Ken Levine Was Asked A Lot About Making BioShock Without Violence

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Ken Levine Was Asked A Lot About Making BioShock Without Violence

Bioshock Infinite Fight

Ken Levine was often asked if BioShock could have been made without violence.

In a recent appearance on NPR's "All Things Considered," BioShock creator and creative director Ken Levine discusses how he was often asked about the violence in BioShock: Infinite, and if the game could have been made without it. "Can you do it without the shooting?"

He explains that he wasn't interested in making a game "without a gaming component to it." When asked if he's referring to the violent component he confirms that, "I wouldn't have known how to make a game like Mario. I wouldn't have known how to take this kind of story and turn it into a game about jumping on blocks, or a PacMan eating dots."

He goes on to elaborate that BioShock: Infinite was used as a vehicle to move the discussion forward on the game industry's potential and expectations, "I think the reaction to the violence is more an expression of people building confidence in the industry's ability to express itself in more diverse fashions." Violence, according to Levine, is relatively easy to simulate and there's an established market for it, which is why most games choose to use it.

The segment provides more interesting insights from Levine, like how critics were skeptical about the original game's potential, given it's subject matter. You can listen to the rest of his discussion on where the video game industry is headed here.

Source: GameSpot

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Do the people, that ask this question, not get why there was so much freaking violance in this particular game?

I feel that those asking why there's violence in the Bioshock games are rather missing the point, ESPECIALLY when it comes to Infinite, as violence is a central part of Booker's character.

I absolutely love Bioshock Infinite, and I personally found that the violence ran with a lot of the themes of the games story, such as a beautiful world with an ugly underside, beautiful graphics and art style with a violent and gory side. This helped drive the point home. Also it helped that Elizabeth reacts in horror if you execute an enemy in front of her or kill one in sight of her. It makes the redemption at the end all the more meaningful.

Am I missing something? I wasn't surprised by the violence at all in BioShock Infinite. I'm used to having violence in my videogames. And then there was BioShock and BioShock II, which were also full of violence. And yet, I seem to hear a lot about the violence in Infinite. Why is the violence in this game getting so much attention? Is it really that shocking and I've just become used to this sort of thing now? I mean yes, when you first get the sky hook and use it on that cop, that was a little shocking, but otherwise I just view it was part of the game.

Apparently the people who asked this question did not truly understand the game. Removing the violence from Bioshock: Infinite would've been like removing the time travel from Doctor Who. Or removing warp drive from Star Trek.

I agree that violence is an easy game mechanic and one of the basest traditional formats in games (hell, it's a step above kids yelling 'bang bang!' at each other) but I find the notion of making this game without it to be incredibly interesting.

Columbia was gorgeous but once the fighting started it was mostly a blur to me. I couldn't reliably describe where or what the game looked like after I first started splattering brains so from an appreciating-the-environs aspect, no fighting would be nice.

As a new Pilgrim you have to fit in (and maybe start wearing gloves after you see a sign showing your tattoo) and could play more stealth-style as you keep yourself looking respectable whilst also stealing food/supplies/hacking vigors and sneaking into places you shouldn't be, carefully timing it to enter the tower when most of the shift is off and either avoiding or choking out any lingering scientists.

Or, you could use the underlying racial tensions to your advantage and help the enslaved underclass, building trust and respect with them so that they help you (janitors distracting people away, opening doors etc) and then once you've gotten Elizabeth out you and she are just faces in the crowd (except maybe for guards who might have been told your description? Requiring an Assassin's Creed-esque 'building awareness meter?) but as you continue using your contacts in the underclass to stay hidden and get moving, they start asking you for help with the rebellion.

