The Big Picture: Shock Treatment

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Shock Treatment

MovieBob gives us a spoiler filled look into the ins and outs of BioShock Infinite

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Dealing with multiple realities/universes always makes my head hurt.

Dat was cool. I played this game once and loved it. Played it a second time just to reconfirm what happened in the story and how it held up to the ending. I want to play it a third time just to reconfirm my reconfirmation...

Dog dog dog dog dog dog ELEPHANT will become the next version of duck duck goose~!

Bob, that was the best interpretation of this game I've heard. It seems like too many people, myself included, got hung up on all the supposedly-deep themes that were actually pretty damn shallow. But in the end, it's just one dude's failure to deal with his massive guilt. Beautiful.

The hitting racists in the face with the buzz saw thing is what I took away from the game too... interesting.

On a serious note, that is an interesting way to think of the game's narrative. The more I think about it the more it does make sense. I really enjoy listening and reading things about Infinite's ending for some reason, it's just so fascinating.

You're right. It IS fun to hit racists in the face with the skyhook.

OT: Good episode. Infinite did have some major plot holes, but in the end it really didn't matter. At least to me. By far my favorite game of 2013.

Ham Blitz:
I really enjoy listening and reading things about Infinite's ending for some reason, it's just so fascinating.

Ditto. To me that just makes me appreciate the game and its story even more. Has been quite some time since I went over a games story in my head so often.

I wish the gameplay added up to the quality of the story. Its funny how much of your video was demo gameplay that never made it into the final product. I'm not raging angry about it but, since it is a "game" and not a movie it definitely lost some points in my book. Some of the fighting gets pretty dull.

I haven't played the game....I probably won't anytime soon (not enough time, and still a large backlog of games I want to play), so I don't mind watching the spoilers. I'm surprised this is the first time I've heard this take on the ending though. It makes so much sense the way you explain it Bob. But all the other reactions seemed to focus so much on the huge meta-physical issues rather than the personal narrative.

If I ever do get around to playing it, hopefully I remember to keep that in mind.

It's funny to see Bob talk about video games on The Big Picture, it's like the Game Overthinker, only with all the bullshit cut out... Of course, it means Bob has to be more to the point and concise about what he's trying to get at here, given that he's on a time limit (why is that, again?), but I also view that as a plus because, like I said, no bullshit.

This game definitely plays with your mind. What I got after playing the game and watching this is that no one was innocent. Everyone at some point commits some evil. Even Elizabeth in an alternate reality fulfills Commstock's vision of Armageddon. The Vox go from oppressed to oppressors. Everyone was guilty of something and ultimately had to answer for it.

Some of the mechanics they use to present the story I feel don't really work and it bugs me as much as time paradoxes. That being said I had a lot of fun playing it be more fun even discussing it with others and come to the conclusion that it tried to tackle theories it did not really understand and failed.

Mostly about how constants just do not fit in with multi verse theory at all. Liz suddenly becoming omniscient and some details about Booker being drowned. For instance: Liz drowned Booker thus removing Com-Stock and causing her to cease to exist. Why then wouldn't those events just loop anyway since she never existed to interfere with them.

Still good try.

"Hitting racists in the face with a buzzsaw".
That one line makes me want to see a steampunk version of Django Unchained.

Great timing; I just finished this last night! Yeah, all the ins and outs of the ending nearly gave me a headache and I only got the most basic bits of what was going on. So it was nice to have Bob and Shamus (Experienced Points) lay it all out for me. I really wanna play the game again so I can start to put the pieces together myself.

Holy cow! Bob enjoys FPS!!!

Now about all those historic and phylosophic points I think they are in there to do two main things: one is to be coherent to their time frame. The other is to not make Booker's story so obvious.

Personally I thought the story was an absolute train wreck!

There's a big difference between different timeline and alternate reality.

It's not Supergirl vs Powergirl

image

It's HULK vs Maestro!

image

ALSO the hero fails to grasp the most obvious way of averting the evil future is to go back to his own time and be a better person; AKA the REAL T2 ending.

But that kind of ending doesn't sell many books.

