I’m not quite done with the game yet. I think I will be by the end of the week. I’m debating whether to play it again straight away. One of the problems with any game that has side quests or hidden items (In Infinite’s case, those items include voxophones, sightseeing events, infusions, and code books) is that looking for those items distracts from the story. The voxophones and sightseeing actually adds background to the plot, but looking for them means time that I’m not pursuing the main objectives, which means that every so often I have to remind myself what I’m supposed to be doing.
To be sure, Infinite does a better job with this than, say, Skyrim, where 100 hours can be spent on side quests and the main story only takes about 15 hours. But in Skyrim (and the other Elder Scrolls or Fallout games) the main story isn’t really the main thing. Wandering and exploration is. I guess the better comparison would be to say that Infinite does a better job than the first BioShock game. Playing the first BioShock often felt like going back and forth from room to room, place to place, looking for items and powerups. With Infinite, you’re always a part of the main story, even when you are looking for things. I knew that they had improved this when I realized that Infinite had no mini-map. It’s impossible to get lost in Infinite, which means that you feel like you’re always moving the story forward.
Still, I can’t help but think that if there were NO side items, Infinite would be even better. If I could keep all the items I found for my second playthrough (maybe I can? I don’t know. Some games do that) I think I would love playing the game even more. No wondering if I need to be looking for something, no superfluous exploration. Just the main story, moving forward like a movie. That’s why I think I’d like to play the game again right away, because I wouldn’t be worrying if I miss side items, because I’ve already heard/seen them. Anyway, I’ve got a lot more to say about BioShock, but I’m waiting until I finish it.