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The Boldest Predictions for 2014 Ever Made

Another year of video games is ahead, so let's wonder aloud about what's to come.

For many of us, 2014 is the year we've been waiting for. It's guaranteed to be a year of change.

No Caption Provided

That, actually, is one of the most predictable parts of the video game industry: change. Titans rise and fall, and the sands shift in new, unexpected directions that challenge our expectations. Being part of the video game industry is a really dumb idea. The competition is cutthroat, and for as much chest-thumping as the industry does about how much money it makes, you read more stories about people losing their jobs than getting them. It's not a safe industry. It's dangerous, volatile, and it's part of what keeps us coming back.

We just spent a week remembering the year that was, and making predictions is not usually Giant Bomb's business. There's a reason you almost never see rumors or speculation on the front page of the site. That's by design. Unless I can verify a piece of information myself, I'm very hesitant to share it with you. You can go somewhere else to read and consider it. But it doesn't mean we can't look ahead, and consider what's to come. I'm not interested in specifics. This isn't about "oh, hey, Nintendo's going to announce a new Metroid." Really, who cares? (OK, I would. Another Metroid Prime would be lovely.)

So here we go, 2014. Here are three thoughts on the year ahead.

Virtual Reality Won't Truly Land Yet

I purchased an Oculus Rift development kit because I find the potential of modern day virtual reality to be incredibly exciting, especially for horror games. Finally, technology has started catching up to what we've always imagined virtual reality to be like. But we're not there yet, and it's still unclear when a consumer version of the Oculus Rift will even ship. Even if it arrives later in 2014, the hurdles for virtual reality have less to do with the technology and more to do with finding out how to get people to buy it.

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Strapping a screen to your head looks stupid, and it looks much stupider than waving around a Wii remote. Virtual reality falls into the "wearables" category, and that means it actually has to look sexy to have a larger appeal. The same conversation is happening around Internet-connected watches and glasses. Your average person is going to laugh at the prospect of wearing a Google Glass product in its current form because it looks so goofy and obviously tech-y. Virtual reality has the same issue.

Every single person I've shown the Oculus Rift to has come away with the same reaction: "Incredible! Can I use yours again?" When I've asked whether they would pick up one of their own, I was met with a shrug. It's not due to lack of enthusiasm over their experience inside the rift, but a question of platform. Steam may have 65 million users, but that's a very specific slice of people. I've got my Oculus Rift connected to a beefy PC because it needs to output two displays at once for the technology to even work. Your average MacBook Air isn't going to power the types of experiences that make virtual reality so interesting. Virtual reality could have success in the high-end range, but it will remain that: high-end.

But Oculus has talked about supporting mobile. Valve might release a piece of hardware. Sony might release a piece of hardware. The latter is, perhaps, vitally important to virtual reality gaining the kind of foothold we're hoping for, encouraging more developers to give it a close look. Steam Machines may help move the PC into the living room, but consoles are already there, and whatever Sony produces for the PlayStation 4, it's hard to imagine it would be so radically different from an Oculus Rift that we wouldn't soon be looking at forming standards. Virtual reality games for the console could be released on the PC and vice versa. The two would compliment each other beautifully, and it's already proven that Sony, a consumer electronics company, knows how to market and sell these devices. Right now, Oculus Rift is all insider buzz, and it's not hard to imagine the wrong marketing message bringing the house crumbling.

All of this suggests virtual reality will take its first steps in 2014, but its real impact will not be felt this year.

The Risks of AAA Continue to Restrain Creativity

Depending on your taste, 2013 was either a pretty bummer year for video games, one in which the next-gen transition took its most costly toll, or 2013 was full of delicious variety, and you only had to look beyond A, A, and A in order to find solid gold. You can probably tell which side of the fence I found myself on, given that Papers, Please was my choice for game of the year.

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I don't mean to disparage players who prefer the bombast and production values the most expensive games our industry have to offer, but remember how I said gaming was a stupid industry to compete in? That's not changing. It's still going to be a stupid industry to compete in, and that means it makes more sense to be conservative than experimental, at least when the games we're talking about cost tens of millions to make. You can only make so many of those before there are no more mistakes to make, or you end up with games like BioShock Infinite, games seemingly constrained by the need to be a shooter to sell.

