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Bioshock: Infinite - New E3 Demo - Post #307


The Sarge
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Finished this just a minute ago.

The whole end sequence was really beautifully done - kind of still digesting the whole thing, which is a good thing I think.

Wasn't expecting the little sojourn into Rapture, that's for sure - makes the DLC more mouthwatering I think

Never quite felt the combat felt completely right, if I'm honest. However, I felt the same way about Bioshock and at the end of the day I got over that due to the sheer atmosphere of the game. Infinite has that and plenty more besides. Would have preferred less combat altogether though - especially nearing the end, when it did kind of feel slightly over the top

Also wasn't entirely convinced by the whole 'controlling' Songbird - I can clearly see they wanted to make it more of a 'thing', but not sure it ended up being quite as memorable?

Need to sleep on it I reckon - there's so much I like and possibly an equal amount that I thought didn't quite gel.

But I still think it's one of the top games I've played in the last few years!

Really odd...I'm usually much more polarised in my likes/hates over games!

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Why are Rubberjohnny et al getting their pants in a twist? Clearly they know people expect some sort of DLC soon so they knock out a cheap horde mode while they continue to work on the amazing looking detective noir set in Rapture thing. What's the problem, that the big one isn't ready yet?



The problem with Infinite is that you have all these tools at your disposal, but the game isnt designed to make you use them. You can blast through with guns only, if you want.

It doesnt make any sense to say 'but you can mix it up however you want to' when there is no (or hardly any) use for the player to have to use the diverse tools. Its just poor game design.

Dishonored is a better game in every sense; story, exposition, combat.

Weird, I thought DIshonored was pretty much garbage in all three of those areas. I walked through the last third of the game by stopping time and blinking to the end of the level because the stealth and/or combat was so utterly tedious and rudimentary. And then the game just sort of ended with none of the interesting story elements going anywhere at all.

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Re: Songbird

Something more must have been intended for Songbird in the game. Based on his prominance in the endgame of the storyline, and the pre release hype, he was obviously intended to be a really big deal.

Except he barely features in the game at all - a great introduction at the Tower, then a mini appearance through a tear, then he crashes the airship (and dissapeares), then he catches Elizabeth at Comstock House. And that's it until the meant-to-be emotional and memorable final battle sequence.

All those appearances are in cutscenes or controlled events - I never had any feeling that he was actually searching for you or chasing you through the city. And you never get the chance to face him, so the bit at the end where Old Elizabeth says "Songbird always stops you..." Well he hasn't stopped me at all throughout the game.

Even if there had been a scene or two - where Songbird is swooping over the area and you have to hide, or where Songbird attacks you mid level and you have to escape would have been enough i think. I do remember that happening in one of the pre-release demos - but of course there was a lot of stuff in those that never appeared in the actual game.

I do also wonder if there was intended to be something about his origin. I know he was built by Fink based on a big daddy...but who is the man inside? I think someone else in the thread has already mentioned my speculation - another Dewitt. But it seems we won't be going back to Coumbia so I guess we will never know.

Despite that I think there is a LOT more to explore with Columbia, I am looking forward to Burial at Sea - a noir detective story set in pre-fall rapture would be amazing. Of course, presumably that'll only be the first twenty minutes and then it'll be shooting splicers - who won't even make sense in that setting, splicers as they appear in Bioshock only make sense years after the fall - but hey, I should give them the benefit of any doubt. If nothing else, the setting will be worth it, as with all Bioshocks.

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Just finished it.

The ending, atmosphere and story fantastic. The game wasn't. When 40% of the gameplay consists of clicking on containers and mashing the A button... well.. it just gets old. And when you're done hitting A you find yourself bashing on the up button to display a mission pointer.. it just feels very game like. The combat was okay, not fantastic... and the weapons are poorly designed (too samey).

I played the Steam version, which meant that the graphics were beautiful but it suffered horrible bugs: random crashes, issues with the autosave (which return you to desktop) and displaying the HUD and subs in pt 6 at Full HD are things I don't expect from a top tier game in 2013.

Saving is a bit of a drama: sometimes you go an hour between checkpoints, which in modern gaming is extremely irritating come bedtime: turn the PC off and lose 45mins of play time, or keep playing until you hopefully trigger an autosave...

All in all.. the story and atmosphere make it a worthwhile experience; I'm a sucker for stories like this :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Be warned! I am going to go into spoiler territory!

I've been thinking a lot about this game recently. It's the sort of thing that stays with you. Columbia looks amazing, the art style is incredible, Elizabeth is completely believable, even the hokey title makes sense by the end sequence.

But.....I haven't been able to go back to it. And I've put it down to mumble mumble something wrong with the combat mumble mumble.