If you agree you become a leading rebel figure, instantly recognisable but with many more resources (and 'all you have to do' is help them win, then there'd never be anyone coming after Elizabeth - helping them win not through you fighting anyone but you putting your army days tactics to use and directing rebel groups, arms movements and making judgement calls regarding violence/no violence, sabotage or propaganda, execute or forgive. Unlike Bioshock 2 where all 'good/forgive' choices were ideal, you could have the decisions make *sense*. Those sympathetic to you or who will aid you don't get executed but those who are your stalwart enemies do. Violence here but negotiating there. The way you direct the rebellion changes not only whether you win or lose but also the degree to which you win or lose - the nightmare widespread massacre of the original game or a less violent 'equality' achievement? Etc.) but if you refuse then every single helping person refuses you and some might even point you out to guards.

Its not the violence that seems out of place in bioshock, its that, that's the only means of interacting with your enemies. In the original it was fine since splicers were essentially just monsters, but in Infinite the enemies were just normal people, it seems weird that they would see their comrades get killed and still just mindlessly charge you.

I like how he answered the question, about how he didn't know how to make it without the violence. It implies that if he saw another way to do so he would have taken it if it meant he could tell his story in an improved way.

He's honest if nothing else, and in this industry these days that's something to be applauded.

I would have been more inclined to ask if the game could have been made without being so pretentious and Mr. Levine and crew so damn proud of themselves for making a story that couldn't hold a candle to the first BioShock and especially not BioShock 2's and Minerva's Den's. And when it comes to Elizabeth - Great, you made a helpful female sidekick who doesn't get in the way. Whoopie. Valve beat your by almost a decade, and I don't even like Valve that much.

So basically he included generic first-person shooting for the reasons everyone expected they did; because it sells well and they have no clue how to integrate gameplay and story.

To bad the gameplay is god-awful and the story is mediocre, but kudos to him for being honest.

LysanderNemoinis:
I would have been more inclined to ask if the game could have been made without being so pretentious and Mr. Levine and crew so damn proud of themselves for making a story that couldn't hold a candle to the first BioShock and especially not BioShock 2's and Minerva's Den's. And when it comes to Elizabeth - Great, you made a helpful female sidekick who doesn't get in the way. Whoopie. Valve beat your by almost a decade, and I don't even like Valve that much.

I don't really see what was so pretentious about this game, I thought it was quite good at not being that.
Also Elizabeth is a vital character who's actions pro-actively influence the stories outcome. With all due respect, I would invite you to take another crack at this game, as I feel like you might have rushed through it, skipping cut-scenes and what not.

The first thing that people saw of Bioshock was a trailer that ended with a man getting impaled on a drill. I think violence was implied.

While I can get why people complain about the violence, it's an unavoidable element in a game that revolves around a powder keg of civil unrest just waiting to happen, with a main character to whom violence is an actual defining trait.

I can understand those who felt the fighting dragged out too long (though I did enjoy it) and am on board with those who will say that the scavenging was plain silly (it reminds me of George Constanza on Seinfeld eating an eclair out of the garbage can and defending himself by saying it was "above the rim").

There are bigger culprits, though. Sleeping Dogs does a ton of stuff right, only to shatter all that credibility once killing becomes commonplace, and you start having shoot outs on every mission. In a game so heavily invested on melee combat and in a game that established murder as the line you just don't cross, it all comes crashing once you blow up a dozen cars per mission. Even the fights got more brutal, as you can impale guys on meathooks and use electric saws on their faces. Wei Shen is a cop, and as undercover as he was, this just defies any suspension of disbelief. It's almost as if someone got scared mid production that the lack of guns would not sell, and at that point, you're just doing a subpar GTA. I'd have made Wei Shen into a Vic Mackey type figure, which in my estimation, would have been a breath of fresh air. A couple of killings, some careful disposal of the bodies and definitely some weight and consequence to wanton murdering.

Most of the same problems apply to instant one woman army Lara Croft and it's massive killing spree. Again, a missed opportunity to take the killing to a minimum, and focus on surviving and exploring. A few hundred bodies to her name would have done wonders for the character, I wager.

Are... are people unable to analyze even basic themes?

Violence is a huge overarching theme in Bioshock, especially in Bioshock: Infinite. Its integral to Booker's character, as well as Fitzroy, Comstock, Slate...

