A Flawed Masterpiece: Revisiting Bioshock Infinite

Now that the dust has settled on Irrational Games' lauded shooter, Sean takes a look at what worked and didn't work in the story and how it ties (or doesn't) into the gameplay and the world of Bioshock Infinite.

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2059d ago
N2NOther2059d ago

I got excited for a comment and hopefully a discussion and then I saw it was spam :(

Anyway, any feedback is appreciated!

frelyler2059d ago

@N2NOther, here ya go. This is actually directed at the author of the article.

Your reading too much into things. Like the coin flip you mention at the beginning of your article, it doesn't matter what his name is. It all boils down to the lighthouse, the man and the city. You nit pick on something, but only after you answer your own question about it. How is a name different from a coin flip? Why do we all make the choices we do? Do we really have a choice if there are an infinite amount of outcomes? Look at the ending, there is no way to stop any of the outcomes unless you don't exist to make them happen. I also take issue with this statement, "There is no good reason other than to serve the twist that the characters in this movie look, talk and dress this way." It's called a plot device. Name me a movie that does not use it's setting, characters and their motivations to tell a story. you can't because that is what makes a movie. You could take the above statement and say that about any movie ever made or book ever written that has a "twist." Of course there is a reason for it. It tells a story and there is nothing else to say about it. Whether or not you like the movie is a matter of opinion, but to dismiss something just because it "serves the twist" is ridiculous. You did not like the ending, is the only valid statement you could make. Would you say that Rosebud in Citizen Kane only existed to serve the "twist" ending? The only part I agree with you on is the vigors.

N2NOther2058d ago

Thanks for reading and making comment. I am the author so I definitely appreciate the feedback.

Setting and character are 100% necessary for a movie, that is true. But when the central conflict has no explanation beyond it being the twist that is poor writing. The twist is in Bioshock Infnite is good, and it works on the surface but upon further scrutiny it falls apart. Especially if you the only defense is "just because". I can think of serval films thy have a twist that are backed up by the context of the film that don't exist merely for there to be a movie. Jacob's Ladder, Unbreakable, Roshomon for example.

As for Citizen Kane, what Rosebud is isn't the twist, it's the inciting incident and the reason why the reporter is investigating. What it turns out to be is relative meaningless.

Again, I do appreciate the feedback as the discussion. It's what I love about the game. That it can be dissected and discussed at length. I just don't think a twist is supposed to not be thought about. Especially not in something as thought provoking as Bioshock Infnite. At least that's my point of view.

2058d ago
MikeyDucati12058d ago (Edited 2058d ago )

I agree with this article. May I add my two cents? Forgive me if this seems all over the place but I have been trying to understand why I don't like this game (crazy as it might sound). I expected more.

Rapture was alive, the story vibrant (even though it was dark and grim) and everything in it spoke to you in ways that Columbia did not (at least for me). I bought Bioshock Infinite on D1. Being as though I had to work a shift, I waited impatiently to get my hands on this game. When I finally got home and begin to play, I kept thinking "Ok, ok, something will happen that will ensnare me into the world". When that never came, I felt myself rushing through the game to get to that meaty narrative that would quench my thirst for a little bit. There were too many down periods and not enough narrative to influence my desire to go further.

Especially when I got to the middle section, after waiting for some time to actually "play" with Elizabeth, to get the full feel of the world. It began to feel like a crawl. I don't care about the leader of the resistance but she is the main scope for now. Oh now she's a child killer now? Ok. Now we have inter-dimesional traveling going on here. Ok. Oh the vigors are never explained but they are part of the world I'm in, with vendors and loot besides dead bodies. But no enemy uses them. Wait a minute, what am I doing again? Helping the resistance leader or going to get to the airship? I couldn't find enough "umph" to get me to want to see through the game. I wound up trading it in later.

I really can't place a finger on it. It boggles my mind why I didn't like about BI as a whole. I can take pieces of it that I disliked but was it enough for me to not like the game as much? Apparently so. But why do I feel that BI could have been so much more?

When I entered rapture, the mystery was there. The dark corners hid fears and greed. The crazy citizens hooked on plasmids sent chills up my spine when I hid and they said "we can see you, ya know". It's just that something is missing from BI that isn't lost in the other two Bioshocks. Yes, it can be argued that I got used to the Rapture setting. Yes it can be argued that I should enjoy the series taking a different route but following the same basic guidelines. But it wasn't enough for me. The only characters I was interested in was Elizabeth and the Twins. Other than that, I didn't care for finding out much about anybody. Even Booker DeWitt. With Rapture, the mystery laid at every turn. Yes there were fetch quests, but the characters I fetched for were interesting. The combat was enjoyable. It was tough but not like Infinite where it feels like the AIs are just sending a barrage of bullets. I felt more overpowered than outwitted. In rapture, when I died, I knew what was the cause. I was simply reckless one section or I didn't utilize the traps properly. Strategy was more important.

Whereas Rapture had morsels at every turn that kept you wanting to find out the next part, BI stood on the grounds of its previous titles as the guarantee that you will sit down and wade in some of its murky waters.

N2NOther2057d ago

Thank you for this! This is absolutely what I love about this game and games in general. Fascinating points regarding the contrast in design between Bioshock and Infinite!

MikeyDucati12055d ago

Thanks alot for your article. It was a good read and its saying something that most are not.

N2NOther2054d ago

Thanks for that! I sincerely appreciate it. I've only been writing for video game sites for about 7 months so it's great to hear people are enjoying at least some of what I am doing. Even if they don't, at least I am getting feedback.