Same problems as His Dark Materials?

#1 Posted by BisonHero (8318 posts) -


The ending of Bioshock Infinite kinda disconnects you from everything related to the setting, and is literally about just Booker by that point; Elizabeth is an omniscient god who seems detached and is content to explain how everything works to Booker, while all of the shit going down in Columbia never matters really because Booker never becomes Comstock.

While the His Dark Materials trilogy doesn't undo its entire plot nearly as badly, I think it falls into the same issue, as once your main characters start jumping around dimensions, it's hard to give a shit because it seems like such a limitless ability, and many of the secondary characters stop mattering because they often get left behind in their dimension while the protagonists keep moving. To this day, I think Northern Lights/The Golden Compass is a much better book than the rest of the trilogy, largely because it comes up with this interesting alternate world and you encounter a variety of interesting characters who get much less...screen-time in the later books because so much else is going on all over the place. The later books didn't grab me in nearly the same way, and it wasn't until Bioshock Infinite that I realize that dimension-hopping may just be hard to implement well in stories because you have to leave so many characters and settings behind before establishing them fully.

#2 Edited by DonChipotle (3012 posts) -

In that both shit the bed by the end of it, yeah.

#3 Posted by davidwitten22 (1712 posts) -

In that they're both fucking awesome, yeah.

#4 Posted by Blommer4 (223 posts) -

In that they're both games, yeah.

#5 Posted by ryanwhom (291 posts) -

Conclusions are hard. A lot of ambitious plots seem to think one big cathartis is enough for you to, at least in the moment, overlook everything they never bothered to find an explanation for and various red herrings. It worked here for me (in the moment and I choose not to parse it out further) , I can totally get other people feeling the opposite. Had the pacing been just a little off or they gave me just a little more time in the moment to marinate in what they're trying to sell, it could have completely not worked for me and then I'd be ranting about it like I've been shitting on the Doctor Who xmas special last couple days. I tend to give games a bigger break on this if I feel like what they're trying to do was worthwhile because I want more games to be ambitious.

#6 Edited by Encephalon (1388 posts) -

I'd say that His Dark Materials' use of the multiverse is the least of its problems. But yeah, I take your point. I will admit that the part of the story where you begin blithely hopping between dimensions in Finkton were the most problematic in the entire game for me, specifically, and that I agree with Patrick, who said that they amounted to hastily-conceived jump cuts. Despite that, the game on the whole worked for me, but I don't begrudge anyone their claim that it didn't.

I think it's important to keep in mind that quantum physics is typically applied to systems no more complex than subatomic particles, and any attempt to do otherwise will just be a little fucked up. I went in understanding that in stories that dabble in many worlds theory, it will serve a narrative function almost identical to magic, and I don't demand any more consistency than I would of something like Harry Potter. Elisabeth is basically a time wizard, and I ended up being OK with that.

#7 Posted by BisonHero (8318 posts) -

@blommer4 said:

In that they're both games, yeah.

Wait, what?

#8 Posted by Starfishhunter9 (385 posts) -
#9 Edited by ZombiePie (6171 posts) -

@blommer4 said:

In that they're both games, yeah.

Wait, what?

Oh Yeah That's Right...This Movie Happened!

Judging from the thread title I thought this was going to be about things with great universes that end up serving a heavy handed social commentary a lot more than they should.

#10 Posted by BisonHero (8318 posts) -

@zombiepie said:

@bisonhero said:

@blommer4 said:

In that they're both games, yeah.

Wait, what?

Judging from the thread title I thought this was going to be about things with great universes that end up serving a heavy handed social commentary a lot more than they should.

I mean, yeah, you've summed up sort of what I was getting at. The literal war on the church and all the stuff about God being this frail old man that isn't even calling the shots anymore got kinda excessive by the last book, but I wouldn't even say that His Dark Materials had a great universe after the first book. That first book is really good, you guys.

#11 Edited by Encephalon (1388 posts) -

@bisonhero: Lyra was a fucking rad protagonist, in the first book, anyway. That girl got shit done. Elisabeth could've probably learned a thing or two from her.

But then she's on nursemaid duty for Will's hand in book 2, and is knocked out in a cave for half of the third. One of the worst cases of chickification I've ever seen, which is probably the point where they lost me.

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