BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite (SPOILERS)

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arry_g
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Re: Bioshock Infinite - Only after Completion

Post by arry_g » February 22nd, 2014, 12:29 am

Flabyo wrote:Oh god no, I didn't mean it as singling out a particular comment on here! Think of it as a trigger for a rant I've been wanting to do rather than a rant actually directed at someone specific.

Articles like this one that's basically: oh, never mind eh? Ken's alright!
I think more to the point its an attitude that is common on the internet and that's what is frustrating. It's not like this sort of opinion exists in just one or two places, it's in various articles, message boards, forums and because of that it can feel like people are ignorant to the reality of things.

As for your comment Leon - you meant it as a comment, i.e. these are talented people and you think others will recognise that and give them new opportunities and I agree... I just hope something comes up before it affects their families because that's a hard place to be - harder than many people seem to realise on the comment section of IGN or Kotaku I feel...

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Re: Bioshock Infinite - Only after Completion

Post by Scrustle » February 22nd, 2014, 4:09 pm

Just found an article that may shed a little light on to how well Infinite actually did sales wise:

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/2111 ... aundry.php

In the third paragraph after the "Dirty laundry" subtitle the author says "Let's just say multiple people within a studio were willing to risk their careers to confirm to me that yes, in fact, if their game didn't sell extremely well, like exponentially more than its predecessor or "well" according to a matrix of time and cost investment and desired profit, that their studio would be closed in a year."

I think that's as close to any real insight from ex-Irrational employees we are able to get right now. It also gives some interesting insight in to the development of the game, and Levine's creative process. It does sound like things were certainly far from smooth sailing. For one thing it also mentions something I wanted to say previously, but forgot about. That they had to bring someone in near the end to get things wrapped up properly.

It's written by Leigh Alexander, if that's relevant to anyone. I know the name, but I'm not really familiar with her work. But what I have heard about her is that people seem to like and respect her.
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Re: Bioshock Infinite - Only after Completion

Post by Cass » February 22nd, 2014, 6:21 pm

It makes sense, though. We're in the kind of climate where Square Enix though 3.4m copies of Tomb Raider sold was disappointing, and Tomb Raider didn't spend five years in development hell. Of course Infinite didn't sell well, because what constitutes "well" has inflated so much over the course of the past couple of years so that it means "as well as Call of Duty".

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Re: Bioshock Infinite - Only after Completion

Post by Cass » March 28th, 2014, 6:22 pm

So. Just finished Burial At Sea Episode 2.

Liked: Again, gorgeous game and captures the claustrophobic environment of Rapture much, much better than the first (which leaned much too heavily on props from Columbia inserted, inexplicably, into the underwater city. Those elements are still here, but downplayed - no pointless skyline insertions. The combat is completely difference, worked to be much more stealth-oriented, and for the most part works decently well. Levels are incredibly tight on med kits and ammo, and Elizabeth herself is frail.

Luckily she finds the Peeping Tom plasmid fairly quickly. This is the key to the stealth - it lets her see enemies through walls and become invisible for short periods of time. The stealth hangs almost entirely on this, but it is fun to use, and you can grab upgrades for it which allow you to cloak and view enemies indefinitely while standing still. It does break somewhat though; most later portions of the game are beatable by aggroing enemies, cloaking as soon as they run up to you, and then whomping them on the head as soon as they disengage. This works even while standing cloaked in the midst of 5-6 enemies, systematically whomping them one by one. It is ridiculous, but it does help Elizabeth to feel like less of a helpless girl.

Disliked: Man the story in this DLC is confusing as balls.
Spoiler: show
Episode 1's plot ran thus: Elizabeth, now all grown up, tracks a version of Comstock to Rapture where he fled in self-imposed exile after his attempt to snatch another reality's Anna resulted in the baby losing not her pinky, but her head. Elizabeth uses her godlike powers to meet Comstock, now working as a PI under the name Booker DeWitt, and contracts him for a case. This leads them to Sally, a Little Sister that Comstock has grown attached to. Elizabeth turns up the heat on Sally in an attempt to lure her out of hiding - upon doing so, Comstock grabs her, and of course enrages her Big Daddy, who impales Comstock. This being Elizabeth's plan all along. It was a decent little story, self-contained and small in scope. As far as getting us to Rapture is concerned, it did the trick and little more.

Episode 2 though... I don't even know. Elizabeth is alive in this version, but one of the first actions you make is finding your own dead body. Apparently the Big Daddy's rampage didn't end with Comstock, and the Elizabeth of the first game is... dead. So who is our protagonist? Who knows - the narrative suggests that it's a version of Elizabeth that regretted her other version's cruel treatment of Sally, contracted the Luteces in getting her to Rapture to save Sally, despite this apparently meaning the end of Elizabeth's godlike powers of time and space? It's clear as mud. In a similar vein, Elizabeth is constantly having conversations with Booker through the course of the story - a Booker that repeatedly tells her that he doesn't exist and is just a figment of her imagination (or perhaps a splintered personality formed of the memories her her omniscience) but his presence is similarly vague as hell.

