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Bioshock: Infinite - New E3 Demo - Post #307


The Sarge
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I only had the opportunity to play Infinite recently, and I finished it last night. I did not like it very much. I would go so far as to say that this game is awful.

The introductory segment, with its stylistic bridge to the original Bioshock, is great. It sets up a mystery plot, with a forced transition from a dark and foreboding normality to the wonderous floating Eden of Columbia. It looks great. It feels like an RPG, I'm looking in barrels, eating pineapples to restore health I haven't lost yet, picking up loose change. Brilliant. The only fault I can level at those first ten minutes is that it's a bit too familiar. Perhaps if it had not hewed so close to the first Bioshock's intro, or had I not played Infinite's predecessor, I might have been so impressed with this introduction I could forgive some of the shonky gameplay that was to come. I might not spend the entire game expecting the same story as the last two, waiting for the next trope. "Oh, so this is the opposing faction, yeah? So how long before they turn on me, then?" Right up until the very end, I'm waiting for the inevitable twist. Maybe Elizabeth is really the one pulling the strings, or I'm Elizabeth, or Comstock is Songbird, or whatever. As the game's ham-fisted explanation is dealt out in the final act, I find myself not really caring that much.

The journey from that incredible start to the disappointing end is a slog, full of truly terrible combat. All pretences of this being an RPG go straight out the window in the first arena. I don't even care that I can only carry two guns, when they all seem equally boring and indistinguishable. Even after completing the game I couldn't tell you which one was the "Burstgun" or the "Repeater", or what the difference between the two shotguns was. The vigors too were so incredibly uninspired, I got my first bad feeling about the game when the third vigor explanation movie played, and I was instructed for a third time that I could "hold, and release, to lay a trap!" Effectively the vigors were just more guns. I had so many guns to choose from, the game had to frequently remind me to actually use my vigors in combat. When Elizabeth's mechanic is revealed, that was just the icing on the cake, the cake of awfulness. The Tears were placed in such a way that I'd rarely want more than one open at once, so why make it a choice? Why force me to press a button to make the barrel of guns appear, when I'm not going to want to interact with it after the first time? Why is it a choice that I can only have the pile of medikits or the box of salts be in existence at once, when I can't use both at the same time?

Aside from the setting, and the basic premise, the game is so lacking in imagination I'm amazed at the game's reception. Just take a look at the achievements if you want another example of inspiration stagnation. At some point they must have realised that they had too many guns and they were all too similar, that they actually had to trick the player into using them via the achievements system. The game feels like an RPG built by FPS developers, and plays like an FPS designed by RPG developers. Like they wanted to trick FPS fans into playing a story-driven adventure game, and trick RPG fans into playing an arena combat FPS. I can't imagine either side being satisfied with the elements they are familiar with, or enticed by the intruding mechanics of the opposing genre.

Final rating: bad/10

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Now watch the 10 minute trailer of "everything is in-game footage" and see how different it is to the game we got.

The player is shown to have telekinesis, like in Bioshock 1 & 2 to pick up environmental items and throw them at enemies. Booker uses telekinesis to take the gun out of an enemy's hand and makes the gun shoot the man while floating. Booker is able to stop a huge cannon shell in the air, reverse it, and shoot it back at the cannon, destroying it.

In the game, there is a pulling vigor, but it requires charging and it can only be used to pull enemies toward you, not to pick up things.

Lots of destruction - Huge cannons are firing all over the place and destroying the environment. Pieces of buildings come crashing down in front of the player, including a huge bell from a floating bell tower. They aren't in the actual game at all.

Enemies have glowing yellow eyes--seem possessed or out of control like the citizens of Rapture. This is clearly not the case in the game; the citizens are motivated to kill Booker solely from political/religious ideology.

Lots of scenes implying Columbia is in a state of decay - dead animals laying in the street, being eaten by crows. An automatic damaged wagon still moving with the driver slumped over in the cart. Booker and Elizabeth enter a sundries store which is abandoned and has evidence of a squatter that Booker even comments on, "Looks like some poor fellow called this place home." This insinuates that Columbia has descended into chaos, like Rapture, and that the city has become derelict.

Skyline system more extensive in demo than in actual game - Cargo moves along the skyline system independently providing natural hazards to avoid. In the game, other than the first area, the only time cargo moves alone the skyline is when Booker uses a lever a few times to move stationary boxes out of the way.

More dynamic enemies - A man named Charles uses Murder of Crows vigor against the player and crows surround the screen and obstruct the player's view. In the game nothing this elaborate is used against the player. During the handyman fight, he throws a galloping horse back at Booker and Elizabeth and also catches something that Booker throws at him. An enemy starts to sound a huge alarm and Booker has to kill him before he does.

