Hating On BioShock Infinite - GIAdam Blog - www.GameInformer.com
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Hating On BioShock Infinite

Having played through Irrational's latest politically charged adventure, I have some problems. Spoilers ahead, so beware.

Let's get one thing out of the way here: BioShock Infinite is awesome. I plowed through it in a weekend and enjoyed the hell out  of the experience. The torrent of superlatives being thrown its way are getting out of control, though, and I suspect that Irrational can survive a little reality check after being blasted by a firehose of Internet love for a solid week.

  • Elizabeth as magical balancing. Dynamic difficulty has been a thing forever, but it's never been quite so in-your face as "Press F to accept how bad you are at shooters."
  • The tear-opening battle mechanic. Instead of making choices about how to use Elizabeth's ability most effectively, this is nothing more than "Press F to activate map." There's no tradeoff -- the long timers for how long the elements remain active, plus the short respawn times for destroyed allies like mosquitos and patriots, mean you have no reason to not hit the button pretty much every time the enormous strobe flash takes over your entire screen. 
  • Abandoning the lockpicking mechanic. Finding each lockpick was awesome through the first half of the game, and then it's like Columbia threw up its hands and said, "Eh, screw it. Here's more lockpicks than you'll ever need." Taking anything away from exploring the awesome city is a shame. 
  • The final battle. Maybe it was the difficulty level (though Hard was decent for the rest of the game), but the inconsistent Songbird targeting and endless freaking waves of bullet-sponge patriots combined for the least fun I've had in a final fight since the original Gears of War (which is still the worst boss fight since roughly the PlayStation 1 era). 
  • The burstgun. Pretty much every other weapon is awesome. What the hell happened to the burstgun in development that resulted in it doing about as much damage as the old Klobb from GoldenEye? 
  • Handyman fights. How boring are these battles? A giant sack of hit points with the ability to teleport on top of the player is the most boring approach to difficulty on top of the least interesting break-the-player-out-of-their-cover ability ever. Beating up on a simple-minded giant with a speech impediment is not a good feeling (though props to Irrational if that's the point). 
  • Lady Comstock. What the hell just happened? I tried to make some sense of it for the Spoiled episode we recorded the other day, but I don't think I even convinced myself. There's plenty of magic going on in Infinite, but it mostly remains internally consistent. Flying Vengeance Ghost doesn't fit anywhere. 
  • Daisy Fitzroy. The embittered champion of the people goes from revolutionary to child-murdering monster in a heartbeat, apparently for no other reason than to make a hamfisted point about how both sides of the Columbian civil war are basically the same.
  • Weird wax mannequins. Most of the characters in the game who aren't trying to kill you are the same five models cut-and-pasted across Columbia, and precious few of them react to the battered walking arsenal drunkenly charging through them. 
  • No multiplayer. Just kidding, nobody cares.
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