Article

BioShock Infinite Review


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Genre: FPS
Release Date: March 26th 2013
Developer:  Irrational Games, 2K Marin, and Human Head Studios
Publisher:  2K Games
Rating: M for Mature
Retail: 59.99$ for PC, Xbox 360 and PS3
Platform Reviewed On: PC (but was forced to use an Xbox 360 controller due to keyboard complications).

Reviewer played and beat BioShock Infinite twice before starting this review.  Once on 1999 Mode–via the Konami code unlock–and a second time on Easy and is now going through a third time on Normal.

I’ll do my best to avoid spoilers, but there’s certain parts of the story I plan to touch on that will contain them.  Consider yourself warned.

BioShock Infinite is a fantastic game, but it isn’t without some very serious issues.  Let me try and answer the question I assume most anyone reading a review wants to know; in this case:  Is BioShock Infinite worth your time and money?  Yes to the former and I must say that I strongly believe that “no” is the correct answer to the latter.  Now I shall do my best to explain why I believe these two things to be true.

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Instead of jumping to the game’s flaws I’ll start with some praise.  BioShock Infinite is a gorgeous game.  Both the visuals and audio stand out as shining examples of how good a video game can look and sound.  There’s hardly a dull moment in BioShock Infinite for your eyes or ears.  Garry Schyman has done wonders with his musical talents.  I found the game’s score to be just as good–maybe even better–than the what is heard in the original BioShock.  Early in the game–before the shooting begins–you pass a floating barge with a male quartet singing an A Cappella version of ‘God Only Knows‘ (I’ll get to why a song written in 1966 is being sung in 1912).  It sounded so bloody stellar that I couldn’t help but stop and listen for a spell.

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Aside from floating some thousands of feet in the sky the city of Columbia feels like it could easily exist.  From the random conversations you’ll overhear, to the many shops, to the previously mentioned singers it’s easy to see that a lot of work, time, and love went into creating Columbia.  The opening sequence is on par with some of the very best of any entertainment medium.  The awe I felt punching through the clouds and seeing Columbia for the first time is something I’ve not experienced in a game for a good while.  The first fifteen minutes of BioShock Infinite are its best fifteen.

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Around the time you get your first Vigor (BioShock Infinite’s version of Plasmids) is when things stop making much sense.  Not counting a couple enemy types, Booker–who you play as–is the only person to use Vigors, besides one other single character in the whole game.  In the first BioShock Plasmids were a very large part of the story.  They were directly connected to EVE and ADAM.  In BioShock Infinite Vigors seem to exist for only one reason:  Because you’re playing a BioShock game.  Apparently that means you need supernatural powers.  While you do see billboards and signs talking about Vigors, nobody within the story seems to use them besides the two characters I mentioned.

Video games allow for one thing better than any other entertainment medium ever will:  Choice.  Every action you make results in a particular outcome.  If you die in a game there are multiple ways you can complete your objective without getting the same–unwanted–result.  Many games focus on this aspect and some are even hailed as tent-poles of the medium because of how well they go about it.

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Choice is at the heart of BioShock Infinite’s tale and yet the few choices you’re forced to make have little to no impact on… well, anything.  The above picture is the very first moment you’re presented with a prompt to decide something that seems as though it could carry serious weight.  Booker has just picked up a baseball with a number painted on it for a raffle.  He wins said raffle.  His prize?  One hard toss at the couple tied up on stage in front of him.  Now is when Booker must decide if he wants to make his throw at the couple or the MC Mr. Fink.  Only it doesn’t matter what you chose, the outcome is the same.  You’re stopped mid throw and killing ensues.

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At the center of the story is Elizabeth,  the reason Booker goes to Columbia in the first place. She has the ability to open ‘tears’ in reality that lead to others.  As Booker climbs the tower in which Elizabeth is held captive you watch as she opens one of these tears.  On the other side is Paris, France and a marquee for the Return of The Jedi (this is how people in 1912 would know of a song written more than fifty years later).  Why Elizabeth never used one of these tears to simply leave Columbia is something I do not grasp.  Nor does Elizabeth’s motivation behind supplying you with ammo while chiding you for killing make a lick of sense.  Elizabeth even tells Booker she sees what she does–opening the tears–as a form of “wish fulfillment”, and we know she wanted to leave the tower.  It is in these moments that we see just how lazy BioShock Infinite’s story really is:  None of these things needs to make sense, because anything we question can be waved off as taking place in one of an infinite number of possible universes.

I watched Elizabeth put this flower in her hair she'd pulled from a tear.  I kept a close eye on her and then, suddenly, it wasn't there.  Make sense?  No, but that's ok, it's just one possibility!

I watched Elizabeth put this flower in her hair she’d pulled from a tear. I kept a close eye on her and then, suddenly, it wasn’t there. Make sense? No, but that’s ok, it’s just one possibility!

Elizabeth’s ability to open these rifts in time and space are not simply a story element, they serve a role in combat as well.  Scattered throughout Columbia you’ll see shifting black and white glimpses of various objects.  These represent items and objects that exist in one of an infinite number possible versions of Columbia.  Focus on one such object (a box of med kits, for example) and you can have Elizabeth bring that into your world.

