison and really both of those other games are far from being great. I almost felt this game was incomplete and had a lot of holes.

    I buy a lot of games based on reviews and ratings. I trust that the people writing and reviewing games are somewhat experts in this field. So when I see a 9.5 score I assume that it’s a great game. I’ve now been fooled 3 times by assholes who don’t know how to fairly rate BioShock games. Face it 1 and 2 are good maybe a score of 7 and 8. Infinite was about a 6.5. I understand everyone has different barometer of what they think is good or bad. Do you really think this game is unbelievable?

    Thanks for an honest review. Too bad I read it way too late. 2K please make games that live up to the hype or stop believing your own hype and actually make a game that deserves a 9.5 or 5 stars.

  21. dakan45 on 06/14/2013

    I Agree completly.

    Bioshock was basicly a dumbed dwon system shock 2

    Bioshock infintie has NOTHING new or diffirent to show of to the fps genre, Linear maps, check, 2 weapon limit, check, shield hit point regeneration, check.

    Also just like resident evil 6 , it pretty much takes a huge crap on the franchise and decides to dumb down and simplify itself without even being the same game anymore.

    No ammo types, no big nonlinear areas that feels like actual places, no hacking no skill points.

    Instead its a deathborring linear shooter with deathborring gameplay and mediocre combat that doesnt compel you to keep playing it. I took breaks that lasted weeks in order to finish it.

    You see i played bioshock for nonlinear areas, atmosphere, upgrading and good narrative on radio messages that explains the story. Sadly infinite has none of that and not having 1/5 of the logs that bioshock had is not “good narrative”

    The game could easilly be 2 hours and it would have told the same story without bothering me with subpar repettive gameplay.

    The reason i play linear fps is to enjoy a good campign with variety and pacing and overall compelling combat and sense progression. Sadly bioshock infinite combat is meh, it has 0% variety or pacing, you just go from one random repettive gunfight to another and money hoarding afterwards. Suprisingly it feels like i am grinding like borderlands and not playing a linear fps.

    So they pretty much repeat the samey gunfights to achieve 15 hour and thus justify 60 bucks and no mp. Then they throw a 20 minute exlpanation, so moronic pseudointelectuals will get their chance to appear smart and tell you “you didnt understand the story” BUT I WAS EXLPAIND TO YOU IN THE END, which is a stupid storytelling mechanic,the story has to be told throught the game not reveal everything in the ending and STILL have plotholes.

    Also check E3 2009 and E3 2011, WHERE IS THAT? That looked 100 times better than the actual game, apparently the development of the game has been a complete mess and thats why it came out such a so-so product and a completle un-concentrated design.

    6.5/10 Definetly no 9s for ANY reason whatsoever

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  26. Michael U. on 10/30/2014

    What a great review, could not agree more.

    I played this untill just after I found the girl, but the gameplay was so uninspired that I could not go any further. I think the original Duke Nulem 3D had a more interactive environment then this game. You are totally on rails. The projector in the room that you enter starts running itself to show you a neccesary clip, after that nothing. A few levers that you need to push, a radio that you can turn on and off. Nothing can be demolished, or the game will do it for you. Scanning the rooms for coins and drinks other stuff that replenishes your stats became old after 10 minutes. The combat is annoying: half the time there is nothing, then a bit of mayhem, then nothing again for long sequences.

    What a waste.