The game doesn't make sense?

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#51 Posted by Veektarius (4744 posts) -

@ntm: I think I get what you're saying, but there are more problems with the subplots than the fact they don't take center stage. For example, in the Revolution-is-winning alternate universe, Booker has become a hero for helping the rebels. And while, sure, Daisy (that was her name, right? I hope that isn't racist) gives you a line about being more good to her as a martyr, that doesn't explain why literally every member of her organization who is supposed to revere you doesn't for a moment question their orders to attack.

The game just doesn't expend any effort whatsoever justifying itself, it just says, "here's the situation, roll with it". That's probably how Booker perceives things, but that doesn't make it interesting, and if a game that's all about its story is not interesting in some parts, then shouldn't that detract from it?

#52 Posted by Veektarius (4744 posts) -

@ntm said:

@themasterds said:

"Comstock says he was at Broken Knee, but he lies! It was me and you Booker! I didn't fucking see him there!"

Pretty sure he never said that :P.

He totally said that. or something to that effect.

#53 Posted by tourgen (4459 posts) -

Time travel means causality is thrown out the window. That's trouble for any so-called internally consistent logic of a fictional universe. Causality is a cornerstone of logical reasoning. Every time travel fiction I've read tries to fix this by making up a whole rickety framework of additional rules that try at least to make the main story make sense. Bioshock is no different.

Anyway I don't think the guys didn't understand the ending. They understood it but liked it less because of the mental gymnastics it required to make sense with itself. Once you've read & heard the time travel & multiverse gimmick a few times it's gets old. All the same holes are there. They dressed it up nice this time though so I appreciated the effort.

#54 Posted by VeggiesBro (120 posts) -

@ssully: Yeah, it was interesting to hear some of the debate going on after I finished the game, which helped me clarify some of the convoluted details of the story. It was way funner to just go with it and not try and nitpick it to death, because it's a video game after all.

PS - Looper was great too.

#55 Posted by NTM (7319 posts) -

@ntm: I think I get what you're saying, but there are more problems with the subplots than the fact they don't take center stage. For example, in the Revolution-is-winning alternate universe, Booker has become a hero for helping the rebels. And while, sure, Daisy (that was her name, right? I hope that isn't racist) gives you a line about being more good to her as a martyr, that doesn't explain why literally every member of her organization who is supposed to revere you doesn't for a moment question their orders to attack.

The game just doesn't expend any effort whatsoever justifying itself, it just says, "here's the situation, roll with it". That's probably how Booker perceives things, but that doesn't make it interesting, and if a game that's all about its story is not interesting in some parts, then shouldn't that detract from it?

They don't necessarily revere Booker as much as they follow Daisy, and yes, that's her name. I think it all made sense. You can also use your imagination if you had to go with the thing you were saying; perhaps there were some of those that had revered Booker enough to not want to attack him, but they just weren't shown. That may seem petty, but it still works. I just felt it was about followers, and how they'll listen to what Daisy wants and says is best for them.

#56 Posted by NTM (7319 posts) -

@ntm said:

@themasterds said:

"Comstock says he was at Broken Knee, but he lies! It was me and you Booker! I didn't fucking see him there!"

Pretty sure he never said that :P.

He totally said that. or something to that effect.

Well yeah, to that effect, he did, but he didn't say it in those exact words, so you did have to quote it, nor was there ever the word fuck in the game, which is what I found funny.

#57 Edited by TheMasterDS (2042 posts) -
@ntm said:

@veektarius said:

@ntm said:

@themasterds said:

"Comstock says he was at Broken Knee, but he lies! It was me and you Booker! I didn't fucking see him there!"

Pretty sure he never said that :P.

He totally said that. or something to that effect.

Well yeah, to that effect, he did, but he didn't say it in those exact words, so you did have to quote it, nor was there ever the word fuck in the game, which is what I found funny.

Yeah it's not a direct quote. Why does it have to be?

#58 Edited by MC_Hify (331 posts) -

@donchipotle: He doesn't go through with the baptism and he doesn't walk away from it, he drowns before he makes a choice. Elizabeth can drown him because she exists outside of time and space like the Luteces.

#60 Posted by 8Bit_Archer (452 posts) -

I thought it to be a little confusing but that didn't keep me from liking it.

