An alternate take on Bioshock: Infinite: Does this game truly deserve a perfect score?

  • 71 results
  • 1
  • 2
Posted by irishalwaystaken (39 posts) -

Short answer:

No

Of course I'm gonna try to justify this but a little prefacing first so readers can understand where I'm coming from and alternatively see if you agree with any of my thoughts. Ultimately I hope we can get a good well thought out discussion on critiquing this game and on how this perfect game could be improved. So some short preamble:

Do I think a game, even a flawed one, can get a perfect score? Most definitely yes, though the 3 point scale (good games get 8,9 or 10 only) of modern journalism is incredibly irritating and I think one of the biggest issues in the press today. Having recently beat VLR/999 (thanks @patrickklepek) along with Dark Souls and with fresh memories of TWD and Planescape:Torment it really baffles me how this story is being called the Citizen Kane of video games and this generation's greatest narrative. Can a game not have a competent story or are they so rare that we over value one when it does come along? Does giving it a complicated mindfuck aspect suddenly elevate it to untouchable heights? No I don't think so. But maybe I'm in the minority of those experiencing great narrative in games, everyone knows we've been starved of it recently. Are you a fan or just hating what people like? I'm definitely a fan, I've played every 'Shock game since System Shock 2. Difficulty? Hard. Personal GOTYAY? Dark Souls probably...

Surely I can’t be the only one that thinks that 14 years after System Shock 2, these ‘Shock games can, should and have been much better.

I played on hard and not once felt the tension prevalent in SS2 and even the earlier Bioshocks (loss of atmosphere is a whole ‘nother aspect though). Handyman may have come somewhat close but compared to setting up traps and finding good tactical positions to fight Big Daddies after learning their patrols, the Handyman fights devolved into Cat and Mouse games, where you’d empty your gun and wait for Elizabeth to throw you more ammo or run to a tear for a new gun. The heavily armoured enemies become negligible with a possession (if this was meant to be the way to deal with them then ok, pretty cool but that has its own pros and cons)

Quickly on the topic of atmosphere…where is it? They create a fantastic floating city (with perhaps a bit too much “bloom”) but the tension and atmosphere from Rapture and the Von Braun are gone. If you look at Fallout 3 and Bioshock you can see how well music can set the mood of the game but aside from the guitar moment and the one time I heard Tainted Love effective music seems notably absent. Now I may be being overly cynical here but while I thought the Beach Boys moment was great, having it so early and then nothing like that in the rest of the game makes me think it was done for showcase purposes, it would be memorably to reviewers and early enough to show off pre-release but maybe that’s reaching. I can see and agree with the argument that Columbia is not the same as those places and there isn’t a need for such an atmosphere. I miss the screams of The Many and the shattered windows and dripping walls of Rapture, and the environment that replaces it although polished, is not as interesting.

Which brings me to environmental story-telling. Damn I love when a game does this right, and honestly Dark Souls opened my eyes to how great it can be. One of my favourite and most memorable moments/devices in DS is the missing statue in Ornstein & Slough’s room and its implications ( finding Iron Tarkus’ body, Ciaran’s ring on Artorias’s grave, and the new Sif scene at the start of his fight all rank up there as well). However I think B:I can be very hit and miss here, though when it hits it is some of the most well done aspects of the game in my opinion. Interestingly this is the first ‘Shock game where I began to question the purpose and specifically the placement of audio logs. The propaganda as a means of environmental story telling I found a little heavy handed and graffiti is just codex on the wall and a bit lazy at that. However the bar where there’s only dead bodies of Vox Populi and security forces was a great piece in the game and the perfect spot for a Vox log( unlike say 80% of the other places they show up). While I compare graffiti to the tediousness of a codex (in a story-telling aspect, codexes can definitely add to a game) I’m not against text telling a story in the world. In fact one of the things that made me actually uncomfortable (being Irish myself) were the dilapidated, disgusting separate bathrooms for the “Colored and Irish” and that piece will stick with me longer than most of the rest of the game.

Honestly I don’t think its a bad game, but it is one of the most disappointing products of the 3 point scale that is so prevalent in game journalism. Normally I wouldn’t critique a game this hard, games are meant to be enjoyable past times, but when someone says to me; this is the best game in its genre, its the best it’s gonna get and those flaw you see playing through it or in hind sight are not worth even dropping the score by a point it really irks me reinforces my disillusionment with the ability and the objectivity of the press and overall people's willingness to eat shit.