Do people not get this???

Kameburger:

LysanderNemoinis:
I would have been more inclined to ask if the game could have been made without being so pretentious and Mr. Levine and crew so damn proud of themselves for making a story that couldn't hold a candle to the first BioShock and especially not BioShock 2's and Minerva's Den's. And when it comes to Elizabeth - Great, you made a helpful female sidekick who doesn't get in the way. Whoopie. Valve beat your by almost a decade, and I don't even like Valve that much.

I don't really see what was so pretentious about this game, I thought it was quite good at not being that.
Also Elizabeth is a vital character who's actions pro-actively influence the stories outcome. With all due respect, I would invite you to take another crack at this game, as I feel like you might have rushed through it, skipping cut-scenes and what not.

No need to use an Italian eraser phrase (Dom Irrera joke), but I didn't skip any of the cutscenes or any of the dialogue, audio logs, etc. I just found the game's story to be far below their previous game and further below 2K Marin's output in BioShock 2. And yeah, Elizabeth is pro-active in the story, but so is Alyx from Half-Life and so are a lot of other female characters, but I never heard people falling all over themselves for the badass ladies of Resident Evil or Dead Space (admittedly minus the third game) the way they did for Elizabeth.

As for being pretentious, I got sick and tired of the game slamming it's "big ideas" at with giant fists of ham and then being so proud of itself. BioShocks 1 and 2 were subtle and nuanced, but I feel Infinite is just a caricature of the series, and without the far more interesting gameplay of the previous games to hold up the shoddy narrative, it falls utterly flat for me. The first two games were masterful works of art that combined great stories with terrific gameplay. Infinite's story is just a Twilight Zone episode written by an MSNBC commentator married to gameplay that's essentially Call of Duty with magic.

Ok I think the problem isn't the presence of violence but how it is being applied.

Booker is pretty much openly waging war against Columbia as a one man army for half the game. The trouble is that Columbia is a stable, if oppressive, society and that as the player you are pretty much bring about chaos by the truckloads.

IMO perhaps it would've been "smarter" to allow the player to wage guerilla warfare instead of rampaging through town. When not fighting one is scheming and gathering supplies for the next strike. When the strike does come perhaps it would be better to cause mass panic than mass bloodshed.

I can't speak for the others, but my beef with violence is how it's mostly tied into the shootouts. How this amazing experience is interrupted with a "Hey! Here's gunplay so you don't forget you're playing a video game!".

I don't really care for Ken Levine, but you have to love how honest he is. I half expected him to be like, "I really wanted to do that, but the publisher said it wouldn't sell so I wasn't allowed to."

As other's have stated, violence is a major part of the story. It couldn't really be made without it and most of the violence is leading towards something in all of the games. And it was such an integral part of Booker's character. Part of the theme is how he goes from being a violent fighter to being a "prophet" who uses violence to achieve his ends. It's a reformation (hardly seems like a coincidence) of sorts for the character but doesn't change the core of who he is.

This is my big issue with games going "mainstream" like they have done, and now comics. As soon as it's outside it's main culture of people who supported it when it wasn't "mainstream", everyone all of the suddenly has a say in how everything is done, changing the core of what it is. It's weird. So, we have games that are first person story games with no gameplay (ie Home and Dear Esther). People love those. But they are the worst kind of "game" in that there is not a game part of it. I'm not saying they shouldn't exist or that they are terrible (I don't care for them, but that is a personal choice and is not commentary on the whole genre). Adventure games have a gameplay element and tell a story, so for me that is a higher form of gaming. The Walking Dead is rife with violence, but that story would significantly lesser without it. So would the Bioshock games.

It's automatically considered "artistic" by most onlookers because they lack this "terrible violence", and they feel compelled to then question why other games can't be like this, even acting as if other games are lesser because they don't emulate this same thing. The only thing is that many game developers strive to not be homogenized. They want to make something that matters to them and is there's. You can't blame them for that.

People who ask those sort of questions should honestly avoid games, they aren't going to make the pass time better, only worse.