More physicality - The player can sprint at people to knock them back. The player can zoom in, and look at things closely without using a sniper scope. He can melee enemies off the skyline. While riding the Skyline, Booker is vocally animated when jumping between lines. He yells and has flailing arms.

Elizabeth has powers - Elizabeth creates a storm cloud by shooting some sort of beam from her hand. She then tells Booker, "Hit it now" and Booker shoots electricity into the cloud, frying a huge group of enemies. Elizabeth, acts independently and creates a huge fireball out of pots and pans that Booker uses to "throw" at a group of enemies. During the handyman fight, Elizabeth uses some kind of beam from her hand to help Booker bring down a bridge on top of the Handyman. Booker uses a vigor to levitate enemies and then instructs Elizabeth to materialize a moving box on the rail system which smashes into the levitating enemies. Elizabeth is physically drained from using her awesome powers and is coughing and gripping her midsection in pain saying, "I'm okay, I just need a moment."

In the game, Elizabeth picks locks on doors, throws you items and leans against walls. Revolutionary - IGN.

Booker searches a barrel and discovers several things that aren't in the game, like a melee weapon called the executioner which looks like a sword. Also something which affects movement called spring-heeled. In the actual game, you cannot switch melee weapons, nor can you upgrade your movement at all.

An enemy taunts Elizabeth somewhat sexually, which scares her and causes Booker to draw his weapon on the man, chasing him away without gunplay. Nothing like this ever occurs Enemies don't even acknowledge Elizabeth nor do people on the street. You certainly can't interact with the environment by drawing your weapon and threatening, which is what this scene implies.

The Vox rebellion is shown as the Vox are rounding up Columbia's citizens and harassing them. In the game, the rebellion takes place completely off screen. A citizen is thrown through a window on the street by the Vox and they are holding an informal trial type of execution for one of Comstock's men for his crimes. Booker is given the choice to intervene or not.

It's crazy that people were up in arms over Aliens Colonial Marines looking a bit shitter graphical on release than the trailers, but this gets a pass.

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I can totally see why people don't like the game, but I loved the combat, found myself totally caught up in the story and the whole mystery- it really worked for me.

I never watched the trailers for it, so it didn't bother me what changed during development- I enjoyed the game I got. Which is just an awkward segue into the trailer for the second part of the DLC. :)

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Just loaded this up on the PS3 and the intro is stunning. Plays brilliantly with the PS4 pad too.

I loved the intro to the original Bioshock but thought the game (particularly the combat) was shit. I take it it's still worth giving this one a proper go, yeah?

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Now watch the 10 minute trailer of "everything is in-game footage" and see how different it is to the game we got.

It's crazy that people were up in arms over Aliens Colonial Marines looking a bit shitter graphical on release than the trailers, but this gets a pass.

Just rewatched that trailer the other day. Bang on.

Weird, I remember being really blown away for the first few sittings, then slowly getting less interested, laughing at Lady Comstock, audibly tutting during a later Handyman fight and eventually watching the ending on YouTube after dying at the end.

As an equivelant, it reminded me of Donnie Darko and The Dark Knight in how it became faaar less clever the more you thought about it.

The staging in both The Hall of Heroes and first coming out into the revolution-y bit were very impressive though. Reminded me of the better bits of Gangs of New York.

Dunno why it's movies that spring to mind when I'm thinking about this. That first gameplay trailer didn't remind me of any movie I've seen.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Completed this last night, and I agree the game starts brilliantly and progressively gets worse, although I still liked the story, actually playing it became a real slog.

I'd say the real start of it being no fun to play is "Find the 3 tears."

Starts off with what is basically a prolonged, boring fetch quest then becomes fight the same boss fight three times, oh and by the way the boss will infinitely respawn bad guys and can teleport. Then you are split up from Elizabeth and the stealth sections with the bullet sponge puppets (I got spotted every time, and yes there isn't enough ammo lying around those areas) which goes on for far too long, then its repel attackers from your small airship then board the massive one (I actually quite liked this bit).

