BioShock Infinite Review: A Head in the Clouds

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shrekfan246:

... okay?

I didn't actually die often enough for the Vita Chambers to really "make the game too easy" anyway, and if I did I was glad they were there because my alternative would've been going back to the start of an entire area because I usually forgot to manually save, and autosaves only happened after area transitions. They were basically just checkpoints like every other game uses these days, just given an in-game representation instead of a simple text or icon pop-up that says "Checkpoint Saved".

Not really sure what the problem is, especially since the original guy I quoted said he was just put off by them simply being there. And I don't really want to spend fifty minutes watching a five-part Youtube video that's completely slagging something off for 'being a rip-off' of a much earlier game made by the same company. I see that argument often enough on these forums.

Sorry. He's not ripping Bioshock apart, he's explaining how and why it fell short of his expectations. To do that he needs to unpack what came before it and how Bioshock measures up. And how fresh do you expect a video about the original Bioshock to be, anyway?

My only point was, "you can turn them off" doesn't work as a solution for most players, because it pushes the game too far in the opposite direction. If the previous posts about Bioshock Infinite's respawn system are accurate, it seems like Irrational agrees.

If you thought the original Bioshock's gameplay was fine, I look forward to finding out if you think Bioshock Infinite's gameplay is also fine, or if you feel like the changes ruined it. :)

WarpZone:
And how fresh do you expect a video about the original Bioshock to be, anyway?

Fair enough.

My only point was, "you can turn them off" doesn't work as a solution for most players, because it pushes the game too far in the opposite direction. If the previous posts about Bioshock Infinite's respawn system are accurate, it seems like Irrational agrees.

Again, fair enough, and I agree. Personally I didn't turn them off and likely wouldn't have either, because as I mentioned I frequently forget to manually save in games that actually have those save systems, so dying without the Chamber checkpoints would have been an exercise in frustration for me because I would potentially lose upwards of an hour of progress or more. I just brought it up because, again, the guy said he was put off by their inclusion.

If you thought the original Bioshock's gameplay was fine, I look forward to finding out if you think Bioshock Infinite's gameplay is also fine, or if you feel like the changes ruined it. :)

"Fine" is probably the best-case description I'd give of it, to be honest...

Bioshock 2 had much better gameplay, in my opinion, because the weapon and enemy balance felt infinitely tighter. In the first it was... adequate, but aiming was loose and floaty and halfway through the game none of the guns could even hold a candle to the power of the wrench anymore, because the enemies all became massive bullet-sponges.

The exploration and level design was fine and dandy, though. So I'm rather interested in seeing how I think Infinite's gameplay stacks up, as well.

It's worth the sixty bucks just to play the beginning of the game. I've never seen a game make something so beautiful before.

Thunderous Cacophony:
So, does Elizabeth do everything on her own? Is there some strategy or pattern to the stuff she pulls from the Tears, is it random, or can you give her orders?

Just a small question; this one definitely looks worth a buy.

There's a lot of different tears like gun pick ups, health, and cover, plus ways to get to various vantage points. You just tell her what to open, and you can have one at a time. She'll also throw you ammo and health. She literally always stays out of the way.

So not just bioshock in the sky then? Good that's one of the main reason I wasn't so excited for this game.

This looks like an objectively good game, but I really REALLY dislike the first-person-jump-fight-and-sneak-adventure genre. I really wanted to like Dishonored, too, but the game just bored me out of my mind.

I guess it's just not for me.

Monsterfurby:
This looks like an objectively good game, but I really REALLY dislike the first-person-jump-fight-and-sneak-adventure genre. I really wanted to like Dishonored, too, but the game just bored me out of my mind.

I guess it's just not for me.

Real quick, I'm just curious... do you play FPSs on consoles or on PC? I ask because it's harder to look up and down on console, so vertical elements are stripped out of many modern games seeking to be cross-platform.

Looked up the enemy variation on my own, and it seems it's exactly the ones in the trailers and then one more, which is pretty much the same as the last Bioshock was. I appreciate that the abilities you get are interesting, but that wasn't enough to get me through the first Bioshock without feeling bored of the combat, and sidetracked all the time because the way forward was always blocked by something. I'll pick it up when the price drops, though. The story seems to be great, and it's very pretty. I wish the review had addressed the enemies and bosses and saved me the effort, but I guess that stuff doesn't matter to anyone else, judging from these comments.

