Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Bioshock Infinite - First Impressions

As some of you might know, I haven't been playing that many big budget games lately. I've been mostly sticking to the smaller, more independent titles that makes me think. Graphics don't have to be phenomenal for indie games but they usually have a cohesive aesthetic and riveting ideas and stories.

But that's beside the point.

I'm here to talk about the latest installment in a series that I've been enjoying for years now; Bioshock.

The first drew me in with its dark horror and chilling psychological twists. It was beautifully done and masterfully executed. This of course made me skeptical of the next installment of the series, but I was pleasantly surprised that it didn't suck. Granted, it wasn't as good as the first, but still a good game.

Now, the latest in the series, Bioshock Infinite, was a game that I promised myself I would steer clear of because it was...different. It looked brighter and lighter in its story telling. It seemed more "twitchy" with its game play rather than methodical and calculating.

I got it anyway since, you know, I needed to play finish up the series and I wanted something to bitch about on the internet.

Still determined to hate it, I began to play.

Everything seemed pretty lack luster. Dark over-tones in a light-house. "Spectacular" sequence to introduce the city. All that stuff in the first 20 minutes of the game.

A couple of odd moments later and some realization that I was being set up for something big, the auction scene happened.

Oh. mah. gob.

The game blind-sided me. A one-two punch with no kid gloves and a nasty glare like I owe child support. Right then and there I knew this world was grim. Don't know what I'm talkin about? Look around on the youtubes.

As I played on, it didn't seem as evil as I once thought, but the ideas kept lingering in the back of my mind. This entire civilization, as bright and cheerful as it seemed, was divided not only by class, but by race. Bigotry and violence were instilled in these digital citizens by a mad-man with a messiah complex. These people were, in this world, responsible for horrific acts and they did it all in the name of their patriotic religion. 

I played the Bioshock Infinite for another 6 hours after that before I got too fatigued to play.

Aside from the interesting story, the graphics seem rushed with bad textures, clipping effects and models, and bad rigging on more than a few models. For a triple A title that has been in development for years, you'd think that kind of stuff wouldn't be tolerated. Along with some of the poor modeling techniques and just plain bad models, I'm surprised they let it slide. 

Now you might be saying it's my machine, but trust me, it ain't.

Bioshock Infinite to me is an odd fish. It swims like an indie with it's flawed graphics and hand-crafted look. It breathes like an indie with it's imaginative story and intriguing characters. But it's scales are like all other bloated triple A titles out there with its high-end commercials, price tag to make you cringe, and ready for DLC. 

It kinda makes me sick to say this, but Bioshock Infinite is a fun game. I have buyers remorse and just wish I could have paid so much less or even just bought it straight from the studio instead of paying the publisher.

Oh well, maybe this can serve as a warning to others.

Until next time,
(So tired. So very tired.)

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