The reason you don’t see tears all over the place and concerning every possible thing is explained well enough.  Elizabeth’s power is being drained, the tower she’s held in before you save her has been siphoning off her ability for years.  What she used to be able to do, at will, as a child she can only do in certain places at certain times–it just so happens that all those times and places are when you’d need them.  You never see a vending machine, Voxophone, or other such object in the world.  Every tear that Elizabeth opens related to playing the game is combat related:  Automated turrets, guns, health, hooks to latch onto for a better vantage point, etc.

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I said that choice is at the heart of BioShock Infinite’s story and that’s true, but what the game’s title refers to is that the consequences of your actions and choices leads to an infinite number of possibilities and worlds.  This story element is as worthless and lazy as the ‘it was all a dream’ type of structure that the TV series Lost used.  I see two possible reasons for Irrational Games going this route:  The first is that they didn’t feel they had a strong enough story without this element or; the second idea I have is far worse than lazy or poor writing and I don’t even like mentioning it.  I fear Irrational may have done what they did with BioShock Infinite’s story as an excuse to turn the BioShock franchise into a yearly release.  I pray that I’m wrong.

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Look, sound, and story aside how does BioShock Infinite feel when you’re playing it?  Good.  Quite good, indeed.  While the same story could have worked in a fair few genres, but I think going with an FPS was one of the better choices.  While Vigors make zero sense in the world or story they’re certainly fun to use.  When I’d use the Bucking Bronco Vigor to launch a wave of Vox–the rebellion uprising folk–into the air only to pop each one in turn with my carbine rifle I’d think, ‘Ok, that’s pretty cool.’  The biggest change between the first two BioShock games and Infinite is the addition of space, and a lot of it.  The first two games took place in pretty cramped quarters and hallways.  Many of the shootouts I got into in BioShock Infinite were outside in very large spaces.

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To move about these areas with speed and ease you’ll use what’s called a Sky-Hook, a tool that doubles as your melee weapon.  Point your view at a rail (seen in the top left of the above picture), jump, and Booker will sail through the air to latch onto the sky-way line.  Unlike Vigors the Sky-Hook system never felt as though it was added… ‘just because’.  It makes sense within the setting of the game.  Columbia is a city of floating sections.  People move between these on various gondolas and flying barges.  Early on you encounter a couple of police talking about how they’ve been issued Sky-Hooks as a means to ride the rails and rid Columbia of the Vox.  The Sky-Hook is one of the very few things in BioShock Infinite that works and makes sense.

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My only other complaint is that BioShock Infinite’s save system (at least on the PC) is completely auotmated and based around check-points.  There is no manual save in the PC version (and I assume the same to be true for the console versions too).  While this makes sense on 1999 Mode (it’d be far too easy if you could simply reload after anytime you died thereby removing the consequence of money depletion upon revive).  Yet for Easy, Normal, and Hard I can see no reason for a lack of manual save.

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Ask anyone if they think there’s a possibility of an infinite number of universes all with versions a lot like–but not quite the same as–ours, and I think many would agree that, yes, it’s certainly possible.  My issue with the heart of BioShock Infinite’s story is that Irrational Games used an element that didn’t help it one bit.  I believe they could have told a more compelling tale about Comstock, Booker, Elizabeth, the Lutece’s, and the city Columbia without ‘The Big Twist’.  It isn’t that I found the story hard to follow or bad.  I simply don’t think that going ‘infinite possibilities’ route made it a better story than it could have been were it to be set in one, single, universe.

I began this review by saying I think BioShock Infinite is worth your time, but not your money.  I stand by that.  Watch a Let’s Play of it, borrow a copy from a friend and give it a play if you like shooters, but please don’t pay a cent for it.  I do not feel that Irrational or 2K should be funded to make another game as lazily written as BioShock Infinite was and the only way to get that message across is by not supporting such titles.  Is BioShock Infinite a bad game?  No.  Is it a good game?  Yes, it’s quite good.  Is it the game of the decade, an unmissable absolute must play, and a genre and medium defining experience that so many seem to be hailing it as?  Absolutely not.

 76 thoughts on “BioShock Infinite Review
  1. Bill Hoffnab on said:

    The game felt like the designer had a bunch of ideas that didn’t really work well together, said “fuck it” and fired them out of a shotgun onto the canvas.

    I agree with the reviewer here, don’t pay money for this thing. Go watch a let’s play and you’ll get the same experience. The gameplay is dumbed down *even further* from the original Bioshock and no longer has anything in common with the games (System Shock 1&2) that it supposedly “spiritually succeeds”.

  2. Anonymous on said:

    My main problem with Infinite is that it just doesn’t feel like a Bioshock game. The first one – and even the second – had the feeling that you were fighting against the city itself. You would walk around each area where Splicers are doing their own thing. You could try to avoid fights, set up traps, hack things to give yourself an advantage. Everything felt so much more involved. In infinite, it felt like you were just walking from one fire fight to the next. All the big areas even felt artificially so as there was usually a turret or Patriot placed somewhere in the middle of a huge area, which keeps you pinned down in a single spot for most of the fight.

