BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite (SPOILERS)

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Cass
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Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by Cass »

I agree with you that, if Grace were a real person, she might well have been shocked into rethinking her ideals and suddenly deciding to help you. My problem is that that's not a great conceit from either a narrative or a gameplay perspective. It's the same with Sinclair - it's entirely plausible that being as blandly helpful as he is throughout the story is in his best interests, but it's not interesting. It doesn't add anything to the story and it doesn't provide gameplay opportunities. It's just a bit meh.

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Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by Todinho »

Regarding Minerva's Den,I myself didnt know about the history of Alan turing before playing it I dont know if knowing it would affect me more but going blind I didnt find all that amazing to be honest,the story of the thinker is interesting and I liked it but I could see could see where the story was going so it didnt have the same impact as the bioshock twist for example.It's a good small story and maybe bioshock 2 could've benefited from a similar structure but I just cant say anything mroe than that unfortunaly.

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Imo
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Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by Imo »

Have to agree with Todinho, as much as I love Minervas Den the actual impact was lessened because I could see where we were headed.

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Leg of Time
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Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by Leg of Time »

Right, just seen talk about recording Bioshock 2 show tomorrow so need to get my thoughts down...

Bioshock 2:

While there are improvements over the first game I still enjoy that more overall.

The combat is definitely improved over the first game. The ability to have a weapon in one hand and plasmid in the other leads to a quicker more varied combat experience. Which is more enjoyable than the combat in 1.

I feel though that the atmosphere and story are not as good in the second game. I think the main problem is that it's Rapture again... Very similar environments (if my memory is correct, only played it through once) and combat areas. When in the first game it was all new, so think it's just not as impressive as it's the sequel.

The story is interesting but didn't have the lasting impression that I received from 1. But Lamb as a character was very interesting especially as a counterpoint to Ryan. It was missing that big twist to stick in the memory. Also, the character interactions felt very carefully designed and implemented in the first, the second game fall a bit flat for me...

I know I'm coming off very down on this game and that's really just because I'm comparing to the first. I think this game is great! It's has great environments, story is good as are the characters it's just not as special as the first for me.



Minerva's Den:

This is my favourite piece of DLC ever.

It's the perfect microcosm of what a Bioshock game is. Tracking through interesting environments, interesting and engaging narrative, receiving instructions via radio and killing splicers with plasmids/weapons all in a few hours, keeps it feeling fresh!

The story and character interactions are what seal it for me though. I liked the conflict between Reed Wahl and C.M.Porter around the use of The Thinker. It gives an overall sense of how the people of Rapture interacted with it and how it was designed/developed.

The audio diaries surrounding Porter and his wife were very moving. Listening to their life before/during the war and then the after effects of her death. His attempts to 'resurrect' his wife through The Thinker, but realising that the construct of her is worse than being without her.

The audio diaries surrounding Alan Turing were very interesting to me. I have a lot of respect for him; a great mathematician, scientist, the father of modern computing and ultimately a gay man who after arrest and chemical castration took his own life. A sad end for a brilliant man. It's nice to see him mentioned, especially if it introduces him to those who didn't know who he is! Definitely a figure people should know about (especially if they are interested in technology).


Twist and ending:
Spoiler: show
This, like the first game, had a great twist. Very reminiscent in setup from the first game.
The revelation that you are Porter. That throughout the game you've been interacting with not him, but with a construct of the Thinker turns the game on its head.

Then, after the boss battle, you walk through your old apartment, with the excellent track 'How she sees the world' playing in the background and find the shrine to Pearl. It reinforces his love for her and gives closure to their relationship. A fantastic end to the fantastic story.

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Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by mikeleddy83 »

From the looks of twitter a whole bunch of people here seem to be enjoying the new game (Bioshock Infinite), can't wait to start reading through your collective opinions once you're done. I'll no doubt be reserving my thoughts for now as I'd deem anything and everything a spoiler.

I'm also curious if anybody intends to switch off the router for a week as I'm expecting it to be a case of an excited fan posting just 3 or 4 words on twitter to absolutely ruin the mystique of the title.

