Bioshock Infinite [MAJOR POSSIBLE SPOILER WARNING]

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Alright, just beat Bioshock Infinite, and I'm really just curious to see where some other folks are in terms of head space after getting all the way to the end.

Again, in case you didn't see it above, there is a category 5 spoiler warning in effect. I'm going to try and avoid spoilers, but not everyone may have my level of restraint.

So yeah...wow. My mind is officially blown beyond recognition. I thought the mind-fuckery of the original Bioshock's twist could not be topped. Hush my mouth it seems. Normally I would have more to say, but it's only been a few minutes since I beat it and...yeah...my brain is still pretty much a gooey mess on the inside of my skull...more so than usual, I mean.

So, my fellow gamers, what have your reactions been? And, please, let's try to avoid major spoilers.

Oh, and hands up for who else got a massive kick out of the nostalgia trip there near the end?

I finished it last night right after I was the same my mind was just a gooey mess.
But I generally think that it was a good ending and an awesome story, though I called one of twists early but the other one got me.


Really liked that the theme of this one contrasted (almost the opposite) with the first Bioshock (and the second one as well I guess).

Also the Luteces are may favourite characters hands down, just the bizarre manner in which they conversed and appeared. As someone who studied science you catch on real quick that to them the whole story plays out like an experiment.

Also the nostalgia trip was great but it wasn't until I walked through the door towards the exit that I truly knew where I was in the place at which I was just thinking this is awesome.

I think they kinda sprang the ending out of nowhere. I feel like it could have been a better game if they slowly allowed for the pieces of Booker's memory to fall into place as the story progressed. The middle of the game easily could have started telling us a little more of the twist openly, because for a while there it was really just battle after battle with not much happening in between.

Once I got over the initial shock of the abruptness of how much was revealed, I started to appreciate it a bit more. I see no reason why there couldn't have been multiple endings, as the "it never really happened because you closed the loop" is never a good way to end something. Seriously, just have it so there's a different ending the next time you play through the game at least. It would fit the theme of "Infinite".

Here is how I figure the story is supposed to work:

Regarding the actual gameplay: That too has the same problem too me: It is just too much too fast. They have these huge, sprawling environments, that are a stunning to look at, but a pain in the ass to fight in. Especially, when Brooker is made out of cardboard, and they dump loads of enemies inside them, which often requirre very specific tactics to defeat. Crow-Guy, I am looking at you!

For my tastes, both story and gameplay suffer somewhat in comparisson to the original Bioshock by having too much stuff crammed into them.

Story was great, loved the ending.
As for the game, it seemed a little more streamlined than the previous Bioshock. The rpg elements seem to have been scaled back massively so it feels just like a shooter and I never felt hard pressed for resources. I think scaling back on these mechanics and focusing on giving players more combat choice with multi-tiered environments and sky lines makes this game nothing more than a shooter.

But ultimately the story is the star of the show.

SPOILER

Did anyone else guess Booker and Comstock were one and the same early on? The distortion on Comstocks voice gave it away for me.

Exterminas:

For my tastes, both story and gameplay suffer somewhat in comparisson to the original Bioshock by having too much stuff crammed into them.

I feel the problem is quite the opposite, I preferred the story in infinite, but I feel the gameplay is/has become too much of a streamlined shooter compared to the previous Bioshock.

Exterminas:
... and I would be happy if people helped me understand it...

Here's how I understood it:

Exterminas:
For my tastes, both story and gameplay suffer somewhat in comparisson to the original Bioshock by having too much stuff crammed into them.

Your interpretation of the story mirrors my own. Same with the gameplay and story assessment.

Bioshock had a major twist to it but it didn't become so complex that everything falls apart on itself. "Would you kindly..." will always be a phrase that evokes the key themes of the game for me.

That being said the writing in Infinite was great, the symbolism and political satire hit all the right notes. It's just a shame the story started to trip all over itself at the end.