    I also hated all of the big hitter enemies. None of them was really difficult; just tedious. They were all just bullet sponges. Because everything is scripted to happen at a certain time, you can’t even prepare for a fight unless you’ve already played the game and know it’s coming, and even if you try to prepare, you don’t have any of the resources like trap bolts or mines from the first games to use. The worst offender is the Siren who has an inexcusable amount of health for the type of enemy she is.

  3. Aeiou on said:

    At least bioshock had some great combat moments in it BECAUSE of the claustrophobic nature of the encounters, it adds a much bigger element of danger indeed when an enemy is an actual threat and not just sitting back firing a gun at you retardedly.

    also the story has so many plotholes i hurt my brain trying to make everything make sense, don’t try doing it trust me.

    • Aeiou on said:

      Oh and you summed it up perfectly, i had fun and it was what i would call good, but it isn’t great and the sheer wankery people are subjecting this game to is disgusting.

      It’s sad that this is considered one of the greatest games of all time if you follow mainstream reviews, it really speaks volumes about mainstream videogame player.

      It makes me drop my head in disappointment.

  4. MaximumPandering on said:

    This is the edgiest review to ever have been fabricated. If you’re gonna nitpick at least make up a compelling argument first.

    • Anonymous on said:

      …These are ALL valid points, dismissing it as “edgy” because it isn’t part of the common review consensus (of easily amused idiots who’ve no idea of the standards of good writing) is preposterous.

      Bioshock Infinite )even the previous games to some degree) is a lazily written shooter under a disguise of intelligence. It has a pretentious plot and a unique art aesthetic, nothing more.

      • John on said:

        It’s not even a unique art asthetic. It’s copied from the first Bioshock. Nothing wrong with copying your own game, I guess, but that same asthetic was also in Dishonored. It’s not overused at this point, but it isn’t fresh and new either.

    • I want /v/ to leave.

  5. I felt like cartman on the tunnel of prejudice the whole time
    I felt the vigors were kinda bad overall and I only used 1 Gun the whole game

    ok game a few things not executed very well but was not disappointed

  6. What a shame. It is a gorgeous game, but it’s sad that the best thing about it is the visuals.
    I had a hunch all the praise for this game was solely from hype and the fact that it wasn’t just another warfare shooter gave plenty of players an excuse to call it innovative and definitive. It’s not a bad thing to get excited, but it’s not wise to let it cloud your judgement of what’s right and wrong about the game.

    It still looks like a good time killer though. I’ll borrow it from a friend once I’m finished with the first BioShock. Great review.

  7. Niger on said:

    I find it odd that your biggest gripe with the game is the poor writing, structure and handwaving of the story when it is the horrendous gameplay that does this game in.

    You say you played it with a gamepad so fair enough but the m+kb controls are godawful and customization options are sorely lacking.
    The biggest and most glaring problem with the gameplay however is the pointless inclusion of the scavenging mechanic; It is impossible for me to immerse myself in the experience Bioshock Infinite presents because I’m always busy looking for things to eat off the floor.

  8. Incidentally, even though you are stopped when throwing the baseball, if you choose to throw at the announcer, you’ll get a costume piece from the couple later.

  9. ToasterCommander on said:

    I disagree. It’s not a matter of the story not making sense, since everything is explained relatively upfront, and if it’s not then it’s explained in a Voxophone. Really, I think that your problems with the story would have been best summarized as “I just didn’t like the story” rather than nitpick it (which is what I see it as being).

    • Anonymous on said:

      It has no real substance yet It’s pretending to be this intelligent, thought provoking game. That’s how it’s being advertised, thus it should be judged for such.

      • hollowgrounds on said:

        Well when you put it that way, that should be the way every video game should be reviewed since there will always be people that promoted as such.

  10. Great review. I’ve been summing my feelings on infinite by saying that it is a mediocre game with mediocre plot wrapped in fantastic presentation.

    Additionally the fact that all 1999 mode really does is make everyone a bullet sponge is a real shame in my opinion.

  11. Shmeh on said:

    I still think Vigors inclusion was added with no foresight and had fuck all to do with anything outside of gameplay, which even then was so-so.

    At least they had a purpose in Bioshock other than to add it in for varieties sake.

    • Kratix on said:

      Vigors are used as a form of genetic modifications for Comstock’s army (which explains their lethal applications), as Comstock was engineering Columbia to be a mobile stronghold used to attack the United States years after they seceded. He’s more or less “indoctrinating” the citizens of Columbia, including the upper class, eventually turning them into soldiers and agents for his cause, which explains all the propaganda, Comstock being portrayed as “The One,” etc. The vigors in this sense are supposed to be “analogous” to the genetic modifications by the Nazi’s on their own people. I do agree the enemies could have been more “vigorific” in battles. HEH. We see the crow people and the firemen, and that’s about it.

      As for the origins of the vigors, that’s really simple. Jeremiah Fink developed the vigors by observing tears, the same way Songbird was created.