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Cass
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Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by Cass »

Just finished Minerva's Den in preparation for Infinite coming out. I can see why this nugget of Bioshock got the reaction it did - it's basically perfect. Perfect length, perfect size, excellent story, all the gameplay additions are excellent and it never ever outstays its welcome.

If I have one regret, it's that I'd have liked to have played it pre-hype and gone into this with the same low level of expectation as I did Bioshock 2. As it was, the praise was so superlative that I found myself looking for twists, and that lessened the impact of the climax a little for me.

Bioshock Infinite tomorrow though! Wetting myself with anticipation :D

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Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by AndyKurosaki »

Very nearly picked this up today, as I love Bioshock. On one hand I thought "I've 4 days off over Easter, get it bought". On the other I thought "I shouldn't as I'm off on a 2 week cruise in less than 3 weeks".So I didn't get it. Yet... :lol:

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Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by Todinho »

Everything bellow relates to bioshock infinite DO NOT READ it unless you have beaten the game at least once
Spoiler: show
By the way my choices were the bird cage necklace,kill slate and...I dont remenber the rest but I dont think it really matters,just so if you made different choices you can protect yourself from possible spoilers bellow
Spoiler: show
....I dont know what to think of that ending to be honest on one hand I like it because of what is exploring and how its exploring and of not compromising things for a happy ending and such but if im honest 999 did a better job overall IMO,but the problem is that they went with the most predictable outcome possible,I kept thinking please dont go for the hole im comstock and she is brooker daughter but in the end that was that I reall y dont know how to feel I want to play again and try the different choices to see if it affects anything but seeing the end I dont think it does

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Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by mikeleddy83 »

Again, doesn't need to be said but spoilers will only hurt you if you've not completed the game (I'm adding this bit for the tapatalk folk).
Spoiler: show
My experience of the ending was mind blowing, I'd spent the majority of the game wondering where the twist would be and it's last minute revelation totally floored me. The AD should've been the tipping point but I never bit, the small talk about my responsibilities always seemed trivial and masked to the extent I never once embraced thinking about these small hints as they'd be commonly dotted around visually distracting scenes. I'm happy to call it Portal 2 like execution and was a total sucker for it, if anything the only gripe I had was that the single most important spoken part in the execution of its twist just a minute from the end which simply didn't sound clear (it's almost a whisper from the far right "dimensional being") and left me more confused than I should've been. The pseudo redemption you're looking for though may be the one hidden just after the credits (if you skip the credits you'll have missed it unfortunately).

My choices were totally different but I'm certain it's the same ending. The gameplay is another matter altogether and though I have some minor gripes (strangely unmentioned in any reviews I've seen) it's a huge step up from the previous games and strictly on an FPS level extremely competent.

Being the first time I've spoken about the game there's a deep well to speak about and I'm sure this is my first post of many, I only hope the game does the same for others as it has for me and stimulates conversation. At the 5 hour point I'd already added this to my top 10 of all time and the rest of the game only enforced that position.
Spoiler: show
Having said that I'm already prepared to get the ball rolling with just a few incidental things first:

Did anybody absolutely brick it when you get to Kubrick section and pull the lever in the wardens office? I almost screamed and actually felt shaken up, it was that tense.

Did anybody find Shanty Town practically impossible to loot just from the brilliant art direction and effort put into NPCs?

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Cass
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Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by Cass »

So. Just finished this. Unquestionably one of the best games I've ever played.

