It seems that Bioshock Infinite is one of those games which is being praised as a great example of the art form and considering how much I enjoyed the previous games I was looking forward to playing. With high expectations it’s inevitable that disappointment will follow but I’m really surprised just how much Bioshock Infinite gets wrong.
It is a great game but I can’t see it appealing to non gamers in a way that a true masterpiece should. For all the wonderful storytelling, characters and environments it frequently breaks down into chaotic scenes of men pointless shooting each other. Once again I’ve realised I’m not very good at playing games, facing frequent death whenever action kicks in. A friend of mine said how they lowered the difficulty just to get on with the story – I may yet end up following in his footsteps. I can’t help but wonder if Bioshock Infinite would be a better game if there were no guns. Playing with the vigors is fun but they are all essentially the same and they are all introduced poorly. A nice video shows you what they are capable of but then it’s impossible to find out again so pay attention. Days later when I returned to the game I could not remember what Charge did or remember back to picking up the murder of crows. There’s no opportunity to play apart from in the heat of the battle so it’s likely you’ll just stick to what you can remember. Weapons are handled even worse, with no easy way of knowing which weapon is which or what they do. This makes collecting ammo and applying upgrades quite hit and miss.
Then there’s all the stupid shit that just shouldn’t happen in blockbuster mega budget games. At what point during play testing did someone decide to ignore the comments that pausing for a two second sequence every time Elizabeth found a coin was incredibly annoying. There are achievements (and more importantly from an artistic point of view, story building background) from watching all the Kinescopes, but the same film is repeated in many of them and this should be indicated in the game instead of having to rewatch the same ones over and over. Characters start talking to you when you are playing back voice recordings meaning you can’t make out what either is saying – it’s 2013 why is this happening?
I am enjoying the game (but I’m still enjoying Lego City Undercover more) but every time it aspires to be great it does something stupid and video gamey and I’m still left wondering when the games industry is really going to mature.