      It definitely wasn’t as fleshed out as plasmids in the original Bioshock, but they still make sense in the context of the game. This is all stuff you could easily figure out by listening to the voxaphones or the video recordings. Comstock was mobilizing for war.

      I have a feeling that most of the mechanically relevant narrative portions (added to this world to make it feel more believable) were removed during crunch time as Irrational needed to ship the game. I feel like all of the problems with Infinite can be attributed to a rushed production schedule which is unfortunate. If the game would have have been allowed to gestate for another year and become richer mechanically, I have a feeling it truly would be one of the best games ever. The shock series has always been one that struggles a bit mechanically compared to its artistic vision, but in my opinion, there isn’t THAT much room to innovate in FPSes besides adding more mechanical options to the player but everyone is concerned with streamlining the experience thanks to the insane production costs.

  12. What I got out of this is that Infinite isn’t worth your money because the writer didn’t like the story.

    While I’ll be the first person to admit that the story does play a huge role in this game and is pretty much the reason why it’s getting so much buzz, this is a video game first.

    • hollowgrounds on said:

      Yeah, I felt the same. The points are valid, but gameplay is the deciding factor for whether or not I should get a game. Going by this review, I’ll try it, although my hype for Infinite has gone down thanks to the constant delays.

      • Somewanwan on said:

        I think that his review was story-centric mostly because the reviews in other sites are?
        Oh well, here’s the combat in a nutshell:
        You carry two weapons at a time, some are complete shit, some (sniper rifle, crank gun) will make you a walking dispenser of death. The open fields won’t matter because you will be crouching down waiting for your shield to regenerate while popping back and blowing some people with the shotgun. The AI is not that moronic, they will charge at you if you are within range and if they have weapons like the Magnum, they will stay back, sometimes even try to flank you, but it’s rare and if you see it happening it won’t matter because just one of the 30 people you are fighting against decided to run up and flank you, so you just use the broken-ass Possession Vigor and voila, a new ally to soak up bullets for you.
        So it’s pretty much CoD with bibbity bop zappity zap that you will land as a trap while Elizabeth recharges her magic salt (???) acquiring skills. Also, the hardest fights are the ones handy-men are involved because that thing has more HP than every single thing I had to kill in the last two hours of the game combined.

        • You’re contradicting yourself. When a game is “CoD but with x” then it ceases to be CoD. It becomes its own game. The only thing this game shares with CoD is that it’s an FPS. Anything can be generalized like that.

          I can’t understand why people call this game a generic FPS, at least when it comes to gameplay.

          What is a NON-generic FPS supposed to be like? If anything, the Bioshock games ARE as non-generic as you can get when it comes to combat because of its inclusion of plasmids/vigors.

          Judging by this post and and the other one of yours I’ve seen here, I think I should advise you to remember that not all websites are 4chan and you should keep the shitflinging there.

          • Somewanwan on said:

            “The only thing this game shares with CoD is that it’s an FPS. Anything can be generalized like that.”
            Hello, this is Serious Sam calling.

            “I can’t understand why people call this game a generic FPS, at least when it comes to gameplay. What is a NON-generic FPS supposed to be like?”
            Because almost every FPS that came before this one had the same approach to firefights: Find cover, shoot until your screen does something, go back to cover, proceed to next point that is directly in front of you. (Or, in this case, backtrack a few meters for the optional missions).

            “If anything, the Bioshock games ARE as non-generic as you can get when it comes to combat because of its inclusion of plasmids/vigors.”
            The Fire Vigor is a Molotov Cocktail, The Possession Vigor is a nuke that compensates it’s absurd power by the cost and all the other vigors are either too niche or simply ineffective to be relied upon. However, the combination of Gears+Vigors actually got me surprised, as I used the Charge Vigor (Upgraded with splash damage) and ignited four bastards at the same time, because of my Gear that had 70% chance of igniting enemies on melee attacks. Neat, I liked that. Too bad the most effective/instinctive method is still to shoot those people in the face or just ignite them from afar using the Fire Vigor, without exposing myself. The game tries to make itself more varied by adding all these variables without thinking about balance or the situations you find yourself in. Cool, I can absorb bullets and send them back, but why would I waste salts if, again, shooting them behind cover is the far more effective method on the hardest difficulty? You can, however, say that I’m wrong, I played the game without using it’s full potential and without exploring all my options. But I did. I did find myself laying traps, only to find them intact by the end of the fight because the AI never thought of advancing or try to flush me out of cover. I did try and use different Vigors against different Vigor mini-bosses, since they are pretty much the only ones to rush at you to drive out of cover, but it was just a matter of either stunning them, losing some salts in the process, pumping them full of lead or hopping between covers and pumping them full of lead, then use my salts on the rest of the enemies and whatever weapon I had in my second slot if I ran out of ammo. You also only ever need or will want to use the Skylines either to navigate or when you are fighting a Handy-Man. Death, too, feels without any sort of impact or real punishment. All it does is take me away from the fight, right next to a vending machine, recover a bit of the enemies’ HP without reviving those I killed and… Oh yeah, it takes away some of my money. Press [F] to grab the coin.