There's plenty of personal risk for independent developers, but the risk is personal--their livelihood. Players of independent games are regularly rewarded with games willing to drive a stake into our gameplay and narrative expectations. For some, the question of "is this a game?" is considered because it means these games might take away from the games they enjoy. I get it. For me, that's the most exciting question in games right now. From Gone Home to Twine, the only thing these have in common is interactivity, and measuring that becomes more abstract year after year. 2014, for example, will bring Robin Arnott's SoundSelf, a psychedelic visual experience that's more about the player getting to know themselves. If that sounds like hippie bullshit, you're right. I want more hippie bullshit in my games.

Streaming Video Will Change Everything

This one will be slightly self-indulgent, but stick with me.

Writing isn't dead, but it has a new ally in video. Sure, high-end game websites have been able to capture video from games for a while now, but it's only becoming accessible to consumers recently. With the new consoles, there's zero barrier to entry, and anyone can instantly become a gaming celebrity. For most, this will be a fleeting moment, but some will capitalize. It's going to light a fire under the collective asses of traditional game writers, one that's been a long time coming. This change is already happening with ahead-of-the-curve users on YouTube, but it's going to absolutely explode in the next year. Any gaming writer worth his salt that isn't looking into how video works, how it might become part of their own work, is not going to last very long in this world. Video is the future. You might not like PewDiePie, but he's individually captured an enormous audience that most major gaming websites would kill for.

No Caption Provided

(It's unfortunate Microsoft wasn't able to integrate Twitch streaming into Xbox One at launch, but it'll show up. That it's coming to Xbox One at all is what's important.)

That doesn't mean writing isn't still vitally important, nor that I'm going to stop writing anytime soon. Far from it! But video has its own place, its own voice, its own uses. Would explaining my daily adventures in Spelunky be nearly as interesting without video? Absolutely not. Video is the only reason that feature works. A new form of expression does not stamp the last one out, but the smartest learn how it can augment what's come before it.

Twitch is a company that's in the right place at the right time, important to the moment but unlikely to be streaming's future king. But what Twitch has helped usher in holds incredible value. With the click of a few buttons and a few Google searches about audio/video sync, it's possible to share your gaming experience with all of your friends--and more. The moments we talked about on playgrounds as kids are no longer tall tales: they are recorded moments in your gaming history. They can be saved, shared, and celebrated.

***

Those are my predictions, but I'm not alone in wondering aloud. I asked Giant Bomb users to chime in, and I compiled a bunch of these predictions into a podcast. If you missed out on a chance to participate, make sure to drop into the comments and share your predictions! We're all going to be wrong together.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
121 CommentsRefresh

Avatar image for radar
Posted By Radar

15 things that look like your childhood!

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Edited By Gunslinger

I'm putting my money in on Nintendo annoucing either one last big move to push out more WiiU consoles, or just flat-out announcing that this will be its last in-home console. Maybe they'll announce a big (big) price drop for it..? But hoenstly, I think the nails are all in the coffin, all that's left is for Nintendo to sprinkle the dirt.

I reckon we'll see that they'll just be a handheld company. I would say they'd go software-only, but no way would they throw away the possibility of just making handheld ports of the SNES and N64 games that everyone wants. Hell, to save their company, they could just do that. A lot of people homebrew their handhelds to do it, yes, but they did it before on the GBA and lemme tell you, I can't count the number of hours I've spent playing SMB3 on it. It's still in there, right now, I played it a couple of days ago.

Anyway, yeah. The fact that the TVii app isn't even functional in Europe because of a delay to the schedule that already meant Europe was behind, just tells you too much.

Avatar image for coafi
Edited By Coafi

In 2014 Giant Bomb we will see the return of the interns, and maybe a new female employee.

Here are my staff predictions:

  • Drew Scanlon will grow a beard and document the process with sick video edits.
  • Jeff Gerstmann will go to Japan and make a 7 hour documentary.
  • Brad Shoemaker will get better at video games and start his own shoe company. The shoes will have little monitors attached to them, so people can game while they run.
  • Patrick Klepek will buy his own dumptruck in which he'll interview video games' people while he drives at 100 mph while eating hot dogs.
  • Vinny Caravella will star in a video game as a rookie cop who has to save the president.
  • Alex Navarro will get face surgery to like Nicholas Cage.
  • Matthew Rorie will finally eat a puppy live and he will stream it through twitch.tv using his PS4 Playroom video game.
Avatar image for spraynardtatum
Posted By spraynardtatum

@pol4icy said:

The next time someone asks the question "Why does everyone hate Patrick?" I will show them to this article...

