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Bioshock Infinite - Spoilers thread


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I have to say that Bioshock infinite does not live up to its expectations. The universe that they created is vast and can be reused infinitely, as the name implies. But they made many changes to the gameplay that dumbed down the game.

Elizabeth recharges the player for free, which makes the game way too easy. The powers are way too good. I finished the game with lightning alone because it's overpowered. They forced the player to carry two weapons at most, which is a console oriented thing. The lack of different ammo types for each weapon and all powers being bought with cash further simplified the game.

In bioshock 1 you are often left without ammo, health and eve. In infinite there is an overabundance of health, ammo and vigor. Thanks to Elizabeth recharging you through out the game. The enemies are much easier because they are dumb and can't do anything other than shoot at you. Their damage is also reduced from previous games. The big guys in bioshock infinite are way easier to kill than big daddies.

On the other hand I really appreciate that Elizabeth is an interactive NPC with immunity to damage. Having her open locks is much better than playing puzzles. The idea of hacking isn't bad in the previous games, it's the repetitive nature of it that gets annoying over time. They could add some extra depth by having a supporting character with customizable powers / gears in the way Diablo 2 did. Or make a supporting character that acts as a mule, stocking health and goodies.

If you compare Bioshock to Star Wars, in Star Wars the choice of light side vs dark side has much deeper implications. In bioshock infinite they removed the choice and there are no multiple endings. They imply that in the multiverse there is no such thing as freedom as there are constants that cannot be changed in any way. According to the theory, the villain is always paired with the hero and even though there are infinite universes, you always have one point that bifurcates in space-time in two different directions, meaning that you have closed loops where the only way to prevent the loop from ever happening is to stop it at its origin. It's the same idea used in DC's multiverse. In one universe superman is superman, in another he is the villain.

If they make Bioshock 4 in another universe inside one of the multiple lighthouses, it makes the game less creative by putting the player inside an already known place where some universal rules are already known. If the hero commits suicide to prevent the birth of the villain, who is an alternate self in another universe, that would create a closed loop. Bioshock ends itself. Or at least, it ends the hero-villain loop in this case. There would still be infinitely many other universes where the same character is neither the hero nor the villain.

For bioshock 4 they really need to balance out complexity vs simplicity. The gameplay in infinite was oversimplified, most of the skills, weapons and armor mean very little to the player. In fact some are completely useless. The soldiers in infinite did not feel part of the city, they didn't have the same sense of being residents as in Rapture's splicers and big daddies. The sky-lines and grappling that they made for infinite were there to add some hollywood-esque twists but at the same time you could skip them in battle if you didn't want to jump. Flying around like that added some eye-popping value but not that much in terms of gameplay.

I would say that they really need to have auto pickup. In Diablo and path of exile it's a pain to pickup stuff from the ground. Bishock forces you to press twice, once to search, then again to pick up. Over time it strains your fingers.

Edited by 0kelvin
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5 hours ago, 0kelvin said:

I have to say that Bioshock infinite does not live up to its expectations. The universe that they created is vast and can be reused infinitely, as the name implies. But they made many changes to the gameplay that dumbed down the game.

Elizabeth recharges the player for free, which makes the game way too easy. The powers are way too good. I finished the game with lightning alone because it's overpowered. They forced the player to carry two weapons at most, which is a console oriented thing. The lack of different ammo types for each weapon and all powers being bought with cash further simplified the game.

In bioshock 1 you are often left without ammo, health and eve. In infinite there is an overabundance of health, ammo and vigor. Thanks to Elizabeth recharging you through out the game. The enemies are much easier because they are dumb and can't do anything other than shoot at you. Their damage is also reduced from previous games. The big guys in bioshock infinite are way easier to kill than big daddies.

On the other hand I really appreciate that Elizabeth is an interactive NPC with immunity to damage. Having her open locks is much better than playing puzzles. The idea of hacking isn't bad in the previous games, it's the repetitive nature of it that gets annoying over time. They could add some extra depth by having a supporting character with customizable powers / gears in the way Diablo 2 did. Or make a supporting character that acts as a mule, stocking health and goodies.

For bioshock 4 they really need to balance out complexity vs simplicity. The gameplay in infinite was oversimplified, most of the skills, weapons and armor mean very little to the player. In fact some are completely useless. The soldiers in infinite did not feel part of the city, they didn't have the same sense of being residents as in Rapture's splicers and big daddies. The sky-lines and grappling that they made for infinite were there to add some hollywood-esque twists but at the same time you could skip them in battle if you didn't want to jump. Flying around like that added some eye-popping value but not that much in terms of gameplay.

I would say that they really need to have auto pickup. In Diablo and path of exile it's a pain to pickup stuff from the ground. Bishock forces you to press twice, once to search, then again to pick up. Over time it strains your fingers.