Exterminas:

Ok, I'm going to try and explain this with my best understanding:

I just finished it too, I'm hopping on these threads because I, well, WANT TO DISCUSS IT!
I'll try to avoid an ending explanation since I'm pretty sure there's another thread for that but as for how I felt about it:
HOE
LEE
SHIT
That was one of the most mind-blowing endings my puny brain has ever experienced.
How the writers came up with that stuff is just beyond my mortal comprehension.
And did anyone else get a very Donnie Darko feel from it?
Anyway.
If you want one, this if my favorite explanation so far.
And never mind the spelling and grammatical errors, this explanation is actually pretty good.
http://venturebeat.com/2013/03/28/understanding-bioshock-infinites-ending-ending-explanation/

Don't know why, but I came away feeling pretty... alright with Infinite. It was alright. Setting was great, story was fun, combat was pretty good, I don't have any major complaints really and yet still I'm merely left shrugging my shoulders when it ended.

Maybe it's just because the game never really packed the sort of emotional sucker-punch I was expecting. I liked Elizabeth, sure, and hell I even liker Booker. But while the ending was a neat little bit of mind-bending, it didn't really leave me feeling much of, well, anything other than; huh, cool.

Reminds me of Dishonored's ending, although that one has the option of multiple endings. Still Dishonored left me with a similar feeling of having enjoyed myself without experiencing anything spectacular. That is opposed to games like Walking Dead, Bastion, or hell, even Spec Ops which all had endings that left me thinking and feeling satisfied.

Th3Ch33s3Cak3:
See my post here: (MAJOR SPOILER WARNING) http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/7.403785-BioShock-Infinite-Steam-Pre-Orders-Now-Include-a-Copy-Of-XCOM?page=2#16707581

We already talked about this a week ago.

This is a place for those who ostensibly enjoy games to discuss them.

You came here and made a post for the express purpose of ruining other people's enjoyment. You stood to gain nothing but malicious satisfaction from doing so. You didn't enjoy something so you set out to ensure that other people wouldn't enjoy it either. You posted huge spoilers unmarked spoilers in a news thread.

This is behavior befitting of a spoiled and spiteful little child who, upon dropping their ice cream in the dirt, throws a tantrum and proceeds to run about knocking the ice creams from everyone else's hands.

I would appreciate it if you were to remove yourself from this forum since, tragically, I am only able to add your name to my own ignore list and not everyone else's.

...

(Hello moderator. It needed to be said. If you feel that this post is worthy of your wrath then I shall take my stamp on my left buttock please. I regret nothing!)

Upon finishing the game, I reacted really negatively to the ending. If I can remember correctly I screamed "WHAT THE FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK?!!" and threw my controller across the room.

It was mind-blowing and clever, yet suffered the same fundamental storytelling flaws that Mass Effect 3 (and to a lesser extent AC3) did.

It's a complete deus ex machina, introducing major plot elements in the last minute that do not correlate properly to the preceding game (albeit despite flashes of foreshadowing). All development of the world and characters is dropped in favour of an over-ambitious, genre-changing, "look how clever we are!" stab at the audience. Everything is ultimately erased, with all the themes of racism, religion, capitalism v. communism, slavery and patriotism completely and utterly abandoned.

The ending is less BioShock and more Mass Effect 3. Besides, Phillip Pullman did it better. The developers felt that, in order to please the high expectations of fans, they had to make the ending overtly transcendent. To quote the Bard, this was a case of "Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself, and falls on t'other side."

I admire the ending if only for its audacity. I don't feel it really fitted the tone of the game, though.

I am Harbinger:

Exterminas:
... and I would be happy if people helped me understand it...

Here's how I understood it:

Overall, I liked the story, and the ending.

or I'm overthinking things. maybe.

I am Harbinger:

Oh, and hands up for who else got a massive kick out of the nostalgia trip there near the end?

I really enjoyed infinite. But i enjoyed the first bioshock more. I think its more a personal thing: Played the first bioshock with zero expectation and somehow managed to avoid all spoliers months after it had come out. - The ending for infinite was partially spoiled for me the day it came out (damn trolls.)

I really liked the religious and racist themes at the beginning, but i felt they could have ran with that a little bit more. The ending was pretty good ( much better than previous bioshock). I too share the view that they threw too much in at the end - i can see why they did it since the first bioshock blew its load about two thirds of the way through. The problem here being that infinites story is much more complex and so i think needed a bit more explanation throughout the game. Nothing major (storywise) happened in the middle-act of the game.