But then, then you have the last gameplay section which is such a huge difficulty spike (up until then I had one clumsy "death"), I thought the bar in the top right was songbirds health bar at first, the game doesn't explain very well that it's that big blue engine (could it be in a more vulnerable place?!) and you have to defend it. And there isn't even checkpoints between waves! I really don't know why the "protect the core" aspect is there, if that was just the last fight for your life with you, Liz and songbird it would have made sense, increasingly difficult waves, sub bosses coming in etc. Fight the good fight then the ending. I mean if the two by two patriots get to the platform just below the core you are in serious trouble, they can take off 50% by the time it takes to kill them (I never levelled up my rpg) and there is no energy regeneration or repair ability for the core. Even more annoyingly, the health pack tears don't make sense in that fight, I never "died" I just got game over ("game over" whilst still being alive in a game about near infinite possibilities was particularly annoying) 4-5 times before I did it. A mosquito or a turret to harass the enemies while I did the dirty work would have helped but often I'd get game over with full health and shields.

I know it was only half an hours worth of playtime but I hated that bit so much, reminded me of the "protect the hard drive" bit from MW2.

Despite all that I really loved the start, wandering around, searching for things, interacting with the games at the fair, the music, the people of Columbia doing whatever, just being in this new world, I thought it was really well realised.

I preferred the combat at the start too, when both you and the guards are pretty vulnerable. I felt freer to fight how I wanted to against the low hp enemies compared to the robots that take about a dozen volley shots to kill. The start of the game was the only time when I felt vigours were a viable option, try using shock jockey or devils kiss on a patriot, doesn't even seem to take 5% off his health bar.

When playing I noticed that the skyline use was a lot more limited than I had anticipated from the trailers, I thought they were going to be a much more free form and robust version of the bathysphere from bioshocks 1 and 2. IIRC you only need to switch from one skyline to another once, right? That bit after getting shock jockey?

Having had a quick glance at the last few pages of this thread it seems like there was so much more that wasn't included in the game, Irrational are obviously an imaginative bunch so I wonder if the reality of making a big budget game couldn't match their ambitions for the experience they wanted to create.

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I'm playing it at the minute as well. It's alright. I like the characters and the setting, bit the combat and gameplay seems a little dull. I've just done the part where

you have to save the gunsmith by travelling to a different reality - which is exactly the same and seems to have been done solely to revisit the areas you've already seen.

How long is left? I'm trying to work my way through my pile of shame and I'm tempted to give up if there's loads left.

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After condemning it at launch, I've gone back to this. I originally played it on hard, but the uninspired combat coupled with the bullet sponge enemies really turned me off, so I stuck it on normal. The combat is still crap, but at least the bad guys drop quickly now. It is a lovely looking game though, and the story is interesting enough, so I'll stick with it.

I wanted to ask about the Rapture DLC though. Do the big daddies return, and does it bring back the powers from the first game? I loved the original, particularly the environment, but I'm unsure as to whether it'd be worth the cash considering the gameplay of Infinite isn't really up my alley.

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I'm playing it at the minute as well. It's alright. I like the characters and the setting, bit the combat and gameplay seems a little dull. I've just done the part where

you have to save the gunsmith by travelling to a different reality - which is exactly the same and seems to have been done solely to revisit the areas you've already seen.

How long is left? I'm trying to work my way through my pile of shame and I'm tempted to give up if there's loads left.

You haven't really touched upon the main plot though yet either. I'd personally continue on or just sell it. Don't do the "put it away to come back to later" scenario. Me personally, when I do that, I just never end up returning, as I always have the constant reminder of it being at a shit part of the game just before I gave up. Eventually you forget the game and it gathers dust for an eternity of years.

I played and finished this one myself a few weeks back in January. I did enjoy it, but it is also true that there are some things which I can't say I was overly keen on. The game drew me in initially, and I was amazed on the graphical side of things. I must have spent about 4 hours or so wandering around the first areas in awe. It felt like a lot of thought went into the world and there were quite a lot of interesting stands to see and posters etc. The fact it was in the sky meant that it felt huge, despite not really being that large at all. Things got interesting once the combat began, and I suddenly felt familiar grounds to the previous games.

The choices you got given were interesting, but I still don't know if these make any major differences in the game? I kinda get the feeling they don't and play out the same regardless. Like the ball throwing bit, or the train station bit with the knife.

Eventually it began to feel a bit on the easy side. I was actually only playing this on Normal however, where as in the previous games, I began it on hard so that may have been a factor. When you get to docks after being separated from the girl, things get a little harder. I was glad though because it was beginning to get a little boring for me. What annoyed me though when I think back to it, is that I did the whole game almost entirely with two weapons and a few of the vigors. My weapons of choice were the shotgun and sniper combination. I did like trying to stick with them, but it only led to me never really using most of the other stuff. I think I used the carbine at times, but because I could only hold two at a time, I hardly switched at all.