            “Judging by this post and and the other one of yours I’ve seen here, I think I should advise you to remember that not all websites are 4chan and you should keep the shitflinging there.”

            I’m sorry for not meeting your expectations, anon-kun. I’ll do my best in the future.

          • Fair enough points. I can’t really argue with some vigors not being viable since I found myself shooting more often than using vigors.

            As for the 4chan shit, I apologize, I feel like an asshole about that now.

  13. Awkward on said:

    you know i was never in the hype train of bioshock infinte and honestly i think the infinte universes element is the worst element Example: Where do vigors come from? Answer: Another fucking universe. See what i mean

    • Kratix on said:

      Fink likely observed the plasmids from Rapture and made his own, just like how his brother copied music from “the real world,” like “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” and “God Only Knows.” Fink probably based the Songbird off of Big Daddies as well. I thought it was interesting but some people just hate multiverse stories in general because they feature the multiverse. I don’t think that’s an entirely legitimate reason to hate it because it’s basically akin to saying “I don’t like stories with magic or talking animals.” It’s rather preferential.

      • Delio Pera on said:

        You’ve made the very case for why I dislike this plot device in a story. Anything you–the reader, viewer, player, watcher, etc–conjure up is a viable option. I don’t believe–and I’ve beaten the game three times and heard every voxophone–it’s ever stated that Fink based the Songbird off a Big Daddy not do I recall any mention of the origin of the Vigors. Yet the very plot device central to BioShock infinite allows for anything you imagine to MAYBE be correct.

        I imagine Ken Levine in front of a gathering of fans answering questions: “Ken, Ken!” One starts. “Since there are infinite possibilities does that mean Songbird could be a transformed Booker? Is that POSSIBLE?”

        Ken grins, “I think you just answered your own question.”

        The crowd claps and cheers! Brilliant! BRILLIANT! A true master story teller walks among us!

        • Kratix on said:

          It’s not a huge logical leap to think about who Fink is talking about based on the inclusion of Rapture in the actual game and this following recording:

          “Dear brother, these holes in the thin air continue to pay dividends. I know not which musician you borrow your notes from, but if he has half the genius of the biologist I now observe, well…then you are to be the Mozart of Columbia.”

          I don’t think it’s THAT much of stretch given how much time we listened to biologists talk in Bioshock, and the thematic and physical similarities between the two games, and the discussion at the end of the Infinite by Elizabeth. Maybe you just don’t like it, but I can’t help you there. I like multiverses.

          I understand your problem with multiverse concepts, but I see that more as a preference than a legitimate complaint. Like I said elsewhere, it’s akin to saying “I don’t like stories with magic or talking animals,” but I suppose the execution of “believability” can always be discussed. You can argue the difference between hard and soft science fiction as a justification.

          • My problem with multi-universes it has some plot problems. Like: in one universe there is a way to kill comsock without killing booker right? As soon as there is a problem they can pull out another universe in which you can fix it up. Then there are rules that are really screwy to keep certain problems in check to keep the story from being complete wank. After all, what stops you from just tearing your way to the best outcome.

  14. DirigibleQuixote on said:

    So apparently we’re a group of teenagers who think that disagreeing with the consensus makes us cool.

    Sweet! When should I submit my article about how much I love steampunk and Fallout 3?

    • Delio Pera on said:

      I’m ten years beyond my final year as a teen. What I wrote I believe. The presentation is probably some of the best we’ve seen this whole console generation, but the story is a mess. I stand by that.

      • unwanted on said:

        Maybe that’s the problem. You’re too old to understand this 2deep4u story.

        • Thyrmael on said:

          Too old you say ? You’re probably right. It looks like the game industry is more graphics oriented for the last decade to satisfy younger audience, not interesting in good story telling, game possibilities.
          Compare them to the games like System Shock(s),Deus Ex, Ufo:Enemy Unknown and it will be obvious, why older gamers complains about games these days. And it’s not about age itself, but they remember, when games wasn’t just about graphics, but have options, decent gameplay time, freedom of choice and some difficulty not based on, how many HP you and enemies have.

      • DockZock on said:

        Concerning Infinites Visual Quality, it my be the best looking game on consoles but by god the PC version is the same mess of hamfisted Unreal 3 implementation as Batman:AC.

        Worse actually, while both games share utterly useless DX11 features that straight up waste performance with no visual quality gain, AC at least had proper Anti Aliasing.
        The fact that a AAA GOTYAY GAME OF THE DECADE has the same level of lazy postprocessing AA as fucking Euro Truck Simulator 2 is pretty pathetic.

    • Freakydemon on said:

      Are you actually going to bother to explain what your gripes are with what’s being discussed or are you just going to keep throwing empty remarks? Because so far you’ve added nothing.

      • DirigibleQuixote on said:

        Because everybody else is doing such a great job of presenting well-reasoned and legitimate points, right?

        In honesty, I haven’t played through the entirety of the game yet due to technical difficulties (the same reason I haven’t read the bulk of the review itself, as I want to avoid spoilers). It just bothers me that this game which has done nothing but look nothing short of revolutionary gets one bad review, and suddenly all the people who hate it are coming out of the fucking woodwork, and acting like pretentious twats while doing it.