Elizabeth's mission in Ep 2 is ostensibly to rescue Sally (for which I imagine omnipotence would have been handy, but wtfever) and this takes her to Suchong, mad scientist from the original Bioshock, who sends her back to Columbia to retrieve a lock of (her own) hair and a Lutece particle to raise the sunken department store in which Atlas and his men are trapped (thus allowing the plot of Bioshock 1 to happen). It's a fairly contrived way to get the story back into Columbia and makes disappointly explicit a lot of the hints made in Infinite proper - that there was collaboration between Rapture and Columbia, for example. This is all fine, but was already pretty obvious from the main game - the Columbia excursion seems to only be telling us things we already know.

Worse still is Daisy Fitzroy, who it turns out (in what has to be some of the most blatant backpeddling ever seen) was instructed to take Fink's son hostage, in order to provoke Elizabeth into murdering her and thus harden Elizabeth's personality. It's a horrible rewrite of an already horrible plot point - Daisy's transformation from revolutionary into mad dog was jarring enough, but changing her story to make it so that this impassioned leader decided to take a knife to the back because the Luteces told her to? It just rings incredibly false. Daisy Fitzroy may eventually get the story she deserves - this DLC did not manage it.

The ending is also baffling. Elizabeth strikes a deal with Atlas, and almost immediately realises that he will betray her the first chance he gets. She states over and over again that she has a plan, but this never surfaces - she then gets repeatedly captured, tortured, beat up and coerced into doing more of Atlas' dirty work. It's brutal to watch and begins to feel utterly pointless, since as Elizabeth herself muses, Atlas is never going to release Sally and he will kill Elizabeth when she ceases to be useful.

This is exactly what happens - Elizabeth raises the department store with the Lutece particle and brings Suchong's "ace in the hole" to Atlas (the trigger phrase "Would you kindly", kicking the events of Bioshock into motion) and then is immediately and brutally murdered. In her last moments, she has a flash of omniscient memory - that Jack (protagonist of the first game) would be the one to save the little sisters, including Sally, after all. Despite the grand, ambitious scope of Infinite's ending, Elizabeth dies alone and powerless in service of the original Bioshock.
All in all, I find the Burial At Sea DLC to be a strange bird. It's as if Irrational were dismayed with Columbia and, having little faith in Infinite's own merits, decided to take the opportunity to tell another Rapture story. In so doing, though, they take Columbia and they make it feel small, a weird side-project to its more genre-defining forebear. Everything in Columbia turns out to be cribbed from Rapture, such that, at the end of Burial At Sea, Columbia feels like a knock-off, a weird Chinese copy of Bioshock 1. It's hard not to get the impression that this stems from Irrational coming to basically the same conclusion, and it's disappointing to me because there's so much potential in Infinite. That Burial At Sea chooses to end the story of Infinite (and possibly the franchise) by abandoning most of Infinite's ideas and revisiting a setting from a decade ago, not to mention ending on such a low note, depresses me.

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Re: Bioshock Infinite - Only after Completion

Post by Scrustle » March 28th, 2014, 7:17 pm

I don't think Burial at Sea makes Infinite feel like it was anything less than it was before. It felt more like simple fan service to me, and an attempt to link the two settings together more strongly. I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing though, and it was done fairly well. It didn't feel like the technology of Colombia was "cribbed" from Rapture, but rather it was thought up by two minds working together. Both co-operating for their own causes.

Some of the specific story stuff didn't seem like a problem to me either. Some stuff did though.
Spoiler: show
For "who" the version of Elizabeth is in Episode 2, I don't think that really matters. Because there are Infinite versions of her, yet she has these powers of omniscience and omnipresence, basically all versions of her are the same. Even though she died at the beginning of the episode, the one you play as is still her. The idea of there being either one or several of her don't really apply at that point.

I didn't have a problem with Booker being not real either. I think you explained it pretty well actually. He's just a figment of Elizabeth's imagination, perhaps given more reality because of the remnants of her powers.

I agree about Daisy though. When I saw that scene myself, I had a feeling something about it felt wrong. Like it shouldn't have happened. Couldn't work out why, but you explained that well too.

I don't remember Elizabeth saying she had a plan to deal with Atlas at all though. On the contrary, I remember her stating that she didn't. Saying stuff like she would "cross that bridge when she came to it". Seemed like she didn't really know what to do at all, but kept doing what she was anyway because it was the only way she knew how to save Sally.