And then people will be like....everyone needs to calm the fudge down, it's just an article.

Avatar image for redhotchilimist
Posted By Redhotchilimist

@joshwent said:

And please, as was mentioned above, BI was only "seemingly" constrained by being an FPS by the players and journalists who didn't want it to be an FPS in the first place. Ken Levine has repeatedly said, even in his post BI interview on this very site that he wanted to make an FPS. Things like their shitty cover starring generic dude, he freely admits to being an intentional move to sell more copies so that they can reach a broader audience. But claiming that the fundamental underlying mechanic of the game is only a part of it because he was constrained creatively is just an utterly false assumption.

I remember reading that article on this site as well. Unless he misinterpreted himself, he seemed happy to have made exactly what he did.

For your predictions, I'm excited about the streaming part. I wonder how the internet will look once PS4s and Xbox Ones all get their functionality in order and more people own one. I can imagine Xbone selling a number of units because of the Twitch partnership, in spite of the bad reputation it has and the really good reputation PC gaming has gotten.

Online
Avatar image for spiritof
Edited By Spiritof

2014, Drew Scanlon will continue to add to his mystic in profound and yet unheard of ways.

Avatar image for darkstorn
Posted By Darkstorn

"I want more hippie bullshit in my games."

Well put, Patrick. It isn't a popular opinion, but I love the highly creative indie games that are finally getting attention from publishers. I also like when that creativity bleeds into the AAA game sphere, and I hope to see more of it!

Avatar image for tenstorymother
Posted By TenStoryMother

@joshwent said:

My one hope for 2014 is that we all find ways to be less divisive, but it clearly hasn't taken root yet. We need to get past this erroneous "indies are always the heroes vs those huge stifling corporate devs" mentality.

There's plenty of personal risk for independent developers, but the risk is personal--their livelihood.

I'm not doubting this is true, but you have to accept that it remains true no matter how big the dev is. One failed indie game could mean 4 people loosing their livelihood. One failed AAA game means potentially 100s of people's livelihood lost.

What you see as huge companies limiting creativity can also easily be seen as a company trying to create excellent art while maintaining a stable environment and job security for everyone involved.

And please, as was mentioned above, BI was only "seemingly" constrained by being an FPS by the players and journalists who didn't want it to be an FPS in the first place. Ken Levine has repeatedly said, even in his post BI interview on this very site that he wanted to make an FPS. Things like their shitty cover starring generic dude, he freely admits to being an intentional move to sell more copies so that they can reach a broader audience. But claiming that the fundamental underlying mechanic of the game is only a part of it because he was constrained creatively is just an utterly false assumption.

Excellent post! I agree completely with your statement regarding "huge companies."

Avatar image for admordem
Posted By admordem

@mrgtd: Could have been a stealth game. You could argue why was the walking dead not a action game...
Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the shooting, but making the middle of the screen face the bad guy and pull the trigger has been done to death. And then some.
It's actually an interesting question though, how can you present a story and a world like that, without making the combat so generic, or needing the combat to be the main focus.

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Posted By POL4ICY

The next time someone asks the question "Why does everyone hate Patrick?" I will show them to this article...

Avatar image for landmine
Edited By Landmine

I predict that Jeff will have the most accurate predictions. He will simply talk about things and they will happen, as though he is willing them into existence, for better or worse. He will single-handedly shape the future before our eyes.

Get ready, 2014 is going to be one hell of a ride.

Avatar image for spraynardtatum
Edited By spraynardtatum

I haven't looked too much into the Twitch streaming on the PS4. I streamed a little of the killzone campaign out of curiosity.

Are you able to monetize through Twitch on PS4?

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Posted By theanticitizen

SoundSelf just sounds like a game that draws out chromesthesia lol

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Posted By Hippie_Genocide

My predictions for 2014 - Steam Box and Playstation Now will have lukewarm receptions at best. The former because there isn't a clear market for it, the latter because the pricing scheme is gonna be out of whack.

Avatar image for subyman
Posted By subyman

I'm not so sure VR has to be "sexy" for the gaming audience to use it. You'll be experiencing the Rift in your bedroom or living room, not going in public with it on. So the argument that it must be a sexy wearable is a bit thin. I'd go as far to say it shouldn't be called a "wearable" at all because it is not mobile; the device is tethered to a gaming rig and plugged into a wall socket.