WarpZone:

Real quick, I'm just curious... do you play FPSs on consoles or on PC? I ask because it's harder to look up and down on console, so vertical elements are stripped out of many modern games seeking to be cross-platform.

I'm a PC gamer through and through, and I felt the same way about Half Life 2 as I did about Dishonored and this one. They are probably great games - I just feel that, as a narrative medium, the first-person-perspective really falls flat. It's hard to explain, but even with the best-told story, this perspective sucks all the life out of a protagonist for me.

I can handle that in Portal or even the CoD-games, where other characters are the stars. Games like Dishonored though (which it seems is a good comparison to Bioshock Infinite) focus too much on the unseen player character.

Another reason might just be the fact that I am one of those people who play through games that are not simulations (like Crusader Kings 2, for example - simulations like this basically generate their story through gameplay) at minimum difficulty, because they don't want too much "game" to get in the way of their "story". The medium maybe works differently for people like me.

Again, I acknowledge that this is probably a very good game if you are looking for a challenging adventure in a fascinating setting. Just not for me.

Gosh, all this talk of females in gaming has made me really aware of marketing. Every time I see Elizabeth in that "turned" pose with Dewitt behind her, all I see is the marketing team stretching to find a way to include tits and ass in one shot.

Glad to hear there's no objectification in game, anyway. Too bad I'm not a fan of Bioshock.

After watching a livestream of the game, I can't wait to buy the game and Elizabeth is the digital love of my life, especially after she [spoilered] the [spoiler][spoiler] in the back with the [spoiler]s.

Gah, so torn. Although I realize Infinite is pretty awesome and I don't want a call it just an FPS, but lately I have been trying to branch out more in terms of genre and although there is plenty of shooting in Tomb Raider I've been really wanting to get into that.

It isn't that I won't get both, but I probably will only be able to get one for the time being.

I'm enjoying the game as I go through it, but the one gripe I wish you'd mentioned was the lack of saves. Running on just an autosave's already become obnoxious to me. Even more so as I've at least one other friend who wants to play. It's just not a decision I understand.
Other than that? Yup, pretty much everything I'd hoped for. Thanks for avoiding spoilers!

WarpZone:
I can't wait for the pre-scripted cutscene where the game goes "look how racist the people in Columbia are!" by like torturing some innocent people to death or whatever, and you can't actually shoot the bad guys or do anything about it, you just have to sit there and watch it happen because GAME WON'T LET YOU!

... or worse, won't give you the option to even participate in said racism, if you're ever-so-evil and willing to do such a horrific thing...

... oh, wait... ....... <OK, I won't spoil it, after all>...

Clearly, you are the very textbook definition of prejudice in regards to your opinion of this title.

You have no idea how many things you said were completely wrong... but I'm glad the review author was willing to respond to several of them directly.

What's with the false choice when throwing the ball? This is just stupid. Who got this idea should be fired for wasting my time seeing if there was any difference.

WarpZone:
So the bad guys are normal humans just following orders, the real enemy is political corruption and cultural decay, but the protagonist has no actual ability to speak or argue and instead EVERYTHING revolves around the player leading one helpless female NPC around and shooting people in the head?

Way to advance gaming as a medium, guys. Sexist escort missions, here I come!

I can't wait for the pre-scripted cutscene where the game goes "look how racist the people in Columbia are!" by like torturing some innocent people to death or whatever, and you can't actually shoot the bad guys or do anything about it, you just have to sit there and watch it happen because GAME WON'T LET YOU!

I'm guessing they were making it an actual sequel to Bioshock until Dishonored dropped. Then they were like "OMG! A trend! Change the whole franchise! Copy that shit!"

I honestly hope I'm wrong and the game turns out to actually be good, but to date the industry hasn't given me any reason to be optimistic.

Really?
I mean seriously... I can't even get mad at this.

All I can say is how sorry I am that you feel this way. It's actually downright pitiful.

Susan Arendt:

ccdohl:

Susan Arendt:

But you should play BioShock (the first one, anyway) because it is brilllllllllyunnnnnnnt.

I've heard. I actually started it, but I was put off by how the little booths would just bring me back to life over and over again when I died. Maybe I should just blaze through it on easy for the story.

Be aware that Easy is *very* easy for anyone with decent shooter skills. You could alternatively crank it up to Super Duper Incredihard if you want more challenge. But either way, yes, the story is definitely worth it, but fair warning - the final section of the game is pretty bad.

