The Big Picture: Shock Treatment

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LiquidGrape:

Also I take issue with Bob's statement that the focus on the Booker/Elizabeth relationship makes the story "darker and bleaker". Surely the fact that the game renders a righteous rebellion against racist oppression a heinous act of barbarism which 'never should've happened' and proceeds to assume moral stances *for* the player is the darkest and bleakest and most depressingly cynical aspect of the game.

Well, it really never should have happened, the folk of the Vox were murderous thugs, there are multiple instances of them just murdering unarmed people because they are a bit annoyed.

OT: The reason they needed guns, even though they had Vigors all over the place, they were never as effective as going only using your guns, for example, try taking out a fireman with nothing but vigors, or a mechanical patriot.

Can we just move on from this game?

Seriously people it is not the Messiah of story telling. It is not the paragon of videogaming. It is a game marketed to as many people as possible, getting rave reviews based on it's pedigree.

Moviebob trying to hastily bury all the dead plotpoints, bad gameplay and unnadressed themes in favour of what I would basically say is the most common and blandest interpretation of the story.

"It's about Booker having to accept what he did!"

Yeah we kinda get that when the game spells it out for you. What bothers me is that for that story we didn't need racism, xenophobia, classicism, religious zealotry, kidnapping, a city in the sky and basically anything else in the game. That story could have been told and has been told in better ways. You see when you add something to a game just to divert attention it ends up being a quivering addition. Something that doesn't quite belong there and is useless.

This could just as easily have been an adventure game delving into the story and characters rather than breaking things up for oh... 5 hours or so with boring shooting.

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?

Stop asking completely logical questions. It will only hurt your brain when you realize the multitudinous plotholes and the infinite time loop Booker put himself in. You see how can he travel back in time to kill himself, if he never meets the person that allows him to do so, who will only exist if he becomes Comstock etc, etc.

uanime5:
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.

Look at the Luteces. They were "killed," at least in all timelines we're familiar with, so that's probably a constant. But they still exist, scattered throughout space. When the siphon is destroyed, Elizabeth becomes a physical God. Maybe she likewise survives the destruction of her own timeline because part of her exists outside of reality altogether.

1337mokro:
What bothers me is that for that story we didn't need racism, xenophobia, classicism, religious zealotry, kidnapping, a city in the sky and basically anything else in the game. That story could have been told and has been told in better ways. You see when you add something to a game just to divert attention it ends up being a quivering addition.

Yeah, why bother with actual themes in a story? I'm sure Shakespeare's writing would be just as good without all those annoyingly distracting details about characters, politics, and history.

uanime5:
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.

But that is why the post-credits ending is there. All possible dimensions collapse to the only one that makes sense, Booker does not become Comstock and he never sells Anna. All other possible dimensions are stuck in a paradox and therefore cannot exist leaving only one with a necessary constant.
The dimensions where he is drowned do not exist.
The dimensions where he becomes Comstock do not exist.
The dimensions when he sells Anna do not exist.
This last dimension has no paradox, the one where he refuses baptism and never sells Anna.

Or we can go with Doctor Who's explanation of timey-whimey stuff :)

Interesting take on the story and ending that falls down right at the end. I finished the game about half an hour ago and I distinctly remember him being drowned by the Elizabeths; how does that constitute taking responsibility? He was only there because he believed he was going to kill Comstock, the person he was passing the blame onto.

The irony is that, assuming that accepting responsibility is the overall story arc, the decision is made by a character/s that will have/had/has no responsibility as there can be no consequences when you can choose all options and see all outcomes.

WhiteTigerShiro:

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?

In theory, but as MovieBob said, the game has that narrative about learning to deal with and accept your past. If he was able to go back and erase what he did, that wouldn't really be accepting it.

Actually they had that covered, his comrades insulted him frequently about supposedly having Native American heritage. His attempt to prove them wrong was to become a slaughter-machine at Wounded Knee.

You would have to go further back than Wounded Knee to ensure Booker doesn't develop destructive racist tendencies.

How far back?

You'd probably have to smother him in his crib.

kailus13:

Storm Dragon:
But what was the significance of those four gay blokes?

They were singing a song they couldn't possibly have heard. It was foreshadowing the Alternate worlds.

So, does someone write the song later in the game or what? I'm still confused and not entirely convinced that you and Yahtzee are both trolling me.