I don’t know why someone would review, this game in particular with all its supposedly well-deserved perfect scores and not try to think objectively about it. I enjoyed my playthrough but at one point I also enjoyed Sonic Heroes, League of Legends and Pokemon (not trying to be edgy here, just games that at one point I enjoyed but looking back critically can see a myriad of flaws).

For a perfect score game the AI is aggressively middling, its not walking into walls stupid, but its so boring its almost as bad. Traps become an essentially useless mechanic as they don’t bother flanking you, and rather than putting them down in front of you for the one or two melee enemies that walk right at you, you can spend that time just shooting them as you’ll have to do that anyway. It also bugged out in some pots, I only beat the Siren in the bank because I was just headshotting her while she stood there doing nothing (what a really shit enemy she was too). Jeff's also mentioned the weirdness of Elizabeth's invisibility to enemies.

Regenerating shields is shitty game mechanic. Ya I said it. There’s no reason not to max shields first on hard. They take away any tension from a fight, promote less tactical play, and overall evokes memories of CoD’s weakest gameplay aspects. Crouching behind cover until a bar is filled is not fun, rewarding or tactical gameplay. In fact aside from being boring it’s actually pretty immersion breaking waiting until a bar is filled unlike in say Dark Souls where its about careful management and a skilled player won’t get hit or expend more stamina than was necessary. Johnathan Blow tweeted some good thoughts on the poorer aspects of regenerating shields today too which are worth checking out (https://twitter.com/Jonathan_Blow).

2 GUN LIMIT. WHY. WHO FINDS THIS FUN?

Guns were pretty underwhelming, not horribly so and I think the actual ADS snap was pretty well done (personal pet peeve) but I would sacrifice all of the later guns (repeater,hail fire, burst gun etc) to make the earlier ones like the volley gun (personal favourite) have much more interesting and substantial upgrades. The encounters reminded me of CoD and not in a good way. Reach, kill X guys, crouch behind rock to regen health, kill X more guys, proceed.

Upgrades were pretty shit, you could argue that they are realistic but if you start using the term realistic for any argument in a game (that isnt a Sim) then you probably hate fun or something. Upgrades boiling down to for the most part: increase this number (ammo, damage, splash radius) is pretty lazy, and not using Vigors to augment guns is a lost opportunity. Vigors themselves are a step backing from BS2, no dual wielding or combination traps. I honestly didn't use anything besides Possession and lightning but I've heard Bronco could be pretty broken. Uprades here were actually a bit better but Vigors themselves were underwhelming and only being able to cycle through two of them quickly was limiting their scope.

Skylines had a lot of potential and worked well in some areas and in others were just used to escape to gather ammo and wait for shields to recharge. Nice addition that suffered from not being fleshed out. Could a stealth aspect and vigor worked here? Maybe…

As for the actual story, liking it is probably subjective, I think it was alright but there could be plot holes that I didn’t see after my playthrough and if there isn’t well, a game really shouldn’t be lauded for not fucking up its story regardless if it is a bit convoluted. I do think that a story that does encourage and foster such debate is definitely praise worthy for that aspect. I will say that coming off 999/VLR (games I think did the reality hopping much better) recently that a very early Vox spoiled the game a bit for me (the thinly veiled reference to Schrodinger’s cat) and that a lot of the reality related revelations at the end than came as no surprise. The meaning behind AD still threw me for a loop though which I liked.

Gear was a cool addition but from what I've seen their balance is skewed, the extra capacity one Jeff mentioned in the QL seemed miles better than any I've found. This could have been used to encourage different playstyles but there seems to be shit gear and good gear, thus bringing it back to numbers and min maxing. Admittedly I did like the utility some of them had such as full life on revival.

I found the reality hopping aspect to be very inferior to 999/VLR, especially given how this story and game mechanic becomes a part of the narrative in much more interesting and fleshed out fashion. The lost opportunities of having to solve puzzles by hopping through tears really stood out to me. Honestly there's probably been games out there that do reality hopping better (I've heard people saying Ghost Trick, Corpse Party and Radiant Historia do it better) but I just haven't played them (chances are they're japanese)

Linearity is a topic that has come up in discussion but this is more of personal preference I think. The game does hand holding a little too much, things like being able to jump off "cliffs" with zero reaction from anybody and no consequance is weird and having to wait for Elizabeth to throw you ammo in the longer fights isn't great.

