Zero Punctuation: Top 5 Games of 2013

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Azahul:

dakkster:

Nope. Not subjective. It's pretty obvious you've never read any literary theory. The writing is pure shit and it IS fundamentally broken if you care the least bit about story, characterization and writing.

I think Bioshock Infinite is a good game. It's okay. Game of the year? Not a snowball's chance in hell. Even if we strip out all of the bad writing and the illogical game design choices, it's a game where you have almost the same enemy over and over and over again and they are all bullet sponges. Then you have to ignore the fact that it's not explained anywhere how a normal human can take 20 bullets and still stand.

With a couple of years of literary theory behind me, I honestly cannot tell what is broken in Bioshock's story. Not to mention the fact that there's a fairly large body of literary theory that states that objectivity is a myth and that all experiences are subjective, making it pretty hard to state "Nope. Not subjective," in one breath, and then "It's pretty obvious you've never read any literary theory" in the next. Care to expand on that?

As for the gameplay, I'm honestly baffled by the bullet sponge argument. Bioshock Infinite is not a game aiming for realistic depictions of combat. You ride around on sky rails, fire lightning bolts out of your hand, and have a weird electromagnetic shield across your body. Why are you also expecting shooting aspect of the game to work like the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series? I can accept the argument that the game doesn't have very good difficulty scaling, but that's a fairly minor concern for a game not explicitly built to serve as a challenge to all skill levels.

Paragraph 1: Like I said in another post, opinion is subjective, mapping out story structure and character motivation is objective.

Paragraph 2: Look at it this way: In Bioshock 1 you played against splicers. You were, as a player, given explanations as to why they were bullet sponge maniacs who ran right at you even if you were unloading a clip of a machine gun on them. You don't get a single explanation for the same behavior in Infinite. We are presented with these people as normal humans during the moments the shit doesn't hit the fan, so why should we suddenly accept that they are somehow superhuman? It's shoddy writing/design. Irrational Games COULD have told us why, but they didn't. Design choice = bad design.

Bioshock 1 is a better game than Infinite in almost every single way, except graphics and sound design, but that's only logical technical progression. Pretty much every other design aspect goes to Bioshock 1. The reason I make that comparison is because it's the same developer. It's not reasonable that a game released in 2013 that is WORSE than its predecessor released in 2007 gets GOTY awards. I don't give two shits about the rest of the game crop that year, but it doesn't justify giving GOTY titles to Bioshock Infinite. It's mediocre. It's okay. It's a 3 out of 5. It's like the Transformers movie. Shiny and cool at a first glance, but not very good if you give it more than five minutes of reflection.

You know it's been a bad year when both a MGS game and Assassin's Creed game make it onto Yahtzee's list.
I have strained to think of a single AAA game this year that elevated itself above simply "mediocre" and I can't find one; at least among those I've seen or played.

Not even Saints Row 4.

But hey, opinions. *insert your preferred cliche phrase about opinions here*

(I've specifically avoided Bioshock: Infinite so I can go into it without any preconceptions, just as I did with the original Bioshock. Over the course of this year, it seems that decision was wise; infinitely moreso than before; given how everyone is either gushing about the game or is convinced the former have their collective heads jammed up their ass. So, I have no real opinion about it.)

TheMemoman:

Bottom
5. Star Trek into Darkness
4. Sim City 4
3. Aliens Colonial Marines
2. Beyond Two Souls
1. Call Of Duty: Ghosts

SPECIAL: Zero Punctuation Life Time Achievement Award For Total Abhorrence:
Ride to Hell: Retribution

Sim City 4 isn't on his list. That game launched in 2003.
"SimCity" 2013 is.

Azahul:
Your liking of characters is going to be down to you. If you didn't like Elizabeth and Booker, I can't help you. Anyway, I'm not going to respond to all damned 40 minutes of that video, so let's grab the easiest one (in spoilers, just in case).

It's not about liking characters. It's about thinking about and analyzing their behavior, choices and motivation. That's not down to opinion. That's down to proper analysis that can be done without bias.

My bad. Thanks for the heads up.

dakkster:

erttheking:

dakkster:

Opinion is subjective, yes. Mapping out story structure and character motivation is not. That's objective fact. You can't say that a game has great writing if the game's writing goes against every single established facet of good writing through thousands of years of storytelling.

No it freaking isn't. The quality of story telling is subjective. There is no scale to determine the quality of a format in any book. Your complaints basically seem to be boiling down to "It doesn't do things the way other things do things" and while that might be a reason enough to dislike it, it doesn't give you a leg to stand on when you are claiming that it is objectively bad. You can't scientifically prove that Bioshock Infinite is a bad game.

Look, Shakespeare, I'll give you an example. If you present a narrative you need to set up the rules of the world in which the narrative takes place. If anything later on breaks those rules you have to explain how and why that happens, otherwise that's bad storytelling. Same with characters. You have to make the reader (or in this case player) understand why character X does action Y for reason Z. If character X then does A in spite of reason Z, that's bad storytelling.