Aardvaarkman:

1337mokro:
What bothers me is that for that story we didn't need racism, xenophobia, classicism, religious zealotry, kidnapping, a city in the sky and basically anything else in the game. That story could have been told and has been told in better ways. You see when you add something to a game just to divert attention it ends up being a quivering addition.

Yeah, why bother with actual themes in a story? I'm sure Shakespeare's writing would be just as good without all those annoyingly distracting details about characters, politics, and history.

Are you seriously comparing Shakespeare to Bioshock Infinite? Now I ain't a Shakespeare fan, but seriously? Even the worst detractor of Shakespeare would have a laugh at that. The answer is quite simple, because the themes in Shakespeare's plays tie back into the characters and the story.

I'm not even going to start delving deep into Shakespeare because you just compared an entire oeuvre to one game, heck I don't even know which particular politics you are referring to there's only about a dozen or so of them. Let's instead dive into Bioshock Infinite.

Why is the theme of racism there?
Why do Comstock's religious views never get explored, sure we know he is a fire and brim stone man but WHY? He got saved once so why is he talking about Killing people rather than Saving them?
Why does there have to be two warring parties, one a bunch of racists and the other a group of murderers?
Why did it have to be a city in the sky?

You'll find the answer to most of those questions being, cause it's a Bioshock game. Not because it adds anything to the setting. You see in MacBeth for example the politics are central to the story. A man kills another to become king, the political strive this brings fuels his fear and paranoia and the rest is quite a lovely play of death and misery.

Now what does the racism bring to Booker's story? It's kinda there... sitting around, it's an easy way to excuse killing hundreds of hardworking family men because hey they are racists, but what else does it do.... not much really. It's piece in an exhibition. Just like religious zealotry, oppression of the working class and basically most of the other things in this game. It's shown, but nothing is done with it. It plays no role in anything story wise.

After all you just finished watching a video where the story is basically reduced to "Man needs to reconcile with his past and accept it". None of the other elements impact the way he reconciles with his past. They are therefore pointless. Just try it. Start taking out elements and stop when the story no longer works. You'll notice that a mighty fine bit of fat gets trimmed off Bioshock Infinite.

I never finished the game, because gameplay wasn't that very interesting, but now that I was spoiled by the story I understand better why the hype around the game exists. (But again, gameplay almost always comes first in my book)

I agree with this comment made by a user named Gespenst I found on google for comparisons storywise between BI and 999, unfortunately there are no comparisons, just a small mention.

-Gespenst-I've said it before and I'll say it again. Bioshock games can't help but be torn between innovation in videogames and conventional expectations of what videogames are supposed to be. Thus you get mindless shooting juxtaposed with entry-level philosophical rambling as well as painfully obvious themes. They appease and vindicate gamers and make them feel their chosen hobby is intelligent while simultaneously giving them the mindless entertainment they too readily expect from videogames. I love Yahtzee and I think he's absolutely spot on like 99% of the time, but I feel he's overlooked this. I like how he really carelessly responds to the game's pretentiousness though- highlighting it isn't as good and profound as it wishes it was.

I want him to review 999 and Virtue's Last Reward. Quantum physics based plot and self-referentiality done right- all the while retaining a strong emotional core and cast of characters. No disruptive, obligatory "videogame" stupidity. Also really suspenseful and addictive.

grailly
I don't necessarily disagree with you, but the way you say it feels like you are against games having stories...

bioshock infinite tries to tie having cool gameplay and cool story together, while I don't think it was a total success, I do feel like it's a step in the right direction for games in general. The way you talk I have the impression that you want games to be either gameplay or story, never both.

also, you are very arrogant, stop that.

-Gespenst-
No I agree that this game makes important steps in videogame narrative, but it thinks too rigidly about story and gameplay- it struggles to find a way to make them seamless. And I'm arguing that the reason this happened is because they were too caught up in conventional ideas of what a game is supposed to be. The gameplay of the game reflects that.

It's like they thought, "well, games HAVE to have big, crazy guns and loads of violence and health bars and blah blah blah", and that clearly clashes tonally with the story the game is trying to tell.

A lot of games suffer from this, and the ideas we have about what games are have become so entrenched that they're holding back story.