        I see similar things happen with other games (I literally cannot count the number of people I’ve seen who were SO FAR above Spec Ops: The Line’s PETTY AND HAMFISTED NARRATIVE that they TOTALLY UNDERSTOOD every single subversion and plot point three hours before it happens), and with something that, for the time being, anyway, I respect as much as Bioshock Infinite, it’s . . . irksome.

        It’s probably just the simple fact that this is one of the only negative actual reviews of the game, and is thus the lightning rod for a lot the negative thought about the game, but still, y’know?

        Maybe this makes me sheeple. Maybe I’ve just bought into the Cult of Levine. I dunno. It just seems impossible, given all the good stuff and all the interesting things that I’ve heard about Infinite, that it could be as bad as the reviewer thinks it is.

        Also, that fuckwit who made the image that compared Infinite to Half-Life 2. Fuck him.

        • Marcus Puckett on said:

          Your post is literally “stop disliking things that I like.”

          Man, sure is /v/ in here.

        • Delio Pera on said:

          My review rails on the story, yes, but that’s pretty much also the only thing I disliked about the game. If I didn’t enjoy it I wouldn’t have played through it three times. And have gotten EVERY achievement possible. I end my review with exactly what I think. BioShock Infinite IS a great game, but it’s not the flawless instant classic, FPS standard, that people are acting like it is. It IS good. It is NOT perfect.

          • If you think it’s good then why is it not worth the money? It’s certainly worth more than any other AAA titles we’ve had this year so far. I’m not saying the quality of a game is relative to other games, but a “good” game is worth spending money for.

            Are we only supposed to spend money on games that are perfect? If that is the case, then there’s probably 10 or so games in the entirety of game history that are worth the money.

            The only reason I could justify not purchasing this game is if you don’t want to deal with the shitty DRM or don’t want to support the DLC season pass nonsense.

          • DirigibleQuixote on said:

            Then why on earth isn’t it worth the money? As Calle mentioned, if we’re only supposed to buy games that are beyond great, or perfect, then there’s very little that IS worth money.

            If you mentioned this in and amongst the story spoilers, then I’m sorry I didn’t get to see it, but I’m very interested in how you drew that particular conclusion.

          • Kratix on said:

            For your review to only rail on the story doesn’t make much sense for why you shouldn’t buy it. The writing really isn’t lazy, everything is presented in the player to make sense of the narrative. The reason there is no choice is because things like the coin flipping are constants that have to happen, hence the entire conversation in the beginning of the game, “he doesn’t row.” Maybe you can argue that it’s a lazy approach, but the game in general is a meta-commentary about the illusion of choice in video games and how games can never accommodate an infinite amount of player choices.

            The only things that need to be accepted for the ending to make sense are grandfather paradoxes and quantum mechanics, where each window into prophecy is not a window, but a probability. The Neogaf thread makes perfect sense of the game’s logic. You can argue that you don’t like it, but it DOES make sense. http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=533205

        • You didn’t read the entire review and thus assumed it was a negative one from the look of the comments when the writer clearly stated it’s a great game, but it’s not perfect.

          A thing about video games: everyone is free to express what they think about a game when it comes out and when they’ve played through it. You just happened to find a lot of skeptical readers who don’t want to lay down 60 dollars instantly for a game that has obvious flaws that are mostly ignored among all the raving reviews.

          If you’re already convinced that the universal praise alone is enough to warrant a full price purchase and nothing will change your mind, then you really shouldn’t let the comments or the article get to you and instead say why you believe the game doesn’t deserve anything but a fantastic review. But referring people here who are just posting their opinions (among them a few that agree it’s a great game) as “pretentious twats” and “fuckwits” isn’t cool, pal.

          • DirigibleQuixote on said:

            Was I supposed to avoid the review entirely? I don’t really let stuff like this get to me (text on the internet isn’t my entire consciousness, believe it or not), but, like I said, it’s pretty much the only negative review of Infinite, period. I mean, christ, the little summary blurb on the main page even said that I might do well skipping it entirely – this is probably on my end, but I can’t just walk away from something like that.

            “You just happened to find a lot of skeptical readers who don’t want to lay down 60 dollars instantly for a game that has obvious flaws that are mostly ignored among all the raving reviews.”

            What I seem to have found was a massive circle jerk about how the modern game journalism scene is trash, how the game is utter shit, and how we’re all such cool guys for being able to realize this. There are people here with legitimate views expressed reasonably, of course. I recognize that, and the fact that those people are here at all is what I love about GYP, but there’s also a guy here who use a racial slur for a username.

            “a few that agree it’s a great game”

            There are maybe a handful of people in the comments who disagree with the reviewer at all, and of those, MAYBE two actually think the game is good. If that’s what you mean, then you’re very much correct, but I don’t feel that five or six comments out of forty are much to find kindred spirits in.

            “referring people here who are just posting their opinions . . . as “pretentious twats” and “fuckwits” isn’t cool, pal.”