It's obvious you don't care about story OR you know exactly dick about literary analysis. You probably think Dan Brown is an amazing writer.

But again, even if we disregard every single bit of story or character in Bioshock Infinite and we ONLY look at the gameplay mechanics, it's mediocre.

Or maybe it's called throwing the audience for a loop. That happens a lot in fiction. You've never read a story where the main villain does some thing that everyone said was impossible? Oh, and please don't resort to insulting me, it's disrespectful.

As a matter of fact, I rather enjoyed Angels and Demons. Was that supposed to be an insult?

And how exactly is the quality of gameplay objective?

dakkster:

Paragraph 1: Like I said in another post, opinion is subjective, mapping out story structure and character motivation is objective.

Some of the most basic, fundamental pieces of literary theory argue that every single damned word in every language is a metaphor, their meanings subjective (I'm looking at you, Nietzsche), and you expect me to believe that there's an objective, defined set of rules governing what is a "good" example of story structure and character motivation? I don't know what kind of literary theory you've been studying, but it's clearly a lot less complicated than the one I was subjected to. The closest I can think of to what you describe is the idea one can write something that a large number of people will like, probably due to familiarity. That doesn't make it objectively good or bad, just easy to enjoy due to operating within a familiar frame of reference.

dakkster:

Paragraph 2: Look at it this way: In Bioshock 1 you played against splicers. You were, as a player, given explanations as to why they were bullet sponge maniacs who ran right at you even if you were unloading a clip of a machine gun on them. You don't get a single explanation for the same behavior in Infinite. We are presented with these people as normal humans during the moments the shit doesn't hit the fan, so why should we suddenly accept that they are somehow superhuman? It's shoddy writing/design. Irrational Games COULD have told us why, but they didn't. Design choice = bad design.

Have you noticed just how different Bioshock and Bioshock Infinite are? The first one contained a good few horror elements and was designed to make the player feel isolated and alone. Tough, insane enemies charging at you and soaking up bullets makes the player feel overwhelmed and afraid. In Bioshock Infinite, the enemies are just meant to be regular humans like Booker, but the tone of the adventure is one practically swashbuckling in nature. You're zipping around on skylines, running from a robotic dragon-thing, rescuing a princess from a tower. Tough enemies in this case serves a different purpose, it makes the game feel more like a fantasy quest than a realistic shooter. The choice in both cases serves a purpose. Again though, you may like, or you may not, as you so choose.

dakkster:

Bioshock 1 is a better game than Infinite in almost every single way, except graphics and sound design, but that's only logical technical progression. Pretty much every other design aspect goes to Bioshock 1. The reason I make that comparison is because it's the same developer. It's not reasonable that a game released in 2013 that is WORSE than its predecessor released in 2007 gets GOTY awards. I don't give two shits about the rest of the game crop that year, but it doesn't justify giving GOTY titles to Bioshock Infinite. It's mediocre. It's okay. It's a 3 out of 5. It's like the Transformers movie. Shiny and cool at a first glance, but not very good if you give it more than five minutes of reflection.

For someone claiming to hold an objective stance on the subject, you're using a lot of loaded imagery there. Look, it's ok if you don't like the game, but you are going to need to accept that there are people out there that liked it, people that found its story and messages genuinely interesting, its characters compelling, and even people (shock horror) who felt it was a step up from the original game.

dakkster:

Azahul:
Your liking of characters is going to be down to you. If you didn't like Elizabeth and Booker, I can't help you. Anyway, I'm not going to respond to all damned 40 minutes of that video, so let's grab the easiest one (in spoilers, just in case).

It's not about liking characters. It's about thinking about and analyzing their behavior, choices and motivation. That's not down to opinion. That's down to proper analysis that can be done without bias.

And this is just nonsensical. A lot of things we've been talking about are subjective, but you're talking about some kind of objective standard by which you can study an individual's behaviour, choices, and motivation. I suspect that would come as a pretty nice surprise to the field of psychology.

1337mokro:

It's backlash for the "unanimous" praise it was getting from every publication and reviewer for a while after it's release. Basically not liking it in the few weeks after it was released was paramount to high treason and you being an idiot for not getting "the smartest game ever made!!!!"

Funny how that never actually happened, though. Perhaps you could provide a link to even one instance of it?

1337mokro:
It's our turn to spam you with our "correct" opinions about the game.

Well, that's a really mature way to handle things. Divide people into "sides" and then "spam" them with your opinion to be deliberately annoying, because you liked it so much when people (allegedly) did it to you.

dakkster:

But again, even if we disregard every single bit of story or character in Bioshock Infinite and we ONLY look at the gameplay mechanics, it's mediocre.

Gameplay quality is even MORE subjective than like/dislike of story and characters.
Anyway, it looks like this argument is going nowhere; ironically the person arguing about the story and gameplay being objectively bad is, well, objectively wrong.