As for mainstream adoption, I can't see that happening for many years.

Avatar image for ax23000
Edited By Ax23000

To everyone saying Bioshock HAD to be a shooter because otherwise it couldn't be dark or violent--Seriously!?! Are you guys really trying to suggest that our two options are shooter where hundreds die or happy fluffy walk through the park?

Other mediums seem capable of telling INCREDIBLY dark and violent stories without huge body counts (sometimes with out ANY body counts). You want to know one of the darkest books I ever read? 1984. You won't find ridiculous over the top gunfights in 1984, but it is without a doubt MORE violent than Bioshock could even dream of being--violent in a deeper and more meaningful way.

I actually think there should DEFINITELY be some shooting in Bioshock. But there should be less of it and the instances should be more meaningful. The violence is so ridiculously over the top it becomes meaningless when the story seems to want to say something about it and the person it has made Booker.

In short, we should expect BETTER, more INTERESTING, more MEANINGFUL violence from a game that so clearly wants to mean and say something.

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Posted By zodstein

I predict that Patrick will still be an indie game hipster. If only he could grow a handlebar mustache LOL

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Posted By HammondofTexas

IN THE YEAR TWO THOUSAND!

Avatar image for duncecap
Posted By Duncecap

I think talking about how Bioshock should/could have been something else is missing the point. I take it as the only games that are going to be made with a triple A budget with such a large elaborate plot are first person shooters (or their deformed 3rd person cousins).

From a design stand point you would struggle to make Infinite any other way, but that is because it was designed as a shooter from the start as they all knew the only way it could ever actually be realised in as close to it's entirety as possible is as a FPS.

No one would have bankrolled a similar-in-ambition project otherwise. The constraint is in business shaping the entire concept, rather than being a shooter shaping the game content.

Avatar image for buemba
Edited By buemba

Virtual reality falls into the "wearables" category, and that means it actually has to look sexy to have a larger appeal. The same conversation is happening around Internet-connected watches and glasses. Your average person is going to laugh at the prospect of wearing a Google Glass product in its current form because it looks so goofy and obviously tech-y. Virtual reality has the same issue.

The difference between the Oculus and watches and Google Glass is that the Oculus isn't designed to be worn outside of your home. In fact, since isolation is such a part of the experience I'd say it's not even designed to be worn around another person at all.

That's not to say it should look like crap, but I think its design sensibilities should be more in line with full cup headphones and appliances than with fashion accessories and other "wearables".

Avatar image for slashdance
Posted By SlashDance

@dagbiker said:

@hangnail said:

...or you end up with games like BioShock Infinite, games seemingly constrained by the need to be a shooter to sell.

Somewhere in Boston Ken Levine breathes a sigh of relief that someone finally "gets it" and proceeds to make "BioShock: The One About a Fantastical City Full of Nice People and is Run By a Genuinely Kind-Hearted Man/Woman With a Nice Disposition".

Even System Shock was at heart a shooter, by 2000's standard. But it had so much adventure tie ins that it essentaly was an fps-horror-adventure-rpg.

But still more of a shooter than, say, Deus Ex.

I think Infinite is mechanically unimaginative as a shooter, with its arena battles and linear level design, so I understand why some people might think it's bad. But expecting something else entirely was maybe a tiny bit unreasonable. I really don't buy that it's a shooter because it needed to sell, Irrational has been making shooters since forever.

Avatar image for dudeglove
Edited By dudeglove

Please don't turn into Buzzfeed.

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Posted By SleazyWizard

In 2014 things will be mostly disappointing with some highlights.

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Edited By Scribble

@milkman said:
@mrgtd said:

Man, this "WHY IS BIOSHOCK INFINITE A SHOOTER" thing irritates me. BioShock Infinite HAS to be a shooter. That's the best way to convey the setting. Columbia is a dangerous, dark, violent place. If the entire game was just exploring the city without incident, that would not be true to the story. Comstock is a dangerous, violent man. Booker DeWitt is a dangerous, violent man who has committed horrific atrocities in his past and this is his last ditch effort to save himself. There is no other way for anybody or anywhere in the game to be.

I don't really buy that. There are ways to convey that something is a dangerous, dark and violent place or that there are dangerous, dark and violent people without just being a shooting gallery. I really loved Infinite and it was high on my GOTY list but there's really no denying that the obscene amount of murdering that Booker does throughout the story kind of flies in the face of the narrative a bit. I get that Booker is not a good dude and he's definitely a killer but the sheer body count by the end of the game just looks kind of silly in retrospect.