Story beats as far as I'm aware of them - chime in if I've got anything wrong but DON'T LOOK IF YOU HAVEN'T PLAYED BIOSHOCK INFINITE
Spoiler: show
  • Booker DeWitt is a war veteran and is generally messed up (probably PTSD) from his experiences with Pinkerton and at battles like Wounded Knee.
  • Some time after becoming a civilian, DeWitt is presented with the opportunity to be baptized and born again. This creates the critical turning point in the story - when Booker refuses, he remains as he is - cynical and highly damaged. In universes where he accepts this offer, he is reborn as Zachary Comstock.
  • Comstock becomes a religious leader, a Prophet to his people. At some point after his rebirth, Comstock meets the female Lutece of his dimension, who has discovered the technology to suspend objects in the air indefinitely. After having apparently amassed considerable wealth and influence, Comstock forms The Founders and recruits Lutece into building Columbia. Comstock's prophecy sees Columbia as a new Ark; its eventual mission to scourge the Earth of everything else, so that Comstock's society will be the only one remaining, promoting religion and racial purity. We see Columbia's eventual destiny in the razing of New York. Initially considered an American wonder, Columbia secedes due to the conflict between America's needs and the Prophet's vision.
  • Comstock selects a particularly damaged and vulnerable acolyte of his to become his wife - this woman becomes Lady Comstock. However, his proximity to Lutece's experiments in space and time have ravaged his body, leaving him prematurely aged and infertile. This is a problem, as he has prophecied that his heir will be the one to take over his legacy - the lack of an heir would threaten his plans for Columbia and ruin his credibility as a prophet.
  • By this point, Lutece has discovered the means of opening tears into alternate universes, and in one of these encounters the male version of herself. The "twins" devise a plan with Comstock to acquire the daughter of Booker DeWitt, who in the male Lutece's universe was never baptised, and instead became a gambling addict and fathered a child. Comstock has the means to pay Booker's debts, and through the male Lutece, arranges for the sale of the child. Booker, at this point barely able to support himself, probably allows himself to be convinced that this was in the child's best interests and agrees.
  • DeWitt is however ultimately unable to go through with the sale, and rushes to prevent the transfer of Anna (later Elizabeth) to Comstock in the alternate universe. In the ensuing struggle, Anna is taken, but as the portal closes it severs the infant's little finger. This is probably the source of Elizabeth's tear powers.
  • Back in his universe, Comstock realises Anna/Elizabeth's abilities and has the statue of Columbia erected to contain her, and the Siphon which limits her powers. Elizabeth's presence in Columbia causes tears to open spontaneously around it - one such tear gives Fink the knowledge of how to successfully build biomechanical constructs. He uses this to create Songbird for Comstock, as well as the Handymen.
  • The Prophet then has Lady Comstock and the Luteces killed to protect the secret of Elizabeth's origins - however, the Luteces are basically masters of time and space at this point, and survive in some form. Possibly seeking to redeem themselves for their part in Comstock's machinations, they set about aiding Booker in his retrieval of his daughter. They bring him to the female Lutece's universe, severely disorienting him. The Luteces shape DeWitt's impressions of his situation by letting him to manufacture his own reason to be there, allowing him to believe that his mission is to retrieve Elizabeth to settle his gambling debts.
  • The game begins!
  • At the end of the game, Booker has Songbird destroy the Siphon, which gives Elizabeth access to her full range of godlike powers. She uses these to dispose of Songbird, by transporting them to the Welcome Centre of Rapture, and drowning Songbird. She explains that there are an infinite number of similar worlds to theirs, and that they share aspects in common - the lighthouse, the impossible city, the man on a quest. Booker insists that they "save" Elizabeth by killing Comstock, at which point the Comstock/DeWitt connection is revealed. Booker allows himself to be drowned at the baptism site by various Elizabeths from assorted worlds, closing that choke point from which all Comstock futures arose - and thus all Elizabeth futures.
  • And then, in the post-credits sequence...
Did I miss anything? Again, I'm providing this for clarification. This is not a game with a simple narrative.

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Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by mikeleddy83 »

Sounds like a great summary to me, I think being able to grasp most of these ideas really adds to the experience.
Spoiler: show
In fact I found each small section of the story added a new emotional depth to the game which seemed to be perfectly directed (an obvious and quite direct emotional point for me was the tear finger section which really hit the right notes). But then there's a real hook for the story in that (for example) when you start enravelling the background behind the sale of Anna, the games engine does not adjust your movement speed or force you into any situations when you're noticeably without control but I'd love to meet the person that can hold the analogue stick down to move through the tear to the dock without an overriding feeling of sheepishness and a remorseful attitude dicatating how they play sections of the game.

