I just finished Bioshock Infinite. I know it’s pretty risky to start a criticizing thread like this with everyone praising the game to death. It scores an exceptional high score on Metacritic and I saw many calling it a ‘masterpiece’. Although I agree it’s a good game compared to other AAA-games released this generation, the hype has grown too much.
I’m summing up some points that most of the gamers are overseeing and making this game not a masterpiece at all. I think we also have to look at what we are dealing with here, a game or a movie?
- We’ve known the existence of this game so long. Also, when it was announced, it was told the game already was 2,5 years in development. So overall the game has been in developing for like 4 years. Then why is the single player so short? Especially in comparison with Bioshock which was about 15-20 hours. This game felt exceptionally short and it did end before I expected it to end. I don’t think I’ve played this game more than 8/9 hours. What did they work on for all these years? Games are also about content.
- The gameplay isn’t that innovate or new at all. It actually is Call of Duty in the sky with an exceptionally good way of storytelling. This game has too much action in it and it really doesn’t motivate to explore the world like Bioshock did. More than often I stopped playing because I was sick of the action sequences and another one was about to begin. It’s just a cheap way to extend the overall length of the game. This game gave me the feeling to hurry up, instead of exploring. Also the setting isn’t as creepy as Bioshock was. The enemies are boring and repeated till the very end.
- There was only one boss and that one felt out of place; a random ghost? A ghost in the world of Columbia doesn’t make sense at all. The battle itself is also unfair with tons of boring soldiers around you that don’t give you space to recover or get ammo (which get empty quickly). Letting myself die was the only way to begin with new ammo in some cases.
- What are really the purposes of the plasmids in Columbia? They’re just…there. In Bioshock, all the enemies were obsessed with getting ADAM and getting power with plasmids. The plasmids in Infinite are forced the simulate gameplay like the original Bioshock. Also, plasmids in Bioshock were difficult to get. In Columbia everybody can get those plasmids but just a few are using them against you although they’re a powerful fighting tool. The plasmids in Infinite really don’t make any sense.
- Yes the storytelling is nice and the story itself is complex and therefore giving us the idea it HAS TO BE BRILLIANT. But this complexity is compensated by an almost Infinite amount of plot holes. This story gives us the idea there are an infinite amount of other worlds that are the same in a different way, but this game is focusing on the idea there are only two choices; Booker undergoes the baptism or he doesn’t. In a universe with an infinite amount of worlds there are supposed to be infinite amount of choices (so also a world where he doesn’t even get the choice for baptism). There are also other choices you make in life that can change your life heavily, but they only focus on this one, like it’s the only choice available.
Why did the Lutece Twins travelled between the worlds at one specific time; booker getting in Columbia and waiting for him getting back his daughter. Why didn’t they just travelled until they found a world were Booker already saved his daughter? There are an infinite amount of worlds out there, so it was possible to find a world where Booker got the right variables/choices to save Anna/Elizabeth in ANY way you can think of.
Booker forgetting why he’s in Columbia because of the travelling is a really cheap way to keep things unknown for the player. But when travelling through different universes further in the game, Booker doesn’t forget anything. Thus, Booker forgetting his motives to travel to Columbia was something that could happen and the Lutece twins didn’t had any control over it. Once they noticed that Booker forgot he was in Columbia to save his daughter, why didn’t they tell him everything again? Booker forgot why he was there, so could be even more motivated when he remembered he was there to save his daughter. And why do something if you forgot why you’re doing it? The story really has serious problems in infinite ways (in any way YOU can think of).
No, I’m not saying it’s a bad game, it’s a decent game, but presenting itself more than it is. It isn’t a masterpiece. It is considered a masterpiece because we want it to be a masterpiece. We’ve never seen storytelling like this before and therefore forgiving and even overseeing it’s serious flaws in both gameplay and story. Bioshock Infinite wants to be more than it is.