I always thought Bioshock Infinite was a shooter, not so much to reflect the violence of the setting, but because it was intentionally designed as a commentary about those games and the type of awful, damaged character the player would be in reality if they behaved in the way shooters allow, even if they're cast as 'the hero'.

Hence the lowest common denominator appeal baked into the cover, and Levine canvassing frathouses, and I guess therefore the Madden/Call of Duty crowd to see what would get them to buy the game, not so much to shift more copies, but to expose it's message to the audience he intended.

TL:DR? OMG I'm a monster

Avatar image for lysergica33
Posted By Lysergica33

I don't get what's so bad about Bioshock Infinite being a shooter. I must have missed the memo that says it's not okay to enjoy shooting crows at dude's from YOUR BARE HANDS while zooming along a glorified monorail track by your wrists at a bazillion miles per hour. Nothing wrong with getting your fill of philosophy AND dude shootin' all at once. The two don't have to be mutually exclusive.

I do think the industry as a whole over-relies on combat as a means of creating conflict and that there should totally be more pacifist games in the mainstream. I don't always want to shoot things, but I may still want conflict in some form. There are ways to create that without shooting, bludgeoning, or otherwise committing grievous acts of bodily harm on digital individuals. Having said all that, I still wouldn't change Bioshock Infinite one bit, not even the dude shooting.

It ain't a prediction, but man, I would really like to see some more mainstream games would like to see more games stop leaning on combat. As far as predictions go? More dude shootin', dude stabbin' and dude racin' in the coming year, all with fancier graphics! The internet will also continue to bitch and moan about their luxury items and the Earth will continue spinning around the Sun.

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Edited By NMC2008

I predict a comeback for the Hero Games(Guitar, DJ, maybe a new Hero Game).

I also think we'll see a new Xtreme Sports franchise.

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Edited By Gee_rad

@mrgtd said:

Man, this "WHY IS BIOSHOCK INFINITE A SHOOTER" thing irritates me. BioShock Infinite HAS to be a shooter. That's the best way to convey the setting. Columbia is a dangerous, dark, violent place. If the entire game was just exploring the city without incident, that would not be true to the story. Comstock is a dangerous, violent man. Booker DeWitt is a dangerous, violent man who has committed horrific atrocities in his past and this is his last ditch effort to save himself. There is no other way for anybody or anywhere in the game to be.

I disagree with your premise that only shooters can convey danger and violence. I disagree with the implication that conveying danger and violence are BioShock Infinite's primary goal. I especially disagree with the false dichotomy that the game can only be either a shooter or "exploring the city without incident". (And for that matter, "exploring the city without incident" would be true to the story, it would just be true to a different story.)

I don't have a problem with the fact that BioShock Infinite is a shooter per se; my issue is that it is most of the time a mediocre, mostly-linear shooter, albeit one with outstanding art direction. It adds a couple of gimmicky mechanics that seem cool at first glance but add little depth. And, as BioShock nodded toward objectivism without having a great deal to say about it, BioShock Infinite invokes American exceptionalism and racism only to say very little of substance, and in a ham-fisted way at that.

For all that, I don't hate BioShock Infinite. I think it's okay. But the first hour or so, when it seemed to be trying for something more, that was the part of it I most enjoyed.

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Posted By Xymox
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Posted By gabha

Titans will fall huh...

Avatar image for giantstalker
Posted By Giantstalker

@joshwent said:

My one hope for 2014 is that we all find ways to be less divisive, but it clearly hasn't taken root yet. We need to get past this erroneous "indies are always the heroes vs those huge stifling corporate devs" mentality.

There's plenty of personal risk for independent developers, but the risk is personal--their livelihood.

I'm not doubting this is true, but you have to accept that it remains true no matter how big the dev is. One failed indie game could mean 4 people loosing their livelihood. One failed AAA game means potentially 100s of people's livelihood lost.

What you see as huge companies limiting creativity can also easily be seen as a company trying to create excellent art while maintaining a stable environment and job security for everyone involved.

And please, as was mentioned above, BI was only "seemingly" constrained by being an FPS by the players and journalists who didn't want it to be an FPS in the first place. Ken Levine has repeatedly said, even in his post BI interview on this very site that he wanted to make an FPS. Things like their shitty cover starring generic dude, he freely admits to being an intentional move to sell more copies so that they can reach a broader audience. But claiming that the fundamental underlying mechanic of the game is only a part of it because he was constrained creatively is just an utterly false assumption.

