I don't know about you folks but I was very much let down by Infinite. I just felt like it was a gigantic leap backwards in terms of quality.
I reviewed it and if you wanna see my more drawn out opinions check it out. Otherwise though I just think the level design and mechanical elements in the game were much more limiting. Not to mention the god awful story.
Respectfully, I think you are nuts. The combat is improved, the save and reswapn system is improved, the story is the best of the series, the characters are the most interesting, Elizabeth is the hottest video game Broad since Chun Li, and the DLC is excellent. Bioshock 1 was very good but it felt too old school in terms of gameplay, it felt like a mid 90's PC shooter which was not my favorite genra. Infinite kept that style to a point, but modernized and improved on it.
I don't know about a full-blown step down, but in some areas I would say the game is a step backwards. I think for me the biggest issue with Infinite is what we saw at the E3's versus what we got.
I think the E3 demo's had a more Bioshock-esque feel to it, in that the world felt fully realized and the characters were interesting, whereas the final product sort of gave up on worldbuilding half-way through in order to pursue a narrower scope of characters and take the plot in a totally different direction.
It really depends on if you wanted the plot to go one way (more towards the politics and the city itself, as the demos seemed to indicate) or the other (more towards the quantum physics end of it and focus on very particular characters). Neither approach is particularly bad or anything, I just prefer the former to the latter- in games at least.
"I avoided the major arteries. He'll probably live." - Wesley Wyndam-Pryce
Respectfully, I think you are nuts. The combat is improved,
I don't know how you can think the combat is an improvement in any way over Bioshock 2. We have a 2 weapon system, clone weapons, no alternate ammo type, weapon upgrades are samey and offer no visual upgrades, enemy AI is as if not more daft than before, and very few enemies use vigors. Even the clothing system gives us way fewer options than the tonic system.
the save and reswapn system is improved,
Que? So removing the player's ability to manually save is an improvement? The respawn system itself is barely different.
Bioshock 1 was very good but it felt too old school in terms of gameplay, it felt like a mid 90's PC shooter
You say that like it's a bad thing. That is a very, very good thing.
the characters are the most interesting
Ummmm. No. Sander Cohen. Andrew Ryan. Tannenbaum. Suchong. Fontaine. Atlas. All great characters that no character in infinite come close to being as interesting as. Hell people in the first bioshock audio diaries are more interesting than characters you actually meet in infinite.
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^I agree with this. Bioshock Infinite never came close to Bioshock in terms of good (and especially memorable) characters. Elizabeth and Booker are both great, and the Luteces are as well, but that's pretty much it.
"I avoided the major arteries. He'll probably live." - Wesley Wyndam-Pryce
To each his own, I guess. I bought all 3 games at the same time and played them in order. I found the first two to be nowhere near as good as Infinite as far as the story is concerned. Infinite's story seemed way more emotional and hit me hard in the feels on many occasions.
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Bioshock had more memorable characters, overall... but I wouldn't call them better.
The Lutece twins were far better than Tannenbaum, and Suchong was little more than a footnote.
Atlas/Fontaine on the other hand exceeds Comstock and Daisey greatly.
Storywise they were more or less equal.
Jill Valentine > You
I think some stuff was improved. Being able to run, and Possession is a really useful vigor. Moreso than the 2 or 3 Plasmids it would take to make up that Vigor. Also, graphically speaking Infinite is an improvement.
My biggest issue is that can't be said of a lot of other aspects. A lot of was taken out and not enough put in it's place. The Tears and Skyline are interesting ideas but they were underutilized. If those elements aren't going to be taken advantage of, I expect more enemy variety, more weapons to select from (not at once, just weapons that aren't so similar), less redundant battle arenas, the Vigors being used in more creative ways other than 'hold half of these stuns to make them a trap!', etc..
Also, too many areas were setup similar to Bio1 They had a lot of new ideas that don't work with such an old linear style so the game came out a mixed bag for me. To put the game in a more open setting with characters that are alive and still have the majority of the story being told through out-of-place audio diaries and all items being bought from vending machines is jarring. The world of Rapture felt more natural to me. Discovering the last thoughts of citizens dying, mad scientists/artists and their rambling diatribes, etc. made sense in a dead city. Everything in Columbia, from the dialogue of the NPC's to the meta-narrative seemed like it was designed to cover up the actual games design, which is that of uneven FPS game that it's lead designer micromanaged.
It's disappointing too because I vastly prefer the lighter tones and art design of Columbia to Rapture, as it feels more unique for a FPS setting. It's been more than a year since the game came out and I keep thinking about all the potential it had.
I couldn't fix your brakes so I just made the horn a lot louder.
I thought Infinite was a massive step down, not only for the Bioshock universe, but for games in general.
My thoughts echo most of the ones above, so I'll just hit key points.
The waves of identical soldiers grew tiresome very quickly, and their predictable behavior made me forget that I even had vigors. Unless it was one of the enemy types that practically required the use of a vigor, I found myself just mowing down everything with a shotgun and running into the next area so that I could do the exact same thing. The combat was less engaging than most run of the mill military shooters.
To me, one of the biggest factors in Bioshock, if not the biggest factor, was the environment. Rapture was interesting and told a silent story within its walls that always had me taking my time, making sure to inspect every little nook and cranny. Infinite's cloud city (I forgot what it is called) had me bored to tears before the opening segment ended. I felt like I was stuck at a fancy loading dock with a lot of prohibition-era candy shoppes.
Which brings me to the characters. Outside of the obvious ones that the story focused on (even then its really only Booker, Elizabeth, and the twins that were interesting), there wasn't a single memorable character in the game. Someone above mentioned the audio logs in the original game and how interesting they were. Infinite flips that completely by making every audio log (that I can remember) useless, annoying, and pointless. Combined with the boring cloud city, I lost any interest to do anything more than graze for collectibles.
It does have that story, though. And the story is the reason I mentioned that it is a step down for video games in general. The story isn't at all bad, so don't get me wrong. It is, at the core, a rather decent sci-fi story. It is admittedly a great story... for a game. In the broad spectrum of the entertainment mediums available, it is stuck at decent. I can probably grab a used sci-fi novel from a bookstore at random and probably find something similar. Every review that I read, every cry from gamers that I hear, focuses on the story and gives it a perfect or near perfect score due to that one factor. The gameplay is mentioned only in brief whispers before the praising of the story fills the rest of the page. Perfect score due to a decent sci-fi story, eh?
I get that games are trying to place themselves up there with movies--dare I even say literature, though I don't think many people read anymore due to some inexplicable savagery--and they are doing an okay job of matching summer blockbusters in terms of stupid fun, but a lot of games seem to be sacrificing the actual game part in order to do so, a crime which Infinite is the poster child for. Resident Evil is another prime example. And we, as gamers, seem totally okay with it.
I went on a bit of a rant. In summary, I believe Infinite was judged purely for its decent (I'll say above average) story. And not at all for its repetitive gameplay, uninspired environments, boring characters, or total lack of imagination.
When the only reason to keep playing a game is to see the next cut scene, then why the hell bother making it a game?
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