#61 Posted by Leonshade (61 posts) -

@video_game_king:

It's been a while, but they talk about some things being fixed points in time. They describe them as constants and variables, if I remember correctly. So the backstory is probably always the same, even if the details vary.

#62 Posted by StarvingGamer (8128 posts) -

Oh, I just realized something:

Why does Booker have to drown? Isn't there some alternate reality where he doesn't have Elizabeth? Or where he doesn't go to war? Or he does, but he's super happy about his experiences?

The Booker that doesn't go to war and the Booker that is super happy about mass murder don't go to the baptism. It is only the Booker that is super regretful of his actions that ends up there. Because the multiverse (or section of the multiverse) that Infinite takes place in deals with constants and variables, you can think of Elizabeth drowning Booker as turning the "stays DeWitt/becomes Comstock" variable into a constant. Whether or not the actual act of drowning is symbolic or literal is up to interpretation.

#63 Edited by DonChipotle (2714 posts) -

@mc_hify said:

@donchipotle: He doesn't go through with the baptism and he doesn't walk away from it, he drowns before he makes a choice. Elizabeth can drown him because she exists outside of time and space like the Luteces.

How does drowning prevent the same thing from happening anyway? It doesn't. Drowning doesn't solve anything. And Elizabeth couldn't drown him, because if she does she no longer exists to drown him. She can't exist outside of time and space since the reason she does so no longer is able to make that happen.

#64 Posted by joshwent (2156 posts) -

How does drowning prevent the same thing from happening anyway? It doesn't.

You say it doesn't. The games is saying, "Maybe it does.".

I had the same problem with LOST. For a few seasons, they heavily implied that even if you can go back to the past, influential events will still have the same consequences in the future. Then they changed it up, and I was pissed. I preferred that first edict of time travel, but the show chose a different interpretation. Liking the show, though, I begrudginly went along with it, but still thought it was dumb. What I didn't do was to try and convince people who were okay with it that they were wrong because they didn't have my views.

BI lays out its own rules. If you don't like them, or wish they were explained a different way, that's okay. But its futile and unnecessary to try and convince people who buy into the game's story, that they shouldn't.

#65 Posted by DonChipotle (2714 posts) -

@joshwent said:

@donchipotle said:

How does drowning prevent the same thing from happening anyway? It doesn't.

You say it doesn't. The games is saying, "Maybe it does.".

I had the same problem with LOST. For a few seasons, they heavily implied that even if you can go back to the past, influential events will still have the same consequences in the future. Then they changed it up, and I was pissed. I preferred that first edict of time travel, but the show chose a different interpretation. Liking the show, though, I begrudginly went along with it, but still thought it was dumb. What I didn't do was to try and convince people who were okay with it that they were wrong because they didn't have my views.

BI lays out its own rules. If you don't like them, or wish they were explained a different way, that's okay. But its futile and unnecessary to try and convince people who buy into the game's story, that they shouldn't.

The game also says that people who are dead in one timeline but alive in another freak out but that doesn't ever effect Booker or anyone else outside of that one section. The game says a lot of things. Infinite has its rules, but the rules are inconsistent within its own game.

#66 Posted by laserguy (443 posts) -

I needed a moment to comprehind the ending but after I got it I thought it made sense. You can pick it apart all you want but at the end its still just a game.

#67 Edited by MC_Hify (331 posts) -

@donchipotle: It prevents it because he is dead before he can make the choice. Elizabeth is no longer affected by causality like the Luteces that's why she is still there when all the other Elizabeths disappear and why she's in the DLC.

#68 Posted by DonChipotle (2714 posts) -

@mc_hify said:

@donchipotle: It prevents it because he is dead before he can make the choice. Elizabeth is no longer affected by causality like the Luteces that's why she is still there when all the other Elizabeths disappear and why she's in the DLC.