Overall I’m not inherently set against perfect scores, I don't want to go and attack a game everyone else loves, nor do I think a flawed game cant get that score(games that would these scores for me would be the likes of SM64, LoZ:LttP, RE4, OoT and Portal and while Dark Souls is probably the best game of the generation I can easily justify not giving it a perfect score). I don’t think 10/10 means that a game is “perfect” but it does demand that all aspects of the game are nailed from the core aspect of the gameplay itself (here it's poor combat), to the visuals holding up across the board (have you seen the 2d fruit and bushes? god damn how big a budget do you need to have things not look like shit? Immersion fucking shattering. 3D fruit though? Eat that shit right up. Crysis managed this 6 years ago, come on…) and having a compelling story and narrative, or at least one that suits the game completely (no one thinks the Zelda's stories are the Citizen Kanes of video games but they do suit the game itself).

I saw a great post on /v/ that really resonated with me:

“Face it.

You’re not angry that Bioshock Infinite is a bad game; you know that it isn’t. You’re angry that the bar has fallen so far that a competent game with a competent story is hailed as perfection.

You’re angry that what to you is clearly a step back from Bioshock and further from System Shock is being hailed as a masterpiece of a generation.”

There’s a lot of merit to this quote I think.

(play 999 and VLR for cool reality bending shit, play Dark Souls to see how well a story can be told in and through the medium of video games)

#1 Posted by Vinny_Says (5700 posts) -

reviews aren't objective

#2 Posted by LordXavierBritish (6320 posts) -

I like this one.

#3 Posted by TooWalrus (13167 posts) -

5/5 stars does not indicate perfection.

#4 Posted by WasabiCurry (422 posts) -

Another Bioshock: Infinite hate thread? Let me get my popcorn and read the reasons why it is so awful.

#5 Edited by envane (1162 posts) -

yeah i used posession and devils kiss, the first 2 vigors you get , pretty much exclusively , fully upgraded devils kiss with the gear that causes enemies to chain the effect upon death = each group of weak fodder enemies = instakilled in a ridiculous firey chain explosion.... that and the upgrade for charge that fully recharges your shield each use , overpowereded . still i thoughoughly enjoyed the game by the end , no game is perfect but this is a damn good game regardless.

#6 Posted by George_Hukas (1317 posts) -

Sorry, but ☆☆☆☆☆ doesn't mean perfection.

#7 Posted by Daveyo520 (6681 posts) -

Remember when it was original and good?

#8 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

I would of given it 10\10 on any other scale. A great game that exceeded my expectations, just polished from top to bottom with a great story and characters.

Best vigors I found towards end of the game was the horse vigor that lifts them in the air and combine that with crows.

#9 Posted by awesomeusername (4174 posts) -

This thread is a 2 out of 5. Meh.

Also:

I would of given it 10\10 on any other scale. A great game that exceeded my expectations, just polished from top to bottom with a great story and characters.

Best vigors I found towards end of the game was the horse vigor that lifts them in the air and combine that with crows.

#10 Posted by LordXavierBritish (6320 posts) -

I would also recommend that, in addition to 999 and VLR, people should really check out Steins;Gate

It deals with the similar concepts of time traveling and moving across realities but in a very grounded, almost realistic way. It's very believable and it goes to ridiculous length to justify all of it.

It still hasn't been localized outside of Japan yet, for some fucking reason, but it isn't that hard to find a fan translation patch. If the Zero Escape series was anyone's first exposure to visual novels Steins;Gate is pretty much the perfect transitional step into "real" VNs that focus exclusively on story.

#11 Edited by gaminghooligan (1435 posts) -
#12 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

Wait did you just say that Dark Souls could teach Infinite something about story? Wow!

#13 Edited by BeachThunder (11834 posts) -

Wait did you just say that Dark Souls could teach Infinite something about story? Wow!

Well, to be fair, Dark Souls could learn a lot about story from Tetris.

#14 Posted by LordXavierBritish (6320 posts) -

@bourbon_warrior said:

Wait did you just say that Dark Souls could teach Infinite something about story? Wow!

Well, to be fair, Dark Souls could learn a lot about story from Tetris.

