I already had an entirely troll-based dissertation of why Bioshock Infinite isn’t quite the “bestest game in history” a lot of you folks out there hype it up to be, but someone else beat me, point-by-point, to the punch. If you’ve already finished Irrational Games’ triumph in making otherwise-rational people crumble into human cacti obsessed with experiencing “the feels,” please direct your attention to Bioshoot Infinite+1, a satirical choose-your-own-adventure “novel” based on the game’s events. “Nailed it” doesn’t even begin to describe my feelings towards this piece of semi-interactive literature. It brings up a lot of problematic and frustrating issues that prevent the game from touching true greatness.
Hell, while I’m here I’ll put my two cents in: Bioshock Infinite is a polarizing game. By any sane person’s standards, it’s a good game; definitely a solid 3.5 on our own five-star scale. Put simply, if all you are looking for is an AAA asset tourism experience (not a bad thing, mind you), then this is your game. However, the popular opinion of this title being Game of the Year material deeply offends my sensibilities, simply because it’s such an ignorant and misinformed statement to make. I find it puzzling that straight-up nerds, who should know way more about sci-fi literature than I do, are fawning over this game’s pedestrian plot. For all the talk about the game’s high concepts, I found that the development team simply spread all of these sci-fi themes too thin and ended up with a rather run-of-the-mill, experience this side of Fringe (yes, the TV show).
It’s way too easy to rag on the game’s glaring flaws—namely the shallow, straight-to-DVD overarching plot, the clumsy attempts of approaching America’s racist past in an embarrassingly earnest “white guilt” context, or even the generally awkward wish-fulfillment/healthpack-generating plot device/curator of this museum game called Elizabeth. Still, those flaws don’t make Bioshock Infinite a bad game. They make it an “okay” game, and certainly not the end-all, be-all game to play this year. At worst, it’s an amazing-looking game with fantastic art direction and character design mired by a completely stupid premise, vapid dialogue, and terrible repetitive combat, the only purpose of which is to fill time between gawking at the game’s overly-designed interiors and exteriors (and looting its cupboards for arbitrarily-scattered twenty-second audio logs containing all sorts of horrible secrets… which leaves one to wonder why they’re lying on random desks and China cabinets in the first place).
Alright, alright the title was a little bit mean; of course everyone deserves the right to vote—and I do hope that each and every one of you excercised that right. Otherwise none of you are allowed to bitch about Nancy Binay being elected on the complete premise and platform of most Philippine voters being ignorant sheep that don’t know any better. See, now you folks know exactly what I’m talking about here.