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Author Topic: Bioshock: Infinite  (Read 29660 times)
Bunk
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Reply #245 on: April 09, 2013, 01:12:39 PM

You lost me once you started ranting on gun upgrading.  It's a video game.

So's System Shock 2.  Throw away an upgraded gun in that and pick up another, see how upgraded it is.


You also couldn't spend an entire combat sequence zipping around on skyline at 100mph while shooting things in System Shock 2. They are different games. The word Shock is about the only thing they have in common.

You complain that having weapons stay upgraded after you drop them - would you prefer the hyper realism of carrying around twelve different guns simultaneously?

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Rasix
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Reply #246 on: April 09, 2013, 01:15:18 PM

They're just completely different games.  Have been since the second you set foot in Rapture.   I think Infinite's shortcomings as a game aren't interesting in the ways that for the third consecutive time it failed to be System Shock 2, it's the ways that it continued to hitch itself to the systems in Bioshock.  But as a member of the franchise, I guess we get magic powers + upgrades, guns + upgrades, looting, and vending machines until the inevitable reboot when I'm in my 40s.

It would have been cool to see something a little more customized to the setting (outside the hook) or different this time, but overall the systems didn't hamper my enjoyment of the game.  They just didn't fit as well.

« Last Edit: April 09, 2013, 01:17:25 PM by Rasix »

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Reply #247 on: April 09, 2013, 01:58:41 PM

You lost me once you started ranting on gun upgrading.  It's a video game.

So's System Shock 2.  Throw away an upgraded gun in that and pick up another, see how upgraded it is.


You also couldn't spend an entire combat sequence zipping around on skyline at 100mph while shooting things in System Shock 2. They are different games. The word Shock is about the only thing they have in common.

You complain that having weapons stay upgraded after you drop them - would you prefer the hyper realism of carrying around twelve different guns simultaneously?

I actually prefer the hyper realism of an inventory system with finite capacity rather than having eight magic transdimensional holsters that will hold any weapon regardless of size.

I'm watching someone LP SS2 right now as a Psionic which I never did, and after struggling through the first couple decks it seems to have degenerated into him keeping Agility up so he can run around really fast, then wrenching (later laser rapier-ing) to death with adrenaline, with judicious use of the cyberaffinity psionic skill to hack stuff when needed. Psionics actually seems like it'd be broke as hell at high levels...I didn't realize it until the guy did it but with Pyro Field you're immune to the explosions from Protocol Droids.

The thing that SS2 has over all of the Bioshock games is that you have a lot of build options rather than just "welp you're good at everything do whatever".

I've done psi-only runs in SS2; they definitely put a different spin on the game.  Most of the powers generally suck compared to just shotgunning something in the face, but in a few situations they're insanely useful.

Anyone wanting to play it today should use the instructions here which will apply the 2012 patch to make it compatible with modern OSes and widescreen monitors, as well as the much-needed graphical updates made by the fan community.
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Reply #248 on: April 09, 2013, 03:49:11 PM

You lost me once you started ranting on gun upgrading.  It's a video game.

So's System Shock 2.  Throw away an upgraded gun in that and pick up another, see how upgraded it is.


You also couldn't spend an entire combat sequence zipping around on skyline at 100mph while shooting things in System Shock 2. They are different games. The word Shock is about the only thing they have in common.

You complain that having weapons stay upgraded after you drop them - would you prefer the hyper realism of carrying around twelve different guns simultaneously?

Kind of funny really. They get great acclaim for innovating RPG elements into a shooter then spend the next 14 years trying to get it out again.
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Reply #249 on: April 09, 2013, 04:06:23 PM

I liked it for what it is. It really isn't an RPG so much as its an interactive story, mixed with a shooter. I thought it reminded me more of a game like Uncharted or Resident Evil. People seem to be determined to call it an RPG when it really isn't.

I liked that the gun upgrades forced me to focus on a play style. Going through a game maxing out shotgun and the heavy pistol would play totally different from one focused on the sniping weapons. I had to make that choice of whether or not to pick up that RPG in a given situation, given how much better my upgraded burst gun would be in the next area. Same with the vigors. I maxed out Murder of Crows, which lent to a totally different combat approach compared to some of the other powers.

