Season Pass Ruins Balance?

Posted by Raven10 (1924 posts) -

One of my only issues with the first Bioshock was how easy it was. Even on the hardest difficulty the Vita-chambers meant that you could brute force your way through any battle in the game. And on the easy or normal difficulty it was likely that you would never even need to make use of them in the first place. One of the few things I thought Infinite did better than the first game was its combat. While none of the enemies were as fun to fight as the big daddies, even the weaker enemies could take you down if you were careless enough on the default difficulty. It wasn't a hard game by any means but I found myself back in Booker's office at least once or twice each level while that final battle took me something like an hour to get through. Step forward a year and I finally got the season pass on the Steam sale. I decided that instead of jumping straight into the Burial at Sea stuff I would replay the main game to remind myself of all the complicated elements of the story and also to pick up the audio diaries I missed the first time around. I didn't even realize that the season pass included a bunch of bonus items for the core game until I started. Suddenly I had five infusions, four pieces of gear, and two super-powered weapons in my arsenal. Now I am used to games ruining their balance with pre-order DLC. But usually the pre-order stuff will help you for a level or two before you get better stuff. This was the case with three of the pieces of gear, but the fourth piece gave you a ridiculous 75% increase in ammo for every weapon. Combined with the over powered machine gun I managed to take out even Handy Men with ease using that starting gun (upgraded over time of course) from beginning to end of game. The 5 infusions were maybe even more of a balance issue. There are a limited number of infusions in the game. I got the achievement for getting every one of them and including the 5 bonus ones I was ranked at 9/10 on health, salts, and shields. What that means is that you are getting a significant bonus with those 5 infusions. Again, using the handy men as an example, I was able to beat every one of them by just standing in place and firing at them until they died. I could survive a one on one firefight with the George Washington lookalikes, again without moving. I had just so much health and such a strong shield that nothing could take me down.

That final battle which previously took me an hour? I beat it in a single try and never even had to have Elizabeth summon any health packs for me. Now obviously playing a second time meant I knew more of the vigor combinations and what vigors worked well against what enemies, but that shouldn't have let me beat the entire game without dying a single time. Only once was I even downed (Elizabeth saved me) when under fire from a handy man, two of the George Washington dudes, and like a dozen other opponents. I am also not especially good at shooters. I tend to play Call of Duty, Battlefield, and Halo on easy and die quite a few times per level. And I am rarely within the top 50% of players in a multiplayer match in any online shooter. So I'm no savant or anything. I'm honestly pretty bad. I was just shocked at how the combination of 5 infusions and a 75% ammo bonus made a game I felt was generally well balanced (and quite hard at the end) suddenly a cakewalk.

I guess I should note that as I said I did get every infusion in the game, and also attempted to collect all of the money I could find so I was about as upgraded as I could have been by the end of the game and, again, knowing what vigors were most effective meant that I didn't waste any money on upgrading vigors I knew I wasn't going to use, and quickly upgraded the ones I knew would be most useful, but that alone shouldn't have made that massive of a difference.

So my question to you guys is: Did any of you play through the game both with and without the season pass bonus content? Did the season pass stuff make the game super easy for you? Or did knowing what vigors to use and what vigor upgrades were important make that much of a difference for me?

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#1 Posted by Fredchuckdave (6158 posts) -

Infinite is not a difficult game to begin with and also isn't so amazingly tight on the controls/gameplay front to suddenly make it matter how you play it/how hard it was. The game is far from Vanquish.

#2 Posted by ShaggE (6715 posts) -

It's not nearly as bad as Dead Space 2's bonus items, but yeah, it does mess with the progression a bit. But then, the combat wasn't the appeal of Infinite, so it wasn't a big deal to me.

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#3 Posted by Ghostiet (5330 posts) -

Infinite is not a difficult game to begin with and also isn't so amazingly tight on the controls/gameplay front to suddenly make it matter how you play it/how hard it was. The game is far from Vanquish.

Pretty much. Although I have to say that I support TLoU's option of letting you just switch off the season pass bonuses.

#4 Posted by Raven10 (1924 posts) -

@shagge: I was thinking about Dead Space 2 when writing this actually. I think the difference there is that by the end of the game you get better armor and weapons and you have enough resources to fully upgrade everything. So it made the first third of the game easier, but definitely by the halfway point I felt like it wasn't giving me a huge advantage. Like the first half of the game I beat on the normal difficulty, but by that point the pre-order bonuses had run their course and I had to drop down to easy. Whereas I felt overpowered in Bioshock from beginning to end because the infusions you got made you more powerful at every point in the game than you could be otherwise, and because that one piece of gear is easily the most powerful piece of gear in the game and getting it right at the beginning means you barely even have to aim due to the ridiculous amount of ammo you have and because you can tank so much damage with all those infusions.

@ghostiet said:

@fredchuckdave said:

Infinite is not a difficult game to begin with and also isn't so amazingly tight on the controls/gameplay front to suddenly make it matter how you play it/how hard it was. The game is far from Vanquish.

Pretty much. Although I have to say that I support TLoU's option of letting you just switch off the season pass bonuses.

Like I said, I really suck at shooters. Vanquish was ridiculously hard for me. I beat it on the easiest difficulty after hundreds of attempts. So Bioshock Infinite was actually pretty perfect for me on the default difficulty my first time through. I died a couple times in each level, and at least once during all the major battles. It challenged me but wasn't frustrating until the final level, which, like I said, took me over an hour to complete.The combat wasn't great, but I think a lot of issues people had were those who played it on consoles where the framerate could get pretty choppy and response times weren't great. Playing at 60 fps with a mouse and keyboard the combat felt just fine. It wasn't anything masterful, but it was better than average.

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