The combat feels better, but i don't like how they stripped out the choices in the upgrade system. The first bioshock (and system shock 2 i guess) made it a thing that you had to make a choice, and stick with it. There was not enough adam/ cyber XP to get all the upgrades so you had to commit. In infinite everything just ran on money, which was fairly plentiful.

The vigor and gear upgrades were done better, providing useful abilities. The guns were just boring upgrade-wise, 25% this 50% that. i miss the guns visibly changing too. I do however think they got the difficulty balance right - no becoming OP half way through the game this time :P

TLDR : An overall great game that improves some things, but messes up others a bit. I liked the setting of bioshock 1 more. I liked ryan more than comstock - comstock was a more out and out badguy while ryan you could identify with him somewhat. I also felt with rapture you NEVER forgot where you were, with water leaking in or the sounds of groaning metal constantly reminding you. Parts of comumbia i honestly forgot i was in the sky.

Doclector:
snip

Pretty good explantion i think :) I have some things to add :

cthulhuspawn82:
snip

Yeah when you pick it apart it starts to get silly. The way its presented is quite good though :)

I also think every bioshock is going to be at a disadvantage after the first one. We are ALWAYS going to be looking for "dat twist". The first set a precedent.

I actually like the implication of this fractal lore.
It could give game developers a lot of freedom in designing their games, and they still can connect it to the other games without getting conflicting lore, because they can just decide what happened and what didn't, based on what's important for the plot.

I wish more franchises would do this. Treat lore as more of a pattern, than a strait-jacket. Then they wouldn't have to explain every little detail that popped up 3 games prior.
Batman fights the Joker, Chell does Portals, and the Bioshock-guy finds a magic city next to a lighthouse.

Saw the Booker = Comstock twist coming a mile away, but didn't really have any concept of how it would all come together.

My understanding was that the Elizabeth's didn't kill Booker, they created Comstock. They made Booker understand that everything that happend happend, and everything that would happen would still happen. And so Comstock went forward with that knowledge, with everything he had learned about Columbia, Lutece and Elizabeth, and repeated the cycle. But who knows.

Abomination:

Exterminas:
For my tastes, both story and gameplay suffer somewhat in comparisson to the original Bioshock by having too much stuff crammed into them.

Your interpretation of the story mirrors my own. Same with the gameplay and story assessment.

Bioshock had a major twist to it but it didn't become so complex that everything falls apart on itself. "Would you kindly..." will always be a phrase that evokes the key themes of the game for me.

That being said the writing in Infinite was great, the symbolism and political satire hit all the right notes. It's just a shame the story started to trip all over itself at the end.

How is "would you kindly?" any different from "Bring us the girl, and wipe away the debt." ?

Also I can't think of any plot holes to this story, it all fits well together when you think about it more.

cthulhuspawn82:

dagens24:
My understanding was that the Elizabeth's didn't kill Booker, they created Comstock. They made Booker understand that everything that happend happend, and everything that would happen would still happen. And so Comstock went forward with that knowledge, with everything he had learned about Columbia, Lutece and Elizabeth, and repeated the cycle. But who knows.

My understanding of it is that since Elizabeth can create her own universes and pretty much control the multiverses, that she converged all of the universes at the point where Booker was about to choose to be baptised, and then killed Booker, making it so that in all universes he never becomes Comstock, and so the cycle was broken. Universes where he never went to the baptism still existed though, so there are some universes where he and Anna never get separated, and those are preserved. But Comstock is wiped from all universes simultaneously.

The only way to stop Comstock was to wipe him out as an infant, and this is symbolized by Booker's baptism, where he was reborn as a "holy" man and eventually becomes Comstock. So Comstock was born out of the baptism. Stop the baptism, you stop Comstock.

Sure this is kind of a Deus Ex Machina, but considering Elizabeth's powers, I think it makes sense in this universe.

I am Harbinger:

daveman247:

but i felt they could have ran with that a little bit more.

I disagree. Yes, Bioshock Infinite has multiple themes that it explores, but those have never been what Infinite has been about. Bioshock Infinite is the story of Booker and Elizabeth and little more than that. It's about the relationship between each other, their reactions and opinions of the themes lightly explored in Infinite and many other things. To delve deeper into the multiple might have its own merits, but it could very well cause it to lose its focus.

daveman247:

Nothing major (storywise) happened in the middle-act of the game.

