Pointless Nonsense

Posted in video games by Bill on April 28, 2016

bioshock-infiniteBioshock Infinite is the third of the Bioshock trilogy that I bought in the Steam summer sale 2014, having not finished the first one (great design, intriguing story, I hated the gameplay), and skipped the second one (I heard it’s not nearly as good as the others). I was going to play this about a year ago, and I started watching youtube videos to catch me up on the story, only to find out that it’s almost entirely unrelated, which kinda pissed me off for investing all this time watching those videos, and further postponed me trying this out. But wanting to take a break from Telltale after Game of Thrones (spoiler alert: almost everyone dies), it seemed like time to finally get around to this. And it turns out to be pretty good.

Not unlike the first game, you’re on the water and then you find a lighthouse that’s the entrance to a fantastical city. This time, it’s in the sky rather than undersea, and the place isn’t abandoned. Instead of a Randian utopia gone awry, it’s a fully functioning society that’s highly religious and reveres the American founding fathers. It seems to be a utopia as far as 1910 goes, with advanced technology, everyone seeming all happy and everything. You’re a P.I. sent to the place to find a girl, and you’re trying to sneak around, but it turns out the founder of the city and “prophet” knew you were coming and warned people about you. And you start to see the hidden dark side of it all.

So an hour in, you actually start shooting stuff for the first time. Which indicates that it is even more story-focused than the first one, which is right up my alley. Instead of the one guy over the radio, you have a hot girl following you around to fill you in on plot info, sorta be your partner, and she finds money and ammo for you sometimes. There is a plot twist of sorts that I saw coming from really early on, but there’s other stuff that happens towards the end that I didn’t anticipate, so figuring that out ahead didn’t really detract from the ending.

The gameplay is much less frustrating than the first one. Rather than a somewhat unhelpful map, you just hit a key and it gives you an arrow to your next objective. There’s still the thing where you have a mix of guns and “vigors” that give you various superpowers, and they also throw in four slots to hold gear that gives you special abilities, and a shield that prevents you from taking damage for a little bit and recharges when you take cover. I still forgot to use the vigors a lot of the time.

Other things:

  • At first launch, the game has over 30 seconds of unskippable company logos. That’s just insane. It’s kind of a shit menu too. To resume, you first have to press the any key, then select “main game,” and only then can you select continue. And there are animated transitions between each of them. They’re nicely designed menus, but take too much time the 8th time you start the game up.
  • There’s a lot of early 20th century music which is kinda neat. Also anachornistic music. Overall a quality soundtrack.
  • There’s a major side character with Jennifer Hale doing almost exactly Bastila’s voice from KotOR, which is kinda weird, but I like that voice so I’m not really complaining. The voice of Ashley from Mass Effect also does a side character voice too.
  • There are three DLCs, what looks like a two-chapter story one that ties more closely into the first game, and one that’s action-based. It’s cheaper to get all three than to just buy the story ones, so I may end up doing that.
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