It doesn't prevent it, it already happened and it will continue to happen. Killing Booker isn't going to change anything at all. There's no reason to drown Booker. What does it solve at that point? Fucking nothing. How does killing Booker solve anything? If Elizabeth wanted to solve a problem, she'd kill the parents of the Lutece's so they never come up with the whole alternate timeline hopping in the first place. The whole reason Elizabeth 'is no longer affected by causality' (whatever that means) can't happen if you kill the reason for her 'not being affected'. It's a grandfather paradox that you're essentially using magic to say that it's fine. If Booker dies, Elizabeth is never born thus the game never happens thus creating a paradox. Elizabeth isn't magical, her finger got nicked and that makes her special for some reason but if you kill the father, she's never put into a position for her finger to get nicked. Killing that Booker wouldn't make the other Elizabeth's disappear. It would make THE Elizabeth disappear. The one that is doing the drowning. The one you spend the game with.

The whole ending is one big paradox and one big inconsistency. It makes up rules for time travel and multiple worlds but does so poorly.

#69 Posted by Thedrbrian (62 posts) -

Can someone explain to me how jumping into an alternate universe solves the problem you have in the original universe? As far as I'm aware Booker and Liz do fuck all to help the first universe you start the game in and probably most of the subsequent universes too.

#70 Posted by Milkman (16618 posts) -

I don't really give a shit about the sci-fi inconsistencies. My main problem with the story (and keep in mind, I liked the game a lot, it's 4th on my GOTY list) was that the Vox Populi and Daisy Fitzroy were massive missed opportunities.

#71 Edited by Daneian (1226 posts) -

How about the fact that killing Booker, a man who already made his choice about the baptism, makes ZERO difference as to whether or not the cycle will continue? Again, the dude that downed already made his choice. Killing him solves nothing.

Also, the fact that we go to the Hall of Heroes, a place where we get massive, fundamental information crucial to the fiction purely and coincidentally in order to get electricity magic to turn on a tram, is fucking stuuuuuuuuupid.

#72 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@daneian said:

Also, the fact that we go to the Hall of Heroes, a place where we get massive, fundamental information crucial to the fiction purely and coincidentally in order to get electricity magic to turn on a tram, is fucking stuuuuuuuuupid.

What about Lincoln being a Patriot in a city that openly hates him? Isn't that just as stupid?

#73 Posted by Daneian (1226 posts) -

@daneian said:

Also, the fact that we go to the Hall of Heroes, a place where we get massive, fundamental information crucial to the fiction purely and coincidentally in order to get electricity magic to turn on a tram, is fucking stuuuuuuuuupid.

What about Lincoln being a Patriot in a city that openly hates him? Isn't that just as stupid?

Too be honest, i dont remember that as well as the other stuff, but, yes, that is really dumb if thats the case. Contrivance and coincidence are the enemy of good story telling so I refuse to celebrate any plot whose beats- especially major ones- come about by accident. Also, Elizabeth's pinky being cut off by a closing portal and granting her super powers is duuuuuuuuumb too.

#74 Edited by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -
#75 Posted by Ryuku_Ryosake (208 posts) -

I'm pretty ok with they story. I just have one giant problem with the plot. That is how in hell did Booker get to Columbia? Well actually how did he get to the lighthouse. To get to either of those means he had to hop a dimension.

I guess the Luteuces must have opened a rift to get him there. However I assume something of that magnitude is completely out of the realm of possibility for them in their current state. They just only barely managed to accomplish that before their accident. If they could do something like that then why would that even need Booker or Elizabeth. I thought the whole being displaced in time meant they couldn't really influence reality that much.

#76 Posted by President_Barackbar (3448 posts) -

I'm pretty ok with they story. I just have one giant problem with the plot. That is how in hell did Booker get to Columbia? Well actually how did he get to the lighthouse. To get to either of those means he had to hop a dimension.

I guess the Luteuces must have opened a rift to get him there. However I assume something of that magnitude is completely out of the realm of possibility for them in their current state. They just only barely managed to accomplish that before their accident. If they could do something like that then why would that even need Booker or Elizabeth. I thought the whole being displaced in time meant they couldn't really influence reality that much.

The ending of the game shows them pulling Booker through one of the portals. That's the moment when his brain forms the false memories that lead him to not remember anything about selling Elizabeth.

#77 Posted by NTM (7319 posts) -

@ntm said:

@veektarius said:

@ntm said:

@themasterds said:

"Comstock says he was at Broken Knee, but he lies! It was me and you Booker! I didn't fucking see him there!"

Pretty sure he never said that :P.

He totally said that. or something to that effect.