Dark Souls has one of the best stories in modern video games, and more than half of the reason it's so great is how it is told.

However, as with all things in Dark Souls, it doesn't spoon feed you the narrative or shove it down your throat. You know, like Bioshock Infinite.

#15 Posted by irishalwaystaken (39 posts) -

@toowalrus: @george_hukas: Read what I wrote, but well done on appearing like the average intelligent infinite fan.

@bourbon_warrior:@beachthunder: I'll fite u.

But seriously Dark Souls lore and environmental story telling is the best of this generation. Not to sound elitist but if you didn't see it you didn't pay enough attention or are just stupid, sorry. It's a story that isn't spoon fed to you, you literally have to fight to learn more. You guys are opening my eyes on why B:I is getting so well recieved and why games are so casual nowadays

#16 Posted by gogosox82 (424 posts) -

Wait did you just say that Dark Souls could teach Infinite something about story? Wow!

Dark souls has a great story. It just doesn't force itself upon you like most games. It has a minimalistic approach to storytelling that works very well with how the game actually plays.

#17 Edited by ll_Exile_ll (1584 posts) -

"Why does everyone love Metal Gear Solid 4 GTA IV Mass Effect 2 Skyrim The Walking Dead Bioshock Infinite? That game is so bad, and no one understands it but me. Game reviewers are so terrible and this game doesn't deserve the scores it is getting. Video games are so much shittier than they used to be if people think this game is worthy of such high praise."

Can't someone discuss why they didn't like a game or analyze a game's shortcomings without having to be on the attack against the people (ie, almost everyone) that do like it? You can dislike something without having to "disprove" it's praise. Just because most people like something and you don't doesn't mean one side automatically has to be "wrong".

#18 Posted by TooWalrus (13167 posts) -

@irishalwaystaken: Read the whole thing. You wrote a book report about how you didn't like the story and gameplay. Great. Guess what, I recently finished 999/VLR as well, and yes, their stories are absolutely better. However, you could easily argue that 999 ends in a fuckin' Sudoku puzzle and should be docked points because of how lame it is. Your 'argument' implies that a game that is rated 5/5 or 10/10 should be perfect in every aspect. From my point of view, I played Bioshock Infinite in two sittings- and it's the first time in a very long time I've done that. There's untapped potential and missed opportunities all over the place, sure, but I thought the story was great (even if it wasn't the best story ever written), and I had a ton of fun jumping on enemies from the skylines and pulling them in with the Undertow vigor, even if the AI wasn't the most innovative. The amount of fun I had with it and the feeling I had when I finished was a 10/10 for me personally, and I'm not surprised I'm not alone in that. I'm not exactly the type to nitpick a game to death though, like the vocal minority have been doing.

#19 Posted by Daveyo520 (6681 posts) -

"Why does everyone love Metal Gear Solid 4 GTA IV Mass Effect 2 Skyrim The Walking Dead Bioshock Infinite? That game is so bad, and no one understands it but me. Game reviewers are so terrible and this game doesn't deserve the scores it is getting. Video games are so much shittier than they used to be if people think this game is worthy of such high praise."

Can't someone discuss why they didn't like a game or analyze a game's shortcomings without having to be on the attack against the people (ie, almost everyone) that does like it? You can dislike something without having to "disprove" it's praise. Just because most people like something and you don't doesn't mean one side automatically has to be "wrong".

#20 Edited by SlashDance (1814 posts) -

I'm just gonna ask a simple question for the "not elitist but..." people in this thread. Hold on guys, it might make your top hats and monocles fall off in shock. A'right, here goes.

We simple people don't get why Dark Souls is such a masterpiece or why Infinite is such a step back from System Shock and how games have become too "casual" (boy do I love that word), right ? Could it be that you're simply not getting why Bioshock Infinite is such a great game to so many people ? Could it be that your standards and expectations aren't more valid than everyone else's ?

Just throwing that out there.

Oh, and regarding how games should not tell you a story directly but rather have you work hard to discover it...

#21 Posted by Wrighteous86 (3782 posts) -

The game is far from perfect, but what it does right makes it extraordinary.

#22 Edited by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

@irishalwaystaken said:

@toowalrus: @george_hukas: Read what I wrote, but well done on appearing like the average intelligent infinite fan.

@bourbon_warrior:@beachthunder: I'll fite u.