Honestly, combat wise, it was a well balanced, reasonably fun game with some silly quirks. Based on that it was an average game at best. 
I loved the game because it played in to my obsession with finding things and learning back story. The story was bizarre enough to keep me coming back for more. I wanted to know just what the hell was going to happen.

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Reply #250 on: April 09, 2013, 05:47:13 PM

I'm watching someone LP SS2 right now as a Psionic which I never did, and after struggling through the first couple decks it seems to have degenerated into him keeping Agility up so he can run around really fast, then wrenching (later laser rapier-ing) to death with adrenaline, with judicious use of the cyberaffinity psionic skill to hack stuff when needed. Psionics actually seems like it'd be broke as hell at high levels...I didn't realize it until the guy did it but with Pyro Field you're immune to the explosions from Protocol Droids.

The thing that SS2 has over all of the Bioshock games is that you have a lot of build options rather than just "welp you're good at everything do whatever".

For anyone curious about this LP, I've been watching it too, and it's by Psychedelic Eyeball from the SA forums:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLBiA98i89bbWA5zvLKGSzNKKp3GRKpP1h
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Reply #251 on: April 09, 2013, 09:56:58 PM

You lost me once you started ranting on gun upgrading.  It's a video game.

So's System Shock 2.  Throw away an upgraded gun in that and pick up another, see how upgraded it is.


You also couldn't spend an entire combat sequence zipping around on skyline at 100mph while shooting things in System Shock 2. They are different games. The word Shock is about the only thing they have in common.

You complain that having weapons stay upgraded after you drop them - would you prefer the hyper realism of carrying around twelve different guns simultaneously?

I actually prefer the hyper realism of an inventory system with finite capacity rather than having eight magic transdimensional holsters that will hold any weapon regardless of size.

Ah, you're a cock puncher.  Say no more.  You're not looking for games, you're looking for penance.

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Reply #252 on: April 09, 2013, 10:17:57 PM

Duke Nukem Forever was successful because they limited Duke to 2 guns at a time.

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Reply #253 on: April 10, 2013, 12:12:25 AM

You lost me once you started ranting on gun upgrading.  It's a video game.

So's System Shock 2.  Throw away an upgraded gun in that and pick up another, see how upgraded it is.


You also couldn't spend an entire combat sequence zipping around on skyline at 100mph while shooting things in System Shock 2. They are different games. The word Shock is about the only thing they have in common.

You complain that having weapons stay upgraded after you drop them - would you prefer the hyper realism of carrying around twelve different guns simultaneously?

I actually prefer the hyper realism of an inventory system with finite capacity rather than having eight magic transdimensional holsters that will hold any weapon regardless of size.

Ah, you're a cock puncher.  Say no more.  You're not looking for games, you're looking for penance.

At what point does limiting the player to two weapons make sense? Having an inventory system is now penance? What is wrong with you people.

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Reply #254 on: April 10, 2013, 07:03:35 AM

Duke Nukem Forever was successful because they limited Duke to 2 guns at a time.

Halo.

It also has regenerating shields.

Much like BioShock Infinite.

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Reply #255 on: April 10, 2013, 07:28:27 AM

At what point does limiting the player to two weapons make sense? Having an inventory system is now penance? What is wrong with you people.
Item tetris doesn't technically make any sense. How the hell am I keeping an assault rifle, laser pistol, laser rapier, grenade launcher, 400 bullets of random types, 3 cans of soda, annelid glands, an environment suit, and a basketball in my magical pocket of holding? How does Polito "upload" me cybernetic modules when the things are very clearly a physical item? How does pressing a button on an upgrade station make another implant slot magically appear in me?

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Reply #256 on: April 10, 2013, 07:48:11 AM

There are times when realism gets in the way of enjoying the game.

Yes, realistically I can't drag 100 pieces of platemail around. But if I have to walk back to town after the second armor drop I will do so, and I will hate the game for it instead of myself for being a hoarder.

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Reply #257 on: April 10, 2013, 07:52:06 AM

How does Polito "upload" me cybernetic modules when the things are very clearly a physical item?

Tell me you didn't just write that.

How is it I can upload a file to you, but a USB key is a physical item ?

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Reply #258 on: April 10, 2013, 08:38:22 AM

How does Polito "upload" me cybernetic modules when the things are very clearly a physical item?

Tell me you didn't just write that.

How is it I can upload a file to you, but a USB key is a physical item ?