BarelyAudible:
I can't speak for the others, but my beef with violence is how it's mostly tied into the shootouts. How this amazing experience is interrupted with a "Hey! Here's gunplay so you don't forget you're playing a video game!".

After all I just said, I do agree with this sentiment wholeheartedly though. It was just a bunch of shooting galleries between moments that really mattered, and not particularly good ones at that. They weren't bad, but they were just so... vanilla, to put it in the words of one of my coworkers.

Honestly, I never really got the complaints about the violence. Considering the story of Infinite and Booker as a character, violence seems like a perfect fit actually. I've always suspected that when people touted that the game suffered from "ludonarrative dissonance" that they either a) just didn't like the game (which is fine) but wanted an academic reason to explain their dislike and convince other people that they're wrong, or b) felt that since the game came out after the whole issue with Sandy Hook and the media focus on gaming that it was their responsibility to denounce violent games as a way to justify themselves or their hobby to mainstream media.

Isn't combat the entire draw for the Bioshock series? None of them has had a strong story. What they excelled at was atmosphere, but that only enhanced the actual gameplay and the sheer variety of ways you can approach combat (at least in the first two, Infinite kind of dropped the ball a bit there.)

I still remember before the first game came out, the marketing was focusing on the intricacy of the combat, and that's exactly why I enjoyed the games.

This is like suggesting that GTA be made without stealing cars.

Well look at Tomb Raider. The classic games had much more puzzles, exploration, and entire levels without other human beings. There were even times that you ran across random wandering NPCs that you didn't have to kill and they'd help you as long as you didn't attack them. There would just mostly be demons, monsters, and aggressive animals to kill.

Crystal Dynamics declared that boring, put in fun time, gore arenas and less tombs/puzzles. Then everyone declared the game revolutionary and progressive over the original cause Lara's cup size was smaller and she cried more.

Bet the new game will have a scene where Lara rips a man's eye out with the ice axe, holds it up to the camera and questions what kind of monster she has become, shedding a singular tear of regret. Then proceeds to hack more men to bits, while flipping around like a monkey to get the highest score.

I agree with the posters saying that violence is a core theme of the Bioshock series. However, I will say that there was too much, and that the shooting parts of the game were an absolute slog. The first part of the game (before you start gunning people down) and the last part after destroying the Siphon were the highlights for me. Making it more of a "walk-em-up" (I believe that's the term that's getting used) might have been better.

I wouldn't say the violence hurt the game as much as the tedious insertion of an excess of said violence.

The amount of run-around fetch quests to send you into arenas to fight guys, often refilled for the trip back as well just felt like padding. Farther on into the game, it stops even using interesting setpieces and you're just fighting refilling corridors (in the mechanics sense, I'm aware that some of them are outside, but still effectively corridors) full of mooks (and then palette swapped mooks).

I never got the complaints for violence.
In fact, Infinite is not violent enough...

There are so many other things you can point at and people choose violence.
What about idiotic pathetic AI? Or the at times nonsence storyline? Or the game design?

Pogilrup:
Ok I think the problem isn't the presence of violence but how it is being applied.

Booker is pretty much openly waging war against Columbia as a one man army for half the game. The trouble is that Columbia is a stable, if oppressive, society and that as the player you are pretty much bring about chaos by the truckloads.

IMO perhaps it would've been "smarter" to allow the player to wage guerilla warfare instead of rampaging through town. When not fighting one is scheming and gathering supplies for the next strike. When the strike does come perhaps it would be better to cause mass panic than mass bloodshed.

I'm gonna be that guy...

While it is true that Columbia was stable at the beginning of the game, even then as the game starts you get peeks at the civil unrest just below the surface of this society.

No one hits you over the head with it until much later sure, but it is implied and there is pretty much little doubt that things were going to get violent even without you as the supposed catalyst or scapegoat. Then lets just point out that Booker was expected and this entire society was setup against you even before you realize it. You aren't actually bring chaos, if your very presence pretty much means that people are going to fall into what is essentially state advocated vigilantism to stop you at all costs.

