Trailers: BioShock Infinite Gameplay

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Chunko:
I hate to be negative, but I'm really skeptical about this game. I think it's going to be really hard to justify building a city in the sky, so the plot will be garbage. Without a feeling of being trapped, or seeing a city decay around you, the atmosphere won't be the same (which was what made Bioshock 1 great). How are we supposed to be scared when a game is assaulting us with bloom. Sorry, but I'm going to have to pass.

Well stated. I demand realism in my pulp-fiction-based turn-of-the-century science-fiction games.

Chris^^:

dfcrackhead:

Chris^^:
what the fuck was that?
just ran like some kind of retarded dream sequence, isn't the whole point of Bioshock that its set in the real world? just looks to me like another unnecessary and over the top pr/sequel..
the whole world looks implausibly stupid and contrived, I can't see myself ever enjoying playing a game like that.

The first Bioshock was in a ruined underwater "utopia" where people had been OD-ing on shots that gave you superpowers, there were giant stomping killer robots that protected little girls that had a bunch of super cool shit in them. If thats the "real" world, I'm obviously fucking crazy because I live somewhere REALLY different.

I did mean under the real world, but have you ever been to Salford?
the thought of a submerged utopia is very 30s so I found it at least believable, flying cities though...

It's like a steampunk Jetson's game, besides, why play games for the realism? They are supposed to be an escape from the real world into fantasy.

I will pay any amount of money for this game. Finally something that looks like a serious change from the usual. A proper sequel to Bioshock.

...okay, NOW I'm interested.

Having Stephen Russell (who voiced Garrett, as well as HALF THE REST OF THE CHARACTERS in the Thief series) on board is a huge plus for me. The fact that you might end up facing entire crowds of enemies (did Bioshock ever have more than five or six Splicers against you at any one point?) is also sweet. I've also got to admit that the setting- early-20th-century American exceptionalism and racism turned up to 11 with the knob broken off- is pretty intriguing, and I also picked up on the weird things changing... is there some sort of illusionism or even mind control going on? Maybe a weird psychic power allowing Felix to pick up on the "true meaning" of things? Hard to say.

Also, Elizabeth, dear? I'm going to be staring at your cleavage a lot. I apologize in advance.

mr_rubino:

Chunko:
I hate to be negative, but I'm really skeptical about this game. I think it's going to be really hard to justify building a city in the sky, so the plot will be garbage. Without a feeling of being trapped, or seeing a city decay around you, the atmosphere won't be the same (which was what made Bioshock 1 great). How are we supposed to be scared when a game is assaulting us with bloom. Sorry, but I'm going to have to pass.

Well stated. I demand realism in my pulp-fiction-based turn-of-the-century science-fiction games.

I'm going more for believability here, not realism.

.. that looked fairly pretty but generic. Bioshock in the sky with a different flavor of psychos?

And it wasnt gameplay at all. Where is the health, the "mana"?, the user interface? Its Just one long, sexy, in-engine cutscene.

also; did the guy is the same voice actor that voiced Garrett from thief?

Chunko:

mr_rubino:

Chunko:
I hate to be negative, but I'm really skeptical about this game. I think it's going to be really hard to justify building a city in the sky, so the plot will be garbage. Without a feeling of being trapped, or seeing a city decay around you, the atmosphere won't be the same (which was what made Bioshock 1 great). How are we supposed to be scared when a game is assaulting us with bloom. Sorry, but I'm going to have to pass.

Well stated. I demand realism in my pulp-fiction-based turn-of-the-century science-fiction games.

I'm going more for believability here, not realism.

If you're not going to try, don't reply to my posts. It just adds unnecessary junk to my inbox.

OMG This looks like it is going to be th best Bioshock ever!!!! I can't wait!

Hmm, you know in the first game I almost started to feel bad about killing splicers after I found out that they were attacking me because they were slaves to their ADAM addiction induced insanity; an addiction which many of them were forced into because of fear following the start of the civil war. They were tragic figures, and I really hoped that at the end of the game there would either be some sort of cure or else the city would flood and end their suffering (I still think the reason that Rapture wasn't destroyed at the end of the first game was because marketing pressured them to leave room for a sequel).