You scared me Susan, I thought you were talking about BioShock:Infinite for a second. My keyboard was about to feel weight of angry fanboy fingers (which I think might be the heaviest thing on Earth).

But to the OP, I actually got around that in the BioShock games, and even the new one, by forcing myself to restart at checkpoint everytime I died.

I too was kinda put off from the original game about the Vita-Chambers. On one hand I like it doesn't break narrative flow but also it makes the game seem a little hollow considering the main character is practically immortal.

(Infinite's ending doesn't disappoint btw.)

Anoni Mus:
What's with the false choice when throwing the ball? This is just stupid. Who got this idea should be fired for wasting my time seeing if there was any difference.

It's actually a genius way of weighing your moral disposition narratively without exploiting gameplay linearity for your choice but also (without spoiling anything specific) eventually has weight in the narrative.

Ok, finished...
And i have to say, i have very mixed feelings about this. It is a very good game, but i can't understand how you can praise it without pointing at any of its many, many flaws!

What i see when i play it:
Gameplay-wise, Infinite is an improvement from Bioshock (and 2), yes, because the additional elements make it more engaging, more fluent and exciting. But on the other hand, they transported about every flaw from the previous ones and that i simply can't understand! The game is "imbalanced" as fu**, considering loot is mostly random and while the places you get gear are fixed, what you actually get is randomized as well. And this makes for awkward situations from the start: Why would i have any interest in gear that gives me a malus on something i prefer over another thing (gear that would increase aimed shots, but decrease unaimed "shots from the hip", one of the few with an actual malus) but i couldn't take it off, because i simply had no other piece for that slot for a huge portion of the game - while in another slot i had a piece which practically would make me invulnerable close to any sky-hook devices! Half the game i did nothing but mount those devices and jump in the faces of my enemies, simply because i could do so unpunished. So later i would simply go for all out melee combat, just because all the gear i got saw fit to it and make me close to invincible. That i simply call balance issues and while Infinite has somewhat more rounded combat, it remembers me of feeling like the Hulk through midgame just as with the previous titles.
But that's not all, considering the Vita-Chambers were already criticized in the first titles (and then got an option to turn them off), why include this feature in this title as well? Hey, we got no saves now, well that's... not really an improvement!
And while combat is more exciting, to me, though those flaws, at some point it got as tedious as in the previous ones as well.

Maybe 1999 mode fixes this, haven't started another playthrough yet, but that's because i simply can't subscribe the statement, that it would have this much of a replay value! Including a "game+" or altered mode or whatever doesn't make for necessary replay-value! On the contrary, the fact that it has an altered mode which might be "better", but you have to access it first by playing through the game once does not make it a "better game".
And that brings me to the next point: The story itself. I won't spoil anything yet and when i do, i'll warn you about it. But i feel confident to say, that within the story, while even the previous titles tried to create the illusion, that your actions would matter for later and the topic in this title would have made for the most perfect basis to include this as well - even in better ways - throughout the game it becomes clear, that what you do barely matters at all! Your decisions may include minor differences (like the picture on a accesoir Elisabeth gets - wow), maybe a bonus at this point or a missing secret at another, but in the end, there is only one inevetible conclusion... which by itself is good, yes, could be excelent for a movie, but has again huge inconsistencies and created a rather empty feeling for me as someone playing through all of it.

And now to go a bit deeper into it:


I respect how they made the ending anyways. I just think, this will earn more praise than Mass Effect 3 ever got, just because they marketed it differently, but in the end, the essence of the ending feels barely different to me.
And while the game makes somewhat more sense, now that i've played it: It becomes clear why it is called "Infinite", all the subtopics presented through the game come together and it seems logical the story-telling is bound to specific characters, rather than playing a "nameless protagonist" and i have to further think about it, which is something i wanted to... i just think they could have done better and i also think, that praising this game, without pointing out all those flaws, isn't really good criticism!

Jaeke:

Anoni Mus:
What's with the false choice when throwing the ball? This is just stupid. Who got this idea should be fired for wasting my time seeing if there was any difference.

It's actually a genius way of weighing your moral disposition narratively without exploiting gameplay linearity for your choice but also (without spoiling anything specific) eventually has weight in the narrative.

That's bullshit because I can be moral in real life and want to fucks things up in a game, which is what I do, so I demand different outcomes for different choices (in fact, I'm not very much into choices because I always keep thinking about what would happen if I had chosen the other option).