Despite a deep well of history (within the game) to rely on I think it puts enough power in your hands to make you feel as though you've contributed a little to that story if only through your reaction to it.
I've got a small question for you though Cass:
Spoiler: show
When you say the source of her powers could you clarify a little, it turns in a bit of a chicken and the egg dilema when I think about it. Also, if you've played Policenauts can you see a bit of a crossover with Jonathan Ingram and Booker DeWitt, isn't is strange they adopt detective positions with such mysteries in their own lives (I guess Scott Shelby from Heavy Rain falls into this camp too)?

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Cass
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Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by Cass »

Elizabeth's powers are never really explained.
Spoiler: show
I'd argue the game suggests that severing her little finger on the portal is what causes her abilities, but it's never explicitly confirmed. We know her powers were not the reason for the kidnap - Comstock needed a child to prevent the collapse of his prophecy. My personal theory is that Elizabeth's missing pinky provides her with a sense of what and where the tears are, which would explain why she's able to manipulate them as opposed to other interdimensional travellers. It's hazy though. You get the impression that Ken Levine has watched an awful lot of Fringe.
I've never played Policenauts or Heavy Rain so I can't really comment, but I don't think Booker ever takes a detective stance in this game. His reason for progress is either to find or transport Elizabeth for his own ends, or to protect her and further her goals - at no point does he seem actually interested in what's unravelling around him. He's generally having enough to do, just keeping up.

I will say that I was surprised at how many of the same story beats Infinite shares with Bioshock 2, at least superficially. A religious zealot imprisons their gifted daughter and experiments on them to further their own ideological ends only to be stopped by
Spoiler: show
a violent stranger with very paternal reasons to care about the girl?
Both are also games with quite linear, act-based structures with areas moulded around personalities which must be overcome to progress. That's more than just coincidence, surely? Bioshock Infinite has far more ambition and talent behind it (as well as having had 5 years to get this stuff right) but they're essentially quite similar games.

Things I loved:
  • Walking through Columbia in those opening sections and hearing the opening strains of barbershop "God Only Knows" was actually gave me goosebumps.
  • I was profoundly disappointed when the game ended because it means I'll never get to go back to Columbia. This is a living, breathing city in a way that Rapture never was. Imagine seeing Rapture before the fall!
  • Elizabeth! Her design and animations put me in mind of a Pixar film - her expressiveness, her character, and the fact that you're never ever given a reason to resent her presence. It's as much her story as it is Booker's, and contrary to what a lot of people have said about this game, I never saw myself as protecting her - she was my partner in crime.
  • Speakin of Pixar, the world of Bioshock is the kind of inventive marvel you'd expect from someone like Pixar. You would never ever be able to convey the vast sense of wonder and the depth of the world of Columbia in anything but a video game though, and that's why I love gaming. THIS GAME is why I love gaming.
  • All the clever little fakeouts that make you think "oh, here's another Bioshock convention I guess" before subverting it.
    Spoiler: show
    Was anyone else paying close attention to the bird/cage choker all the way through to the end, to see when it'd actually become a plot point?
Things I wasn't as keen on:
  • The whole "consequences for stealing" mechanic feels half-baked. It's only OK to pillage some things, but not others? And then the consequences are... you get attacked. So you blast them apart, and now you're a murderer AND a thief, but you've killed enough people so everyone goes about their business. What?
  • Game was occasionally buggy on PS3. Couple of areas I'd be wandering through, only to hear one enemy still alive and out of sight that I'd have to kill before the scripting would kick in.
  • Didn't get enough time in Columbia before things went to hell and that makes me sad.
  • The sidequest stuff feels underdeveloped. Find a key and bring it to the chest! Find a codebook and bring it to the cipher! It's all very simplistic and doesn't feel as high-quality as basically everything else in the game.