The handymen didn't feel as menacing as the equivalents on the previous games at all. The first one came in and put up a battle but I managed to just about take him down. The rest of them were much easier to deal with having figured out a good way to harm them. This involved using and building up the vigor that pulls you towards enemies. Once you upgrade once, I think you get the invulnerability for a brief moment, at which point he would get a shot gun to the chest continuously, followed by another vigor dragging me towards him and so on. Upgrading it to max meant that not only do you become invulnerable, but also dish out damage on top. The final handy man I remember being an absolute piece of piss.

I didn't mind the storyline and found it interesting, although it did start to mess with mind a bit more towards the end. I failed to notice certain things that it keeps in riddles and as a result I just had to read up on it properly after finishing, which made a lot more sense.

I never made the full connection that the guy you control is the same person as the prophet but in a different timeline. There was too much going on during the ending that was losing me. Even when they submerge you in the water [to die], it only confused the hell out of me as I hadn't realised fully what was going on. Reading it up though made it feel quite amazing to me tying it all in, I just wished I'd picked it up better. I don't think it officially tells you you are comstock in an alternate reality, it just fannies about the subject while at the time while my mind was already wondering what was actually going on.

For the most of the game, I loved the fear of song bird that I had. There were genuine moments where I was shitting the deck when it would appear and mosey around for a quick scan while we'd be hiding beside a desk. It was the one thing I was bothered about the most, having to face it. Of course what did happen was....

you never actually do face it and just fight waves of enemies on the ship at the end.

I was hoping to see a final showdown with songbird or something else entirely, because despite being in fear of it all, I love boss fights when done well. I assumed the waves of enemies on the ship were the lead into what was about to become a catastrophic battle when you drop the instrument to keep the bird under your control. This isn't the case, and it is over by that point, reminding me a little of the ending of BS2 which I didn't like either, although I'd say I still prefer Infinite's way of finishing things off more so than BS2. That was waves of enemies but less impressive than riding a huge airship while you control song bird.

The brief moment visiting the world of BS1 & 2 underwater was something I really liked the idea of, however it only served as a fraction of a fraction of the ending. Would have been great to have had to continue for a bit in that world.

Overall though I'd say it was alright, definitely wouldn't call it an awful game like some people seem to think. I recently watched the trailer for the second game, and it looked amazing. I don't think I had seen that before, and obviously the whole thing was jazzed up in hi def pre-rendered CGI goodness, but it felt a lot darker in atmosphere than Infinite. This was the problem with being in such a bright place in the clouds, often killing people and not crazy splicers while trapped under water in a decaying city of the dead, while little girls suck out blood from dead corpses with a huge syringe, accompanied by the scary as shit big daddies (not to mention big sisters which were even worse). But it was good in its own right and made a change to be different from its predecessors.

Other things to mention that I may have forgotten about till now. Tears, they are interesting but feel like set pieces which are always around conveniently to help you out when needed. If it was arranged in a way that made you think more than something that is already designed to specifically script itself to suit the scene it may have been better. You get this sort of thing in games usually dotted around, but it felt like it was showing you were to go rather than allowing you to figure out your surroundings, because they are all highlighted spots of help. The girl would also often help you too, pulling out useful things from nowhere and filling up your health or salt or ammo. She was never at risk either so would always be an extra aid for you almost for the whole game. Personally I prefer to be solo for large sections of a game which can make you feel more at unease with less help.

Finally, I didn't like the enemies too much. Most of them were human and felt very far away from what you got in the early games, being chased by crazy mental lunatics with crazy unpredictable powers. The patriots were quite scary at first until I realised how shit and easy they were to destroy. The only thing interesting was that sometimes you'd see enemies dressed up differently for a specific area which you wouldn't see elsewhere. They were ok at first but felt samey after a while. And it would be much better to be in a world that felt less plastic and more destructive.

I've talked for too long so I'll leave it here. I didn't realise there were two parts to the DLC, how much is it for these? I play on the PS3.

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Second part isn't out yet - the first one is a tenner I think which is majorly over priced for the few hours its supposed to be.

I'm waiting for the second half to be released (and a sale probably) before I get it but I am looking forward to it - then again I loved the game which seems to place me in a minority on here...

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Soulstar with regards to your first spoiler the game tells you outright, albeit briefly.

Booker realises and says he

Is both Booker and Comstock just before the group of Elizabeths murder him.

I always struggle when it comes to stories of either time travel or parallel universes, this has both. I mean,

Is his post Wounded Knee, pre Columbia baptism the root of his branching universes? If Liz kills Booker how can she be born to kill him? Doesn't that cause the classic paradox? Also I take it that just affects a small minority of the lighthouse worlds, not affecting the Rapture branches of his universes? With the male lead being Jack or Johnny from 1 or 2 still being able to live their lives?