I just knew there'd be that guy or 4 or 5 who insists on starting up the Bioshock Infinite is mediocre war again.

You know what? The mechanics kind of are. The shooting is bog standard. The enemy design is as well, each falling into old archetypes, mooks, big mooks, mini-boss mooks, rocket mooks. The vigors, skyhooks, and skylines add just the right amount of variety so everything doesn't feel quite so stale. I could sit here and pop at this guy from behind my bit of wall, or I could leap onto this rail and whack him into a 20000 foot free fall.

The story is, in my opinion, excellent. It's not too often that concepts like multiverse hypothesis get dragged into a game that takes itself seriously. Then it's executed fairly well, with a running little meta commentary on the occasionally washed out experience that comes with allowing a player to determine the run of things too much. Infinite has a story to tell and nothing you can do will prevent it from telling that story. This is a nice little bit of focus which allows a better crafted experience than something like a Bioware RPG. If there's anything that Mass Effect 3 taught us, it's that your choices don't actually matter all that much, the same story gets told. It's an illusion of choice that only really determines who will be there at the end. Infinite eschews this by giving you choices that well and truly don't matter. Any significance you give them is purely from your own mind, which is an enjoyable bit of mindfuckery.

No1 worst really can't justify Ride to Hell. It has to go for a ride to hell.

Even though its a bit late, I'm really hoping Yahtzee'll take a look at Shadow Warrior 2013. Its made by the guys who made Hard Reset & Painkiller. Seems like they really took note of Yahtzee's review especially "I like to know that the cleanup will have to be done with a mop rather than a broom". Now they've put in "Viscera cleanup detail", so not only do you KNOW the cleanup was done with a mop but you get to EXPERIENCE IT!

I'm sorry, but I just can't take anyone who calls Infinite's story/writing "excellent" seriously. Watch smudboy's videos. When you later realize that you can't refute his points, ask yourself why you still hold the game's story/writing in such high regard. That's all I'm going to say.

Atmos Duality:
You know it's been a bad year when both a MGS game and Assassin's Creed game make it onto Yahtzee's list.

Technically, it's MGR, not MGS.

Still Metal Gear, though, just with pretty much the opposite gameplay focus.

dakkster:
I'm sorry, but I just can't take anyone who calls Infinite's story/writing "excellent" seriously. Watch smudboy's videos. When you later realize that you can't refute his points, ask yourself why you still hold the game's story/writing in such high regard. That's all I'm going to say.

Promise?

dakkster:

Azahul:

dakkster:

I would expect a published writer, a game creator and paid game critic to see bad writing and bad game design coming miles away, which is the case with the lazy mess that is Bioshock Infinite.

The game is playable, and certainly more engaging and fun (for me) than a lot of First Person Shooters out there, so the quality of its game design sort of ends up in the area where opinions one way or the other are just going to be entirely subjective. Some people, evidently, liked what it did. Equally evident is that some people did not. Subjectivity man.

Pretty much the same goes for the writing. It had some great characters, an engaging setting and story, and an ending that at least tried to do a lot more than the average video game narrative. Frankly, I think the accusation of "bad" writing there is pretty ludicrous. You can say it didn't appeal to you, but it wasn't fundamentally broken and so you can't expect everyone to conform to the same viewpoint on it.

Nope. Not subjective. It's pretty obvious you've never read any literary theory. The writing is pure shit and it IS fundamentally broken if you care the least bit about story, characterization and writing.

I think Bioshock Infinite is a good game. It's okay. Game of the year? Not a snowball's chance in hell. Even if we strip out all of the bad writing and the illogical game design choices, it's a game where you have almost the same enemy over and over and over again and they are all bullet sponges. Then you have to ignore the fact that it's not explained anywhere how a normal human can take 20 bullets and still stand.

Edit: If you're annoyed by people saying that it's bad writing, I invite you to look at the smudboy videos I linked to in my previous post. Everything you need to realize how awful the writing is in the game is in those videos.

I just listened to his entire first video. As I said, it's clear he did not pay attention to the narrative. You cannot complain about writing if you don't bother to listen to it or read it. One of his big complaints is "why doesn't Elizabeth just do x" with her tears. It's explicitly stated in the game. Elizabeth does not choose or control her tears. She accesses existing ones. If the tear she wants isn't there, she can't take it. You also get a first person perspective of her opening tears that seem to appear promising and then immediately turn threatening/violent. Perhaps old Elizabeth from the later stage of the game can control the tears she wants, but the Elizabeth you play the game of specifically cannot, and says so.

Oh, and there was the entire plot of the siphon, severely limiting her abilities. Destroying that was the climax of the game, after all, at which point all the "why didn't she just x" questions get pretty clearly answered.

That's not a plot hole. That's a person who is trying really hard to make a video, get views, and to sell advertising by creating a non-existent argument.

There *are* plot holes in the story, but they are relatively minor and unobtrusive to the main story. It is not "shit" writing. I'm sure we there is any number of suggestions one can make for such writing if you really want it as a comparison.