Nevertheless, there are a lot of games that tell stories really well despite their videogamey-ness. Numerous RPGS spring to mind. But the fact remains that with Bioshock Infinite, we have a game that's trying so hard to tell a story but is held back by the videogame conventions it falls into the trap of perpetuating, and that really disrupts the story. In fact, it makes it a lot harder to take the story seriously.

Gameplay and story can co-exist for sure, and that's surely one of the main goals of videogames as a whole, but for some genres, it means reconceiving what gameplay and what a game actually is for the story to be effective.

Because I love 999, it's a game I played for the mystery and story, and the gameplay was simple and nice. in BI I felt the gameplay was in the way because it's more of the same. (except for the railthings).
And the choice that doesn't matter at all bothers me too. I wouldn't mind if it had the same outcome in the end but different paths for example, but being 100% indifferent I think it's stupid.

Storm Dragon:

kailus13:

Storm Dragon:
But what was the significance of those four gay blokes?

They were singing a song they couldn't possibly have heard. It was foreshadowing the Alternate worlds.

So, does someone write the song later in the game or what? I'm still confused and not entirely convinced that you and Yahtzee are both trolling me.

According to google, they were singing God Only Knows by the Beach Boys. Came out in 1966, more than 50 years after Infinite is set.

Other songs in Infinite include Girls Just Wanna Have fun which plays in the fairground.

I.Muir:
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.

There was another good post after the experienced points column about infinite explaining that.
I will try to recreate it, but if it doesn't work, go there.
So, in the End, after the cutscenes, you shortly play a few seconds of broker again, so he seems to be alive.
For clearance reason i will here refer to Anna and Elizabeth as two seperate persons.
In every Universe were Comstock comes out of the Baptism, he will steal an Anna from another Broker, thus creating an Elizabeth, which will consequently go back in time and kill all brokers before the baptism. But when Comstock isn't there, there also was no elizabeth to drown him so he does survive. Therefore: Any Universe that creates an Comstock, will also create an Elizabeth and therefore erase itself. Any Universe that makes Broker refuse the baptism, doesn't create Comstock, doesn't create Elizabeth and therefore stays in existence.
This way only the "Brokers" of the multiverse survive.

Falseprophet:
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.

I agree. He nailed it. Even Comstock's version of Christianity has nothing to do with real forgiveness, it's all about him and how great he is... when he knows he's a total douche.

This game did so much right. I hope the dlc doesn't leave a bad taste in my mouth...

So, apparently he learned his lesson from the Mass Effect 3 ending episode and actually decided to play the game first before telling us why we're all wrong about the ending. At least he seems to be paying attention to his fanbase on that point, if nothing else.

I have to concur with Bob's summary about what Ken Levine was, ultimately, trying to say; however that's not me saying I accept or enjoyed the outcome. In truth, I suppose I fall within the category of, as Bob put it, those people who *wanted* the narrative to remain somewhat straightforward, i.e. "Dog, Dog, Dog, Dog..." To be more specific, I wanted Booker to not be the sad victim of his own sins and ultimately accept that he needed to be "punished" for them (namely die) to set things right; rather I would have preferred that he and Elizabeth find a means to overcome the impossible odds and "fate" set against them.

The Lucteces even indicated in their theories that while there were constants in the multiverse there were also variables, small things which could, in theory, lead to larger changes and unforeseen alternate paths, i.e. the millions and millions of Multiverses. It would have been cool to have Booker's relationship/bond with Liz be that variable that allows them to set things right without seemingly resetting all the Wibbly Wobbley, Timey Whimey aspects of the narrative. Had they not made Liz Booker's daughter a romance could have been the device through which both her and Booker overcome the impossible odds, or perhaps it could have been something else. Still, all of that doesn't detract from the fact that Infinite is a pretty damn fantastic game. Just wasn't what I had thought/hoped it would be.

kailus13:

Storm Dragon:

kailus13:

They were singing a song they couldn't possibly have heard. It was foreshadowing the Alternate worlds.

So, does someone write the song later in the game or what? I'm still confused and not entirely convinced that you and Yahtzee are both trolling me.

According to google, they were singing God Only Knows by the Beach Boys. Came out in 1966, more than 50 years after Infinite is set.

Other songs in Infinite include Girls Just Wanna Have fun which plays in the fairground.

An acoustic version of "Everybody Wants To Rule the World" also crops up (Tears for Fears).

Does anyone know the name of the song played during the title screen? I feel like I should know it.

