BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite (SPOILERS)

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Simonsloth
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Re: Our next podcast recording (10.3.18) - 310: BioShock Infinite

Post by Simonsloth » March 10th, 2018, 9:06 am

You just said what I wanted to say much more eloquently but in spite of it all I actually still love the game

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Todinho
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Re: Our next podcast recording (10.3.18) - 310: BioShock Infinite

Post by Todinho » March 11th, 2018, 5:49 pm

Probably too late for me to contribute anything for the podcast but I just wanna say my final piece of this game.

Bioshock infinite was a game I wanted to love, it was by far my most anticipated game of 2013, I had watched every trailer and consumed every snippet of information about the game that I could. When I started the game I was completelly blown away by the intro and visuals, I was fascinated by the world and eager to learn more, but when I finnished the game I couldnt help but feel disapointed, still I told myself that It was just the ending that I didnt like and that the rest of the game was fine, then I replayed the game and I disliked it more now the story and the world overall didnt come together,then I replayed the game again and both the combat and characters felt shallow and I disliked the game even more, then I played the DLCs and when I finnished the second one I was sure that I hated anything having to do with Bioshock infinite.

Gameplaywise Infinite is a step backwards in every way to the previous Bioshock games, first off they limit you to 2 weapons at time while implementing an upgrade system that's completelly at odds with the limit, this means you can upgrade a gun only to run out of ammo for it and be forced to switch to a weapon you have 0 upgrades for until the game decide to give you ammo for that weapon you like. The plasmids in this game are also a step back, they are not only fewer overall then in the previous games but their functions are also simpler, you have 2 stuns, 2 pushes, 2 for damage, 1 charm and 1 shield thats it. The "clothing" system is also a step back, it replaces the tonics from previous games but their effects arent nearly as interesting, the tonics in the previous games gave you effects such as your wrench freezing enemies or invisibility,etc. Meanwhile most of the clothing I found only gave me % increases on attacks, it also doesnt help that they are randomly generated so you cant really plan a playthrough with any of them in mind.
Speaking of which Infinite really does away with any thought process a player might have coming from previous games, there you had to plan for every Bid daddy fight, resource managment was a consideration and there were multiple ways to deal with each combat encounter you could even play the game mostly stealth if you wanted. Bioshock infinite does away with that here there no planning you just need to mow down enemies and the best you can do is lay some traps in the middle of combat or charm enemies, the skyrails are maybe the best feature when it comes to combat allowing you to quickly zip around the battlefield but it doesnt do enough to aliviate the problems especially since later on enemies really become bullet sponges with the worse offenders being the handmans and the ghost of lady comstock.

Storywise at the start infinite seemed to be, much like the first game, talking about politics while using a backdrop of science to justify it's setting, the game however decides to do the opposite and focus on the psedo-science and the concept of infinite realities something that it completelly fails to deliver on, the ending is a special offender of this as in it makes no sense, the idea that drowning Booker after wounded knee preventing Comstock is frankly stupid when you're dealing with infinite realities, not only that but since much of the game is you hoping between universes it makes caring for whats happening in Columbia that much harder, since you're just abandoning everyone in a timeline for another universe anyway.
This brings me to Columbia which is on paper an interesting place to explore, taking the most extreme elements of american patriotism, racism and religion. If Rapture was the logical extreme of objectivism then Columbia would be the same for the United States, or at least the United states of the 1920's.
The problem for starters is that Infinite deals with the topics of segregation, racism and other social issues of the time with kiddy gloves, while the society of Columbia might be repulsive to us nowadays if you were to go back to 1920's United States you would find that many places were in fact far worse then Columbia, some might say that depicting the horrors and unjustinces commited against people of color in the America South might be exploitative but I think it's far worse to whitewash the past, if one is too look at Columbia as an extreme version of 1920's America then you'd think blacks had it better then which couldnt be further from the truth, in that time the KKK was in full swing and blacks were constantly lynched in the streets not to mention the full blown apartheid that they faced, Bioshock infinite depicts almost none of that it shows a sanitized version of it instead of taking the oportunity to really bring to light these issues.
The worst of it all however is that when there's finnaly a revolution in Columbia, thanks to how the opression in the game is shown the rebels response seems unresolably violent to the point they are even taking scalps which is very odd to say the least, the game then makes one of the characters treaten to kill a child out of nowhere and for no reason other then to say that both are bad, I dont even think that was well thought through or that even the people who wrote that believe it to me it reeks of the writers trying to make the situation more gray in a artifical manner.

Bioshock 1 was a game built entierly around it's politics and everything in the story and world built that, infinite however is torn between wanting to tell a sci-fi story about multiple realities and a political story and ends up failing in both, with both story trends ending up half-backed and shallow.

Lastly to talk about Burial at sea, I was already not a fan of how they shoehorned in Rapture at the end of the main game and burial at sea seemed to be made entierlly to cash in on nostalgia for Bioshock 1, the story in part 1 is kinda of interesting but I hated part 2, in the end all the DLC amounted to was a inconsequential retcon to the events of Bioshock 1 and lame attempt to link the 2 games in a way that makes both lesser as a result.

All and all I dont think Bioshock infinite can measure up it's predecessor much less that it somehow took the medium foward like so many reviews at the time were saying, to be fair however this was never meant to be a bioshock game in the first place, Ken levine was basically forced name it that, it's also not even the game I was so hyped for when I saw the first trailers by release the game had completelly changed. At best Infinite is an average shooter with some interesting ideas on the surface and a great visual style but nothing more.

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Tleprie
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Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite (SPOILERS)

Post by Tleprie » March 14th, 2018, 7:12 pm

Probably too late for this to make the recording time, but I'll toss in my thoughts on the game anyway:

I just played the game for the first time about a month ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. The combat felt visceral and fast paced for the majority of the time. I think there were maybe two or three too many firefights, that felt a bit like filler. There was one quest that felt particularly tedious, that being chasing the ghost around the city, I was constantly tapping the breadcrumb trail button so I could keep from getting lost.

The story, throughout the majority of the game, takes a back seat to the gameplay. Sure, it's there and is driving the action, but the overall message of the game seems to be "Shoot first, think later". I really liked that last half hour or so when the whole story comes together, but I want a whole other game that is that. I'd gladly take a 3 hour Bioshock Infinite walking simulator that dives into all the cool stuff with lighthouses and parallel dimensions and whatnot.

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Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite (SPOILERS)

Post by Todinho » March 16th, 2018, 4:54 pm

Ok so this might seem unrelated but as I mentioned in the other thread about MRBtongue videos I came across this one and I think this video is really relevant when talking about the social themes that Bioshock Infinite fails at tackling and how something like Django succeded, I think it's a really interesting point he makes here:


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