Monthly Archives: April 2013

BioShock: Infinite Part 2

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.


BioShock: Infinite Part 1

So I’m playing through BioShock: Infinite right now with the intensity of a man who knows exactly what his impending fatherhood means for his video games hobby. And I’m enjoying it. A lot. In fact, at the moment I have the sneaking suspicion that this might end up being one of my favorite games of all time. I’m only 45 minutes in.

Apparently some people have a problem with the forced baptism at the beginning of the game. I’m not sure I understand their complaint, especially given all the killing that the BioShock games expect you to do. It seems to me that if you don’t mind incinerating people, or calling upon a murder of crows to come and… well, murder them,  then getting dunked in a pool of water would be the least of your concerns.

The people making the biggest stink about this are apparently Christians. As a Christian myself, I have to wonder whether this is the only video game they have ever played. Our faith doesn’t exactly emerge as the hero in too many games (I’m pretty sure that Final Fantasy Tactics suggests that the apostles were all demons from another dimension. Yeah.). Besides, as creepy as the faith of Columbia’s (Infinite’s floating city) residents is, parts of it aren’t that far off from the sort of faith that came out of the Third Great Awakening. Actually, the baptism scene reminded me of the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou? The problem the game suggests is (again, I’m only 45 minutes in) that faith has been paired with Nativism. This was a real problem for Christianity at the turn of the 20th century. It still is, in some respects.

Anyway, I’ll post more about the game as I get further in, but I’ve already experienced (and perpetrated) a great deal of violence. The baptism was creepy, but if that’s what bothers you about BioShock: Infinite, you might need to reevaluate some things.