And you can spoil it, I don't think I'll finish the game, story didn't seem very interesting and the gameplay is too normal.
And even if I end up finishing it I don't mind story spoilers in this type of game.

Jaeke:

Anoni Mus:
What's with the false choice when throwing the ball? This is just stupid. Who got this idea should be fired for wasting my time seeing if there was any difference.

It's actually a genius way of weighing your moral disposition narratively without exploiting gameplay linearity for your choice but also (without spoiling anything specific) eventually has weight in the narrative.

Well, yes, it would be...
except that the game doesn't really do that!
Maybe at some point the developers thought about using a system to keep track of your "moral choices" again and then threw it out, maybe they never wanted to use it. Fact is, your choices don't really impact the narrative, or the outcome, there is only one, it is always the same.
At least that is what i could find out through browsing the internet, multiple forums and wikis, i did not go for another playthrough myself yet.
Prove me wrong, if you can... (please prove me wrong, i would so wish for it, because it would "redeem" a big part of the game for me, but i guess the only way might be future DLCs; which i won't count!)

Also, on a general note:
Obviously this game got praised by... pretty much everyone. Why is that again? Yes, yes, yes, the game is good... but it is not "full points, flawless victory, perfect" good, just how it is presented by every review i have yet seen/ read.
Honestly, right now i am dissapointed in all the (mayor) critics who reviewed the game.

Really enjoying Infinite so far.

My only real complaint with it is, I miss the Big Daddies and Elizabeth seems to have a few Pathfinding issues, but aside from that I'm loving it and the first hour or so is well worth the 23.99 I paid for the game with the pre-purchase...

You know, I'm hoping that this is the last Bioshock game as Bioshock Sequels have never been any good (if they are linked to the one previously, as the case of two)

May contain spoilers...

The game is visually stunning and the narrative is mostly good.

Other than that, combat is pretty mediocre(on hard), with a few gimmicks that sort of spices up things, but not enough. You're gunning down hordes of people, where in Bioshock most fights felt important and you got the feeling that you were fighting to survive.
I'd rather have less enemies, who utilized tactics more, which'd also give me more opportunities to use weapons and powers to the full extent. The two weapon limit is a hassle as well, but that's a personal beef I have with it.

My main concern is the main character. Now, I'm only five hours in and I'm sure he'll turn around and do the "right thing"(or that you have a choice in the matter), but I have absolutely no common ground with him. None. I'd rather play Elizabeth and throw ammo to Booker, than play him.
A war vet, who lost his wife and child, became a private detective and got into a massive gambling debt. If I was reading a book, he might be interesting.
But he goes to an amazing flying city that looks like paradise and sees wondrous things and borderline magic in the form of vigors and the first comment he gives is that he's annoyed with getting wet(baptized). He is so massively jaded.
I mean, I feel jaded, in that I've seen most of what steampunk/fantasy/scifi has to offer, but I still felt excited when I saw the city from the pod. I can only imagine what a person from that period would think.
He's a borderline superhuman. At what point does he think that fighting off hordes of soldiers, robots and vigor users is prefferable to whatever debt he has. Why the hell doesn't he take the nearest balloon and just fly to the opposite end of the country if he cares so little for the city he's in.

As I said, I'm not that far in, but I've seen multiple obvious points where Booker should stop for a second and think through the situation he's in.

All in all, the game so far is hyped up and the reviews are as always onesided and anything but objective. I do not feel the game is worth the money and I'm sad to say that I fell for the positive reviews the game has gotten.
The setting is brilliant, Elizabeth is a great character, the narrative is very good(at most times, except everything that has to do with Booker), but the gameplay itself is a bit of a mess that goes for repetetive shock and awe with very little challenge and too many gimmicks you don't need.

I might change my opinion when I'm done, but so far I'm not happy.

Mike Wehner:
Calling it simply a first person shooter is practically an insult.

This is the point where I shouted "YES!" at my screen! This is the exact thought I had while playing Bioshock: Infinite. It's an FPS, that's for sure, but there's just so much more it has to offer besides. I can't explain how vast and detailed this game and its world are.