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Wow. Completed this just the other day... persevered with it as I think there are some sections of the game that are too long; e.g. certain boss fights didn't need to be repeated and the whole game could have been a tad shorter. However, there's a point towards the end where I found myself just really drawn into it, where it kind of snowballed into something else and I felt that I was just swept along by the actions of other characters in the story, in a good way (like, I had to continue to figure it all out while the momentum kept building). The ending is magnificent. While I think Rapture was the better environment, the game is on par with the first BioShock (I skipped the second game).

Continuing to play... not quite finished with it yet as 1999 mode taunting me (I found it a bit easy, first play through on hard) and it's interesting to see elements of the story foreshadowed right from the beginning (I'm up to Monument Island in 1999 mode). Worth the replay while it's all jumbled up in my head; a rewarding experience, good stuff.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Just finished it this morning. Storywise loved it to bits and thought they did a fantastic job of letting you explore the world, problem is the combat is bobbins and breaks up the world far too much. I love FPS's but I kept thinking how much better this would be if it was a different game, they should have let explore things with a few puzzles as an adventure game.

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I agree. The story was great, but it feels like it's too restricted being an FPS, and that they only use it as a means to lengthen the game. That final fight really put me off playing the game again, but the ending was fantastic.

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Just finished this an hour ago, and... ugh... it's left that same feeling of irritation that followed after Bioshock 1. It's such a fascinating world they've once again set up, and Elizabeth was alright in a "shit Alyx" kind of way - but the combat was horrible.

Now, the actual shoot-the-mans-ness of it was perfectly... ordinary, and it worked - however, it littered a load of shit you could use around these 'arena' style areas, like friendly robot cannons and everything, but I didn't even notice this half of the time.

In Bioshock 2, you - if I recall correctly - got a certain amount of 'prep' time, letting you get a general look around at where traps could be set, and all that jazz, and it worked brilliantly. In this, I spent half the time cowering behind the same amount of cover I'd first reach, being constantly shot at by those FUCKING DICKHEAD GRENADE SHOOTING PEOPLE. There was no real incentive (until later on in the game, at least) to jump out and really make use of these things - mainly because I didn't even notice they were there.

Still, the story was fucking great.

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Agreed, I'm about 2 hours into this so far and I'm finding it a real chore to go back to. The gunplay is not just mediocre, it's bad.

I don't understand why, after Bioshock 1 & 2, when it was obvious the stuff holding back the game from perfection was the actual shooting parts (especially the controls, they're fucking atrocious and everything feels so stiff, even with the DS4 which I'm playing it with), why they didn't focus on improving those as a priority. Or even just lessen them entirely and feature more exploration. The best parts of the game so far (I've just met up with Elizabeth) have been the exploratory/immersory sections with zero shooty sections. Whenever I see some enemies my heart sinks a little bit.

For an FPS, the third one in a successful series with such a high budget to boot, I find it quite baffling.

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I wish someone could explain in actual real terms why the shooting in Bioshock is bad. I find it completely excellent. The guns look good, they feel good, they bob and sway nicely, they make nice sounds when fired and just feel good to use. I dont see much different with them to loads of other FPS games. Infact I find stuff with supposedly good gunplay can be overrated. Like the Halo games, the spraying assault rifles are a pain, youre tap tapping the trigger else theyre uselessly inaccurate. COD (which I love) has this ridiculous system where it forces innaccuracy on the player, juddering all over the place by design. I seriously dont get peoples problems with any of the Bio game's gun play.

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It reminded me of Halo 2. Way too many bullet sponges and just not anything very imaginative in combat yet as was pointed out before all the stuff was there but they didn't use it right. In most areas you just stay in the entry section and let wave after dumb wave come rushing at you even the guys in the

mental hospital could easily be defeated by waiting in a doorway. They never followed you far meaning even with the low ammo in that section you could stand back and bash their heads in. Boring.

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In Infinite, the problem for me was that the enemies become increasingly bullet-spongey - which I could understand, if the ones suddenly sustaining multiple headshots were wearing a helmet or something. There's also just too many enemies contained in areas, I feel.

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You can do loads of good stuff with the vigors and plasmids though, theres always another approach. Like the last battle you can blast them off the edge, use traps, all sorts. Headshots are 1-2 bullet instant kills on grunts, obviously less so on the ones with helmets. I like how exact and clinical it is, not like CODs spraying, Halos blobby plasma guns etc. Im not just defending it because I like it, i do enjoy the guns in it. Apart from the handymen, they were just crap.

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