Well yeah, to that effect, he did, but he didn't say it in those exact words, so you did have to quote it, nor was there ever the word fuck in the game, which is what I found funny.

Yeah it's not a direct quote. Why does it have to be?

It doesn't have to be, I never said it did, I just thought it was funny, nor was that the end of my comment anyways.

#78 Posted by ThePickle (4160 posts) -

I remember scratching my head at the end of it, but that's not something I would hold against it. It had many other problems besides the logistics of the universe.

#79 Edited by StarvingGamer (8128 posts) -
@daneian said:

How about the fact that killing Booker, a man who already made his choice about the baptism, makes ZERO difference as to whether or not the cycle will continue? Again, the dude that downed already made his choice. Killing him solves nothing.

Only if you take Elizabeth drowning Booker as a literal event and not a symbolic one as everything leading up to that point would have you believe.

@donchipotle said:

The game also says that people who are dead in one timeline but alive in another freak out but that doesn't ever effect Booker or anyone else outside of that one section. The game says a lot of things. Infinite has its rules, but the rules are inconsistent within its own game.

It only happens when Elizabeth opens a massive tear. Consistently.

EDIT: Oh yeah, also when Booker kills Comstock.

EDIT2: I was going to add spoiler blocks then realized I'm quoting people who didn't use spoiler blocks so meh.

#80 Edited by Daneian (1226 posts) -
@starvinggamer said:
@daneian said:

How about the fact that killing Booker, a man who already made his choice about the baptism, makes ZERO difference as to whether or not the cycle will continue? Again, the dude that downed already made his choice. Killing him solves nothing.

Only if you take Elizabeth drowning Booker as a literal event and not a symbolic one as everything leading up to that point would have you believe.

Literal or symbolic, drowning Booker doesn't alter the fact that he made a decision at the baptism all those years before. None of the events leading to this moment- as I remember them- existed entirely symbolically. Booker walked along Lighthouse Road, he visited Rapture, he witnessed Elizabeth being taken and he was drowned.

Any meaning and 'truth' is completely generated on the part of the viewer because the authors fail to actually say anything tangible. There is a distinct difference between an open ended resolution and one that is vague and illogical. Your brain is connecting dots to make up for bad storytelling.

#81 Edited by StarvingGamer (8128 posts) -

@daneian said:
@starvinggamer said:

Only if you take Elizabeth drowning Booker as a literal event and not a symbolic one as everything leading up to that point would have you believe.

Literal or symbolic, drowning Booker doesn't alter the fact that he made a decision at the baptism all those years before. None of the events leading to this moment- as I remember them- existed entirely symbolically. Booker walked along Lighthouse Road, he visited Rapture, he witnessed Elizabeth being taken and he was drowned.

Any meaning and 'truth' is completely generated on the part of the viewer because the authors fail to actually say anything tangible. There is a distinct difference between an open ended resolution and one that is vague and illogical. Your brain is connecting dots to make up for bad storytelling.

You say vague and illogical, I say laced with subtext and connotation.

Everything that happens at the end is symbolic, unless you believe there is literally a planet that is nothing but lighthouses. Every scene they "go back in time" to visit, Booker isn't watching himself in the past. He is inhabiting his own body, with his own memories and his own agency, to a certain degree. It isn't 1893 Booker that gives Anna to Comstock, it's 1912 Booker. No one acknowledges Elizabeth's presence. At the end, when he is drowned, Elizabeth even says, "This isn't the same place, Booker."

EDIT: And if the drowning of Booker is symbolic, then what is it symbolic of? The logical conclusion is that Elizabeth is "killing" this instance of Booker by altering what was once a variable at the baptism (stays DeWitt/becomes Comstock), into a constant. And with the little stinger at the end we can assume that constant is "stays DeWitt" and not "gets drowned".

#82 Posted by Daneian (1226 posts) -

@daneian said:
@starvinggamer said:

Only if you take Elizabeth drowning Booker as a literal event and not a symbolic one as everything leading up to that point would have you believe.

Literal or symbolic, drowning Booker doesn't alter the fact that he made a decision at the baptism all those years before. None of the events leading to this moment- as I remember them- existed entirely symbolically. Booker walked along Lighthouse Road, he visited Rapture, he witnessed Elizabeth being taken and he was drowned.