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Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by mikeleddy83 »

Yeah, not to start on the hate wagon as I'm very happy with it's inclusion on my top 10 list and have no doubt (even in the face of GTAV) that it will most likely be this years GOTY. My negative points were:
  • It's simply too easy for all hell to break loose, I'm not sure how others played the past games but the natural camouflage tonic played heavily into my enjoyment of the first game and at points it felt like stealth would be an amazing prospect but it just didn't seem possible here.
  • I too feel foul of a bug where Elizabeth failed to follow me after a (albeit complex) series of Tony Hawks style transfers between sky rails, she reappeared after the next area loading screen and I can only hope no important dialogue was missed.
  • I've got mixed feelings about
Spoiler: show
the zeppelin ride into Fink Industries, it felt like a Django Unchained vibe and a little too comical at least from a music perspective having just heard some pretty vile racial insults less than an hour earlier though true to life there isn't always a yin and yang to be followed with these things and that lack of resolve possibly makes me more aware of the race message of the game (I'm really clutching straws to find gripes as you can see).
Well the list of positives is long so I'll skip that one for now but having heard the number of Pixar mentions I might just go and try to see what all the fuss is about :)

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Todinho
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Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by Todinho »

If im not able to express myself very well the rockpapershotgun review pretty much echoes my thoughts regarding the story as a whole
The negative-
Spoiler: show
I may sound really negative here but I really did like the game my problems with comes from the multiple universes plot that overtakes the game by the halfway point,it never really clicked with me I dont want to compare infite with other games but in 999 the do that and it works very well i think but that's because they set the rules and never break them in infinte im not even sure the rules a very well set and all,and i know complaning about plot holes in a story like this is kinda of ridiculos but it's something that just keeps nagging me the more I think about it.Are the tears are connecting other universes or are they just windows of possibilities inside a single universe?if the latter how does the lutece meet?if the first how killing comstock in one universe changue anything in the others,is there a master universe? are all elizabeths moving to achieve the same goal or there are others doing something different,if so what's the consequences of that? and the list just goes on and on

The other thing is that in 999(I hate to do this but it's the only other videogame reference i know of)the player is encoraged to play again and make more choices and they matter in the end even if limited by the visual novel style,in infite im getting that your chocies do not matter at all and that all possibilities will end in the same result,but that's not true choices do matter even if you have a limited amount of them as set by the game,in bioshock you only had 1 choice to make and it did make you consider and it affected how you played even being some binary morality choice,and now you say that int his game about multiple realities my choices dont really matter?it's the only thing that matters!I cant be certain of this because since I only played once but Im 99% sure of it.

One other problem I have is that Columbia never really felt like a real place,the begining is incredible and I was really getting into things but them all hell breaks loose and we are dumped in the plot above and suddenly the city doesnt matter anymore,same problem I have with the vox populi fighting the founders in no point I got that they were just as bad or whatever,maybe in the part were Daisy tries to kill the kid but that's all other than that they are just doing what's expected on popular revolution against a bunch racists zelots that I really never felt sorry for.It also doesnt help that we get very little insight from other characters on both sides,we only really have Fink with his motto "work until you die while I get my gold statue" and the Fitsroy's "look at all the people getting opressed help me to destroy the estabilishement".For one I really wanted all of this to be explored better and maybe the multiple universes could have been used to do that really well but for me it just came out half-baked
the positive-
Spoiler: show
While on one hand i dislike the story for the reasons above i respect it alot for having the guts to go trough with it all and dont pull any punches.
The main draw for me through the game was the characters if im honest during most of the game I didnt are about the themes or the story at all I just liked those characters and wanted to see more of them,if ken levine goal was to make a npc you care about he knocked it out of the park I never cared so much for a character in a videogame the only ones that can compare are yorda from ICO and my companion from Journey her presence is felt through the whole game,it wasnt comstocks presence i felt when I first entered Columbia it was hers and in the times we got separated I would rush unconsciously to try and find her(not in the first part of the asylum though since I was trying and failing the whole game to be stealthy and that was the only section I could do it).I also really liked booker,mostly because i thought of him as an unemployed solid snake in 1912,that moment between him and slate remided me a lot of MGS so I had to give the man a warriors death.