I agree that it would have been more interesting to have been able to have more tactical options about how you go about things, but I don't feel like they were being less "smart" with the choices they made in regards to how Columbia reacts to you the player.

..did Ken Levine just admit that he doesn't know what a non violent Bioshock could be like, because it isn't easy?
Besides shooting yourself in the foot with future investors, that's a pretty halfassed thing to say.

Of course you could make it non-violent, and despite people saying that it should be a crucial component (because it's what we're used to), I'm going to go on on the other side of the street and say why the hell not?
The weapons were, in my opinion, by far the weakest point of the game and the biggest reason that I disliked it so much. While people were singing the games praises, I stood slackjawed on the side and wondered what the hell they were talking about. Bioshock Infinite was not amazing; It had a great setting, beautiful art and characters, but as a game I felt I might as well be playing one of the Call of Duty's that at least had decent gunplay.

I'll leave this for you to watch, another Mr.Btongue video.
(WARNING, the video has very loud audio at the beginning)

Summed up, violence has become this easy go-to gameplay that's become a bad habit, where you mow down enemy after enemy, even if it doesn't fit into the setting. Why? Because that's what we expect, that's what we think we want.

Let's look at the game.
You're an alcoholic detective that goes to a completely mindblowing place, looking for a girl that you essentially have to kidnap. Instead of trying to stay incognito and investigate, you almost immediately start messing with your surroundings and start applying your own morals to the situations around you and end up mowing down the police force and inhabitants.
That reeks of a shitty story hook forcing you into what we expect: Combat. Shooting. Killing.

How could be game be non-violent and still have a gameplay element? How about avoiding suspicion, confrontation and killing? Those are by far harder than gunning down everything in sight. How about you use the revolution to your advantage while moving around? How about trying to save a few lives along the way, or not save them in order to save time?
How about stealth and using influence/knowledge to gain allies?
And how about a combat system that's still implemented as a last resort, with heavy consequences so it actually means something?

Fair points against it, would be that it wouldn't be a successor, it isn't what they've made before, it isn't what people expect, it'd be a hard sell etc. but flat out saying that the game wouldn't have a gaming component to it without being hyper violent, is blatantly stupid and narrow sighted.

Worgen:
Its not the violence that seems out of place in bioshock, its that, that's the only means of interacting with your enemies. In the original it was fine since splicers were essentially just monsters, but in Infinite the enemies were just normal people, it seems weird that they would see their comrades get killed and still just mindlessly charge you.

It isn't really weird once you think about it. I mean, these people are religious fanatics who live in a Jonestown (but nicer)-style cult, and to them Booker is literally the devil who they think is literally out to destroy their world and kill their families. It would be weird if they didn't try and kill you with every opportunity. :\

Oh not that fucking thing again. It's a story about violence, how do you tell that without fucking VIOLENCE?!

The problem with Bioshock Infinite is the same problem that comes with all Bioshock games; the "game" part is always the least engaging part.

Each Bioshock opens with a memorable, highly cinematic intro sequence, features a few minutes of roaming a non-hostile environment, and then railroads you from one amusement park set-piece to another. The moment weapons are drawn and crazed fanatics start gibbering, the game just becomes comically out-of-place bar brawls and shootouts, desperately being glued together by a lot of System Shock 2 voice recordings, and the occasional faux-shocking twist revelation or pretentious cutscene blather with a bad-guy.

The reason combat worked in System Shock 2 was that you were in a genuinely dead environment, filled with alien-infested crew and creepy suicide robots that'd wander in while you were exploring (read, while EXPLORING--big factor here) with your back turned. In Bioshocks, the games are always too shoved-up their own story to ever let it sink in that the enemies might be scary--and they're all just 'people' to boot. Sure, some of them are ugly people, but half their dialogue makes them seem like cartoon characters that would seem appropriate walking out of the setting of Team Fortress 2. Even the Big Daddies are threatening in the least direct way possible, and fighting them is something you always do on your own terms. Hell, there's practically an alarm bell any time you have to fight a splicer, what with them giving themselves away from a mile with banal jabber meant to be intimidating. Then you have Burial At Sea part 2, where they're so desperate to conjure fear and tension into the game that they have Sander Cohen make a "LOOK BEHIND YOU" gag to try and get you to jump.