I'd say it's an interesting way of approaching gameplay balancing in story-focussed games, actually

Replaying the same section over and over again isn't necessarily an issue in a purely gameplay-focussed title, but once you introduce item collecting, narrative, and exposition - going through everything 5 times over can get pretty grating. Why should a game be interrupted by death-states when an ally can bail the player out and continue the story more seamlessly? It's hard to tell a grand tale when the main character is regularly overcome by uncharacteristic incompetence.

It's a difficult balance to strike, but I've always thought replaying a whole level over one mistake is rather . . . inelegant. Bioshock 1 already addressed this by incorporating death as a canonical part of the gameplay loop, with the vita chambers, and I'd say Elizabeth is just an extension of that. Give the player a second chance before it's too late, not after.

Nearly all games will space resources throughout the world rather than kitting you up at the start and saying ''you better keep an eye on that bullet count or you'll get through most of the game with absolutely no issue and then get softlocked in the last level because you have no ammo and no means to acquire it''. Elizabeth is . . an evolution of that, so that even if you waste your ammo too quickly, she'll keep you from bottoming out completely so the show can go on. In some sense, I'd say you can compare her to Left 4 Dead's unlimited-ammo-pistols - hell I'm pretty sure Doom 2016 gives the player one, too. It's just a means of keeping the player at a raised minimum level of ability, in one way or another. 

Does the game really become entirely too easy because of that, even on the highest difficulty? Maybe, I don't recall. 

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Big agree on the item pickup though - haven't played borderlands 3 yet ( plz no spoilers ) so maybe they've since addressed it, but that was one of my biggest annoyances in BL2 as well

[edit]

Actually, just remembered nudoom's """"glory"""" kill thing - now there's a good comparison when I need one. I'd say it's actually a much worse system than Elizabeth because;

  1. it actively interrupts the gameplay continually by needlessly stunning enemies that should have just died
  2. Elizabeth's throwing animation is pretty brief whereas this literally pauses the game for like 4 seconds every time
  3. it tries to play itself off as some kind of cool move when actually just like Elizabeth it's a crutch and/or bailout for poor resource management
Edited by ThunderKeil
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If what Elizabeth says about constants is taken to the next level, a further bioshock game would have a villain that would naturally seek the power to rewrite reality or the power to control the outcome of all choices made across the multiverse.

The quantum experiment that leads to the portals to other universes is a closed loop. The villain himself is what caused the loop in the first place. It's the villain that goes on searching multiple universes for his goal that causes his own demise because he can't forsee all possible futures. If they erase the Lutece from ever existing the multiverse is never explored in the first place. In that case the Lutece scientist is the ultimate villain for creating the loop in which all timelines exist. In bioshock universes' loop there is always a man, a city and a lighthouse. There is always the villain who creates the city, the hero that explores the city and the lighthouse that connects all universes. In all universes there are constants, yet in some versions the hero is successful and in others he isn't.

Marvel's Avengers solves the grandfather paradox by branching the timeline. Preventing yourself from being born in the past does not erase yourself, rather it branches the timeline. In bioshock's multiverse theory that's not the case as the finale shows that commiting suicide does erase already existing universes.

====

I can agree with Elizabeth being a way to make the game less frustrating and more seamless. It's a new take on traditional saves. You aren't forced to rewind and try again like Prince of Persia Sands of Time for instance. The way the player is brought back also ties in that game's universe. One idea that I just had is having Elizabeth auto pickup all consumables for you.

About Levine, maybe he has great skills in storytelling but poor management skills. I have a feeling that bioshock 3 changed the gameplay in many ways due to the publisher's intervention.

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35 minutes ago, 0kelvin said:

About Levine, maybe he has great skills in storytelling but poor management skills. I have a feeling that bioshock 3 changed the gameplay in many ways due to the publisher's intervention.

Great skills in storytelling relative to the rest of storytellers in video games, yes. Poor management skills I think is clear by this point

The thing about when these big auteurs in the gaming industry get critiqued (people can be pretty critical of Kojima as well)... dude has made some classics. I always like to remember that part.

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Played it for the first time earlier this year. I had a good time with it. Really enjoyed the DLC probably more than the main game. Rapture is just hard to beat. The atmosphere of the place is unreal.

 

Edited by Radu
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I played the DLC and I must say, the alternate reality Rapture City surpass Columbia. They brought back the survival horror feeling from the first bioshock and perfected the leveldesign.

The way they link Columbia to Rapture is about the chicken and the egg problem. Which one came first? With multiple universes that do not share a single timeline it's impossible to know. That literally creates an infinite loop with no beginning or end. That's why I think bioshock 4 would have a hard time sticking to the infinite's multiverse. It can be a universe in its own, but at the same time I'd be bound to Elizabeth's timeline in one way or another. The easiest solution is just to leave Elizabeth behind.

Elizabeth's power was wasted on infinite. In Max Payne 2 there were levels that you would see the same plot from Mona's perspective. They lost the window to explore Elizabeth in more creative ways, such as using alternate realities to bypass security for instance. They nearly did that in the DLC when Eliabeth opens up a tear for you to grab the winter plasmid from another reality.

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