And then I read this by Anna Anthropy. http://auntiepixelante.com/?p=2025

About context in games)

mighty jill off is a game that communicates ideas that mighty bomb jack does not. it does contain a set of rules which interact with one another in ways that are interesting and meaningful to the player, but it frames those rules and their interactions in a way that relates (and encourages the player to relate) to my personal experience.

that’s important in the face of the games culture that brought us bioshock infinite. bioshock is a game that forces you to watch images of racialized violence – there’s a part where you watch a man of color pecked to death by crows, begging for his life. and then a minute later you gain a power-up that lets you have crows peck people to death.

bioshock infinite is an EMPATHY-CHALLENGED game. the culture of videogames is an EMPATHY-CHALLENGED culture. videogames needs stories of racism from people who experience it, not bioshock infinite.

And that's when the light bulb went off in my head. It's the major difference between this and the other Bioshock games.

In the first Bioshock the twist is that you never had agency at all. It's a commentry on the illusion of choice in games. In reality you've been following orders like a good little soldier.

In the much maligned Bioshock 2 there's very subtle player agency added in terms of mercy. Of course in both games bad things have happened and you are fighting things that seem less than human, the ill and the drug addicted. (Actually, come to think of it that's a bit of an issue in itself. Moving on...)

It's possible that part of the problem I had with Bioshock Inifinite was killing people willy nilly. They do try to get around that by the cop out of "Well they're all racist policemen! Have at it!" And it's something I've avoided since playing Medal of Honour:Frontline on the PS2. The increase of fidelity on the PSOne meant that these were no longer triangles that were human shaped, these acted and spoke like people. It makes me feel queasy and still does today. But that's not the main issue that I have with Bioshock:Infinite.

To Booker De Whit every problem looks like a nail and he's the hammer. And that's the point of the game. He's someone who is guilt ridden about his past and speaks of trying to get away from it. And yet at a moments notice he is that person again. He hasn't changed since working for the Pinkertons. He will still kill on the order of his employer. Even worse he will lie. And that's the point about his 'rescue' of Elizabeth. De Whit is just as bad as Comstock, and he is just as abusive of her, just as possessive. It's very very clever. You are not playing a hero. You are playing a monster and Elizabeth's actions at the end are totally understandable.

So why the sour taste? Why the unease?

It's because the game made me complicit in the continued abuse and distress of Elizabeth. It was the "aha! You were the monster all along!" I don't think it was the creators intention but in retrospect it's almost like they took Chell from Portal and sexed her up a bit (in a Disney princess sort of way) and made her your pet. And that's getting more horrific than what Ms Anthropy was looking at where some might mistake Booker as being an OK guy because "he feels sorry for being a monster and shows it by sharing a cigarette with a coloured man and by almost throwing a baseball at a racist."

And that's the major issue I have with it. It is about priviledge. It places the experiences of the abuser over that of the abused. Sympathy for the devil indeed!

Anyway, here's hoping the story based DLC goes in a different direction. It would be fantastic to play as Elizabeth this time.

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Unofficial What?

tssk. Someone started up a thread in Off Topic called "Unofficial Who is the coolest person on rllmuk" and after waiting a few days I claimed the mantle :)

I stand by what I said though, as much as I loved bits of Bioshock Infinite this new trend of "Hey, we've given you a sort of sad introspective ending to make you feel bad for being a mass muderer so it's all ok" might actually lead to the opposite of what the creators intended. Instead of making people feel introspective like Booker, they might walk away more like Comstock feeling cleansed of any guilt.

It's interesting that Ms Anthropy picked up on the whole Murder of Crows thing, I found that scene awful but I used that power 90% of the game because I wanted to distance myself from the violence. I found that first melee scene so visceral that I didn't want to repeat it again. That might be down to play style though, I really missed the diesel drones of Bioshock 1 and 2.

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Fnished it. Loved it. Would have preferred more evidence of the Vox being bastards before our heroes agreed they were just as bad as the racists, and it never felt like I was in the middle of a war, just that the people attacking me were now red. Especially that by the time you get to Comstocks the Vox have pretty much won. Except they clearly don't somehow? Just seemed undercooked that bit.

Also, the weapon limit didn't go well with the upgrade system. And the whole vigors and sales machines clashed with the background in a way that didn't with 1&2. I understand how they came to be, but there was no market for them. They should have either been integrated better, or more likely just a result of the Vox not being a threat, so there being no reason for citizens to arm themselves.

Finally I kept on forgetting I was on a floating city, and I feel like the game did too.

Loved the story otherwise.

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Just watched this, amazed that it seems they had an excellent Vox storyline setting going on, where you could wander through them as you could comstocks people, observing their wrongs before judging them, only to do away with it, for what? Shooter waves? Snatched from the jaws of victory there.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I just finished this having managed to successfully avoid everything about it since its release. At this point I think I've just got to accept that I'll never enjoy actually playing a Bioshock game despite loving everything else about them. Like when I buy Sure deodorant that promises no white marks even though I know it's a lie, I'm always 'Maybe this time will be different!'