That awkward moment where Bob. Fucking Movie Bob. Of all people. Is the only other person on the internet who fucking gets the ending of Bioshock Infinite.

1337mokro:
Are you seriously comparing Shakespeare to Bioshock Infinite?

No, I'm not. What would make you think that?

I was comparing your implication that stories shouldn't bother with details and themes to the history of literature, where such "diversions" are actually very important.

The answer is quite simple, because the themes in Shakespeare's plays tie back into the characters and the story.

As do those in Bioshock Infinite.

I'm not even going to start delving deep into Shakespeare because you just compared an entire oeuvre to one game,

No, I didn't.

Why is the theme of racism there?

Because of the predominance of racism in the setting?

Why do Comstock's religious views never get explored, sure we know he is a fire and brim stone man but WHY? He got saved once so why is he talking about Killing people rather than Saving them?

Because that's how a lot of religious people act? Look at all the people who are supposedly Christian, but who also espouse political views supporting the death penalty, torture, or war.

Why does there have to be two warring parties, one a bunch of racists and the other a group of murderers?

Because that's the story, and it's how the writers chose to write it. Why does there have to be an alien in E.T: The Extra Terrestrial?

Why did it have to be a city in the sky?

Because that's the setting and it's how the writers chose to write it. Why does The Tempest have to be set on a magical island?

After all you just finished watching a video where the story is basically reduced to "Man needs to reconcile with his past and accept it". None of the other elements impact the way he reconciles with his past. They are therefore pointless.

By this logic, 99% of most literature is pointless, because they could all be reduced to a few sentences of summary. I think you're missing the point of storytelling. It's not just about the conclusions.

This is pretty close to how I felt about the game. I found it interesting that I heard from a lot of critics before the game that this was Elizabeth's game, that she's a incredible character and that the story revolves around her character arc.

When I finally played it, I didn't find this to be the case at all. Elizabeth was fine, but this game is all about Booker. And that's good, because Booker ended up being absolutely fascinating to me, much more than I expected. He wants nothing more than to forget the sins of his past and move on with his life, but he can't. He can never forgive himself for his atrocities at Wounded Knee and the selling of his daughter, and even when he tries to redeem himself in Colombia he is required to revert to his brutal ways. Slate and Fink go out of their way to do this, forcing him to kill wave after wave of people just to remind him of the monster he is. So in the end there's only one way for Booker to achieve his goal.

"That idiot priest needs to learn the difference between baptizing a man and drowning one."

It turns out that, in Booker's case,there's actually no difference between the two at all.

Aardvaarkman:
snip

Thank you for answering with a whole lot of hot air. Like I said the answer you eventually gave was... because it's Bioshock. Just because the setting is in 1920's does not mean Racism has to feature so prominently. We could have made Columbia part of China and had only Chinese people in the flying city, the same story can unfold and no racism. Like I said it's an exhibit something to stare at and not intricate to the story in any way.

So you say the characters change because of oh let's pick one... the proletarian revolt? How are the characters impacted by this and how does it develop them?

You apparently know so answer me how Booker leading a revolt that we never see him lead and getting betrayed for really not a whole lot of reasons change him? What does Comstock being a racist zealout add? What does the city itself add, it's pretty sure, but what does it add?

We can easily answer that question with Rapture. It was there for both the story and the gameplay. It was both a safe haven and the prison to hold you in. Both literally and figuratively. We can explain it through the gameplay as well seeing as it had horror elements and claustrophobia is a big part of the oppressive atmosphere.

But why Columbia HAD to be a flying city is really answered by the religious elements which themselves are pointless to the whole plot because they are not explored. We basically get the quite insulting insinuation that religous folk view their beliefs as nothing but a get out of jail free card and by your dismissive answer of "relgious folk just be crazy yo" I again see why you have such a hard grasping the concept of the question "Why".

You see people do things for reasons. That is the why. Sure religious people can be insane and kill people. However they have their reasons. Be they political, economical, religious, vengeance and so on. You see we don't explore how a man who believed himself saved through baptism over remorse and guilt for killing ethnic groups can then go on to become a brim stone preaching racist.

We don't explore that. He just is. The "why" is left unanswered. Booker doesn't really change. He was a cynical bastard before and he was still a cynical bastard then. You see you can pretend like the development is there, but it isn't.

