SPOILERS FOR BIOSHOCK: INFINITE BELOW
Approximately halfway through Bioshock: Infinite, Booker and Elizabeth must travel from their current reality, in which a group of rebels called the Vox Populi is futilely attempting to defeat the Fink Company, to another, in which the rebellion is occuring with full force.
Prior to traveling to the second reality, I had been frequenting the vigor, Murder of Crows, which I had upgraded to turn its victims into traps, which detonate into more crows when stepped up. So, nearly every enemy, all of which were Fink soldiers, left behind a nice little nest of death. Upon traveling to the alternate reality, it immediately stood out to me that all of my crow traps were still present. While this was a minor aesthetic issue, I didn't find it to be too bothersome... that was until it ass-fucked me.
In this new reality, Booker and Elizabeth are allied with the Vox Populi, but upon attacking any one rebel, the rest will retalliate with you as their primary enemy.
The Vox Populi stepped on the traps in every area I was forced to backtrack through. And each time I was forced to have to fight both Fink and Vox Populi soldiers, often without any reason for why this was happening.
Given that this sequence lasted upwards of an hour, and serves as a pivotal moment in the narrative, highlighting the player leading the rebellion which will soon spread to the rest of the city, I don't feel this can go unnoticed. At this point the player is supposed to believe that they are leading a rebellion, and regardless of the intentional or unintentional attacks the player may use against the Vox Populi, I find it unacceptable to allow the player to break the immersion with the ease the game allows. By allowing the player to shoot and kill allying NPC, Booker's character is being broken, and as a result the narrative should not be able to progress. Infinite will not allow the player to shoot Elizabeth, as it would disregard the relationship Booker and Elizabeth have, but will allow the deaths of other allies? Why is this so?
(Interestingly enough, the game prompts the player with messages saying "don't shoot your allies", but continues to allow you to.)
Given the sequence during the game's ending, in which Elizabeth tells Booker that in this timeline "You will do it eventually" (when speaking about giving Anna to Comstock), could this excuse not also be used for the assualt on the game's enemies? In other words, in order to progess you must not kill these enemies, as it would interfere with the current timeline? When Booker dies, he respawns in a differnent reality, in which he did not die. So the lack of thought with NPC interaction is irritating, and seems to show a lack of thought put into the design in relation to the narrative.
Perhaps I am reading far too into the gameplay, but it is dissapointing to see the gameplay so far removed from the narrative's boundries. Especially so, considering an entire sequnce can be ruined unitentionally.