            The people I call pretentious twats are the aforementioned people who use racial slurs as usernames (yes, I’m using that a second time – I don’t care if he has some agreement with the mods or whatever, it’s vile) and throw out a random context-bereft point from the game as an utter condemnation of it. I didn’t make that clear in my other comment, and I should have. Sorry.

            Also, I only ever called one person a fuckwit, and that was because he made a stupid image that took two vaguely connected scenes from two vaguely connected games and completely removed all context from them for the purposes of making Infinite look bad.

            Which someone then asked to make into a serious YouTube video. Because, y’know, everyone has a right to their opinion, and god forbid you criticize it.

            I do not feel that I am in the wrong in calling that person a fuckwit.

          • Marcus Puckett on said:

            We don’t ban people for swearing, e.g. you saying “fuckwits”.

        • John on said:

          Sometimes, the emperor has no clothes. Bioshock: Infinite is this year’s pseudo-intellectual art game for people who want to look smart by praising it. The ham-fisted politics are almost comical. The game’s take on racism feels like a book report being written by a 13 year old who just discovered for the first time that America has racism in its past and had racially segregated bathrooms. The way that the game is being praised for its “mature” take on it induces face palming.

          This is coming from somebody who thought that the first Bioshock had some pretty intelligent themes. The first Bioshock didn’t present such a society with such abhorrent ideals that nobody could possibly want to take part in it. And I also love the mature political themes in Mass Effect and the first Assassins Creed. The point I’m trying to make here is — the backlash against this game isn’t just a bunch of hipsters.

          I have lost track of the number of games that the gaming media has spooged all over, only for people to look back and realize a couple of years later that it was highly overrated. The pessimists for these games have a funny habit of being in the consensus opinion on the game later on. To me, the best criticisms are the ones that withstand the test of time. The ones that don’t need years of hindsight to analyze what a game did right and wrong. I think this one does it way better than the gaming media spoogefest in that regard.

          • Aeiou on said:

            But the reviews are saying it’s one of the best games ever made, stop being so entitled and just accept the fact that this game is completely flawless you nerd.

            This game is literally the inception of videogames with how people are reacting to it, inception was said to have a great plot because people were too stupid to follow a pretty simple plot in this day and age, just like people saying infinite has a great plot when it has many things that exist just because and so many things that just happen because of lolconvenience, oh and things like the racism which were just kinda there but had no ultimate bearing on anything.

            The plot was just messy in a bad way, gameplay was actually a step down from bioshock which shocked me (hurr) and i cannot wait for a few weeks when this stops being talked about and in a few months/years when people can look at it without the hype and realise that yep it’s just the equivalent of a big blockbuster movie that is slightly above the average shit that gets shoveled out on a yearly basis.

          • MaximumPandering on said:

            People like you are the reason any sensible person avoids threads about new releases like the plague nowadays.

          • Kratix on said:

            I’ll concede to your points that the game probably isn’t as good as everyone think or wants it to be (I still think it’s a good game with some easily fixable setbacks) but I don’t see how you can say you found Rapture more livable than Columbia or that the handling of racism is akin to a 13 year old learning about it for the first time. Rapture was full on eugenics mode and had just as much propaganda, if not more, than Columbia. I found everything just as believable as Rapture and as equally abhorrent; citizens of both societies lived idyllic life styles yet did horrible things on the side.

            Why did you find the portrayal of politics/racism so hamfisted? I thought the bathrooms were a nice touch, and it didn’t feel forced as it was a real thing that happened. If you were to metaphorically merge Columbia with the ground below, it would be a pretty accurate image of the South. I don’t see why it was so hamfisted. I didn’t feel inundated by the racism, either. Even Total Biscuit, who was pretty critical of the game, thought the racism aspect of the game was handled well.

        • Freakydemon on said:

          The Half-Life 2 comparison is spot on. Infinite is seen as revolutionary game by much of the mainstream when it’s just an above mediocre shooter and doesn’t add anything we haven’t seen before. It’s not bad, but it’s nothing special. Half-Life 2 however changed storytelling in FPS, conveying story and emotion through gameplay and not exposition alone, facial animations that are still the best in the industry besides LA Noire. Gameplay that also for the first time added physics that interact with the environment and the fact you have complete control throughout the game, an AI companion that isn’t actually a burden, etc.

          The reason people compare HL2 and Infinite now is because the mainstream praise made it out to be as revolutionary and industry changing, throwing out 10/10′s like it’s nothing. It’s a reaction to the stupidity of it all. It’s also weird to note most developers and consumers agree HL2 was the game of the previous decade, but nobody in the industry actually bothers to reach for the bar HL2 laid down.

          Also this is one of the few reviews that actually has some form of criticism, something which is fairly lacking in gaming journalism as a whole. So of course it attracts the people who agree this isn’t the 10/10 Game Of The Decade.

          • John on said:

            The Half-Life 2 comparison is especially relevant since Bioshock: Infinite took almost as long to make as Half-Life 2. Infinite comes out five and a half years after Bioshock 1, and Half-Life 2 came out six years after Half-Life 1. Compare the upgrade of Half-LIfe 2 over Half-LIfe 1 to the upgrade of Infinite over Bioshock 1. Is Bioshock: Infiinite even an upgrade over Bioshock 1?