I also enjoyed your attack on his knowledge of literary theory. I read, I write. I have done graduate work in subjects requiring high end writing skills. I recognize the difference between vague, obfuscated, obtuse and purely non-sensical plot elements. Bioshock Infinite defaults to vague and obfuscated when it wants to hide some of the questionable plot elements. That's par, higher-end, writing for most fantasy and sci-fi since serious examination will always show that elements of rely on physics impossibilities and other fantastical elements.

I just watched Elysium last night. That movie was a giant walking plot hole. Bioshock Infinite's storytelling is high art compared to that mess.

20 bullet bullet sponge human enemies? Again, I would refer you back to the the older ages of gaming. While this doesn't fall in line with a lot of the modern rail shooters like COD or the tactical shooters like Rainbow Six, it is a very, very standard mechanic in games. If all enemies died realistically, then action oriented corridor shooters would be horrifically easy and ultimately not really very fun. I can't think of a serious FPS prior to the original Rainbow Six that didn't rely on enemies being able to absorb bullets. Bioshock has done it, but so did Half-Life, Quake/Doom, and countless other older style FPS games. It's never really been questioned that the style of game that Ken Levine was going for was along the older line, away from the modern "brown cover based shooter," that has been popularized. It's ok to dislike the style, it's something else to call it bad.

Azahul:
The ridiculous copout handwaves fix the story

No. No they do not. Also his analysis of Lutece and the timelines concerned is using THE GAME'S OWN LOGIC and therefore is most certainly NOT a moot point. However, even if it was, the grandfather paradox ruins the ending anyway, and EVEN IF THAT WAS SOLVED the concept of infinite realities completely nullifies the ability to permakill anyone ever. That's called shit writing. The entire thing is structured to LOOK like it works on the outside but ultimately was sabotaged in order to send a shitty message.

Also, the characters are both objectively poor and to most who have actually read good literature, highly uninteresting.

dakkster:
I'm sorry, but I just can't take anyone who calls Infinite's story/writing "excellent" seriously. Watch smudboy's videos. When you later realize that you can't refute his points, ask yourself why you still hold the game's story/writing in such high regard. That's all I'm going to say.

Urgh. I've seen a couple, but there's only so much I can take of someone alternating between missing the point and messages the game is trying to send, or just flat out ignoring what the game establishes about how its world works. Because, you know, paying attention to the rules of the game's universe would mean you can't make videos about plot holes. After a point (fairly early on), watching any more just becomes masochistic.

I can see people not liking Bioshock Infinite. I can even take such people seriously, because it's a complicated game with a lot of things to say, things that a good chunk of players seem to have missed. What's most strange about this scenario is why you and a few others in this thread can't seem to reciprocate that sort of understanding. The vast majority of "plot holes" people like smudboy bring up are simple enough to explain within the context of the game's setting, so it's not like the game is fundamentally broken on any level. That just makes it all down to personal opinion. You didn't like it, that's ok, but there is no reason why it isn't alright for other people to like, even love, the game.

Xangi:

Azahul:
The ridiculous copout handwaves fix the story

No. No they do not. Also his analysis of Lutece and the timelines concerned is using THE GAME'S OWN LOGIC and therefore is most certainly NOT a moot point. However, even if it was, the grandfather paradox ruins the ending anyway, and EVEN IF THAT WAS SOLVED the concept of infinite realities completely nullifies the ability to permakill anyone ever. That's called shit writing. The entire thing is structured to LOOK like it works on the outside but ultimately was sabotaged in order to send a shitty message.

Also, the characters are both objectively poor and to most who have actually read good literature, highly uninteresting.

Nice. "Objectively" poor. Objective based on what, exactly? I mean, you must have facts and hard data that objectifies how good a character must be to the reader?

You must also have objective data on how many people have read "good literature," what "good literature" is, and how many of those people who have read that objectively "good literature" find the characters highly uninteresting?

I'm pretty sure if it's considered "good literature" there's a very high chance I've read it. There's also a good chance I consider it fairly poor literature as well, finding many "good writers" to be astoundingly bad and loved only within the context of what they were at the time their drek was published. That said, I found Booker and Comstock to be passable, the Luteces to be amusing, and Elizabeth to be endearing and interesting, and a good female role model character as well.

So, let's have that objective hard data, please.

Xangi:

Azahul:
The ridiculous copout handwaves fix the story

No. No they do not. Also his analysis of Lutece and the timelines concerned is using THE GAME'S OWN LOGIC and therefore is most certainly NOT a moot point. However, even if it was, the grandfather paradox ruins the ending anyway, and EVEN IF THAT WAS SOLVED the concept of infinite realities completely nullifies the ability to permakill anyone ever. That's called shit writing. The entire thing is structured to LOOK like it works on the outside but ultimately was sabotaged in order to send a shitty message.

Also, the characters are both objectively poor and to most who have actually read good literature, highly uninteresting.