Plot-wise you're right, but the relationship between Booker and Elizabeth definitely did undergo several subtle and not so subtle changes throughout that time and that is easily the most important thing. The reason why so many people like the two is because the game had several hours to flesh them out.

daveman247:

The combat feels better, but i don't like how they stripped out the choices in the upgrade system. The first bioshock (and system shock 2 i guess) made it a thing that you had to make a choice, and stick with it. There was not enough adam/ cyber XP to get all the upgrades so you had to commit. In infinite everything just ran on money, which was fairly plentiful

It's true that the combat and upgrade system is more streamlined, but it's understandable considering the combat of those two games are vastly different. Bioshock had a much slower pace and its excessive amount of plasmids and weapons allowed for a lot of experimentation. Combining many different plasmids, different weapon upgrades, different kinds of money, different builds and whatnot allowed for a more specific and personal playthrough. Infinite however is more about high-paced, extremely aggressive combat. The goal of its combat area designs is to create hectic, fast paced battles, hence the reason why they mostly just limited themselves to aggressive plasmids. A pity, but not that bad a decision. Bioshock's battles eventually became quite dull in my opinion and the main thing that kept me playing was the overall atmosphere, music and storytelling, whereas the fast-paced action of Infinite (if you play it like that) made my heart beat faster during every battle (I played both on hard the first time). The tough battles, the near-death moments where Elizabeth throws that crucial med-kit, salt or ammo your way, the soaring through the sky while you're being shot at, the moment where you barely make it out of a battle alive and feel joy when that battle song ends. If you want it to, Infinite's combat can be an absolute blast.

daveman247:

I also felt with rapture you NEVER forgot where you were, with water leaking in or the sounds of groaning metal constantly reminding you. Parts of comumbia i honestly forgot i was in the sky.

While I agree with the antagonists of 1 being better, I partially disagree with what you've said above. Yes, Bioshock's environment was more memorable as it was quite a sight at the time and the little details you mentioned only add to that immersion. However, as Ken Levine himself put it, that water is never really implemented well into the game. Yes, you're underwater, but aside from a few leaks here and there, the underwater aspect never really holds any weight. You are basically in your average dungeon, only this time it's underwater. Infinite makes it clear you're in the air more than Bioshock 1 makes it clear you're underwater. Both show a fairly unique world (underwater or up in the sky), but whereas you're always walking through a building in B1, you're soaring through the sky on those skylines in Infinite, while airships are trying to wreck your shit. You make more use of the fact that you're in the sky in Infinite than you're using water in B1.

Sight Unseen:

I love the game, but I thought the ending is really stupid. A game like this shouldn't make you feel bored once you're done playing it. I thought I would want to replay it as soon as I'm done with it, but the ending is just such a downer I feel like I accomplished nothing.
As for some of the plot points that were supposed to blow my mind, none of them did. The only thing I really loved was

The rest:

I think the after credits scene means that Booker and Elizabeth got their happy ending. There's only one Booker and Elizabeth (Anna) left IMO.

I think as far as the story goes, Irrational bit off more than they could chew. Some things just don't make any sense.


We're just expected to go along with it.

Shame, really. If the ending was better this would have been my favorite Bioshock. But Bioshock 1 still holds that title proudly.

I am a little disappointed in the ending.

I don't like the whole focus on his baptism and conversion to Christianity as being the cause of him becoming insane Comstock. Rather then recognize the difference between faith and crazy, they mash it together in one broad stroke.

SpaceBat:

snip

characters vs story

Yeah i can see how the focus could be in danger with that. Its still sad to see such interesting ideas get thrown out the window though - american extremism in most aspects. Maybe now that the booker/ elizabeth story is finished they can focus on some other things in DLC :)

combat

Yup, fighting big daddies became a chore later on as you had more things to use. The pace/ balance in infinite i like, along with the skyrails and vigors which are fairly expensive forcing you to choose. The gear is also great. Its specifically the weapon upgrades i feel didn't get enough attention here. Just basic more damage, faster reloading stuff. They were cheap and all were basically the same across the board for all guns. They should have looked at the more interesting weapon upgrades from bioshock 2, and built upon them. You can still very much have "builds" in the game, just not in the gun department.

