I just finished the story. I have no words. I have no words. I... I have no words. Bravo is really all I can say. Just... wow.
I'm weird. I'm prefacing this because you all aren't aware of my videogaming habits, and oftentimes do not understand why some highly-rated games are rated highly. I won't say more than this, so I'll get on with the post, but keep this in mind if you find yourself scratching your head at something I say. So, Bioshock Infinite. I'm fairly certain I'm about to enter the last chapter. While I think the world is very well realized and the characters are interesting, unless there is some completely mind-bending ending that somehow resets videogame stories and how they're told, I'm fairly certain that by the time this is done all I'll have to say regarding the game is, "that was weird," and go back to finishing Saints Row: The Third before Saints Row IV releases. And I'll chalk [BioShock Infinite] up to a fun and competent experience, but nothing more. To back up and explain my history, let's step back in the proverbial time machine. I didn't like BioShock. I found the combat boring and the world to be not very interesting, either. So, I got like, two hours in and put it down. It doesn't help that old/Americana settings do not a goddamn thing for me. Give me cybernetics and synths, plz. The world didn't wrap me in like I had hopped, considering I plunked like three or four hours into System Shock 2 (this was years before the GoG release, and I got busy and didn't have time to go back to it. Also had an antiquated setup that made booting it up a chore). I'm not lauding praise at BioShock Infinite because I don't feel it deserves it in any respects. It should be recognized for being a game that's well put together and has some interesting story bits, but that's pretty much all I can award the game with. To me, there's a point in the story where something is revealed about Elizabeth, and her abilities, and through that, the story outright states that literally anything can happen in this universe. My suspension of disbelief was completely washed away at this point, and even though my investment in the story was at about 50%, it dropped to about 25% after this revelation was thrusted upon me. And also, you can cut out a third of the story in the middle, everything dealing with the Vox Populi uprising because that whole plotline only exists to set up Elizabeth's weird abilities. Literally, without that those semi-hamfisted story beats, the story itself doesn't have a leg to stand on, because as soon as it concludes, you don't hear a damn word about any of that stuff. Unless it somehow comes full circle in a weird way at the very end. I find Booker DeWitt to mostly be a faceless cliche who just exists to go, "it's all about the mission, man!", and Elizabeth who is completely unbelievable, especially at the beginning of the game, where she was never let out of this tower, and beside a scene where she obsesses over music, because she read a bunch, she knows everything about everything? What? Why did she want to leave? She looked happy in the tower? Why is she just trusting this Booker guy after just meeting him? He could be a rapist! How does... nevermind. And people leveled Far Cry 3 and Tomb Raider over having jarring characterization and development. Those wrenches haven't played BioShock Infinite apparently. The most striking thing that I can say about BioShock Infinite is the character animations and the voice acting. It's all done super awesomely, but in the post-Uncharted era, I'd expect it to me. And Rage did amazing character animation and gunplay way before BioShock Infinite and did interesting things with their combat, (I love that damn wingstick), but the press completely trashed that game for the most part. I don't have an argument or a position necessarily, but I think people need to step back a little bit from the euphoria and maybe look at this game a little more critically. I've said this of previous games too, but maybe we can stop overlooking issues or inconsistencies, or showering with unnecessary praise just because the story is weird and fucked in a weird way, you know? Or not? I don't know. It's also late at night and if I have typos I missed, you can keep them.