The constants and variables idea is woven right through the game, from start to finish. It explicitly makes it clear that certain combinations of events do not occur. His entire scenario about swapping the Luteces around and having universes where Comstock and Booker live is fundamentally not possible according to the game's laws, and the game's own logic. His scenario does not work according to the game's logic, whatever you may think, but rather to the logic he himself is trying to impose on the game. There's a seriously large amount of misunderstanding around the way Bioshock Infinite's multiverse works, and a lot of people imposing their own ideas on it in total contradiction to what the game actually says.

All I can do at this point heartily recommend you replay the game (there is a lot more to pick up on the second time through, and you notice that there was actually a lot of groundwork laid for the ending) and pay close attention to the audio logs explaining how the game's multiverse works. One of the constants of the game's universe is that there is only one way for Comstock to be created, and that is at the baptism. It's best not to think of the universes of Bioshock Infinite as, well, Infinite, as that just seems to cause problems for people. There are a lot, sure, but no matter how many there are some things always, always, always stay the same.

Alarien:

Piecewise:
But...bioshock infinite is a terrible half finished mess of generic shooting, shit characters and more plot holes then a novel made of Swiss Cheese. It eschews all the good parts of the first game for bland call of duty shooting, copy pasted plasmids and even less challenge. Not to mention every single e3 preview they had was full of lies and broken promises. Seriously, go look at those previews and then think back to the game you played. It is a profound disappointment.

Is that what you thought or actually regurgitated from so many other people complaining about the game, because I'm fairly certain I've seen almost this exact commentary before.

It's ok to dislike or hate Bioshock Infinite, but the comments you make are mostly ill-informed.

Call or Duty shooting and "Generic" shooting are not the same thing. Bioshock Infinite follows an older "generic" FPS style that complete ignores cover based mechanics. It allows free movement around the existing arena/corridor. It would have been called a corridor FPS back in the day. Call of Duty is the exact opposite. It is a cover based rails shooter of a style that it and Medal of Honor have pushed since 1999. Bioshock Infinite may have generic shooting, but it is most certainly not "call of duty shooting."

"Copy pasted plasmids." Yes, it's part of the story. It is the same multiverse. It's like complaining that Bioshock 2, a far worse game, was worse because it specifically re-used the plasmids of Rapture while still in Rapture. Personally, I found the vigors/plasmids to be useful enough and this is still, I believe, a Bioshock game. Why would you expect there to be a different game play element?

Plot holes. The words that we often throw around just to throw them around. Specifically, those plot holes are... which, exactly? I'm not saying that the game doesn't have any, just that it was not "swiss cheese." In fact, most of its story lines were tied up and most of its mechanics at least attempted an explanation. Without pointing specifically to plot holes that were, in fact, plot holes and not just a lack of attention to the presented dialogue, then it's not a fair comment.

I agree on the E3 comment. The game from the E3 trailers was a much different game, in many respect. Are the changes and final product bad? Well, I'm not particularly unhappy that I didn't get to walk into a bar and shotgun someone in the face, fight with Saltonstall, or have Elizabeth be more of a sorceress (without explanation) than a child effected by her own physical existence simultaneously in two different realities. I think the final product worked fine. I failed to miss the E3 stuff.

The hyperbole in your post just makes your comments suspect. It sounds like regurgitation, sour grapes or some combination of both.

It is call of duty style shooting. It's got aim assist, sluggish movement, a bog standard set of Pistol, shotgun, rifle, machine gun, rocket launcher, lets you carry two weapons at a time and has a fucking recharging shield. Actually, no, you're right, it's not call of duty, it's a reskinned Halo.

Also, thats a pretty freaking weak justification for a lack of imagination. Plus it doesn't even make sense. I don't remember fucking crows or ram in Bioshock. So they didn't even stay constant in order to make it fit within that "It's in the same multi-verse!" justification of yours. Which is right up there with the delusional crap of "Indoctrination theory", another desperate attempt to stave off buyers remorse. Face it, they didn't give us new stuff because they couldn't think of anything or didn't want to.

As per plot holes
http://imgur.com/Z2ajG3L

Lists a few. Beyond that, there are a few, but a lot of it comes down more to plot inconsistencies and...well, stupidity. Characters that act nonsensically or inconsistently or story choices that are stupid or meaningless or just plain clearly not as fleshed out as they were originally intended. Remember ghost mom and how liz's powers can now suddenly produce ghosts because...why not? Or why this utopia of uptight white people would be totally on board with injecting drugs that gave them the power to summon deadly birds? Actually thats a double weirdness, because they present it as though it was common, but there's all of like 2 enemies that actually use them, so I guess they weren't common? Blah.