I'm quoting this so hopefully Patrick reads it again. Best post I've seen in weeks, bravo

Avatar image for hunterob
Edited By hunterob

Fuck another Metroid Prime. Gimme another Japanese Metroid!

Avatar image for bunkerbuster05
Edited By bunkerbuster05

@efesell said:
@huser said:

@scampbell said:

@milkman said:
@mrgtd said:

Man, this "WHY IS BIOSHOCK INFINITE A SHOOTER" thing irritates me. BioShock Infinite HAS to be a shooter. That's the best way to convey the setting. Columbia is a dangerous, dark, violent place. If the entire game was just exploring the city without incident, that would not be true to the story. Comstock is a dangerous, violent man. Booker DeWitt is a dangerous, violent man who has committed horrific atrocities in his past and this is his last ditch effort to save himself. There is no other way for anybody or anywhere in the game to be.

I don't really buy that. There are ways to convey that something is a dangerous, dark and violent place or that there are dangerous, dark and violent people without just being a shooting gallery. I really loved Infinite and it was high on my GOTY list but there's really no denying that the obscene amount of murdering that Booker does throughout the story kind of flies in the face of the narrative a bit. I get that Booker is not a good dude and he's definitely a killer but the sheer body count by the end of the game just looks kind of silly in retrospect.

Same thing goes for The Last of Us, sure Joel is a killer but the body count is just absurd. Being forced to kill a ton a people very early on, almost made me quit the game, though in the end I decided to ignore it and push through.

I think the same applies to Uncharted for related though different reasons.

I feel like I have way more fun with games by never giving a shit about ludonarrative whatever.

Yeah. I'm playing a video game, not writing a dissertation about emotional complexity. Bird monsters and time vortexes, guys.

I blame Arthur Gies for this whole mess! :P

Avatar image for gildermershina
Edited By Gildermershina

@mrgtd said:

Man, this "WHY IS BIOSHOCK INFINITE A SHOOTER" thing irritates me. BioShock Infinite HAS to be a shooter. That's the best way to convey the setting. Columbia is a dangerous, dark, violent place. If the entire game was just exploring the city without incident, that would not be true to the story. Comstock is a dangerous, violent man. Booker DeWitt is a dangerous, violent man who has committed horrific atrocities in his past and this is his last ditch effort to save himself. There is no other way for anybody or anywhere in the game to be.

Hear, hear.

What kind of other game could Bioshock Infinite be? Tower defense? Action-adventure? One of those roguelike RPG things people seem to be into these days? It's a game about a violent man confronting his essentially violent nature and the consequences of his violent actions in a world full of violent oppression. It's giant fortress in the sky full of insane American patriots who thought the real America wasn't American enough. It's hardly surprising everyone carries a gun and wants to shoot the guy they call a traitor.

Avatar image for efesell
Posted By Efesell
@huser said:

@scampbell said:

@milkman said:
@mrgtd said:

Man, this "WHY IS BIOSHOCK INFINITE A SHOOTER" thing irritates me. BioShock Infinite HAS to be a shooter. That's the best way to convey the setting. Columbia is a dangerous, dark, violent place. If the entire game was just exploring the city without incident, that would not be true to the story. Comstock is a dangerous, violent man. Booker DeWitt is a dangerous, violent man who has committed horrific atrocities in his past and this is his last ditch effort to save himself. There is no other way for anybody or anywhere in the game to be.

I don't really buy that. There are ways to convey that something is a dangerous, dark and violent place or that there are dangerous, dark and violent people without just being a shooting gallery. I really loved Infinite and it was high on my GOTY list but there's really no denying that the obscene amount of murdering that Booker does throughout the story kind of flies in the face of the narrative a bit. I get that Booker is not a good dude and he's definitely a killer but the sheer body count by the end of the game just looks kind of silly in retrospect.

Same thing goes for The Last of Us, sure Joel is a killer but the body count is just absurd. Being forced to kill a ton a people very early on, almost made me quit the game, though in the end I decided to ignore it and push through.

I think the same applies to Uncharted for related though different reasons.

I feel like I have way more fun with games by never giving a shit about ludonarrative whatever.