And I quite liked the sad and small ending of Elizabeth. All that grandiose stuff from Infinite just reduced down to another helpless victim of the vicious conflict of Rapture. Definitely had a sense of finality to it, and something that felt in line with the helpless tone of the original game. But at the same time, it didn't feel like it totally stepped on everything that Infinite stood for. This was only one Elizabeth. Only one version of events. There are countless others where she's still sitting by the river in Paris, maybe never having gone to Rapture in the first place.
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Re: Bioshock Infinite - Only after Completion

Post by Cass » March 28th, 2014, 7:49 pm

I guess for me it's hard not to read into the fact that Burial At Sea Ep 2 is coming out at around the same time Irrational are shutting down, after Infinite (seven years of work, mind) failed to sell enough to make the studio worth keeping. It's a grim playthrough.
Spoiler: show
Elizabeth's adventure in this episode is an exercise in self-flagellation. It's implied that the Elizabeth made the choice to give up her phenomenal cosmic power in order to save this one girl, and in the process of doing so muses on her own hubris and the cycle of death. She's punishing herself. She makes no real effort to save herself from any pain - she walks into all of Atlas' traps with her eyes wide open, willingly submits to a transorbital lobotomy (because, goes the logic, what does she have to lose?) and in the end delivers the Ace to Atlas despite knowing that he will kill her.

This guilt feels... disproportionate. She didn't create Sally's situation, she didn't even significantly harm her at the end of Episode 1. She was callous towards Sally, but Sally was basically fine at the end of Ep 1. So my only conclusion is that she hates herself for having murdered a genuinely remorseful version of Booker, gave up her power (using badly-defined story mechanics) and walled herself into Rapture in order to facilitate the "good ending" of the first game, knowing that she'd die brutally but judging that a) it'd be worth it to save the little sisters (including Sally and by extension redeeming herself to the Booker she murdered) and b) that she deserved it. This also explains her head-Booker keeping her company and aiding her, but also constantly reinforcing to her the fact that he's not there (and in doing so, reminding her that it's her own fault).

It's dark as hell and not an easy ride, really. Burial At Sea also feels like a hugely depressing downturn from the ending of Infinite, since it turns out that the Elizabeths murdering Booker at the end of the first game did essentially nothing. The aim was to kill Booker at the critical point before any versions of him could become Comstock, but clearly this failed since there's a Comstock in Rapture at the beginning of Episode 1. What this means is that Elizabeth murdered her first and only real friend, not to mention her father, for nothing. Nothing she's done with her power has meant anything but death. So she walls herself into Rapture so that she can make Bioshock 1 happen, but also so that she can suffer and die.
It's a far cry from the elation for the character at the end of Infinite - caged for years, finally empowered and able to do all the things she wanted. Considering the circumstances in which this DLC was made, it's hard not to read into Irrational's decision to make Elizabeth's end so small, dark and brutal after the hope and potential of Infinite.

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Re: Bioshock Infinite - Only after Completion

Post by Todinho » March 28th, 2014, 9:19 pm

Yeah I wish I could say that I liked this DLC because in terms of gameplay and setting I really liked how it was going and if it had gone the way the first BaS did I would have no problem but I just hate the story in here,no not dislike I hate! I wont harp on too much about it because Cass already brought up many of the points I have but man:
Spoiler: show
The reason I hate this DLC so much is because this destroys Rapture and the events of Bioshock 1,now Andrew Ryan was having conversations with other worldly beings and knew of the existence of paralel universes,not happy in doing this let's turn Ryan into a cartoon villian talking about how altruism is bad you know he maybe a over-the-top version of objectivism but he never went down to cartoon villian levels and this DLC puts him right there, Ryan is also a hypcrite now because Rapture scientists where just getting their breakthroughs thanks to 1920's fundamentalist town so much for survival of the fittest,not only that but our mad scientist Suchong is nothing but a bloody incompetent now because even an racist idiot from the 20's was able to figure out how to imprint while he never did and forget about the whole process of bonding a little sister with a BIg Daddy that we saw on the other games is all as simple as a Lion with a broken paw,but it doesnt stop here do you remember that really bad part in Infinite where Daisy freaked out for no reason other than the plot demanding her?Well let's make that worse by having the fan favorite Lutteces convince her to do that so that Elizabeth can fullfill her destiny that is aparently to die in service of Bioshock 1,also let's not forget that the whole reason the plot of infinite happened in the first place is because the luteces exist and if Elizabeth was omniscient she would've figured it out and killed them early so no crossdimesinal travles could happen thefore preventing the events in Infinite and in this dumb DLC and dont tell you cant do that because it creates a paradox or whatever because it's the same thing that happens in the end of infinite and last but not least let's enjoy our hopefull ending for the original bioshock a game that for as bad as it's binary choices were at least gave you choices unlike this game about infinite possibilities also great to see Elizabeth got her powers back just before dying so she could see that ending and that other ending where we invade the world with splicers
Well at least it's good not to see Ken Levine's name anywhere in the credits that at least means that he's not trying to consciously ruin his previous work and maybe im overreacting it's possible but right now I really hate this and for me this is just the last bullet into Bioshock's and Irrationals already dying horse,im done.