Visually no words I could use fully represent just how beautifull this game is that first hour just stunned.

Funny thing here is that the more I think about the things I like the more I love the game and the more I think about the things I dont like the more I dislike it, I dont really know how to feel I want to like the game more but I also want dislike it more,I just got this feeling on 2 other games MGS2 and Braid.But MGS2 i dislike the characters and gameplay but love the story and themes on infinite I think it's the oposite eitherway like the other 2 it really does pushes the medium foward even if a little bit and im glad that so many people are finding it to be so great se maybe we can get more games that challenge convetion and have so much passion behind it

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Cass
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Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by Cass »

My understanding of the Infinite 'verse:
Spoiler: show
My understanding of it is that they're trying for a Multiverse kind of thing. They play with the idea that Elizabeth is creating universes, but really I think she's just opening doors to alternate universes. The sorts of ones where flipping a coin causes the world to split into two realities - one in which it came down heads, and another in which it came down tails. You stay in the universe where it came up heads (for example), while another, identical you occupies your place in the world that came up tails. The problem with this theory is that it makes the multiverse, well, infinitely big. You could well stop one Booker DeWitt from becoming Zachary Comstock, but there wouldn't be one single focal point you could go to to stop all DeWitts from becoming Comstocks...

...but you would be able to stop an infinitely large number of different kinds of Comstock, because of the infinite number of choices that would follow that DeWitt's death, none of them would give rise to a Comstock. So you'd still have a huge effect, still save a ton of Elizabeths. It just wouldn't be all the Elizabeths.

[speculation]Maybe that's what the tears are. These universes are so similar that they're all mostly the same universe, so close together that they all run into each other. The tears are just the minute differences closest to the universe you're currently inhabiting, so throughout the game Elizabeth is able to walk you between universes that are basically very similar to the one you're in. When she's uninhibited by the Siphon, she's able to walk between any of the universes. At this point, the difference between "walking between worlds" and "changing the world around to you fit your desires" is one of perspective, like the difference between "trying on clothes" and "moving from one outfit to another". Maybe. Who knows.[/speculation]

In any case, when you get to the point where you're thinking about it like this, you're probably thinking too hard. I love it when a new game comes out and I get to wax pretentious about it :D
But yeah, I was a little disappointed that you didn't get a lot of time with Columbia the city versus Columbia the battleground. I spent that first hour of the game sightseeing like a dumbstruck tourist - I'd have loved to have become more lost in that world, seen how it worked, and really got a feel for it. I wanted to spend more time in it before everything went to hell. It goes from being a wonderful immersive world, to being a set of arenas for combat set-pieces. It's not a huge problem, just a little disappointing.

Don't really want to get into nitpicking though. Literally every other part of this game is amazing and I'm still drooling from having finished it this morning. I want there to be DLC so, so much :)

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Todinho
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Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by Todinho »

haha yep i was the same my hardrive is exploding with screenshots :D I usually dont bother with DLC that doesnt already comes with the game but im looking foward to see what they can come up with.

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Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by DomsBeard »

Oh Christ! My Mrs has just bought me Infinite for Easter! :) shall I jump straight in or play the original first?

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Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by ratsoalbion »

Jump straight on your missus.

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Re: BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite

Post by DomsBeard »

ratsoalbion wrote:Jump straight on your missus.
Yep Dead Space 3 for valentines now this. She's a keeper! :)

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Bioshock Infinite - Only after Completion

Post by Imo »

Sorry for new thread but I am very anxious that people don't stumble upon details of the game in the other thread. (As much as I appreciate Todinho's spoiler tags) I feel Personally that the game is much like the movie 'Audition' in that it is best experienced largely cold and unaware of details, expectations and opinions.

There is a lot to talk about and I am literally just about to begin my second playthrough because not sure If this was my favourite experience or biggest disappointment in gaming.

Looking forward to everyone's thoughts.

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