But seriously Dark Souls lore and environmental story telling is the best of this generation. Not to sound elitist but if you didn't see it you didn't pay enough attention or are just stupid, sorry. It's a story that isn't spoon fed to you, you literally have to fight to learn more. You guys are opening my eyes on why B:I is getting so well recieved and why games are so casual nowadays

Why because it tells a great linear story that actually makes you think, I don't get what you are saying, should it just of been a fight the boss and the game ends story like Dark Souls?

#23 Posted by believer258 (11795 posts) -

2 GUN LIMIT. WHY. WHO FINDS THIS FUN?

Glad to see more people mention this, it is the one thing that bugged me most.

However, it seems like you went into Bioshock Infinite expecting something very similar to System Shock 2 and Bioshock 1 and... it's not. It has a very different story, tone, atmosphere, set of ideas, etc.

Face it.

You’re not angry that Bioshock Infinite is a bad game; you know that it isn’t. You’re angry that the bar has fallen so far that a competent game with a competent story is hailed as perfection.

You’re angry that what to you is clearly a step back from Bioshock and further from System Shock is being hailed as a masterpiece of a generation.

I completely disagree. Best of the generation? Not necessarily. Top 5? I absolutely think so. Yes, it has some gameplay quirks that I don't like, most notably the two weapon limit. Yes, it has some plot holes that could be plugged. Neither of those things stop it from being fantastic. Remember that System Shock 2 and Bioshock both had their own lamentable gameplay quirks and you could probably dig up some plot holes for those game as well, but they're still classics and they're still hailed as "great".

#24 Posted by TangoUp (307 posts) -

Regenerating shields is shitty game mechanic. Ya I said it. There’s no reason not to max shields first on hard. They take away any tension from a fight, promote less tactical play, and overall evokes memories of CoD’s weakest gameplay aspects. Crouching behind cover

until a bar is filled is not fun, rewarding or tactical gameplay. In fact aside from being boring it’s actually pretty immersion breaking waiting until a bar is filled unlike in say Dark Souls where its about careful management and a skilled player won’t get hit or expend more stamina than was necessary. Johnathan Blow tweeted some good thoughts on the poorer aspects of regenerating shields today too which are worth checking out (https://twitter.com/Jonathan_Blow).

I don't see how reading a twitter conversation in reverse is reading a person's thoughts on the game.

#25 Posted by JasonR86 (9657 posts) -

I would hazard a guess that the review score depends on the reviewer.

#26 Posted by EXTomar (4685 posts) -

Scores are just numbers. It is only a "perfect score" because you think it is. I'm sure if you ask Jeff "5 Stars" is not a perfect score.

#27 Edited by irishalwaystaken (39 posts) -

@ll_exile_ll: Maybe it's because it was all of the, what I perceived as undue, praise that inspired me to write about it? I don't outright attack people because they like the game, hell I like the game but that doesn't mean I can't find issues with it and wonder why others seem to accept them without complaint. But maybe I should just take a leaf from you and poorly paraphrase and strawman everything good anyone says about it.

@toowalrus: So you just conveniently forgot :

"Do I think a game, even a flawed one, can get a perfect score? Most definitely yes"

"nor do I think a flawed game cant get that score"

"I don’t think 10/10 means that a game is “perfect” but it does demand that all aspects of the game are nailed"

I said the scores are perfect, which they irrefutably are, not that they mean the game itself is perfection.

@slashdance: No it's fine to ask that. One of the issues people have with DaS is that people miss the wealth of lore in it but therein lies the problem as there is such a delicate balance there. If you've the time and genuinely want to see what to see why people appreciate Dark Souls here's a great article (spoiler heavy) the story-telling in DS: http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2012/12/12/the-wonderful-archeology-of-dark-souls-lore/

As for the gameplay aspects here's a good vid that condenses a lot of the cool things that DS does: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SOg990vAyk

I love games and I love the industry and can easily see how people with little experience of games can find this game great, someone who has never seen or played a game could find Big Riggs great at that, but people who's job it is to review and critique games claiming that this is groundbreaking and that its flaw are negligible really disappoint me. I don't want to see the industry stagnate but it has been for the most part over the last few years

@bourbon_warrior: Haha, ok "makes you think", what meaningless praise, do me a favour and find a game that makes you not think. You've repeatedly shown you didn't grasp any of the DS story and thinking that the story ends after the last fight just further reinforces your ignorance.

