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Only Person in the World With Criticism of Bioshock Infinite


Now Don't get me wrong. Ken Levine has never made a bad game with the word "Shock" in it, and Infinite is not the exception to that rule. Infinite's mix of multi-era music, slick combat, and writing that brought emotional user manipulation to its peak delivered a near seamless experience. With that being said here are the seams.

Bowing to Modern shooter Conventions

While the game didn't include a sticky cover system or a sad attempt at one (DEAD SPACE 3 I'm looking at you) Infinite still saw it necessary to incorporate a "soft" shield that forced you to play in a manner that made you feel locked into one. While was only a minor bother, I felt my heart sink when I tried to pick up a third weapon only to watch the one I was carrying flow to the ground like a dying bird.

I understand the counter argument that having a arsenal bigger than Ted Nugent's stuffed in your underwear can tip the challenge of the game play in the later half of the game, but neither Bioshock had ever adopted this practice before. Using a limited space Inventory method like in System Shock 2 would have even be acceptable, but too many games are jumping on this band wagon as of late, and I was shocked to find it had infected one of my "Shock" games.

The Hype Bird (Minor Spoilers after this giant silly picture)

I could go for hours about how misleading all the trailers and media for this game are, including the current TV spot with Elizabeth's head in the noose, but that's neither here nor there. However, I find the hype attached to the song bird unforgivable. In short, gamers were lead to believe, for the better part of two years that we be going toe to webbed toe with this over-sized robot chicken and it ends up being an almost forgettable plot device that could have been replaced with just about any type of bad guy intervention and a game ending bad tower defense mini-game. Really?

The Song bird was supposed to the Big Daddy of this world. Did Seth Green threaten to sue for copyright infringement? Did the Song Bird ideas get cut or was it always just a going to be a story element? If the latter is the truth, then I can respect that but even in that regard the plot of Elizabeth's bipolar relationship with it, childhood companion and then warden, was so under developed that I almost laughed when she gave it the old aquarium treatment at day's end, which I supposed was supposed to be a tear jerking moment. Don't count on any Oscars, Levine.

Another forgettable, head scratching Boss fight. Even more Minor Spoilers

Speaking of Bad Tower Defense, I can't stay silent on the game's last challenge. Tower defense in Bioshock 2 made sense as it developed over the course of the entire game a convention of pseudo-tower defense in the form of protecting the little sisters as they sucked (don't think too hard on that) but why in the world (or multi-verse) did anyone think it was a good idea to tack on a half-assed tower defense game as the title's finale when it had not been previously developed? Its not like the game didn't have cool boss fights because I thought the graveyard romp against the zombies and Mrs Comstock Rocked! So, Why make the game something its not to close it out?

Perhaps, So the damn Robot Chicken would have something to do? I don't understand the rational. While there is the possibility that I'm just bitter because it took me over 10 tries to lick it on Hard, I still don't understand why a brilliant game designer hasn't had a challenging and contextually significant boss finale since System Shock 2.

What the Hack happened to the "good" mini Games

Aside from the Carnival shooting tutorials, which were kinda brilliant I must admit, I really missed the hack games. Every Game since System Shock has utilized Mini-Games that fit perfectly into the narrative and gameplay. By Bioshock 2 they had even evolved into live action challenges where you were trying to accomplish them while dodging bullets. Instead, we get a bizarre lock picking system that really had no consequences, and was dumbed down to almost another level of currency, you either had the coin to pay the door or you didn't.

No Need to Smile you're not on Candid Camera Anymore

This critique probably comes from more false expectations brought on from the pre-release media that the Siren or Trumpet head guy was going to the equivalent of a walking Camera meets titan. Well, he was. All three times that he was in the game, in the last half hour. While I may be exaggerating, but only slightly, this underused aspect had been an integral part of these games since the first System Shock and I was, like the mini games, sad to see it go.

Final thoughts
Nothing will ever be as cool as the Big Daddy or the insane rantings of the cybernetic egg nannies of System Shock 2 , and we will never be as surprised as we were when we watched ourselves beat Andrew Ryan to death, but all things considered I think {i]Infinite[/i] did the best job it could considering everything it did exceptional well. Ken Levine and co are still telling some of the best stories that Main stream games could ever hope to offer. The above is just a small list of some of the aspects that made me nostalgic for the past or just scratch my head in bewilderment.

Even though, I may have a bias towards the horror settings of Blood soaked space stations and the moans of splicer's agony echoing through the leaky halls of Rapture, I still embrace Infinite as a welcome chapter in the saga of "Shock" games.

On a final note, at games end Rapture got it final wink. Couldn't we get any love for Shodan?
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About Christopher J Oatisone of us since 12:50 PM on 08.20.2008

I am a staff writer for USAPROGMUSIC.COM, WWW.NOROOOMINHELL.COM and a freelance writer of all kinds of fiction. My most recent published work won GAMECOCK Media's MUSHROOM MEN Contest. I am currently earning my Masters in Writing and putting together my first Novel as a Thesis.

I am an old school Gamer at heart, and most of my work measures the new against the old as I feel some of today's games have sold their hearts for the price of innovation.
Xbox LIVE:WaggishChris
Mii code:nickbrutal


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