Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Couple Hours of BioShock Infinite

Hidden message in the title?

Besides getting a feeling of déjà vu a number of times during the opening hour or so of BioShock Infinite, I was struck by the repetition of character models.

Really, Irrational? This is the best you could come up with? Most games will hide the repetition of character models or mask it somehow, but BioShock Infinite does zero to hide the fact they’re all the same. The kid selling papers is the exact same kid sitting on the garbage can a couple dozen feet away! After having “rescued” Elizabeth from the tower and splash landed on a beach, the same issue appeared. Of the couple dozen NPCs going through the motions on the sand, there were maybe three different characters to see.

Of course, then I started thinking there might be larger implications to this because of the way my brain processed the opening of the game, which pinged the same part of my brain that the television show LOST punched on a regular basis. It’s that part of my brain where I try to figure out mysteries, make up answers to questions that weren’t even asked in the first place. The game opens at the base of lighthouse, which first reminded me of the original BioShock and the opening plane crash, then after a quick ascent you come across a hooded figure bound to a chair, an obvious bullet hole in his forehead. There’s no obvious reason for this scene, no discernible explanation why this guy’s life ended the way it did.

Then you head outside and activate a puzzle which concludes with the sky lighting up and some really ominous smoke monster/Close Encounters of the Third Kind musical noises then rocketing up the Columbia after doing something really dumb.

Under no circumstances should you ever sit in a chair – no matter how comfortable it looks – that is situated by itself at the top of lighthouse.

Booker rockets up to the flying/floating metropolis of Columbia…

…to wade through a baptismal pool that stretches for rooms.
A near drowning – or maybe Booker really does drown – then he regains consciousness amid a cloud of freakin’ hummingbirds. Not long after checking the first garbage can for food and/or money – because, let’s face it, that’s the first thing we’d all do – Booker chews through some guy’s face with a “skyhook” after the “AD” brand on his right hand pegs him as the one who will “lead the lamb astray.”

 There’s a lot going on – a number even gets thrown in for good measure, “77”, which is coincidentally the year of my birth and the year Elvis died (think about it) – so my brain has started spinning out answers to questions that may or may not be asked. Barely more than an hour in and my brain has started vomiting theories.  How any of it comes together in a meaningful way obviously remains to be seen.

I will say that the game has become much more enjoyable now that Elizabeth is part of the game. The interaction between Booker and Elizabeth is great so far…

At the very least, she’s a different character model to look at

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