Online
Avatar image for huser
Posted By huser
@dmfdude said:

@mrgtd said:

Man, this "WHY IS BIOSHOCK INFINITE A SHOOTER" thing irritates me. BioShock Infinite HAS to be a shooter. That's the best way to convey the setting. Columbia is a dangerous, dark, violent place. If the entire game was just exploring the city without incident, that would not be true to the story. Comstock is a dangerous, violent man. Booker DeWitt is a dangerous, violent man who has committed horrific atrocities in his past and this is his last ditch effort to save himself. There is no other way for anybody or anywhere in the game to be.

+1

Additionally, can someone fill me on why exactly Infinite is perceived to be a sub-par shooter? At least with respect to the controls and flow? And how it's any worse than the previous Bioshock games (and if you didn't like the original, presumably for similar reasons, why?)? I played it on the PC and found it to basically be the same as the original Bioshock in terms of controls and feel. Most people thought that game let you shoot dudes pretty well, so what gives?

I personally found it to be somewhat more challenging on Normal than most other shooters (ditto original Bioshock) and it really rewards you for intelligent use of your powers in tandem with your guns. Go after the story all you want (I loved it), but questioning the mechanics of the shooting seems nitpicky to me. I didn't notice any technical shortcomings (hit box errors, inconsistent damage application, etc) so I'm really just curious to hear what you guys think.

I believe the Bombcrew has gone over their reasoning before, passing mention when Minerva's den was being discussed as Downloadable/DLC of the year.

Avatar image for huser
Posted By huser

@milkman said:
@mrgtd said:

Man, this "WHY IS BIOSHOCK INFINITE A SHOOTER" thing irritates me. BioShock Infinite HAS to be a shooter. That's the best way to convey the setting. Columbia is a dangerous, dark, violent place. If the entire game was just exploring the city without incident, that would not be true to the story. Comstock is a dangerous, violent man. Booker DeWitt is a dangerous, violent man who has committed horrific atrocities in his past and this is his last ditch effort to save himself. There is no other way for anybody or anywhere in the game to be.

I don't really buy that. There are ways to convey that something is a dangerous, dark and violent place or that there are dangerous, dark and violent people without just being a shooting gallery. I really loved Infinite and it was high on my GOTY list but there's really no denying that the obscene amount of murdering that Booker does throughout the story kind of flies in the face of the narrative a bit. I get that Booker is not a good dude and he's definitely a killer but the sheer body count by the end of the game just looks kind of silly in retrospect.

Same thing goes for The Last of Us, sure Joel is a killer but the body count is just absurd. Being forced to kill a ton a people very early on, almost made me quit the game, though in the end I decided to ignore it and push through.

I think the same applies to Uncharted for related though different reasons.

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Posted By Woodstien

@mrgtd: true, but you can make a dark, dangerous explorable city as well. In fact the added worldbuilding required for an explorable map would probably make the city seem even more twisted and dark. Deus Ex did this well with smaller maps, and other games like the Saboteur did it well with more open maps. The only real problem in making a Bioshock with an open-world is that the developers might make it too GTA-ish, but even then the unique setting would easily make up for it.

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Posted By Bam_Boozilled

2014 is my graduation year. So I've had high expectations for it for awhile. Here's hoping I don't fuck up my life too much, seeing as I have no clue what I'm doing for the rest of it!

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Posted By Hayt

The bodycount in Bioshock Infinite is too high. No one could jog for that long. Why does he never sleep. How come he doesn't shit. It's almost as if concessions to reality are made in the name of making a fun videogame.

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Edited By Shtinky

Patrick's writing has improved. I remember reading his old stuff - during the 1UP days - where he would constantly use those em dashes in sentences, and it drove me mad.

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Edited By Dredlockz

@droop: Find out why everyone is talking about Giant Bomb's Top 10 predictions for 2014. The last one will have you in tears!

Online
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Posted By Hailinel

Streaming will be a nice feature, so long as it's implemented in a fashion that makes the most of it. If we keep having incidents like drunken tools exposing themselves/others on camera or Twitch on PS4 starts resembling Chat Roulette (most likely an exaggeration, but you know), the potential benefits could be weighed down by the abuse.

Anyway, I predict that EA will continue to release shoddy software immediately followed by an apology letter, because they apparently believe that's a legitimate strategy that actually works. Also, they'll be voted worst company again.

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Posted By Phatmac

I really don't get the reasons behind why Infinite shouldn't be a first person shooter.