Random Thoughts on Infinite (add yours!) (spoilers)

zacajzacaj wrote on 31 Mar 2013 00:15

1. I didn't like it much, haven't finished it. Haven't been able to finish the battle before boarding the transport to the airship to Paris.

2. Way too much fucking shooting. Every area seems to have at least ten enemies in it all attacking you at once, and it seems they completely forgot about the idea of occasionally not needing to have shooting. Big revelation about one of the characters? Time for a shootout. Meet someone who's a bit insane? Obviously he has a hundred henchmen who attack you for no good reason while he drops plot points.

3. Elizabeth had a lot of potential, and it's pretty much all wasted.

3a. Doesn't know anything about outside world some times, but other times is an expert. Overall never seems to have enough awe at everything. I was given to believe she'd basically met almost no one, yet she doesn't seem to react to crowds in any way. Knows how to pick locks, but I have no idea where she'd have gotten a spare lock from, let alone why Comstock would have seen fit to provide her with lock picking books of all things.

3b. Really nice moment with her being horrified the first time you shoot someone in front of her, however she comes around to the idea way too easily, and never seems the least bit queasy after that.

3c. Her realizing who her father is, seeing you shoot people, etc were all ruined by you having to murder thirty people after three lines were exchanged, after which it never comes up again.

3d. They seemed to try to use her for dynamic difficulty adjustment by having her find ammo and money for you, except it just basically means you don't need to look anymore because she'll almost always miraculously come up with whatever you need if you run low.

4. The fetch quests1. They go on forever, and are usually recursive. Need to get on airship->ticket window being watched->detour->find another ticket window->get caught->shoot people->go to another place->transport to airship is broken->need new plasmid vigor to activate transport2->can be found in theatre->theatre entrance leads to another whole level->meet new character->need to do a whole bunch of stuff3 for him to get the vigor->bad plot development->kill him->get vigor->fight your way all the way back. This is where I stopped, but I'm pretty sure you'd have to kill another fifty people and fight through four different arenas to get to the ship after that. The Half-Life commentaries talked a lot about giving the player a glance at where they're going from far away, but this is just going way too far. I think I tended to spend one or two hours between being told to go somewhere and actually getting there, usually with nothing important happening in between, and no sense of location the entire time.

5. The politics. I must admit I never payed much attention to them in the original Bioshocks, but Infinite just assaults you with them at every turn. However it's method of criticizing various opinions/issues is to just put a whole bunch of posters up about them and then never mention it again. Came across a house filled with dark raveny Klan members4 out of nowhere. No mention of them before or after, just some random enemies to kill with different uniforms.

6. The story.5You're being rowed to an island on a boat by people who are never introduced, for a reason you're never told. You're there on orders of some guy, somewhere, who seems to like to torture people, but you're not sure who they are. The island transforms into a rocket ship and dumps you onto Columbia. For some reason, you have a scar reading "AD" on your hand. Posters all over Columbia say that whoever has that mark is a Bad Person. You seem to have been an investigator, if these random scenes when you die and are somehow reincarnated have any importance. You owe some random people money, for some unexplained reason, and because of that you have to kidnap a girl from a flying city. You don't know why they want her, or why you're being sent alone. Apparently you're also a war hero, but you don't like to talk about it. For the first two hours after I arrive on Columbia I'm shooting people, and there hasn't even been a single bit of plot development giving me any credible reason for why they're all trying to kill me.

6a. As soon as the shooting starts, all the citizens disappear, because that's how the world works.

6b. There are, however, thousands of identical police men and random fire people who are more than happy to pop up in droves wherever you're going to be next and whose only purpose in life is to kill you.

In Bioshock this worked because there weren't supposed to be any civilians, and all the enemies were already there, and were insane. There was a logical reason for these enemies to be everywhere, and for them to want to kill you. Infinite's whole world just doesn't hold together.

On the other hand, I realize in retrospect that the Infinite mobs are given as much reason as the middle eastern people in all the CoDs and Spec Ops I've played and I never had any problem with them, which is slightly unsettling on an introspective level.

6c. It is passingly remarked that you've been told to tell Elizabeth "whatever you need to" to get her to come with you. Although I may just have misunderstood, I'm pretty sure the airship you're trying to board isn't actually headed to Paris, as Booker claims. When Elizabeth asks about segregated restrooms6, Booker replies that "that's the way it is", which could be taken as him acknowledging that it's wrong or that Booker is also racist. In general, I think you're meant to get the impression that Booker isn't a stand up guy.7

When you break into Elizabeth's house, you/Booker are trying to get her to trust you, which, in me at least, evokes some sheltering/parental instincts where I'd like to actually be truthful with her when possible, etc, and the suspicion in the back of my mind that Booker/I is/am lying to her constantly really made me uncomfortable.

More so than Spec Ops, in fact. This feeling, combined with a lot of really annoying shooting, convinced me to quit playing, which Spec Ops failed to do. So I've got to commend Infinite for that. If it was trying to make me feel bad, it succeeded. I doubt it was trying to make me quit though, so I guess in the end it failed. Maybe if they'd bothered to explain Booker's/my motivations, I would have been able to stomach it, and would have ended up feeling much worse to boot, which would have been nice.8

I give it a 3.5/5. Still better than Tomb Raider though

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