@believer258: Ya two gun limit isn't that old but already feels archaic. I go into every sequel hoping that it is a better iteration of the previous game. I knew going in the the creepy atmosphere in areas devoid of (friendly) life would be gone but I hoped what they put in would top that and was disappointed. Maybe I seem to overhype the early games but while I enjoyed them I did not think they were flawless, each had their own problems and personally I probably wouldn't give either 10/10 (had to replay SS2 though, its been a few years). Which is why I kind of also take issues with Infinites score as I dont think it's better as a game than its prequels.

@tangoup: Is scrolling down hard? Here are all the relevant tweets in order, they're short and worth reading given that this guy actually designs games and isn't just some random fucker on the net

https://twitter.com/Jonathan_Blow/status/319471531166158850

https://twitter.com/Jonathan_Blow/status/319472356743581697

https://twitter.com/Jonathan_Blow/status/319472572557320192

https://twitter.com/Jonathan_Blow/status/319472762102087682

https://twitter.com/Jonathan_Blow/status/319472957607010305

https://twitter.com/Jonathan_Blow/status/319473106957770752

https://twitter.com/Jonathan_Blow/status/319473266412646400

https://twitter.com/Jonathan_Blow/status/319482304277909504

https://twitter.com/Jonathan_Blow/status/319482360510955521

https://twitter.com/Jonathan_Blow/status/319482553516048385

#28 Edited by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

@irishalwaystaken: Holy crap why you insulting people over their love for a game? And now you are quoting Jonathan Blow who has only made one game that wasn't very good...

And by makes you think, I mean after you finish the game I went for a smoke and started piecing together everything that happened in that last hour, I would give this game a 10\10 so deal with it...

#29 Posted by irishalwaystaken (39 posts) -

@extomar: This is arguing semantics but it is literally a perfect score, the score can't get any higher. This may not imply that the game is perfect however.

#30 Edited by danm_999 (74 posts) -

The review score isn't supposed to be a strict measure of a game's quality.

A review score is supposed to be a numerical measure of the degree to which the reviewer recommends you play the game. When Jeff gives Bioshock Infinite 5/5 stars, he's not saying it's a flawless game, or no better game could/should be made, he's saying he is giving his strongest recommendation available that you play this game.

If you re-read his review, this becomes pretty apparent; Jeff criticises that some of his big questions were left unanswered, and he echoes the comment he made on last week's Bombcast that the AI ignores Elizabeth which can hurt the immersion. But he finishes the review by saying;

Watching Columbia fall while attempting to take Elizabeth away from the floating city is a fantastic way to spend a few days.

This is the thesis of the piece. Jeff gives the 5/5 because he recommends you play Bioshock Infinite so strongly.

#31 Edited by Hunkulese (2698 posts) -

Any threads complaining about review scores is idiotic. Who are you to say that what you're looking for in a game is more important to what someone else is looking for in a game.

Why even compare Bioshock to Dark Souls. There is nothing similar between the two games. You like Dark Souls better good for you.

#32 Edited by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

Any threads complaining about review scores is idiotic. Who are you to say that what you're looking for in a game is more important to what someone else is looking for in a game.

Why even compare Bioshock to Dark Souls. There is nothing similar between the two games. You like Dark Souls better good for you.

It's even more silly when pretty much every reviewer loves it, people that love games really love this game. You are in the minority that's cool but don't act like your opinion is the only one that matters.

Just write a user review on the game, instead of complaining about other reviews.

#33 Edited by SlashDance (1814 posts) -

I love games and I love the industry and can easily see how people with little experience of games can find this game great

Tell me again how you don't want to sound like an elitist.

#34 Posted by mrfluke (5130 posts) -

5/5 stars does not indicate perfection.

#35 Posted by Cloudenvy (5891 posts) -

@irishalwaystaken said:

I love games and I love the industry and can easily see how people with little experience of games can find this game great

Tell me again how you don't want to sound like an elitist.

Yeah, really. I'm fine with your opening post and everything, but your behavior afterwards and your reaction to some of the posts in this thread is gross.

You're off to a bad start here.

#37 Edited by Mrsignerman44 (1100 posts) -

@hunkulese said:

Any threads complaining about review scores is idiotic. Who are you to say that what you're looking for in a game is more important to what someone else is looking for in a game.