Oh, and for the record? Elizabeth is now, hands down, the best AI companion in any game ever made. Points in case:

- She never gets in the way or blocks your path.
- She never needs escorting/protecting as a gameplay mechanic.
- She randomly finds items in the world and throws them to you such as coins and ammo, especially during combat.
- She can open tears and bring new elements into combat.
- She is animated beautifully, the way she reacts to the world is astounding, especially after playing with so many other stilted AI companions in games.
- If you explore the area she'll often stand to the side and wait, or she'll explore with you. By explore I mean that she interacts dynamically with the world during play (leaning close to inspect something, verbally responding to things in the world) and she'll also point out items of interest, such as lockpicks which can be hard to see.

Anoni Mus:
What's with the false choice when throwing the ball? This is just stupid. Who got this idea should be fired for wasting my time seeing if there was any difference.

Oh, there is a difference. You either didn't see it yet or glossed over it (which is fairly surprising).

A few hours later, you run into the same couple that was being put on display. Try and throw the ball at them and they chew your head off. Try and throw it at the announcer, and they thank you with cash and a new Gear item.

On the whole, though, I'm speechless. The game has its structural flubs, but it's one of the best masterclasses in world-building I could think of. In typical Irrational fashion, everything is so interconnected and related to the narrative I keep forgetting I'm playing an FPS hybrid and treat it like it's some sort of newfangled adventure game. I love that feeling. :)

Oh, and dat ending. Jesus Fucking Christ. Makes Inception look like an Adam Sandler vehicle.

IamLEAM1983:

Anoni Mus:
What's with the false choice when throwing the ball? This is just stupid. Who got this idea should be fired for wasting my time seeing if there was any difference.

Oh, there is a difference. You either didn't see it yet or glossed over it (which is fairly surprising).

A few hours later, you run into the same couple that was being put on display. Try and throw the ball at them and they chew your head off. Try and throw it at the announcer, and they thank you with cash and a new Gear item.

On the whole, though, I'm speechless. The game has its structural flubs, but it's one of the best masterclasses in world-building I could think of. In typical Irrational fashion, everything is so interconnected and related to the narrative I keep forgetting I'm playing an FPS hybrid and treat it like it's some sort of newfangled adventure game. I love that feeling. :)

Oh, and dat ending. Jesus Fucking Christ. Makes Inception look like an Adam Sandler vehicle.

I didn't play enough to reach that part. I quitted barely over escaping.
Either that game gets better or I really don't know what's so special about it.

I actually love the parts where you can freely explore Columbia the most. The narrative delivery is the most natural from any game I've ever played. As a character, Elizabeth stands out from all others. I usually get extremely bored with first person games that try giving you loads of exposition while witholding the action but Bioshock Infinite has changed that for me.

Anoni Mus:
I really don't know what's so special about it.

To each their own, but you can't really try and compare Infinite to the other two BioShocks, or otherwise expect the same exact narrative approach. I mean - yeah, you can compare them since they have the same basic parentage, but the series was never about awesome twitch-based combat anyway. Even with the more nervous pacing the combat sequences impose, there's still plenty of instances where you'll pretty much swap DeWitt for Prophet and end up standing in place, soaking bullets in like a motherfucker.

In terms of storyline, the game really opens up once Tears come into focus. Your classic "Save the Girl" storyline turns into a constant mindfuck. There's the shallow Tears Liz opens up around arenas, and then there's the bigger, deeper ones she opens that lead to sometimes radically different takes on Columbia. It allows the game to pull near-absolute 360-degree narrative turns, to the point where this might feel a bit weird to whomever isn't ready to roll with the Multiverse's punches.

Stick to it, that's all I can say. I know the opening is slow, I know the entire first two hours leading up to Monument Island feel a bit flat - but once the game does open up?

I mean, I'll go back to my previous post. The ending has to be seen to be believed.

Soak:
Snip.

I'd just like to point out that there is one other instance of two iterations of the same individual sharing the same universe. The Lutece "twins". Otherwise, I'm not disparaging or entirely disagreeing with your point of view, even if I loved the game to bits.

Oh, and this is more an aside than an actual comment - but their use of popular songs reworked into Early 20-th century form? Awesome. It really drives in the Multiverse concept.

I mean, Cindi Lauper on an organ grinder? Dafuq?

WarpZone:
So the bad guys are normal humans just following orders, the real enemy is political corruption and cultural decay, but the protagonist has no actual ability to speak or argue and instead EVERYTHING revolves around the player leading one helpless female NPC around and shooting people in the head?

Way to advance gaming as a medium, guys. Sexist escort missions, here I come!