Did I say you should summarize them? What I said was take away anything that does not directly influence the characters or is required for the plot and then look at what's left. I don't really get how you end up at summarization from me saying you should examine a story for superfluous elements.

Seriously just try it. Try it with Bioshock and Bioshock Infinite.

Well you've given me something to chew on 'til next wednesday
I'm not sure I agree with that, or rather, I'm not sure that it was clear enough that was the the point (although, maybe not being clear on it was also the point...) either way, I agree Bob, I fucking LOVED the ending. I loved it I loved it I loved it I loved it I loved it I loved it I loved it I loved it I loved it I loved it I loved it I loved it!

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?

The answer to that is actually explained towards the end of the game:

For every action there is an opposite action in a different universe.

Ex: Booker takes baptism in one universe therefore he doesn't take baptism in another one.

SO, if they were to go into the past and say "Hey man you shouldn't go to wounded Knee" and Booker says "Yeah ok man sounds good", there will be a different universe where he will always say "I'll go to wounded Knee so fuck off" which would lead to the path of Baptism or no Baptism and so on.

Therefore, the only way of securing the good choice is killing the one that will make the bad choice at the moment of choosing, thereby eliminating all possibilities of that continuity to go on and all other universes will always be the ones where he makes the good/opposite choice.

Essentially, it didn't matter if it was wounded knee or not at the end one Booker had to die in order to eliminate those possible futures.

CAPTCHA: Brain Games..... no shit?

I don't always agree with Bob, but I think he hit this one on the nail. I thought the story was great, but any story that handles time travel, parallel dimensions and what not isn't going to ever be totally full proof, since it's about time travel, parallel dimensions and what not. Like Bob said, I think it's more about a guy that's dealing with his own failure to take responsibility for his darker half and he just happens to do all this on a floating island with a magic girl while the two of them hop through portals into alternate dimensions. Good episode, Bob.

Well. No MovieBob for me today, I didn't play Bioshock Infinite.

Why do all the contributors to this site think it's completely okay to have features full of spoilers on a game that's been out for less than a month? I haven't seen this type of shitty behavior with games I don't give a shit about or can afford to buy new.

This is the third major contributor to do this, and the game hasn't even been out for three damn weeks

Why does this web site keep doing this to my #1 most anticipated (but currently un-affordable) game of 2013?

What the shit?

This may be my favorite Big Picture yet. At the very least it's extremely thoughtful.
Thanks Bob.

1337mokro:
Thank you for answering with a whole lot of hot air. Like I said the answer you eventually gave was... because it's Bioshock. Just because the setting is in 1920's does not mean Racism has to feature so prominently.

But nothing HAS to feature at all. It's fiction. It's whatever the writer wants it to be. There's no reason anything has to be logical, or meet your expectations. That's my entire point. There's no reason Shakespeare had to write the stories he did, or include details that ultimately have no bearing on the outcome of the story. But he did, just like all stories do.

I'm not sure what you want - a sterile world with all the racism and religion removed? Why shouldn't a story involve racism and religion, because it insults you or something?

We basically get the quite insulting insinuation that religous folk view their beliefs as nothing but a get out of jail free card and by your dismissive answer of "relgious folk just be crazy yo"...

Wow, that's quite a weird interpretation. I really don't understand how you took that from what I said. Just because a story feature crazed religious zealots, does not mean that all religious people are that way. You are confusing the specific with the general.

PhiMed:
Why do all the contributors to this site think it's completely okay to have features full of spoilers on a game that's been out for less than a month?

Why shouldn't they? They put a huge spoiler warning on it. Why shouldn't something that people are currently playing be discussed? It's their website/video/article/whatever.

It's really not hard to find plotholes in that storyline. For starters, it has the same problem with Looper. It mixes multiverse with a singular universe. What I mean by this is time either branches or it doesn't. So if it branches then you have infinite possibilities and NOTHING once done can be undone. The reason being is that the act "undoing" something merely creates yet another universe. So even going into the past to change cannot erase the events of the present. It just creates an alternate reality where the present never happened. This fact nullifies the ending. And I haven't even brought up time travel paradoxes into the conversation. With that said, these types of stories really aren't about the time travel. I was merely pointing out you'd have to be blind to not see the plotholes.

abort_user:
It's really not hard to find plotholes in that storyline. For starters, it has the same problem with Looper. It mixes multiverse with a singular universe.