Unless I'm mistaken it looks like the citizens of Columbia are slaves even more so. You see a man in a cart with a broken axle, a woman sweeping out her store while it burns and a politician stumping before an empty park. My guess is that something is projecting an idealized vision of Columbia on these people and not allowing them to see the corruption and destruction that has occurred. And the only reason that these people are attacking you is because their perception of your character has been altered to make them hostile to you. Or maybe it's the other way around? Maybe you are attacking them because your perception has been altered? The fact that you are seeing objects shift makes me think that Booker's perception is being at least somewhat altered.

Huh, maybe that's going to be the twist this time around? Maybe Elizabeth (or some other entity) is the one responsible for what's happening and she's treating the citizens of Columbia like her own personal pets. Pets which, after years of psychic control, are finally becoming immune to her psychic impulses and are able to break free momentarily in order to attack her and her pawn: you, a new-comer to the city who has yet to develop an immunity. It would help to resolve the whole "killing slaves" concern in my head and would actually help develop motivation for killing Elizabeth if she (or whoever turned out to be the "man behind the curtain") turned out to be the super-secret final boss.

Far more motivation than I'd had for killing Fontaine in the first game anyway. It never made sense why he'd want to kill Jack, his own personal slave/pseudo-son. The only motivation I had for killing him was because he was trying to kill me and a sense of betrayal which I overcame fairly quickly.

On a lighter note, the turn of the century was the height of the American Big Band movement, when people supposedly actually liked going out and watching parades with marching bands playing Sousa tunes. So how awesome would it be if you came across one of those parades playing something like "Stars and Stripes Forever" and then they suddenly became hostile and started clubbing you trombones and such? SUPER AWESOME? Yeah, I thought so. Plus it'd help reinforce a lot of the themes they seem to want to convey: patriotism, jingoism, turn of the century Americana, and general f'ed upedness. Make it happen Irrational!

very VERY impressed

i think unskippable needs to get their hands on this clip.

looks like an heavily scripted cutscene to me, i'm sure all the sheep will still run to the store to buy anything these guys put out and label it as awesome.

Man, the anti-conservative propaganda is fucking thick. I mean this is the very antithesis of subtlety. It really annoys me when games are that obvious. I never played the first one, but if was that bad at weaving theme into narrative, I have no intention of trying it out.

seems to me like a lot of tea party references going on, at least with the speech and signs

Fab=Fba has a bone to pick with 5:36

YAY Garret's voice! My reaction to that was pretty fangirly when he started talking. Anyways, onwards from that.

I am with everyone else in the debate of whether or not this is real game play. Though I think that it could quite possibly be. The Player Character didn't have a weapon out before all hell broke loose. So it's fair to assume that maybe if you aren't running around with a weapon out you can not set off the enemies immediately. But I like the graphics (oh dear lord the graphics) and setting looks bonkers which is awesome.

I'm actually ok with the political thing going on. That time period in actual history wasn't full of sunshine and lollipops to begin with so cranking it to 11 I have no real issues. As for whether or not it has anything to do with current parties now, I don't really notice anything too obvious or care. All media is a product of its age, thats just how art and media WORKS.

RJ Dalton:
Man, the anti-conservative propaganda is fucking thick. I mean this is the very antithesis of subtlety. It really annoys me when games are that obvious. I never played the first one, but if was that bad at weaving theme into narrative, I have no intention of trying it out.

Geez. FINALLY, I was waiting for a Reactionary Ranger to pop out of the woodwork. We're like on page 7 and it took someone this long.
And that "I didn't play the first one" thing was the perfect touch. Not only are you the unabashed stereotype slinging the most stereotypical reaction any arch-right conservative will sling at anything that... um... presents any amount of arch-right-wing behavior in any context, but because you haven't the slightest clue what the games are about, it just makes you look silly pulling the Righteous Indignation Card.

(Seriously, are you so insecure, you have to lash out even at any caricature of it? It's as if you seriously can't say to yourself "It's social commentary by use of hyperbole. The liberal mind-control mainstream Hollywood media is not trying to sap and impurify my precious bodily fluids. This is NOT the logical endpoint of my belief system. No siree! The logical endpoint of MY belief system is a libertarian utopia of personal freedom for all God's creatures!")

Obligatory constructive thought: Look up Bioshock 2. It'll make you feel better.

RJ Dalton:
Man, the anti-conservative propaganda is fucking thick. I mean this is the very antithesis of subtlety. It really annoys me when games are that obvious. I never played the first one, but if was that bad at weaving theme into narrative, I have no intention of trying it out.

Anti-conservative? Sure, the main philosophy of Columbia appears to be heavily rooted in traditionalism, but that's not its main focus at all. It's focusing far more on extreme patriotism and jingoism; anti-conservatism is only a minor component of that.