            Half-Life 2 is a good illustration for how far video game standards have fallen since 2004. That’s the kind of game that you used to have to make to be called “great”, “excellent”, or “OMG BEST GAME EVAR!!!11!!”

        • Riam Tilling on said:

          So comparing two games in the same genre to point out which is doing stuff right and which is doing stuff wrong makes someone a fuckwit?

  15. Cicero on said:

    I spent all of Infinite thinking about how VLR did the whole multiverse idea infinitely (lol) better. I love the world of Columbia though.

  16. Somewanwan on said:

    be playing game
    rescue tits
    tits give me ammo and health
    thanks, tits
    tits become 5 dimensional
    tits everywhere, nice
    oh wait no tits no
    10/10

  17. Grizzly Magnum on said:

    Well that is 60 dollars saved.

  18. Martius on said:

    Remember about dlc.

  19. Spokker on said:

    What I liked most about the game was the art direction. The environments reminded me of a theme park in a way, over the top and somewhat linear. I was half expecting to find signs on doors that said, “CAST MEMBERS ONLY BEYOND THIS POINT” or something. I used to love taking pictures at Disneyland a long time ago because I’m a homo that way, and I took a lot of screenshots in this game.

    But that was just one great piece among a bunch of other great pieces that when taken together weren’t that great. The gameplay was great for Bioshock’s narrow corridors and small rooms, but I found it to be clunky in this game’s relatively expansive battlefields.

    The racism stuff wasn’t followed through on. It sort of faded into the background as the time/dimensional travel or whatever went into overdrive. I did get goosebumps when the bitch took us to Rapture, but I admit I had no clue what was doing on.

    It was a great game but I do wish it was more like what we saw in the trailers. I feel good buying it for $60 and getting XCOM for free as well as $30 in credit to use on any 2K game later on.

  20. RevDoktorV on said:

    I wasn’t really planning on getting Infinite myself, and after playing on a friend’s computer I decided I probably won’t, unless it goes on super-sale. In Bioshock 1 and 2, I felt like I could be clever, manipulating enemies into traps and turning the environment against them – nothing in Infinite made me feel like there were opportunities to be clever.

    In short – if you’re curious about Bioshock: Infinite, get a copy of Singularity, you’ll like it better.

    • Julio on said:

      I don’t know if I would agree with that. Singularity was pretty mediocre. At least Infinite is actually interesting and fun to play to some degree.

      • Freakydemon on said:

        To be honest, Singularity at least nailed the gun gameplay. In the end I have a slightly higher opinion on Infinite than Singularity, but not by much. The only thing actually lifting Infinite (lel pun) above mediocrity is the aesthetics, which are amazing.

  21. Endman on said:

    I bought Bioshock Infinite and, I have to admit, I had a good time playing it. However, I didn’t pay full price for it and I probably wouldn’t if it was my only option to do so.

    Personally, I don’t have an issue with the gameplay. My controls worked perfectly and I thought the skyrails were neat. My only nitpick with it was that the bigger, meaner enemies had an annoyingly large amount of HP during the later levels which made them a chore to kill. Then again, that could just be the fact I’m not very good at shootan games.

    My biggest gripe was the story. I don’t usually mind games with linear plots and a lack of narrative choice, but Infinite provides you with things that look like meaningful decisions, but aren’t. This fundamental dishonesty annoys me because it makes you expect a payoff that never arrives.

    The second thing I didn’t like about the story was how the multi-verse shenanigans detract from what I feel is the best part of Columbia. Making the city a product of [SPOILER] an alternate universe Booker douses the impact of areas like the Hall of Heroes. Rapture, the underwater city of the first Bioshock, had a greater impact because it was the product of real world thinking. There are real people who, like Andrew Ryan, believe in the message of Rapture – that a pure, deregulated capitalist society can prosper. The first Bioshock (at least the first half of it before the TWEEST) is a great critique of this way of thinking and the tragic story of Andrew Ryan, told through audio-logs and the environment of the city itself, it a really good one. Infinite, on the other hand, presents Columbia as an indictment on American Exceptionalism, in particular the domestic and international actions of America in the late 19th, early 20th centuries, and even touches on the folly of populist revolutions. It does a really good job of this all the way up to the end, where it throws it out of the window all so the game can indulge the ridiculous fetish modern videogame writers have recently acquired for CUNNING TWISTS. I feel the part where the game really lost its way is when the story stopped being about the city and instead became almost entirely about the quantum multiverse shenanigans. Whether this was done through laziness or through an unwillingness to really delve into the uncomfortable aspects of American culture, I have no idea.

    • Kratix on said:

      I think you’re forgetting that games written by Ken Levine always have a twist, especially every game in the shock series, debuting which his first title all the way back in 1999.

      System Shock 2
      Bioshock
      Bioshock Infinite

      All of those games have huge plot twists but I too wonder if Infinite would have been better served without the multiverse implications.

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