Infinite doesnt mix the two though, it jumps into the multiverse aspect with wild abandon.

I.Muir:
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.

I think at that point, you need to say "fuck it" and just go with it. It's like what Bruce Willis says in Looper: "We could spend hours going over this time travel bullshit, but it won't change anything"

We can spend hours deliberating the ins and outs of a multiverse narrative, but it won't get us any closer.

Roman Monaghan:
So, apparently he learned his lesson from the Mass Effect 3 ending episode and actually decided to play the game first before telling us why we're all wrong about the ending. At least he seems to be paying attention to his fanbase on that point, if nothing else.

He never said anyone was wrong about the ending, he said that the extreme fanbase reaction to it was wrong. At no point, did he ever talk about the actual content in ME3, he simply stated that things like "Retake Mass Effect" were ludicrous in his opinion.

Interesting points, Bob. I find the whole Alternate Universe aspect of Bioshock fascinating... even if the mechanics of it make my brain hurt.

...Is it wrong that I laughed at his "It's fun to hit racists in the face with a buzzsaw" comment?

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

Hey, I'd watch it.

Aardvaarkman:
Snip

1337mokro:
We basically get the quite insulting insinuation that religous folk view their beliefs as nothing but a get out of jail free card and by your dismissive answer of "relgious folk just be crazy yo"...

Wow, that's quite a weird interpretation. I really don't understand how you took that from what I said. Just because a story feature crazed religious zealots, does not mean that all religious people are that way. You are confusing the specific with the general.

I was talking about how Bioshock Infinite portrays religion. As nothing but a facade and a charade to make belief that your mistakes are forgiven. After the yo I am talking about your cop out excuse for how Comstock acts being basically that religious people act crazy because they are religious. No other reason.

You are trying to handwave away useless elements and themes in Infinite by using an "it's a videogame" like excuse. Nothing HAS to be included in anything. But when it IS included it should be there for a reason. It should have a purpose other than just being window dressing.

Little details are not an issue, I don't care what kind of twirly moustache someone has or the Lutece sister's raincoat being yellow. When you however include racism. Make a point to show it multiple times. Have the characters talk about it. Base an ENTIRE FACTION around how they are treated because of it. Then still do nothing with it for the story at all... now you have a useless theme.

I am not at all asking for a sterile world. No the contrary I want to delve into it. Dig into the brain of these people see why they think how they do. What motivates them into their state of mind. Why do they follow Comstock, what won them over? How do newcomers think about killing people on the surface? Do any of the Columbians struggle with guilt because they know Comstock is a fraud? Do any of them have families on the surface they are trying to save?

Heck an even simpler question would be why are there vigour machines EVERYWHERE but nobody uses them? Bioshock managed to explain the plasmids, the vigours are just kinda .... there! Sure boss characters use them but we see that people play GAMES with these plasmids. That they even give out free samples! Why is no one using it then? Why is there literally only ONE gondolla that requires a vigour to use? I'm not joking here you see the electroshock doors on just ONE level and then they permanently disappear. Who would even have a use for this stuff?!

Again in Bioshock it made sense because even in a work of fiction the elements were TIED into the story. The plasmid technology was central to Rapture's decay. The vigours.... they are there because Bioshock had plasmids.

There is SO much more you could do with these gigantic themes!

But no. All they do is point at it and go. Look! A prophet! Look! Racist cartoons!

Nothing is done with it. That is my issue, it could be stripped out of the game and nothing would change.

MovieBob:
Shock Treatment

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

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I enjoy seeing people actually understand what the game was going for. Far too many times I've seen lame complaints about how the game didn't deserve that much praise because the combat is "subpar" (an aside: it's old school Quake era shooter, it's still good), and that none of the choices mattered. Yes, they didn't, and THAT'S THE POINT. It's a game about probability and String theory, that's the gag.

As for Bob's question on why the Vox needed guns, that's actually easier to explain, as a few audio logs hint at it. Vigors aren't cheap. Remember that aside from the free Possession you get, which I'll remind you is during a fair where blacks aren't allowed, you get them as gifts from other people are from the vending machines. This is a place where the Vox, primarily blacks, aren't making any real money. A gunsmith can craft them guns, but they couldn't craft Vigors if they wanted. It's not until the Vox uprising that you see vigors on the street to pick up, when they're vandalizing things and spilling them out onto the street.

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