And yeah, I guess it's sour grapes to be ticked off that a company showed me videos and said "This is what you're gonna get" and then gave me something that only shallowly resembles the product they promised. It's not to say it's a horrible game or anything, but it's completely average. The characters aren't anywhere near as good as the ones in other games, the gameplay isn't as good as other shooters that came out the same year, the graphics are pretty meh (especially some of them. I mean, fruit in baskets thats a 2d jpg in 2013? Really?) and the soundtrack didn't have anything stand out about it. It's just not that great of a game.

Generic FPS's built around multiplayer made 3 out of the 5 worst games of the year. Get out the Crayolas and colour me shocked.

dakkster:
I'm sorry, but I just can't take anyone who calls Infinite's story/writing "excellent" seriously. Watch smudboy's videos. When you later realize that you can't refute his points, ask yourself why you still hold the game's story/writing in such high regard. That's all I'm going to say.

Because the story was affecting.

It's always hilarious when people try to out-logic an emotional response, but it's getting really old and it's in danger of not being funny anymore.

seditary:
Is there some kind of band that joined together to try and shout down everyone who likes and praises Bioshock Infinite? Literally everywhere I go there's some extremely overbearing people calling people stupid for liking it, linking videos to demonstrate how wrong people are for liking it and calling everything and everyone related to its creation bad in some way.

Oh don't worry, hon. It's merely people going for the hype and coming out disappointed. Like all hyped game backlash it eventually dies down when the next hyped game comes out. Besides, if you like the game then that's ok; people tell me papers, please is a boring sim, but to me it's one of the best games of 2013.
*cough* it felt more like a game than TLOU*cough* :P

Alarien:
Upset that someone's shitting in his pancakes

Simple rules of writing. Show, don't tell. Make characters act realistically. Make characters act logically. Keep everything consistent, especially regarding interpersonal relationships. B:I does none of these things. I don't really feel the need to explain how, but if pressed I might.

As for some good literature, Try something by Arthur C. Clarke, Richard K. Morgan's alright too. That's pretty good stuff right there, also in my preferred genre, but by no means the only options.

Azahul:
more quote compression

"The constants and variables idea" is a giant copout that can be used to make anything happen. Giving a character a "resolve plothole" button is not good writing. The constants and variables also contradict the game's own assertions about infinite worlds, as any constants would not really lead to an infinity of worlds at all. Basically Ken Levine doesn't know shit about the many worlds theory.

I've played it through twice, The first time in a marathon at a party with friends and the second on my own. It's shit, and you're literally not going to find anything good about it that isn't either provably incorrect or minor. Oh and to the spoiler, you really really don't understand how the grandfather paradox works. Even if it DID work like that, fine, that's called SHITTY WRITING.

lacktheknack:

Because the story was affecting.

It's always hilarious when people try to out-logic an emotional response, but it's getting really old and it's in danger of not being funny anymore.

This is pretty much the truth. If you can't take a step back and be objective about something, of course a piece of media like B:I is going to look great. It's DESIGNED TO MANIPULATE YOU EMOTIONALLY into thinking it's good.

I have read my share of Arthur C. Clarke. Not bad, not overly engaging reads either. I wouldn't really go out on a limb and point him out as a literary giant. I'd counter with H.P. Lovecraft, whose wordsmithing skills are almost unparalleled in modern English writing.

I would still ask for the objective data.

This is pretty much the truth. If you can't take a step back and be objective about something, of course a piece of media like B:I is going to look great. It's DESIGNED TO MANIPULATE YOU EMOTIONALLY into thinking it's good.

Here's where you entire argument breaks down. The writing manipulates you into thinking the games good? Actually, the gameplay was fun, a lot more fun than a lot of other recent shooters, for me. That's what made me think the game was good. The fact that I enjoyed the plot, minor holes and paradoxes and all, is beside the point.

Xangi, you are really trying very hard to declare something "is." This suggests a fact. It is not a fact that even Ride to Hell: Redemption is a bad game. It is very much a universal opinion that it has poor gameplay, poor development, poor story, poor anything, so sub-par as to be laughably horrid. That does not make it a fact. One plus one equals two is a fact. I'm sure you know this, but I cannot fathom why you feel that it is remotely valid to try to pin facts on what is literally the definition of opinion.

You cannot also continue to argue that a game's story or plot is bad simply because it doesn't adhere to an existing theory of multiverse. That's tantamount to arguing that a game that creates its own deity pantheon is bad because it doesn't ascribe to your personal accepted religious belief system. If Ken Levine wants to create a world where a choice is only made once and a parallel universe is created, with infinite branches being created at later points of each branch, who's to say he can't? I'm pretty sure we have yet to definitively prove the existence of dimensions or parallel universes/multiverse, much less can define the actual laws of such.

You may not like the idea. Good for you. I didn't let it ruin a game for me, just like I rarely let silliness ruin good gameplay. If I did, there would be precious few truly good games to play. I always expect to go into any game or any sci-fi or fantasy story with a certain required amount of suspension of disbelief.

You also seem to be somewhat upset.