So if cybernetic modules are files, why can't they be infinitely duplicated and how do they literally make me physically stronger and faster since that would make them software upgrades rather than some nano-machine/part kinda module that physically upgrades my rig? Why would Polito have a hard time finding them?

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Reply #259 on: April 10, 2013, 09:17:21 AM

So if one thing doesn't make sense, nothing else can, and we must throw all good things out the window?

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Reply #260 on: April 10, 2013, 09:42:17 AM

So if one thing doesn't make sense, nothing else can, and we must throw all good things out the window?
Just saying that very little of the "videogamey" stuff put into games for the sake of playability make sense and they aren't something to get too worked up over. You can only carry two weapons because you can only carry two weapons and that forces you to prioritize upgrades, find your favorites, and adds difficulty when they aren't available readily and you have to buy ammo or conserve it.

Also how do the replicators make the same stuff with fewer nanites after I hack them?

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Reply #261 on: April 10, 2013, 10:28:12 AM

So if one thing doesn't make sense, nothing else can, and we must throw all good things out the window?
Just saying that very little of the "videogamey" stuff put into games for the sake of playability make sense and they aren't something to get too worked up over. You can only carry two weapons because you can only carry two weapons and that forces you to prioritize upgrades, find your favorites, and adds difficulty when they aren't available readily and you have to buy ammo or conserve it.

Also how do the replicators make the same stuff with fewer nanites after I hack them?

Ugh, none of what you just said makes any sense. But I'm too tired to care. Enjoy your console shit.

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Reply #262 on: April 10, 2013, 10:29:52 AM

So if one thing doesn't make sense, nothing else can, and we must throw all good things out the window?
Just saying that very little of the "videogamey" stuff put into games for the sake of playability make sense and they aren't something to get too worked up over. You can only carry two weapons because you can only carry two weapons and that forces you to prioritize upgrades, find your favorites, and adds difficulty when they aren't available readily and you have to buy ammo or conserve it.

Also how do the replicators make the same stuff with fewer nanites after I hack them?

Ugh, none of what you just said makes any sense. But I'm too tired to care. Enjoy your console shit.
My condolences on your autism.

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Margalis
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Reply #263 on: April 10, 2013, 11:57:25 AM

There's nothing wrong with limiting the player to two weapons and nothing wrong with allowing more. In terms of "realism" not many inventory systems make a lot of sense, nor is realism a good goal of an inventory system unless realism is a major theme of the game as a whole. In a game which is about realistically surviving in an environment a realistic inventory system is cool - otherwise who cares?

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Reply #264 on: April 10, 2013, 10:26:16 PM

Finished. And read thread. I hear a number of people did this in 12-14 hours. Took me 20. Not sure what the difference was, except maybe I just played conservatively.

I have no history with Bioshock. I walked by some demo of the first, saw a guy on screen shooting up, got immediately turned off, and ignored the franchise until I realized this would launch just as I finshed Tomb Raider, so the heck not? And after all of this, I might go play the first one.

I get what many of you are saying. The ending doesn't jive with 99% of the rest of the time you spend in the game. While Fink, Comstock and others stealing tech through Tears contextualizes early 1900s style with quantum physics as hovering device, it also highlights that the multiple timestreams aren't traveling in parallel. As such:


I didn't find this story particularly complex. The ending did have a nice twist , but from a sci-fi standpoint, you don't even need to be on the outer fringes to have read variants on this before. That's not a critique. I quite liked the ending.

Elizabeth was very well done. I'm very glad I didn't follow the marketing of this game though. That whole stupid "you'll care about her" PR bullshit about Tomb Raider about killed that game for me until I got past it. Here I'd have hated caring about Elizabeth after being told everything about her design was intended to make you care. It's fine when I find that out through the presentation of art. But not when the PR wonk comes right out and says it.

I don't know why they chose to put in the racist stuff. It's not like historical accuracy was top of mind (ya know, the whole floating city on borrowed future tech thing). Maybe I'm missing some larger metaphor, or maybe it's just one-dimensional "even the good guys are bad" trope?