I'm glad I watched this. I'm in no place to play ANY video games for a while and all I was interested in about this game was the deep story and you've amazingly summed that up to my satisfaction in about 7 minutes, well done. I'm proud of myself for comprehending your super fast overview at the beginning without having to watch it a second time.

gphjr14:
This game definitely plays with your mind. What I got after playing the game and watching this is that no one was innocent. Everyone at some point commits some evil. Even Elizabeth in an alternate reality fulfills Commstock's vision of Armageddon. The Vox go from oppressed to oppressors. Everyone was guilty of something and ultimately had to answer for it.

Good point. I hadn't thought about it that way. I had already developed a hatred for the Vox when Daisy pushed me out of that zeppelin, and Booker/Comstock were both guilty of atrocities, but until you see the burning New York, the game gives off the impression that Elizabeth is the only pure one around.

Pretty good analysis. Probably more in line with what I took away than most deconstructions I've seen. To me, the game really was Booker's story. While Elizabeth was a central character, and a damn good one, her importance is based on Booker's own past. She is his past, more or less. His interactions with her and the way things play out all serve the purpose of furthering Booker's story.

Oooh! That's really clever, actually. I hadn't thought of it like that. I'd just thought the big plot twist of

Was just a big pretentious thing about tears and quantum mechanics, but when you put it like that, it really is actually very meaningful. It gives a whole new light to that museum level, early on.

This sums up my feelings about things pretty well - I remember telling a friend that the game is interesting because its not about what it wants you to think its about.

I think a lot of people try to overcomplicate things - the story is about Booker's search for redemption for his actions at Wounded Knee. Of course I think a lot of people miss it because of the who "dog dog dog dog dog dog dog elephant" thing you mentioned - you think the game is about American Exceptionalism, or racism, or these weird quantum physical multi-universe things, and by the time you finally realize whats really going on you're so invested in those parts of the story that its hard to let go of them.

Its really all about Booker and Elizabeth and what Booker's sins have cost him and his daughter. This is why I believe the stinger is a happy ending - by accepting his sins and truly repenting them and allowing himself to be drowned he's granted the absolution.

His drowning is meant to be a baptism and the game always uses baptism as a symbol of a new beginning:
1) After Wounded Knee leads to the creation of Comstock
2) It marks the beginning of Booker's quest to save Elizabeth when he first arrives in Columbia

So when he's drowned at the end in a way deeply symbolic of baptism it only makes thematic sense that it would lead to another new beginning.

I seem to be in the minority (because every single person I talk thinks Infinite's story is the best thing since sliced bread) but I was rather disappointed.

Now I understand that the point of the ending and the game is to demonstrate the futility/illusion of choice in terms of multiple dimensions etc. But I actually hated the feeling of overwhelming pointlessness I got knowing nothing I did changed anything. It just felt like a massive cop out, almost deus ex machina-like.

In fact, I can't help but wonder what the game could have been, had they eliminated the whole multiple reality/infinite loop entirely and instead embraced the amazing world they created and the powerful themes that came with it.

Perhaps it's a cliche notion, but the idea of the game truly focusing on the race/class clashes and empowering the player with some mature, difficult choices, could have been special.

For example, when you eventually witness the Vox Populi rampaging, how much more powerful and meaningful could that have been if it was the result of a series of choices?

Instead the whole uprising is rendered nothing more than an interesting background and excuse to shoot more stuff and have more guns.

But yeah, as it stands, I just came away from it feeling like I wasted my time and could have gotten the same experience by watching some cut-scenes or a lets-player go through it, especially considering how tedious and boring I found the combat.

Although on the plus side, I now need to re-watch every season of Sliders :)

The Binary Choices thing REALLY got me. I like how it played with your expectations. The decision moments, the two differently colored sets of guns, etc.
But in the end, you see another booker who wasn't stabbed in the hand walking on another plank, propably with an Elizabeth with a cage-necklace...

I also love how they literally ripped open the possibilities for a sequel. They can now do everything they want, including alternate history, fantasy, Sci-Fi, you name it, as long as it contains a "man", a "city" and a "lighthouse", in the loosest sense of the words.

Bah can't watch. Haven't finished it yet. Not sure I will either.
Just couldn't get in to it. The world is beautiful and detailed and the style is really nice... but just like Bioshock I dunno... I just find the gameplay "meh" for lack of a better explanation.
I couldn't even say it's a bad game. It just doesn't keep me interested for some reason.