The endless looting, the one 'lock doors and throw enemies at you' set piece, the removal of all tension by the fact that you're essentially invincible - all still present and correct. The last one even takes a backwards step since there was always the slightly shaky argument about the vita chambers making sure your immersion in the game isn't ever broken but towards the end of this there's a super-irritating section which greets you with a pop-up 'YOU HAVE FAILED - PRESS X TO TRY AGAIN' window which kind of obliterates that idea. It's easy to wonder why so many things that were poor six years ago haven't been improved upon or jettisoned entirely unti you remember the insane review scores these games have received. I mean it doesn't give much incentive to change things up, does it.

It's so frustrating because the things they do well, they do amazingly well. The love and attention that goes into the world, the stories and the characters puts most games to shame and they fully deserve the plaudits for that. I don't think the gameplay deserves a free pass just on the strength of them though.

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Finally I kept on forgetting I was on a floating city, and I feel like the game did too.

Yes, this was particularly annoying, as Ken had talked about how they knew they had not made much of the underwaterness of Rapture, and were specifically working to improve that sense of place in Columbia. But the fact it was flying barely made an impact at all. I suppose the skyrails, but they were almost always very small and constrained loops, usually over 'land'. The only skyrail that gave the sense of distance and verticality was the one you had to take to the Statue of Columbia at the start.

There's also no sense at all that the City is made up of individual blocks floating independently of each other. Even when everything starts going to shit! They'd only need one scripted event where one island crashes into another. Or a block simply falls out of the Sky in front of you, or whatever.

In fact, I remeber Ken saying something about how water only made an appearance in the first level of Bioshock, when the water starts coming in after the plane crash. But it's almost exactly the same in Infinite. When you first come out of the Welcome centre, it is gently floating down to street level and you have to wait. That's literally the only time anything like that happens.

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I didn't really think a huge amount about the actual combat in either of the games - and they're pretty much identical really. It's...fine I guess, and certainly not in anyway shoddy. However, I just thought there was far too much of it. I'd have much preferred more wandering around and having a cool mystery being discovered.

I do think that artistically speaking, Infinite is probably my high-point of the year. I think it's an incredibly beautiful game, and I thought the whole ending bit was rather impressive too.

In my top 10 for the year? Possibly, but more by default than anything else - most of the games I've played this year seem to be from years past!

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Completely agree with this. My experience with Infinite is the same as the first one, overawed by the world then bored to tears by the gameplay, it almost feels like a switcharoo. I think the twitchy Timesplitters-ness of it is wrong, if there was more 'weight' to the experience it would fit better. I kept thinking of Arkham City and how you feel more 'of the place' but maybe that's because you're THE BATMAN.

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This did get noticeably overlooked in the "games of the generation" topic, despite lots of talk of that upthread, so I think people have sort of realised it was the Emperors New Clothes.

Nice architecture though.

Pretty much; I enjoyed the story, characters, gameworld and attention to detail, but the action didn't feel all that special - admittedly it wasn't awful but it wasn't particularly memorable either. Then again I'm probably at fault for not being creative enough with my gear/vigors or whatever... :P

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  • 3 weeks later...

Be warned that joystiq video basically shows the first ~30 minutes and what the plot will be.

A focus on stealth and trap laying and slower gameplay actually sounds pretty interesting.

Wasn't enthused with the idea of more slogging your way through of waves of enemies with the obligatory DLC backtracking or whatever, but it sounds as if they're doing it right.

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Pretty much; I enjoyed the story, characters, gameworld and attention to detail, but the action didn't feel all that special - admittedly it wasn't awful but it wasn't particularly memorable either. Then again I'm probably at fault for not being creative enough with my gear/vigors or whatever... :P

Ive tried to replay the game, but i just cant. I got a few hours into my 2nd palythrough and just gave up. The gameplay really hasnt progressed much from Bioshock, and once youve seen the story to its conclusion, theres just no reason to slog your way through it again. The more i think back on the game, the less i like it really. I think Bioshock was a far better game, even BS2 was more enjoyable as a game. I dont know what it is about BI, but it just seems very, i dunno...full of itself?, storywise. I dont think its as big and clever as it thinks it is, is what im trying to say.

Im replaying TLoU at the moment and enjoying it as much, if not more, than i did firsr time round. Id put TLoU leagues ahead of BI, its a simple story told well, with seriously solid gameplay to back it up, whereas BI is a convoluted story told confusingly with very mediocre gunplay.

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I had a quick flick through the final paragraph of the Eurogamer article- no plot spoilers here- but this does sound a bit crazy length wise-

Even if you are in the mood though, this is a seriously short episode. While nobody could call Burial At Sea lazy, the money and effort dripping from every pixel, there's only about an hour and a half of actual game here - and that's if you savour it for all it's worth.


:(

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