I can't wait for the pre-scripted cutscene where the game goes "look how racist the people in Columbia are!" by like torturing some innocent people to death or whatever, and you can't actually shoot the bad guys or do anything about it, you just have to sit there and watch it happen because GAME WON'T LET YOU!

I'm guessing they were making it an actual sequel to Bioshock until Dishonored dropped. Then they were like "OMG! A trend! Change the whole franchise! Copy that shit!"

I honestly hope I'm wrong and the game turns out to actually be good, but to date the industry hasn't given me any reason to be optimistic.

To ease your mind. You aren't playing an escort mission. Elizabeth is never attacked and can't die. On the contrary, you are not saving Elizabeth, you are a shady, morally ambiguous, hired gun whose job it is to kidnap and deliver her to even shadier people. The only person in need of protection is you and as such Elizabeth is escorting you. The one time she does need saving she saves herself and then she saves you again.

Also, the people you are killing are not innocent. They are extremely racist, classist, privileged monsters who will stop at nothing for their own profit and yet they are a perfect example of the totally fucked society they belonged to back in early 20th century. There is very little gore shown. Almost all of their awful philosophy is revealed through audio logs so they aren't precisely going for the shock factor. There is a single racist crime you presence directly and you can choose to stop it if you want. If you do you get a small reward.

But don't take my word for it, play the game; it's pretty good. I'm fine with people criticizing something they don't like, but just making random assumptions and criticizing based on that is just dumb.

First thing that came to mind for me when meeting Elizabeth and having to help her escape Columbia was 'This is Resident Evil 4...but steampunk!'. I still stand by that, but not in a bad way. It reminds me of Resident Evil 4 in a way, except there is no helping Elizabeth, and she has a personality. She helps you and you help her. Great relationship, great game.

I just can't agree. While game play was solid (if feeling oddly broken or stitched together with some weapons falling out of existence and never seeing ammo gain for long periods of time and plasmids that suddenly become salt as if you were only intended to carry two and trade them out) the game feels like it was stiched together and has an audiable clunk half-way where liz changes clothing and hairstyle instantly to the old style and suddenly the game is differently written. Space time rifts almost seem to be an excuse to fuse together what feels like a Frankenstein of bioshock game attempts by different developers into one game. And the end explanation is rage worthy using "quantum physics" as a huge excuse for alot of the holes.

**spoilers below**

How does one found a city on rift tech that is made from a time traveler who becomes a time traveler due to a rift accident that occurs when she works on rift tech made by her? How can two different "bookers" touch one another and not rip space time? WTF was with the rapture scene and how did it have anything to do with the current situation? Why does liz's not mother,mother have the ability to reanimate the dead when she isnt her mother (aside from the bs answer of she got somehow infused with liz when she was brought back but apparently even liz cant do that on a wim) Why in the first half when you die you open a door to revive but in the second liz hits you with a needle? Why is the Liz who got changed on the airship and the liz prior to being changed supposedly two different reality liz's at the end scene? Why do you get a tonic for a magnetic shield at the beginning of the game, but in the second half get a vigor that also makes an active magnetic shield? WTF is songbird and why is his weakness 5 ft of water? How is a leach still draining liz at the endgame when she is no longer anywhere near the tower? Why do two alternate reality "bookers" have different voice actors? Why does comstock "aka future booker" want a daughter so badly he bends space time to get her? Why does liz have to be the on to "cleanse the earth"? why cant Comstock do it? Why on earth did the twins make up the "false profit" story when they are the ones who brought him here?? and Worst of all how much of the active reality we ACTIVELY watched somehow fake memories (if you remember the twins dragged you and were talking about how you make memories to fill in gaps... of i guess fake reality..)

All in all this game smells of a developer nightmare (aka dev makes part of a game, quits new dev has to somehow put his new vision in with all the already achieved work) and its carefully guised in quantum bs. Am I the only one who seems to smell how nasty of a divide there is between part one and part two? It seriously feels stitched together then written to somehow explain itself.

Inshort
gameplay-solid
Story- loveable characters (first half) Rage worthy (second half and ending)

IamLEAM1983:
*snip*

Soak:
Snip.

I'd just like to point out that there is one other instance of two iterations of the same individual sharing the same universe. The Lutece "twins". Otherwise, I'm not disparaging or entirely disagreeing with your point of view, even if I loved the game to bits.

*snip*

Hm,...