Besides, this game is hardly forcing you to accept a main message. Bioshock games are all about unique, varied theories. Jingoism is just one more of their targets, so to speak, following lamb's objectivism and ryan's individualism (not sure if I have those right)

Samus Aaron:

RJ Dalton:
Man, the anti-conservative propaganda is fucking thick. I mean this is the very antithesis of subtlety. It really annoys me when games are that obvious. I never played the first one, but if was that bad at weaving theme into narrative, I have no intention of trying it out.

Anti-conservative? Sure, the main philosophy of Columbia appears to be heavily rooted in traditionalism, but that's not its main focus at all. It's focusing far more on extreme patriotism and jingoism; anti-conservatism is only a minor component of that. Also, "Ryan's a capitalist and she's basically a communist", according to Jeff Weir.

Besides, this game is hardly forcing you to accept a main message. Bioshock games are all about unique, varied theories. Jingoism is just one more of their targets, so to speak, following lamb's objectivism and ryan's individualism (not sure if I have those right)

Shh. Exploration of themes scares them. It presents people as corruptible and means that sometimes not everything is happy under the surface.
However, I think it was Ryan that believed in objectivism (Be careful. Saying Rand's name can put libertarians into unstoppable rages.), while Lamb was much more utilitarian.

mr_rubino:

Geez. FINALLY, I was waiting for a Reactionary Ranger to pop out of the woodwork. We're like on page 7 and it took someone this long.
And that "I didn't play the first one" thing was the perfect touch. Not only are you the unabashed stereotype slinging the most stereotypical reaction any arch-right conservative will sling at anything that... um... presents any amount of arch-right-wing behavior in any context, but because you haven't the slightest clue what the games are about, it just makes you look silly pulling the Righteous Indignation Card.

(Seriously, are you so insecure, you have to lash out even at any caricature of it? It's as if you seriously can't say to yourself "It's social commentary by use of hyperbole. The liberal mind-control mainstream Hollywood media is not trying to sap and impurify my precious bodily fluids. This is NOT the logical endpoint of my belief system. No siree! The logical endpoint of MY belief system is a libertarian utopia of personal freedom for all God's creatures!")

You misunderstand, it's the lack of subtlety that bothers me. I can't stand when people are this blatant about thematic elements. It lays it on so thick. At every turn for a very long space of minutes, signs everywhere and they aren't subtle signs either. This is something that should be carefully woven into the game. I get the same with the over-the-top religious books and movies (and living in Utah, I've had to put up with a lot of those crappy Mormon movies by Halestorm entertainment that I don't think got much further than this state).
Any one of these elements would have stood fine on their own, if they were spread out and made less obvious, but they're thrown together in such ways that you can't not notice them. Now, I'll grant that the gameplay looks fun, but you know what? Dark Messiah had gameplay that was just as good as this looks to me and it didn't leave me feeling like I was being bludgeoned with a hammer by somebody who wants to make a point.
Perhaps it's a bit of an assumption to say "anti-conservative," but everything about this reminds me of a strawman conservative. If the game was throwing up signs saying "God is a lie" and "the pope wants to eat your soul" and such in this kind of context, I'd be getting on its case for being anti-liberal nonsense. This level of exaggeration works well for comedy; no attempt should be made to go this far over the top in a serious story.
There's a thing called subtlety. This is not it.

Samus Aaron:
Anti-conservative? Sure, the main philosophy of Columbia appears to be heavily rooted in traditionalism, but that's not its main focus at all. It's focusing far more on extreme patriotism and jingoism; anti-conservatism is only a minor component of that.