I think if the Bioshock crew spent half as much time trying to make a game specifically for its congruous gameplay, as they do hyping up the bloody things cinematic elements, violence wouldn't even be a concern. As it stands, the games don't even make the violence that particularly 'relevant', let alone jarring. By the end of most playthroughs, I'd slaughtered ten times as many people as any of the actual antagonists, and any time I encountered something breathing, my first instinct was to beat the snot out of it just to get it to stop rambling on. Then I had to ask where all the nice people teleported off to, in order to give room for the loonies with the Lady Liberty masks to jump in. Perhaps they all realized at once, that they were in a Bioshock game, and that eventually they would either have to go crazy or be forced to vacate the premises, and having made this realization, willed themselves from being.

Not the stunning orgasmic game-of-the-year experience I'd expect of a game with this much clout, and it's embarrassing that all it takes these days to clinch that title is a modestly good support character who can summon samurai into department stores for whatever reason. What I'm wondering is what would happen if we got more of the juiciness of Burial At Sea Part 1's opening moments--just exploring an interesting location with interesting characters, without it becoming a monkey house of bang-bang and fireballs.

LysanderNemoinis:

Kameburger:

LysanderNemoinis:
I would have been more inclined to ask if the game could have been made without being so pretentious and Mr. Levine and crew so damn proud of themselves for making a story that couldn't hold a candle to the first BioShock and especially not BioShock 2's and Minerva's Den's. And when it comes to Elizabeth - Great, you made a helpful female sidekick who doesn't get in the way. Whoopie. Valve beat your by almost a decade, and I don't even like Valve that much.

I don't really see what was so pretentious about this game, I thought it was quite good at not being that.
Also Elizabeth is a vital character who's actions pro-actively influence the stories outcome. With all due respect, I would invite you to take another crack at this game, as I feel like you might have rushed through it, skipping cut-scenes and what not.

No need to use an Italian eraser phrase (Dom Irrera joke), but I didn't skip any of the cutscenes or any of the dialogue, audio logs, etc. I just found the game's story to be far below their previous game and further below 2K Marin's output in BioShock 2. And yeah, Elizabeth is pro-active in the story, but so is Alyx from Half-Life and so are a lot of other female characters, but I never heard people falling all over themselves for the badass ladies of Resident Evil or Dead Space (admittedly minus the third game) the way they did for Elizabeth.

As for being pretentious, I got sick and tired of the game slamming it's "big ideas" at with giant fists of ham and then being so proud of itself. BioShocks 1 and 2 were subtle and nuanced, but I feel Infinite is just a caricature of the series, and without the far more interesting gameplay of the previous games to hold up the shoddy narrative, it falls utterly flat for me. The first two games were masterful works of art that combined great stories with terrific gameplay. Infinite's story is just a Twilight Zone episode written by an MSNBC commentator married to gameplay that's essentially Call of Duty with magic.

>dont like pretentiousness
>make obscure reference

okay

Phrozenflame500:
So basically he included generic first-person shooting for the reasons everyone expected they did; because it sells well and they have no clue how to integrate gameplay and story.

To bad the gameplay is god-awful and the story is mediocre, but kudos to him for being honest.

Eh? The gameplay is not awful. You might not like shooters, but that doesnt mean its awful. Its a hell of a lot more polished and smooth than System Shock 2 could ever hope to be. Is it as deep? Hell no, but that does not mean its bad. The story is not mediocre either. Its not as good as Bioshock 1, but its pretty damn engaging.

Violence is ultimately the expression of conflict. Of failed communication and the impossibility of seeing eye to eye. The shooting is simply the manifestation of Bookers fight against an opposing philosophy on one level and a more specific individual on the other.