Pyrokinesis:
*snip*

I have to agree with parts of your post, for example that the game feels partially "stitched together", at least i thought the same thing considering i followed some of the development and know about some things they dropped in the whole process, like the relationship of Booker and Elisabeth, which was originally planned/described as a love interest. Or Comstocks change from a political head figure into a religious zealot.

Though, some other things you find fault are explained rather well within the game and consistent within itself as well as with our current scientific premises/assumptions, at least as far as i can see it. However those parts are not explicitly explained unless you collect and listen to the respective Voxophones or watch the Teleboxes (or what they're called). Sure you can see this as a flaw for the game as well, considering collecting those things isn't a mandatory part of the game, though i think it makes a big part of the motivation for the game, lighting those backgrounds. On the other hand, considering huge parts of those premises are very much theoretical and not "proven" you would still have no problem to disagree with them.

However, for better understanding i would like to explain those parts i can explain, but for those who haven't played the game yet, here comes another big section of

Well, hope i could "explain" some more to your satisfaction, maybe someone else can cover the rest, however, this is kinda part of the fun "discussions" about this kind of games and an interesting way to deal with it myself.

I guess i have thought about all this stuff enough and will let it rest for now.

Yeah, looks like this game creates very opposite sites of recipients, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

After having finished it, I do feel the story is clever, if the ending somewhat pointless.
The moral is disheartening and fatalist, or maybe both Booker and Elisabeth are.

Seriously guys, I can understand that in itself it's a pretty cool game and the new flying city thing is fun, but it's just not bioshock anymore.
The fights are too chaotic, too much ducking behind cover and going pew pew with a gun. The vigors are OK so far but they don't seem to be able to compete with the plasmids of rapture. Now, while a flying city isn't as creepy as an underwater one, where'd the horror go?
What happened to all the psychopathic, plasmid infused, masquerade-style sickos that would stand there chanting about God until you pinned em to the wall with a harpoon/ arrow?
I know there's a few big baddies like the handymen but they don't have that signature creepiness that the big daddy/little girl combo did. When one of those little tykes came wondering around a corner, I'd be at the ready with the most explosive weapon on hand to take out her big bad friend, all the while shitting myself. I've played the game, and while I'm still working through it I'm worried that the lack of suspense and pants-crapping from the fights I've had already will continue when some of the bigger baddies come along. The auto-patriots aren't particularly scary or hard.
Sorry if I sound like I hate the game because I don't, I'm just dissapointed. I picked up this game (pre-ordered premium btw) expecting a lovely new addition to the title, but this isn't bioshock. Mind you, I appreciate the choice of era and style, I've always loved that about the series.
But, the feel and the mechanics just aren't bioshock. Why would they make 2 perfectly working games, then take out things like medpacks that can be carried? (Same thing goes for the salts). I just feel too vulnerable if my vigors won't obliterate my enemies when I need them too and having to search every corpse I've just killed to stay alive isn't an enjoyable method of surviving a fire-fight.
Plus I just miss the subtle horror of each fight. Having health bars over enemies and waiting for them all to come out of cover isn't very new and I miss the psychopaths.
One last negative before I give the game some praise; Weapons.
It's not often we find a game these days with an inventory the size of a closet and it worked for bioshock. Why the 2 weapon/vigor deal? This is bioshock! not some modern fps about terrorists. At that, the weapons we do get are a little generic. What happened to the deal with ammo types and crafting, or the way special once off upgrades actually changed the look of our guns? I LOVED THAT! upgrades you could see. I dunno, maybe I'm just attached to the style of the old guns.

In terms of storyline, this game has a good one going for it. I'm really getting into finding out the protagonist's past (Dewitt) as well as being able to explore the parts of the city to discover more of the context of the game (Propaganda for instance, gotta love the strong enforced patriotism, or when you get to Elizabeth and the rooms contain back story about how they've treated her for her whole life.) Of course, the return of my favourite story telling mechanic; the collectable audio logs, is really helping explain the story for those who want to know fully what's been going on in columbia.

Overall, it's a good game, but I don't think it should be under the bioshock title.

And, as the television ads have firmly hammered into all of our skulls, that adventure remains the highest-rated first-person shooter of all time.

Metroid Prime would like to disagree with this statement. While Bioshock was a great game its nowhere near deserving of this title, not with competition like Deus ex and system Shock 2. But that's marketing for you, don't include something for a little difference just to give yourself an advantage in the media.

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