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Re: Bioshock Infinite - Only after Completion

Post by Scrustle » March 28th, 2014, 10:02 pm

Ken Levine wasn't in the credits? I'm sure I remember his was the first name to come up, under something like "lead writer/creative designer".
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Re: Bioshock Infinite - Only after Completion

Post by Todinho » March 29th, 2014, 1:17 am

I dont remember seeing his name anywhere and I was looking for it because I couldnt believe he wrote this unless I missed something in the very beginning.

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Re: Bioshock Infinite - Only after Completion

Post by DomsBeard » March 30th, 2014, 12:57 am

I didn't like the original Bioshock and loved Infinite so I'll think I'll give Burial At Sea a miss.

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Re: Bioshock Infinite - Only after Completion

Post by Todinho » March 30th, 2014, 3:28 am

Yeah you'll miss nothing here this DLC(1&2) are at best fanservice for Bioshock 1 and even if you liked that I would advise against it.

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Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by Scrustle » April 17th, 2014, 9:33 pm

Here's a really interesting post-mortem on the development of the original game, with words from the people who made it, including Levine himself:

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2014- ... f-bioshock

It seems quite a lot of the stuff I enjoyed most about the game actually only came in to existence in those last three months, as a result of the focus test mentioned at the start. That certainly surprised me, seeing as how the feedback they talked about sounded utterly idiotic. I guess that's testament to a great development team. To take stupid criticism, and turn it to something actually valuable.
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BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by Baron Phil » August 25th, 2014, 11:36 am

If I've never played Bioshock 1 & 2, so have no attachment to Rapture, but I did like Infinite is Burial at Sea worth playing?
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Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by ratsoalbion » August 25th, 2014, 12:09 pm

Me I would recommend playing BioShocks 1 and 2 ahead of playing Burial at Sea.
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Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by Scrustle » August 25th, 2014, 12:21 pm

I wouldn't say so. Pretty much the whole point of the thing is to link the story of the first game and Infinite, with a bunch of quasi-fan service thrown in. Lots of recurring characters from the original game, including one that'll spoil the big twist.

The gameplay is pretty much the same as Infinite for the first episode, except stripped down, with some elements of the first game thrown in. Although, all I can really remember that they brought back was a single fight with a Big Daddy, which was kind of crap compared to fights against them in the original. It also starts off with you having to slowly traipse around Rapture for some tedious busywork before anything really happens. The second episode is pretty much all stealth, but based on Infinite's mechanics. You get a few new tools to allow you to do stealthy stuff, but generally I hated it and couldn't wait for it to be over. I just wanted to see the story by that point, which I did enjoy.

So the only real value to Burial at Sea is for fans who want to see the story of both games brought together. I think it does a fairly good job of that, and the intro to the second episode is jaw dropping in terms of presentation. But if you haven't played the first game, I don't really see there being much value in it for you.
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Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by Baron Phil » August 25th, 2014, 2:16 pm

Thanks for the help. Turns out I already own Bioshock 2 and Bioshock 1 is only £3.60 at the minute so I might come back for Burial at Sea at a later date.
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Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by DomsBeard » March 1st, 2017, 4:57 pm

So I have questions regarding Bioshock 1. Would you kindly answer them for me:
Spoiler: show
So was it Fontaine who turned up at the sub who I thought that was Atlas?
I don't get that scene if it was as why would he put himself in such harms way?
Spoiler: show
I've just killed Ryan. I've not finished yet so am I a clone of Ryan?. I'm presuming that is going to come out
Is the relationship between the little sisters and big daddy's explained at any point?. I think I must've missed a tape or something. Why are some big daddy's without little sisters?

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Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by DomsBeard » March 1st, 2017, 4:58 pm

ratsoalbion wrote:Me I would recommend playing BioShocks 1 and 2 ahead of playing Burial at Sea.
That was my next question! :lol:

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Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by Indiana747 » March 1st, 2017, 6:49 pm

Id recommend anyone interested in the Bioshock series to read Rapture by John Shirley. A fantastic book which sets up the background for Bioshock with its truly interesting characters. Its gives a more in depth story to the way things went the way they did & how the fall of Rapture came about.
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Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by DomsBeard » March 8th, 2017, 10:34 am

Do you get a wrench in Bioshock 2 at some point? missing it so far. Hoping it is a glitch but I've had to restart 2 three times as it hasn't saved my game at any point saying my ps4 storage for saves is full (it isn't)

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