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Bioshock Infinite, finé - Elf M. Sternberg
Bioshock Infinite, finé
The saddest thing of all about Bioshock Infinite is that I will never be able to play it ever again. I mean, sure, I probably will play it again: there are side-adventures I didn't finish, incomplete (but unnecessary to the central story) mysteries to uncover, and it's an amazing piece of art, but Ken Levine's story has an ending that's right out of The Sixth Sense or Fight Club, and if anyone gives it away, well, they'd better have a damned good reason.

The basic storyline of Bioshock Infinite is understandable: It's 1912 and you're Booker DeWitt, a disgraced member of the Pinkertons, sent by persons unknown to the floating cloud city of Columbia, a "breakaway republic" of the United States, to locate a girl named Elizabeth and bring her back to New York. How and why it floats is as much a mystery as anything else.

There's more than a little of the original Bioshock here, especially in the combat gameplay, but that's not why you should play this game. The combat is just time filler, mostly. This game has a story to tell, and oh, boy, what a story it is telling. Every level has amazing attention to detail; it kicks the Rapture visuals straight in the eyeballs. You could spend hours just looking around at things. Sight-seeing is one of the reasons to play this game. There's just so much to see, to listen to. (No, seriously, listen closely to the music being played. Stop and ask yourself, "Is that...?" And the answer will be, "Yes, yes it is.")

If you go onto youtube and look at the various demos done over the past three years, you see a lot of wonderful demonstrations, some of which, I think, might have been interesting: the 2011 UX demo is especially compelling, and there's dialogue in there that didn't happen in the final release, but Elizabeth's character was move naive then. The 2010 Gameplay Demo is definitely compelling as an in-game movie, but making that work interactively was ambitious; I'm satisfied with what they acheived.

If there's anything off-kilter with the game, it's that some plot details go by so fast that you have to piece their meaning together later by inference. This is especially true of the "Songbird" plot thread; you can tell there's explanatory narrative missing. The character of Elizabeth is somewhat confusing; it's hard to see how the persona she has developed in the space given. In the end there's an explanation that doesn't break the rules, but you have to swallow a lot to get there.

None of that matters. You get the connection Levine wanted. You hope Elizabeth will forgive you for showing her your cruel and violent world. The ending is just amazing. If you're not stunned by it, you might be crying.

Oh, and sit through the credits. All 15 minutes of 'em. It's worth it.

Tags: ,
Current Mood: satisfied satisfied
Current Music: Pure Reason Revolution, Les Malheurs

2 comments or Leave a comment
tekalynn From: tekalynn Date: April 29th, 2013 12:30 am (UTC) (Link)
I understand that one reason to replay the game is to enjoy(?) the crushing irony of almost everything you encountered the first time without realizing the crushing irony of it all. If that makes sense.
From: kistha Date: April 29th, 2013 01:12 am (UTC) (Link)
We've just started it and the subject matter makes me just want to blow everything and everyone up in Columbia - so it's good to know it's going somewhere awesome. Thanks!
2 comments or Leave a comment