Not sure if to watch this episode or not as I doubt I will finish Infinite any time soon.

Captcha: "trust me"

Great, Bob.
Will be a while before I can play this, so now I can't view my weekly Big Picture because you're spoiling it.

Sighhh... Spoil some old stuff next time, will ya?! :(

Is it sad that i was hoping that Moviebob was gonna talk about the Rocky Horror Picture Show sequal/equal/fecal?

As a man who quantum leaps inside the head of a suicidal gambler who has an evil twin brother from a parallel dimension wanting to destroy the world, the story fails to make me care too much about it, when I know that there are other branching universes with worlds still standing proudly in defiance of the odds, obscure joke about the theory of randomness. I mean, if the world blows up, I can just go to another universe and see hows that Booker doing.

The fact that the game throws so many things to think about, and has neither the time nor the balls to address those issues, is what made it drop the ball for me. As I was advancing in the game I thought: "Right. If I want this shit to fly (and I did), I have to suspend it on disbelief." I interpreted the ending scene when more Lizzies show up as the game begging me to do the exact opposite, and I just kept discovering more and more unfinished plot holes to it, in which my enjoyment was leaking until none of it remained.

Piorn:

I also love how they literally ripped open the possibilities for a sequel. They can now do everything they want, including alternate history, fantasy, Sci-Fi, you name it, as long as it contains a "man", a "city" and a "lighthouse", in the loosest sense of the words.

I don't think that they needed an excuse to feature more games with a man, a city, and a lighthouse, they might as well use them as the 'BioShock signature'.

I'm really happy, amazed even that someone finally spoke what I thought about the theme of the game.
People tend to say that themes of racism and bigotry function poorly as the main idea of the plot.
It is true, because they are not. It's strange how many people are so focused on the racism part, that they completely overlook everything else.
All racist overtones, heck, whole city is just an extended characterization of Comstock,as we do not interact with him all that much. Columbia is him, it's sins are his and, by extension, Booker's. To me, that's the point of the city. Besides the misdirection that Bob spoke of.

I never like ending where you travel back in time to prevent yourself doing something. It just creates too many paradoxes.

Seriously without Comstock Elizabeth will never gain her powers, thus never be able to go back in time and drown Booker to prevent him becoming Comstock.

MovieBob:
Shock Treatment

MovieBob gives us a spoiler filled look into the ins and outs of BioShock Infinite

Watch Video

Notice how you barely mentioned the Fitzroy narrative of freedom fighter turns into a blood lusting gang. i.e. Che, Sandinista's, Russian Revolution, etc.

MovieBob:
Shock Treatment

MovieBob gives us a spoiler filled look into the ins and outs of BioShock Infinite

Watch Video

Notice how you barely mentioned the Fitzroy narrative of freedom fighter turns into a blood lusting gang. i.e. Che, Sandinista's, Russian Revolution, etc.

As someone who has never played the game, I am asking this out of ignorance. Wouldn't going back and stopping Booker from fighting in Wounded Knee make more sense than killing him?

Interesting take on the ending. When I did play through the game, I saw the story really about the characters and their struggles with the political commentary meant more to create backdrop for them. So I guess I got to agree with some of the ideas your throwing out there.

Your take on the choices is also pretty intriguing. But to be fair, not all of the choices were completely black and white. Not killing the veteran ends with him being tortured into a vegetative state, where you have a second chance to either kill or let him live as a lobotomized version of himself.

I heard some interesting takes on the choices that state that they're really meant to represent the "two sides of the same coin" idea. Like the bird and the cage. Yeah, the bird obviously represents freedom, but look at the cage. It's empty. And no matter who you throw the ball out, the people still find out about you.

So yeah...good video.

kailus13:
As someone who has never played the game, I am asking this out of ignorance. Wouldn't going back and stopping Booker from fighting in Wounded Knee make more sense than killing him?

Maybe it would. But imagine all the variables that would happen if they did that. For all we know Booker might not have had his baby, or maybe he'd be depressed over NOT fighting. Who knows.

But good point.

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