Game play wise, it was an ok action shooter ala ME2, but in no way would I call it an FPS. I never once effectively run-and-gun'd it, and I found every weapon except the sniper rifle largely gimp. I probably could have optimized my play style around flowing through situational use of weapons for each level/encounter type. But I really only needed Devil's Kiss, that Shock one, and a Sniper Rile for 95% of the game, and Crows for when those goddamnIhatethose Handy Men. Even fighting from the high wires was little more than moving around, aerial assault, find a corner, snipe away.

There was no choice in this game, which makes it especially odd for them to layer in the kind of multiverse that has at its heart "all possible choices" and partner you with someone who could literaly make them. I mean, the underuse of her ability is like that goddamned time turner from Harry Potter. Go back a full day so you can double the course work, but don't then use it to, I dunno, off Voldemort for good when Dumbledore first meets him at the boarding school? At the same time, this game structure felt similar enough to Tomb Raider I was conditioned for open world that was actually just large corridors.

Overall I thought this was very well done. The world was interesting, the game play was effective, the ending at least was thought-provoking in a good way, there's sufficient room for more in this or parallel worlds, and they at least tried something beyond the usual tropes. Though the game had most of them, the twists were welcome.
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Reply #265 on: April 11, 2013, 01:24:30 PM

I don't know why they chose to put in the racist stuff. It's not like historical accuracy was top of mind (ya know, the whole floating city on borrowed future tech thing). Maybe I'm missing some larger metaphor, or maybe it's just one-dimensional "even the good guys are bad" trope?

Because Americans have shitty history educations, generally speaking, especially when it comes to post-Reconstruction times, and we need to be slapped in the face with our own heritage once in a while to remind us. It's not a bad thing.

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Reply #266 on: April 11, 2013, 02:28:25 PM

The only thing I can think is that they wanted to put in a reason to excuse shooting the Columbia people in the face by the hundreds, so they made them dirty racists.  This strikes me as a bad idea.  One, because I don't need a videogame person to be a racist/nazi/robot/alien for me to not have a problem with shooting them, if they're running up and shooting at me.  Two, because racism is insufficient grounds for executing hundreds of people.  It, like other forms of ignorance, really shouldn't be portrayed as something to deal with by deadly violence.
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Reply #267 on: April 11, 2013, 06:34:28 PM

Then your problem should be with the entire 'shoot all the mans' genre.

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Margalis
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Reply #268 on: April 11, 2013, 06:57:55 PM

Then your problem should be with the entire 'shoot all the mans' genre.

This is a complete non-sequitor. His problem is with the way racism is deployed in the game - I can't think of any other "shoot all the mans" game that uses racism in the same fashion.

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Reply #269 on: April 11, 2013, 07:09:14 PM

Why is this an unacceptable justification, when other story-imposed justifications in other games are fine? Ultimately, you're shooting Nazis, or Cerberus, or Nemesis, or Caesar's Legion - all villain groups from other games with racist ideologies. It's just not OK because suddenly these are American equivalents?

These games are excuses for the player to go about murdering dozens of faceless thugs on the flimsiest of motivations; squawking about this particular one rings a bit hollow in my ears.

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Reply #270 on: April 11, 2013, 07:14:57 PM

Games with nazi's dont generally have them BEING nazi's and commiting hate crimes while you watch.

I was explaining it to a co-worker today and really what bothers me is NOT the racism, it's the lack of plot tied to it. Yes columbia is racist and evil and whatnot but what does that have to do with why you are there, or comstock or the infinite stuff at all? Columbia could be racist, could be anything else and it really doesn't matter, it's just a setting. In bioshock one however the randian world of rapture wasn't just the setting, it WAS the plot, it was the reason for everything that happened and does happen in that game. The hyper capitalism of bioshock one was integral to the plot whereas the racism and hyper nationalism of columbia is simply there as window dressing.

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Reply #271 on: April 11, 2013, 07:17:10 PM

As I said earlier, I think it's there to slap Americans in the face with the enormous, unpleasant cock of our history. Which any visit to a game review comments thread should tell you is sorely needed.

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Reply #272 on: April 11, 2013, 07:41:28 PM

As I said earlier, I think it's there to slap Americans in the face with the enormous, unpleasant cock of our history.

Yeah great selling point in entertainment. Reminding people of uncomfortable truths is always a fucking dance around the Maypole.

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Reply #273 on: April 11, 2013, 07:47:33 PM

I actually think entertainment is probably the best way to reach people on stuff like that. Once people are out of school and into their no-new-information bubble, entertainment media is one of the few ways you can reach them.