Why is it that I can't mention one political philosophy or the other without people assuming that's my main issue? How many times do I have to keep reminding people that I am a hardcore independent and I view both sides of the political spectrum to be equally wrong in their approach to things? But that's not even the problem I had.
Read my post again and notice how much attention I was paying to anti-conservativism (one sentence, for which is was not the main focus), then notice how I was complaining about the lack of subtlety (every sentence). Seriously, do you not feel like you're being insulted? Like the game programmers are so sure you're too stupid to get what they're trying to say that they have to bombard you with it at every turn in the most direct manner possible? This is not respecting the intelligence of the audience.
Now, if the gameplay is fun, I don't mind people enjoying it, but I remember people going on at great length about how deep and intelligent Bioshock 1 was. If this is how they went about it, I'm furious that it got praise for its writing, because this is not how it ought to be done.
It should be carefully woven into the narrative. You pick up that things are wrong by the things people say and do when you choose to talk to them, you don't have them preach their shallow philosophies at you. You want to show xenophobia? You see it making front page on discarded newspapers and see a foreigner getting beat up in the background somewhere. You want to show a society that's gone gun-crazy? It should be enough that everybody's got a gun and is more that happy to use it at the slightest provocation.
But having me wake up and the first thing I see be the most over-the-top anti-immigration poster, followed by sign after sign of "they won't take my gun" etc. etc.? That's just insulting.
Did Bioshock 1 do this? I really never had the chance to play it. I heard about some of the details and know more or less what philosophy it was addressing, but I always assumed there was some modicum of restraint on part of the writers.

And being a devoted christian, I liked His Dark Materials by Philip Pulman, a story that's essentially about how evil God and organized religion is. I don't have a problem with books and movies that present a message against my own beliefs if its well told. This is simply not very well told.

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT!

Needs more NPC's that don't want to kill you.

That said, this looks like the first time you get to interact with an NPC in a more meaningful way then blasting them in the face in the whole series. I will follow this game closely, but I need to see more gameplay before I'm going to buy it.

RJ Dalton:

And being a devoted christian, I liked His Dark Materials by Philip Pulman, a story that's essentially about how evil God and organized religion is.

Organised religion yes.
God, no.

God was never present in the books. The being that claimed to be God, creator of everything, was just the first angel. He came into being the same way all the other angels did, but because he was there first he claimed superiority over the others and claimed to have created everything.

His Dark Materials was not anti-God, it was against those who used belief in God to impose their beliefs on others and control the masses. It was against organised religion because its only purpose is to tell others what to believe rather than using logic, common sense, conscience and empathy to determine your own morals.

Or that's how I remember it. Of course sometimes a text's interpretation can be subjective so we could easily both be right to an extent.

As for the game, I loved that trailer. As for the supposed lack of subtlety, I doubt the people creating a utopia for patriotic paranoid racist douchebags (as it appears to me) would have had subtlety in mind. Seems like appropriate signage and propaganda for such a place in my eyes.

RJ Dalton:

But having me wake up and the first thing I see be the most over-the-top anti-immigration poster, followed by sign after sign of "they won't take my gun" etc. etc.? That's just insulting.

I understand what you're trying to get at, but political protest signs were never known for their subtlety. The ones in this trailer even seem pretty tame compared with what you see in real life:

RJ Dalton:
Did Bioshock 1 do this? I really never had the chance to play it. I heard about some of the details and know more or less what philosophy it was addressing, but I always assumed there was some modicum of restraint on part of the writers.

I'm not sure the total collapse of civilization based around a given philosophy is "subtle" or "restrained" commentary. The only reason it didn't seem like it was in your face was because it was a relatively obscure philosophy.

I don't believe the designers and writers are making any attempt to be subtle. The whole point of the Bioshock games is to show that if you take certain ideas to their logical conclusion it creates a dysfunctional society.

To answer your original question: The first Bioshock was like this also, only less racism and more self-indulgent hubris.

My mind was blown from the murder of crows to the giant crow-bot.

To those saying the preview was scripted, I suggest they look at Bioshock's first preview - it was an attempt to show the themes and gameplay elements, not an actual play-through. This preview goes the extra step of apparently running through the game's engine.

edit: And the first Bioshock video showed the bee/locust power :-)

edit2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsHY0LnbDDw

RJ Dalton:

Samus Aaron:
Anti-conservative? Sure, the main philosophy of Columbia appears to be heavily rooted in traditionalism, but that's not its main focus at all. It's focusing far more on extreme patriotism and jingoism; anti-conservatism is only a minor component of that.