Any meaning and 'truth' is completely generated on the part of the viewer because the authors fail to actually say anything tangible. There is a distinct difference between an open ended resolution and one that is vague and illogical. Your brain is connecting dots to make up for bad storytelling.

You say vague and illogical, I say laced with subtext and connotation.

Everything that happens at the end is symbolic, unless you believe there is literally a planet that is nothing but lighthouses. Every scene they "go back in time" to visit, Booker isn't watching himself in the past. He is inhabiting his own body, with his own memories and his own agency, to a certain degree. It isn't 1893 Booker that gives Anna to Comstock, it's 1912 Booker. No one acknowledges Elizabeth's presence. At the end, when he is drowned, Elizabeth even says, "This isn't the same place, Booker."

EDIT: And if the drowning of Booker is symbolic, then what is it symbolic of? The logical conclusion is that Elizabeth is "killing" this instance of Booker by altering what was once a variable at the baptism (stays DeWitt/becomes Comstock), into a constant. And with the little stinger at the end we can assume that constant is "stays DeWitt" and not "gets drowned".

Booker is either doing those things or he's not. If he's not on a planet/dimension with infinite light houses, where is he exactly? If its all symbolic and none is happening in a physical reality, then are we to assume that we're going through his own mind or Elizabeth's? If yes, at what point does that happen? Is the point that we go from a concrete reality to something imaginary and illusive.

I'm honestly curious, because that thought never even crossed my mind. I don't recall anything ever saying that it did happen. If you're merely concluding that that's what happened, and I'm not saying you are, then we have an even bigger problem because that's another layer of context and narrative that the story didn't communicate. If the secret was left behind in an audio log, then you can't blame anyone for not finding that out. Storytellers shouldn't hide essential information outside of the events of the main plot.

#83 Posted by NabiscoChime (1 posts) -

@veggiesbro: Looper was pretty cool. For me I think it does a much better job of grounding the whole paradox issue with Joe saying that time travel wouldn't be invented to 30 years. So for me with that line they've a established a prime reality, the one that is 30 years ahead of Joe's so there are two dimensions essentially which makes the consequences of actions much more manageable than what was presented to us in Bioshock Infinite's ending.

As others have suggested who's to say Booker wouldn't have found another trigger to become Comstock? The game puts way too much emphasis on the baptism scene and in that move negates the gravity of there being multiple universes that demands that multiple versions of a person and their motives exist. I think this is what's been ultimately been bothering me about the ending. It has a nice literary wrap up but matters of metaphysics (quantum mechanics) you can easily come up with universes where Comstock still does exist but in a universe where he was as smart (or smarter) than the Luteces and hence wouldn't need their help building Columbia and the temporal contraption in the first place.

This game also had a lot of rhetoric and hand waving that I didn't really care too much for. The comment by Rosalind about how the universe doesn't like its peas mixed with its porridge is probably the best example of hand-waving and rhetoric put together. I mean think about it! Each time Comstock and/or the Luteces go anywhere they're leaving behind all sorts of DNA from their hair, skin, spittle when they talk, sweet, oils. Maybe the interaction of the actual tear gave Elizabeth her powers but again its speculative due the dodgy explanation.

As I alluded earlier but just to reiterate that for a game to make the substantial claim that there are infinite possible worlds would strangely stick to one narrative structure that somehow supersedes ALL possible outcomes (the baptism scene) just seems to lose its significance. Sorry, but for me the ending presented begins to collapse under the weight of its own universe from which it is derived from upon further inspection.

But I will say that I enjoyed the game a lot and even was taken by the ending as when you're going through it the decision to drown Booker was logical. But perhaps just as our "heroes" came to that logical conclusion in the heat to the moment it wasn't necessarily the be all end all. However Elizabeth being omniscient and omnipresent at this point should have already known this, no?

#84 Posted by VeggiesBro (120 posts) -

@nabiscochime: I agree with a lot of what you've said. I mean it's hard not to, it's all logic based (though the multiverse is still hypothetical at this point in time). As a scientist, I have to critically think all the time for work. So it's nice to turn off my brain and just enjoy the ride, however non-sensical stuff (especially video games) can be at times.

(ps - happy new year!)

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