Shit, look how much better the Daily Show is at changing minds than regular editorial news content.

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Reply #274 on: April 11, 2013, 07:50:27 PM

It's there because the first Bioshock was a commentary on Rand and Objectivism and the gaming press wet themselves at the thought that a game could have a message, because having a message means you're art. Now, I do think that actually did add an atmospheric element to Rapture, just like I think the racism of Columbia is a part of its atmosphere. It's not just that they're saying, "Here's American history", it's that they're very specifically saying that nostalgic fantasies about barbershop quartets and small-town Americana pretty much call back to a moment in time where much of what you see about race in Columbia is only slightly exaggerated from the way it actually was. But anyway, it's an attempt to make Columbia into a place that isn't just art design, but that has a specific culture, a specific character, and to repeat the conceptual hook of framing that around an ideology or a politics, which is pretty much now the defining attribute of the series the way that stealth is a defining attribute of the Thief games.
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Reply #275 on: April 11, 2013, 07:59:18 PM

As I said earlier, I think it's there to slap Americans in the face with the enormous, unpleasant cock of our history. Which any visit to a game review comments thread should tell you is sorely needed.

"People in the past were racist" is not by itself something anyone needs reminding of. If anything by setting it in the past it provides a clean break with modern times. (Not to mention that US history does not include a floating city) Even the staunchest conservative will admit that yeah, in the past people were racist. This is a reminder on the level of that water is wet.

Quote
Why is this an unacceptable justification, when other story-imposed justifications in other games are fine? Ultimately, you're shooting Nazis, or Cerberus, or Nemesis, or Caesar's Legion - all villain groups from other games with racist ideologies. It's just not OK because suddenly these are American equivalents?

Because different games are different. There's no idea that doesn't work in any context, the problem is this specific context. Shooting Nazis in Wolfenstein is fine - the plot and setting of the game are almost completely irrelevant and the game has a fucking robot Hitler in it. At no point do I think to myself "hey maybe these Nazis have families" because it's just not that type of game. The problem Bioshock has, and that a lot of "AAA" games have, is that they try to model real humans and real behaviors, have "mature" stories that are major focuses of the game rather than a paragraph in the instruction booklet, then still include stuff that just doesn't fit.

I'm fine with a game where you just kill a bunch of dumb racists. However that game is probably something similar to Postal. If a game like Bioshock is going to incorporate racism I expect it to be on level above that.

I suppose it's fair to say that the racism is just part of the world-building. However before release the messaging was that Infinite would have Something To Say (TM) about topics like racism and American exceptionalism presumably beyond "these are bad!"
« Last Edit: April 11, 2013, 08:22:28 PM by Margalis »

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Reply #276 on: April 11, 2013, 08:06:22 PM

Stop criticizing this masterpiece.


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Reply #277 on: April 11, 2013, 08:07:10 PM

"People in the past were racist" is not by itself something anyone needs reminding of.

You are a remarkable optimist.

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Reply #278 on: April 11, 2013, 08:15:08 PM

As I said earlier, I think it's there to slap Americans in the face with the enormous, unpleasant cock of our history. Which any visit to a game review comments thread should tell you is sorely needed.

"People in the past were racist" is not by itself something anyone needs reminding of. If anything by setting it in the past it provides a clean break with modern times. Even the staunchest conservative will admit that yeah, in the past people were racist. This is a reminder on the level of water is wet.



"People were a bit racist" isn't something people need to be reminded of. The thing I think Bioshock does well is remind people that casual racism by today's standards was HOLY SHIT back then. You know, shit we like to forget such as the Irish were hated on hardcore as well.

Think of it the other way: you want to make a semi period piece in 1920. You set out to do some research on the specifics of the period,old posters/style/etc, and find holy shit kind of stuff. Do you include it, or do you water it down?

I was a little shocked by the level of it in Bioshock, but I also know that it's a semi political series, so it's more shocking to see it displayed. And I think that's the entire point.
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Reply #279 on: April 11, 2013, 08:50:02 PM

I do agree that a lot of devs would simply leave racism out of the game entirely, and they deserve credit for not presenting an idealized view of history. I suppose based on pre-release word I was just expecting more to be done with some of these themes beyond world-building.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2013, 09:27:43 PM by Margalis »

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