Why is it that I can't mention one political philosophy or the other without people assuming that's my main issue? How many times do I have to keep reminding people that I am a hardcore independent and I view both sides of the political spectrum to be equally wrong in their approach to things? But that's not even the problem I had.
Read my post again and notice how much attention I was paying to anti-conservativism (one sentence, for which is was not the main focus), then notice how I was complaining about the lack of subtlety (every sentence). Seriously, do you not feel like you're being insulted? Like the game programmers are so sure you're too stupid to get what they're trying to say that they have to bombard you with it at every turn in the most direct manner possible? This is not respecting the intelligence of the audience.
Now, if the gameplay is fun, I don't mind people enjoying it, but I remember people going on at great length about how deep and intelligent Bioshock 1 was. If this is how they went about it, I'm furious that it got praise for its writing, because this is not how it ought to be done.
It should be carefully woven into the narrative. You pick up that things are wrong by the things people say and do when you choose to talk to them, you don't have them preach their shallow philosophies at you. You want to show xenophobia? You see it making front page on discarded newspapers and see a foreigner getting beat up in the background somewhere. You want to show a society that's gone gun-crazy? It should be enough that everybody's got a gun and is more that happy to use it at the slightest provocation.
But having me wake up and the first thing I see be the most over-the-top anti-immigration poster, followed by sign after sign of "they won't take my gun" etc. etc.? That's just insulting.
Did Bioshock 1 do this? I really never had the chance to play it. I heard about some of the details and know more or less what philosophy it was addressing, but I always assumed there was some modicum of restraint on part of the writers.

And being a devoted christian, I liked His Dark Materials by Philip Pulman, a story that's essentially about how evil God and organized religion is. I don't have a problem with books and movies that present a message against my own beliefs if its well told. This is simply not very well told.

Woah now, no need to go on some sort of rant. Regardless of the fact that, as you say, you were complaining about a lack of subtlety, I wasn't referring to that at all, nor did I need to. Even if it wasn't a main part of your argument, it was still a tenant and therefore subject to criticism. I agree; this game does not appear to be the most subtle game that I've seen, but that fact has nothing to do with what I ws saying.

Samus Aaron:

Woah now, no need to go on some sort of rant. Regardless of the fact that, as you say, you were complaining about a lack of subtlety, I wasn't referring to that at all, nor did I need to. Even if it wasn't a main part of your argument, it was still a tenant and therefore subject to criticism. I agree; this game does not appear to be the most subtle game that I've seen, but that fact has nothing to do with what I ws saying.

My apologies. I got hit by a guy who appeared to have been waiting for a (his own words) "radical response" to the trailer. Guy looking to spout off his "enlightened" (massive irony quotations) perspective against the "crazy, conservative nutjob" (assumed implication of his response). I was still kind of in attack mode (I've always believed the best defense is a good offense). Strangely, you got hit harder than the other guy, but this is mostly because yours seemed the more intelligent response and so I felt it deserved a more in depth reply. Probably shouldn't have answered the other guy.
On the whole, I'm largely voicing an unpopular opinion it all its brutal directness. I'm with both Yahtzee and the Extra Credits guy that we ought to hold games to higher standards than we do.
And my problem is ultimately this. When you demonize something, or if you try to (whatever the opposite of demonize is), it cheapens the effect. This level of outright crazy is uncommon and they don't generally get very far because they can't get along with even themselves. But even if we dismiss the lack of believability (and that's easy to do in a fantasy setting like this), but this is really hard to identify with if you're trying to make a point. When you're this far into the insanity, the audience can easily dismiss what's happening as completely unrelated to yourself. How many people would look at this and say "Huh, now that's something I would do."? Well, nobody, because nobody wants to believe themselves capable of that. By dropping us into a world that we already see this far gone makes it unfathomable and we can't read ourselves into it. The subtlety is important because it allows us to make a connection between the sane and the insane. Without it, you get this, which everybody immediately dismisses by saying "glad I'm not like that" and this further pushes us away from understanding.
Even if you have fun playing the game and even if you can see the point it's making, you don't personalize it in any way because you don't connect yourself with the insanity. You don't see how this could be you. Therefore, the effect that it can have on you emotionally is limited.

Raithnor:

I'm not sure the total collapse of civilization based around a given philosophy is "subtle" or "restrained" commentary. The only reason it didn't seem like it was in your face was because it was a relatively obscure philosophy.

I don't believe the designers and writers are making any attempt to be subtle. The whole point of the Bioshock games is to show that if you take certain ideas to their logical conclusion it creates a dysfunctional society.

To answer your original question: The first Bioshock was like this also, only less racism and more self-indulgent hubris.

boholikeu:

I understand what you're trying to get at, but political protest signs were never known for their subtlety. The ones in this trailer even seem pretty tame compared with what you see in real life

I'll refer you both to my previous post to keep from repeating myself.