Xangi:

Simple rules of writing. Show, don't tell. Make characters act realistically. Make characters act logically. Keep everything consistent, especially regarding interpersonal relationships. B:I does none of these things. I don't really feel the need to explain how, but if pressed I might.

As for some good literature, Try something by Arthur C. Clarke, Richard K. Morgan's alright too. That's pretty good stuff right there, also in my preferred genre, but by no means the only options.

Is there a reason you keep suggesting authors and games to read/play? I'm reasonably well versed when it comes to literature and games, particularly the well-known (and in some cases venerable) ones you pick. I am aware of what good writing looks like. I just happen to think Bioshock Infinite does it well.

Xangi:

"The constants and variables idea" is a giant copout that can be used to make anything happen. Giving a character a "resolve plothole" button is not good writing. The constants and variables also contradict the game's own assertions about infinite worlds, as any constants would not really lead to an infinity of worlds at all. Basically Ken Levine doesn't know shit about the many worlds theory.

Maybe, and this is just going out on a limb here, maybe the game isn't meant to be about the many worlds theory? It's a fictional setting, after all, and they can have their physics work however they want them to. It's not like they're even basing it all on a theory that's current and has any real evidence to support it. Most of the physics in the game is supposed to be based on how people thought the world worked in 1912, if I remember right.

Xangi:

I've played it through twice, The first time in a marathon at a party with friends and the second on my own. It's shit, and you're literally not going to find anything good about it that isn't either provably incorrect or minor. Oh and to the spoiler, you really really don't understand how the grandfather paradox works. Even if it DID work like that, fine, that's called SHITTY WRITING.

Similar to above. It's their universe. An umpteen number of sci-fi stories bend and break physics to make their universes possible. Most fantasy has a little something called "magic" that they use to get their plots to work. Other genres have super powers or psychic abilities or vampires or some other fictional thing that makes their world different from the way the universe really works. Genre fiction is soaked in this stuff. I dunno why Bioshock Infinite should be forced to operate according to any real theories or paradoxes in the world. Particularly when they explain in-game how it all works in their specific universe.

It sounds like you're getting a bit worked up over this. I'm afraid that no matter how much the game may have disappointed you, you just can't prove that it's objectively anything. It's playable with a story that many people consider well-written and thoughtful. That puts it well above a lot of games, and as this topic has proven, onto many peoples' top lists for the year. Trying to educate us about how wrong we are is a futile effort. Every argument you have that you think "proves" the game is bad has a counter-argument, and ultimately it all comes down to nothing but opinion. I recommend trying to accept that.

Aardvaarkman:

I tried to play previous versions, with the same result. Are these games supposed to somehow get a lot better deeper into the game?

No.

Well, let me rephrase that. Kind of, but probably not in a way that will matter to you.

Saints Rows 3 and 4 both suffer from "extended tutorial syndrome" and get better as time goes on in the sense that you get more options and more freedom, but a lot of the theme of the game is more or less set. If the physics drive you crazy, though, you're probably not going to enjoy it much.

2 has some wonderful black humour, and it was really good at the time. I'm honestly not sure how well it aged, but the question is whether or not that really matters to you in the first place. In most aspects, it's the best of the SR games.

When I call Saints Row IV lazy, however, I'm mostly talking about the way it comes off as a Saints Row 3 add-on. And in part, it always was. A lot of the idea came from the canceled SRTT DLC titled "Enter the Dominatrix." And for what the game offers, it should have stayed fifteen dollar DLC rather than a 60 dollar standalone title. And while SRTT wasn't bad, it wasn't all that praiseworthy.

I sort of wish I could defend it more, but....

Azahul:

With a couple of years of literary theory behind me, I honestly cannot tell what is broken in Bioshock's story. Not to mention the fact that there's a fairly large body of literary theory that states that objectivity is a myth and that all experiences are subjective, making it pretty hard to state "Nope. Not subjective," in one breath, and then "It's pretty obvious you've never read any literary theory" in the next. Care to expand on that?

Ah, this brings me back to all those years of people telling me I needed to take music theory when it was actually what I went to college for. It even sounds like the same argument, though I don't have a literary theory background so I can't be sure.

Xangi:

Alarien:
Upset that someone's shitting in his pancakes

Is it really necessary to attack people in this way? What Alarien actually wrote is definitely not being upset that somebody is "shitting in his pancakes." And it also implies that you are deliberately "shitting in his pancakes."

Why be so disrespectful towards others?

Xangi:
Simple rules of writing. Show, don't tell. Make characters act realistically. Make characters act logically. Keep everything consistent, especially regarding interpersonal relationships.

Apart from "show, don't tell," that's a recipe for some really boring writing. I don't know if you've ever happened to spend time around humans, but they often don't act logically or consistently. It sounds like your rules are for writing robots.

In any case, good writing doesn't usually happen by following a set of rules.

008Zulu:
Generic FPS's built around multiplayer made 3 out of the 5 worst games of the year. Get out the Crayolas and colour me shocked.

In Yahtzee's defense, they're about 602% of the market right now.