Why even compare Bioshock to Dark Souls. There is nothing similar between the two games. You like Dark Souls better good for you.

Exactly, I really love me some Dark Souls but I also love the hell out of this game, I don't compare the two. Apples to Oranges, fellas.

#38 Edited by eskimo (476 posts) -

Seems like the OP ruffled a few feathers.

That quote from /v/ was perfect, at least in summing up my feelings. Infinite is a great game, but it's still just a linear shooter where the player has ZERO agency in the story, you just walk forwards and push the X button to hear the next bit of dialogue. We can do better.

#40 Posted by Humanity (9054 posts) -

@eskimo said:

Seems like the OP ruffled a few feathers.

That quote from /v/ was perfect, at least in summing up my feelings. Infinite is a great game, but it's still just a linear shooter where the player has ZERO agency in the story, you just walk forwards and push the X button to hear the next bit of dialogue. We can do better.

Unless you're playing a REALLY good RPG then the player pretty much never has any agency in the story, and is going through the paces set forth by the writers/designers.

#41 Edited by eskimo (476 posts) -

@humanity: There are games out there like The Walking Dead, Alpha Protocol, Mass Effect, even (ugh) Binary Domain etc where the player has an affect on the outcome, instead of just observing it. Hell, even in old games like Wing Commander or King's Quest the players actions would result in a different story with different outcomes.

The only moment like that I can remember in Infinite is with the people and the baseball, which seemed oddly out of place and never happened again after that. Oh, and Slate, but all that stuff was just brushed aside. Hmmm, maybe ZERO agency was selling Infinite a little short, but I certainly didn't feel much agency when compared with a lot of other games. It was just a magical scripted roller coaster ride.

Story in games is one of (if not THE most) important part of a game for me, and given that games are characterised best by their interactivity, I believe the interactive story represents the pinnacle of game design. It's just personal preference I guess. Infinite was about the ultimate inescapable destiny of the characters so it doesn't necessarily make sense to include a non linear story. It's just not for me.

Man, I edited that post into oblivion.....

#42 Edited by Winternet (8014 posts) -

I didn't read the blog, but if your take is about it getting 10/10 and 5/5 then you're already missed the point.

#43 Posted by Humanity (9054 posts) -

@eskimo: A lot of those games offer very arbitrary choices that don't really influence the story in any major way. In the Walking Dead while a lot of your choices might seem to be quite important at the moment, they don't really matter at all in the long run. Walking Dead is an adventure game so your choices do present some differences in the story, but the end result will always be the same. I suppose at this point it boils down to your own personal definition of what affecting the story really means to you.

To me Binary Domain's choices are purely cosmetic as the story doesn't branch at any point because of them. You might end the game with a few more people or a few less but the story itself didn't change one iota. A good example of player agency is The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings where your choices have long lasting effects on the story. At one point player decisions completely branch the gameplay into two different zones with their own set of characters and sidequests that further influence the ending. But that is an RPG and it would be almost criminal to not have some form of plot interaction in that genre, while shooters or third person action games almost never have anything of that sort.

I agree that story is important but not every game needs to be a choose your own adventure book. Sometimes a story is good because you don't have any agency in it - because you are experiencing it the way the writer intended you to experience it. Very often I've seen the most powerful scenes in games because I was carefully funneled into them by story and gameplay elements. More often than not when I play games where I can make any sort of minor choices I experience a complete disconnect from the story because my actions clash with the way the protagonist was written.

Also I'd like to touch a little upon the very end of @irishalwaystaken post about how this "series" has lost a lot of complexity from days of System Shock 2 and how people are actually upset because Infinite is the "best we can do" in these troubled times. People who write things like that seem to have this huge disconnect with the modern gaming world. Neither Bioshock nor Infinite are meant to have anything to do with System Shock 2 apart from a very thinly connected "spiritual successor" title. System Shock 2 was in large a product of it's time. I find that whole quote to be incredibly dismissive, reductive and condescending towards Infinite simply because it is not the game that it's author wanted it to be. These hardcore gamers that keep bemoaning the industry for stagnating and dumbing down games from the "good old days" are like old men sitting in their rocking chairs complaining about how these broads are wearing short skirts and how kids don't have any manners anymore. Things change and evolve in different ways all the time. Infinite manages to make a connection between the player and the game characters that games like System Shock 2 couldn't even dream about making in their day.