But to add something, Jingoism and xenophobia are behaviors, not philosophies. True, they are associated with a particular political philosophy, but they are actually not philosophies by themselves. Anti-gun control is also not a philosophy, but a policy. This is quite a drop in depth from Objectivism and its extensions. Even discussing these issues is not by itself bad, but again, my last post went into this in more detail than I care to repeat.

RJ Dalton:

Samus Aaron:

Woah now, no need to go on some sort of rant. Regardless of the fact that, as you say, you were complaining about a lack of subtlety, I wasn't referring to that at all, nor did I need to. Even if it wasn't a main part of your argument, it was still a tenant and therefore subject to criticism. I agree; this game does not appear to be the most subtle game that I've seen, but that fact has nothing to do with what I ws saying.

My apologies. I got hit by a guy who appeared to have been waiting for a (his own words) "radical response" to the trailer. Guy looking to spout off his "enlightened" (massive irony quotations) perspective against the "crazy, conservative nutjob" (assumed implication of his response). I was still kind of in attack mode (I've always believed the best defense is a good offense). Strangely, you got hit harder than the other guy, but this is mostly because yours seemed the more intelligent response and so I felt it deserved a more in depth reply. Probably shouldn't have answered the other guy.
On the whole, I'm largely voicing an unpopular opinion it all its brutal directness. I'm with both Yahtzee and the Extra Credits guy that we ought to hold games to higher standards than we do.
And my problem is ultimately this. When you demonize something, or if you try to (whatever the opposite of demonize is), it cheapens the effect. This level of outright crazy is uncommon and they don't generally get very far because they can't get along with even themselves. But even if we dismiss the lack of believability (and that's easy to do in a fantasy setting like this), but this is really hard to identify with if you're trying to make a point. When you're this far into the insanity, the audience can easily dismiss what's happening as completely unrelated to yourself. How many people would look at this and say "Huh, now that's something I would do."? Well, nobody, because nobody wants to believe themselves capable of that. By dropping us into a world that we already see this far gone makes it unfathomable and we can't read ourselves into it. The subtlety is important because it allows us to make a connection between the sane and the insane. Without it, you get this, which everybody immediately dismisses by saying "glad I'm not like that" and this further pushes us away from understanding.
Even if you have fun playing the game and even if you can see the point it's making, you don't personalize it in any way because you don't connect yourself with the insanity. You don't see how this could be you. Therefore, the effect that it can have on you emotionally is limited.

Hey, no worries. Anyway, I understand your point about subtlety and I don't think it's that far-fetched of an idea, it's just that some of us were thrown off by your reference to anti-conservatism.

Ok, I had little to no interest in the first BioShock game, but this?

Oh yeah. I want it.

To be brutally honest, I found the entire trailer extremely stupid. Also, when the protagonist talks to themselves in any video game, it comes across really awkwardly in my opinion.

RJ Dalton:

And my problem is ultimately this. When you demonize something, or if you try to (whatever the opposite of demonize is), it cheapens the effect. This level of outright crazy is uncommon and they don't generally get very far because they can't get along with even themselves. But even if we dismiss the lack of believability (and that's easy to do in a fantasy setting like this), but this is really hard to identify with if you're trying to make a point. When you're this far into the insanity, the audience can easily dismiss what's happening as completely unrelated to yourself. How many people would look at this and say "Huh, now that's something I would do."? Well, nobody, because nobody wants to believe themselves capable of that. By dropping us into a world that we already see this far gone makes it unfathomable and we can't read ourselves into it. The subtlety is important because it allows us to make a connection between the sane and the insane. Without it, you get this, which everybody immediately dismisses by saying "glad I'm not like that" and this further pushes us away from understanding.
Even if you have fun playing the game and even if you can see the point it's making, you don't personalize it in any way because you don't connect yourself with the insanity. You don't see how this could be you. Therefore, the effect that it can have on you emotionally is limited.

Again, I don't think the problem here is an issue of subtlety. Protest signs in real life are notorious for having the subtlety of a baseball bat to the head, so I don't really see why you are expecting them to be any different in this game.

Now, it does demonize the opponent a bit (and thus distances the player from the situation), but if it's anything like the original Bioshock this is done on purpose. The first game had a similar opening that essentially made the player dismiss Objectivism as "loony talk", but as the game went on you find out more about the enemy's background and how he got to this point.

My guess is that this new game will do something similar. The player's opponents are demonized early on so that when you do find out their whole story it has even more of an impact. Something along the lines of: "Hey I used to think these guys were nothing more than raving madmen, but now I can see that they actually had good intentions in the beginning".

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