That might sound lofty, but in a game like Bioshock it is true as well. The game takes care to create an atmosphere and backdrop to paint its colors. This elevates the rest of the game.

So basically ken just outed himself as being creatively bankrupt when it comes to gameplay design. Given how tedious and dull Infinites gameplay was I'm honestly not surprised to now hear this. That original e3 demo was amazing and then the actual game played almost nothing like it.

VondeVon:
I agree that violence is an easy game mechanic and one of the basest traditional formats in games (hell, it's a step above kids yelling 'bang bang!' at each other) but I find the notion of making this game without it to be incredibly interesting.

Columbia was gorgeous but once the fighting started it was mostly a blur to me. I couldn't reliably describe where or what the game looked like after I first started splattering brains so from an appreciating-the-environs aspect, no fighting would be nice.

As a new Pilgrim you have to fit in (and maybe start wearing gloves after you see a sign showing your tattoo) and could play more stealth-style as you keep yourself looking respectable whilst also stealing food/supplies/hacking vigors and sneaking into places you shouldn't be, carefully timing it to enter the tower when most of the shift is off and either avoiding or choking out any lingering scientists.

Or, you could use the underlying racial tensions to your advantage and help the enslaved underclass, building trust and respect with them so that they help you (janitors distracting people away, opening doors etc) and then once you've gotten Elizabeth out you and she are just faces in the crowd (except maybe for guards who might have been told your description? Requiring an Assassin's Creed-esque 'building awareness meter?) but as you continue using your contacts in the underclass to stay hidden and get moving, they start asking you for help with the rebellion.

If you agree you become a leading rebel figure, instantly recognisable but with many more resources (and 'all you have to do' is help them win, then there'd never be anyone coming after Elizabeth - helping them win not through you fighting anyone but you putting your army days tactics to use and directing rebel groups, arms movements and making judgement calls regarding violence/no violence, sabotage or propaganda, execute or forgive. Unlike Bioshock 2 where all 'good/forgive' choices were ideal, you could have the decisions make *sense*. Those sympathetic to you or who will aid you don't get executed but those who are your stalwart enemies do. Violence here but negotiating there. The way you direct the rebellion changes not only whether you win or lose but also the degree to which you win or lose - the nightmare widespread massacre of the original game or a less violent 'equality' achievement? Etc.) but if you refuse then every single helping person refuses you and some might even point you out to guards.

Love the idea of this, it would have been great but most developers couldnt pull it off. Violence was really a part of Bookers character, it had followed him all his life and despite wanting to change he could never shake his nature. Having the opportunity for him turn it into something positive for once in his life would have made a more compelling character arc, tie that into the big shock at the end and it could have decided his fate. If he redeemed himself it could have gone one way, if he had learned nothing and stayed the same it could have gone the other.

tzimize:

Eh? The gameplay is not awful. You might not like shooters, but that doesnt mean its awful. Its a hell of a lot more polished and smooth than System Shock 2 could ever hope to be. Is it as deep? Hell no, but that does not mean its bad.

I actually quite like shooters, but Bioshock: Infinite's had a shit-tier two weapons system with flacid, boring guns and heavily bullet spongey enemies towards the end. Not to mention the vigors were, aside from a few, basically just glorified carbon copies of one another. The only saving grace was maybe the skyrails, but even that felt kinda stiff and generally underdeveloped. And saying the shooting is "more polished and smooth than System Shock 2" is like saying a pile of shit smells better then a skunk's asshole.

tzimize:

The story is not mediocre either. Its not as good as Bioshock 1, but its pretty damn engaging.

I'd say it was mediocre. The long dev time really showed and the story could have used a lot of trimming down. It went from a satirical take on the 50s to focusing on Elizabeth to class warfare to focusing on Booker and then a bizarre multi-dimensional twist thrown in at the last second. Any one of those could have been made into compelling stories in their own right, but all together it just feels like a disjointed mess.

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