I didn't realise until near the end you could combine vigors though! I will have to replay it and see what those do :P

rapture vs columbia

Yeah they managed to "use" the air quite a bit and in those parts and yes, i was VERY aware of where i was at those times. But in quite a few sections (specifically the indoor sections, or the shopping centre area) it could very well have been a city anywhere. I know the water in rapture was just eye candy but i just liked the way it looked like it was on the brink of collapsing at all times, very wet and dank. In the more "grounded" parts of columbia they could have had maybe parts of the floor missing to show the sky underneath, or a section on a "literally" falling part of the city where it starts to tilt. Very small things but enough to make me like rapture more.

TLDR i guess we'll have to agree to disagree :)

At least we agreed on who the better bad guy was!

Adam Jensen:
snip

true about the ending. There seems to be a bit of a disconnect between who booker is and who comstock is... Did he just switch personalities after the baptism or something? I don't think they really explained his resoning as well as they did andrew ryan. Just a "heh, religion".

Also i think the after-credits ending is more of a happy-sad thing. Bookers office still seems to be in the "void" where everything is black and white and nothing is outside. I'm thinking he's still in limbo along with his daughter who doesn't exist (physically so basically dead).

Adam Jensen:
Baptism turning you into a megalomaniac who then builds a city in the sky (and how exactly did Booker come to that idea?) doesn't make any sense whatsoever.

daveman247:

Adam Jensen:
snip

true about the ending. There seems to be a bit of a disconnect between who booker is and who comstock is... Did he just switch personalities after the baptism or something? I don't think they really explained his resoning as well as they did andrew ryan. Just a "heh, religion".

It makes perfect sense in context of the game's theme that baptism creates a new person. Hell, Comstock says that nearly verbatim in his first audiolog.

daveman247:

Adam Jensen:
snip

true about the ending. There seems to be a bit of a disconnect between who booker is and who comstock is... Did he just switch personalities after the baptism or something? I don't think they really explained his resoning as well as they did andrew ryan. Just a "heh, religion".

Also i think the after-credits ending is more of a happy-sad thing. Bookers office still seems to be in the "void" where everything is black and white and nothing is outside. I'm thinking he's still in limbo along with his daughter who doesn't exist (physically so basically dead).

Actually it is a happy ending. You see:

Adam Jensen:

Again, I don't know a lot of that for sure, but that was the impression I got.

Robot Number V:

Adam Jensen:

Again, I don't know a lot of that for sure, but that was the impression I got.

Hm, could be. This is the kind of ridiculous shit you get when you play with infinite possibilities. Now get a load of this.

I think that

cthulhuspawn82:

skywolfblue:
I am a little disappointed in the ending.

I don't like the whole focus on his baptism and conversion to Christianity as being the cause of him becoming insane Comstock. Rather then recognize the difference between faith and crazy, they mash it together in one broad stroke.

Phlakes:

It makes perfect sense in context of the game's theme that baptism creates a new person. Hell, Comstock says that nearly verbatim in his first audiolog.

Ah, so basically thats where he begins to loses his marbles, got yer :P

Adam Jensen:
snip

Yeah that can be true too. This is the problem with stories to do with realities. Makes your head spin :S

I found the end bit there rather ambiguous

I am Harbinger:

Exterminas:
... and I would be happy if people helped me understand it...

Here's how I understood it:

That explaines it to me! i also found that recording and gave it little attention but with the way you put it it makes perfect sense!

OT: I found the story awesome and nearly crapped my pants due to bewilderment when the subtitles rolled! WANT MORE!! :D
Also, if you like these kind off story's check out the book "The Paradox Men" by Charles L. Harness it's also a mindblow!

I am going along with a few other people in this thread: it felt like too much too fast. The ending, once you start just walking around and listening to Elizabeth, slowly lost me until I gave up trying to understand what was being said to me. It wasn't until I read a bit online and took a shower that my brain started to understand what had just happened. And it all makes sense too:

So yeah, I liked the game, I liked the story, and I LOVED the part where you revisit a certain area in the end. I thought that was going to be the big twist, that they somehow tie into that place's beginnings, but no. I just think the ending tried a little too hard to be 'thought-provoking.' Is it really too much to ask that we can have happy endings to these things? Like they do make it to Paris or something like that?

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