Xangi:
Snip for ease of reference.

One of the only actual facts that can be culled from this discussion is the fact that we disagree. We clearly disagree on what is "good" writing, which is not surprising. Every living being has a different understanding of what "good" means. The word "good" has no inherent value, no formula that allows every human to know how every other human understands the meaning of that term. We all have different senses, after all. We all see, hear, feel, taste, and smell to varying degrees. And that's just the basic, mechanical stuff. How we understand emotions, the degree to which we judge something mild or extreme, these are all inherently subjective things. I'm pulling pretty hard from the works of Nietzsche here, but you get what I mean, right? I could pick up a rock and judge it "hard", but that is dependent on my personal understanding of the term and my sense of touch. It is entirely possible that what I understand as hard is another person's idea of soft, particularly if we're not talking (from a more objective standpoint) about a rock that has all that much in the way of structural integrity compared to other rocks. Words like good, hard, tough, and their opposites, are just commonly accepted adjectives devoid of real meaning outside of how they relate to us as individuals. This is something the scientific community has problems with. Something all scientists have to take on faith is the idea that the methods with which they are perceiving the results of their experiments are not misleading them.

With all of this, how can you ever expect to cull an experience like a video game, an experience that draws on multiple senses (feel, sight, and hearing), and one that discusses complex ideas through the use of metaphor, into a term like "good" or "bad" and expect that opinion to be objective? The idea is laughable, making your insistence that you are right all the more hilarious. Everything you say, everything you feel and experience in your life, comes marked with the qualifier "from my point of view". To believe otherwise is to lie to yourself.

sad to see luigi's mansion didnt make top 5 but i suppose the absolute repeat of a story was offensive enough of an idea, still won't stop me from playing it ^^ good game is good

Of course I noticed the UMAD. I am capable of reading. What I am very much interested in your theory on how 1+1=2 is not, in fact, a fact. Facts do exist. They are far more rare then the average person seems capable of understanding, but they are not a myth.

Your mechanics argument is a running complaint about a style you dislike. I wonder mostly if you played this on a console, as there was nothing floaty about PC based M+K. I found the precision to be pretty well spot-on.

Some of the things you complained about are actually pluses. Elizabeth being an escort with no risk is a huge improvement for me over most escort mission or, as I would typically describe them: "Good lord, please not again, I hate escort missions." What she really serves is as a moving plot device. You are welcome to complain about it, but its a complaint that is not shared universally, or even by a majority.

Vigors are functionally identical? Yes, some are. To an extent. Much of the difference exist only insofar as they can manipulate pre-placed/existing "environmental hazards." Blah. I found that aspect of the entire Bioshock series to be rather bland. On the other hand, some of the vigors stand out as useful and different, particularly charge and undertow. I found those fun. They are not specifically different than plasmids that have come before, but they do not need to be. They are fun to use and effective in the context of an open FPS.

It then follows that the characters are factually poor.

When you present a fact for this, an actual fact, we can continue to discuss character interpretation.

Also, let's get back to theories, since you base most of your opinion on the game's relation to existing "theories." First, the pantheon vs. theory argument is perfectly valid in this case, as the many worlds theory is not based on any facts or science. It is, very much, a faith argument. A scientific theory, such as the theory of gravity (I'm assuming that you're familiar with this one), is based on something that can be demonstrated. I can theorize that a <heaven-realm> exists with no more or less scientific basis than the many worlds theory. To argue that such is "scientific" is amusingly consistent with application of creation science.

Second, you interpret the game in context of one of the theories that the game makes no effort, suggestion, or even vague notion that it intends to follow. It may have functional or theoretical <har> similarities, but in no way does it ever claim an intent to interpret or follow it. Your conclusion that it is a poor interpretation of such is entirely reliant on a fallacious starting assumption. If you claim to understand scientific theory, I would assume you understand scientific method as well.

Pointing out good writers isn't peen waving, though you seem to think so. I just countered your comment on a great writer with one who think is not only a better writer, but easily as influential. You just, again, demanded that people who don't agree with your logic path don't read enough literature (or the "right" literature, as you define it). The point is that I would wager that most of The Escapist have read most of the same works you have. Most of us wouldn't be a part of this community, toxic though it can be, if we weren't already interested in these same things. Insulting everyone's intelligence about reading starts, again, from a fallacious assumption.

Arabs are white, the Turks are white, the North Africans are white, the Persians are white, and the Afghani are white. Read a census sometime.

Call of Duty sucks, but white secularists from America killing white shithead fundamentalists from the white Muslim world's nothing to be bothered by.

Ovrad:

Daniel Lowery:
Yeah, Ghosts was so bad that I couldn't even bare to finish it, and certainly deserves to be the worst of the year, while Ride to Hell deserves worst of all time.

And yet somehow Ghosts made it to the Escapist's "Reader's Choice Game of the Year", while a ton of great games didn't...

It's the same problem with democracy: we let idiots vote.

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