In addition, anyone that would say Dark Souls is a great way to experience "how well a story can be told in and through the medium of video games" is completely out of their mind. There are many merits to Dark Souls but story telling isn't one of them, as evidenced by the dozens of Wiki's dedicated to combing over the game to piece together vague item descriptions into something that could resemble a plot.

#44 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4716 posts) -

I don't know if the OP has heard, but BioShock Infinite is pretty great.

#45 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5353 posts) -

@irishalwaystaken: Decent post and points but logic has no place in the fanboy realm; /shun. I suppose if I was 12-14 I'd find the story much more impressive but it's merely above average; "There are infinite Bioshocks" isn't stunning at all to a person well schooled in philosophy; if anything it screams of immaturity on the part of the writer, a lack of understanding of the propagated chain of thought.

#46 Edited by anywhereilay (144 posts) -

I'm hearing more about this 'alternate take', than any other.

#47 Edited by Oldirtybearon (4716 posts) -

@irishalwaystaken: Decent post and points but logic has no place in the fanboy realm; /shun. I suppose if I was 12-14 I'd find the story much more impressive but it's merely above average; "There are infinite Bioshocks" isn't stunning at all to a person well schooled in philosophy; if anything it screams of immaturity on the part of the writer, a lack of understanding of the propagated chain of thought.

You're looking at the curtains, instead of the view outside the window. All the meta physics and multiverse bullshit is just chuffa to better illustrate the point of the game. In the end BioShock Infinite is about regret and forgiveness, about running from your mistakes instead of confronting them. About responsibility over guilt. Case in point -

In every conceivable universe Booker chooses to evade responsibility/ownership of his actions at Wounded Knee. He either chooses to become a thug for the Pinkerton's, or he runs from his responsibility and into the arms of God. Neither of these choices provide him with peace of mind from his actions and the guilt over the massacre haunts him until his dying breath in all possible realities and to the point of neglect of his family. In the ending he realizes exactly where it's all going wrong - he's still not forgiven himself for what happened. It's only in the release of his guilt that he can finally move forward.

Maybe it's not the most high concept "does objective reality exist maaaan" narrative, but it's all too human and has likewise hit a lot of people that can identify with such a circumstance.

#48 Posted by 8Bit_Archer (452 posts) -

Though I respect your thought on the subject, I personally disagree with you entirely. I would like to make one point though like others said a 5/5 or a 10/10 doesn't mean the game is without flaws...The score merely reflects the mind/thought process/personal experience the reviewer had with the game at the time of review...You could give it a 3/5 if you wish, and I can't judge you for that. That is the experience you had with the game, and even though it is a shame, you have your reason's for feeling the way you do about the game you played. I'm sure I played it differently than others. As a father to a younger girl I saw Elizabeth as my daughter from the get go. I watch as the world stole her innocence and made her lose the since of wonder she started with, so that spoke to me on a personal level. That experience could have only happen to me, and ultimately colors why I love the game so much. It's not to far fetched to say that Jeff could have had some of the same experience and found things that spoke to him and colored his experience for the good. :D

#49 Posted by MikkaQ (10283 posts) -

I was pretty disappointed with the game but I'd still give it 5/5 for being insanely well put together. Here I think the story and especially the setting, make up for the faults of the gameplay to the point where I'd be fine giving it 5/5 even if it didn't meet my expectations as a sequel to Bioshock. That is to say I don't think it's fair to just continually compare it to the other game in the series, it's more like "can this game stand on it's own merits" and yes I think it does.

#50 Edited by eskimo (476 posts) -

@humanity:Yeah ok, its a pretty crappy thing for me to play that game and then say we can do better.

There's no denying Infinite is up there with the best of them, it's an incredibly polished product and it absolutely succeeds at what it sets out to achieve. I suppose my real problem is that it's cast from the same mould as so many other games that have come out in recent years. Nothing wrong with that either, just a consequence of the risk inherent in spending bucket loads of money developing a game. Infinite is probably one of the best sorts of products we could expect to come out of that system. Getting through the modern development process with so much soul intact is practically a miracle, just look at what happened to SimCity... ugh.

There's also no denying that I'm a fussy baby, and if I was getting nothing but amazing non linear story games I'd probably be complaining about them instead.

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.