Sunday, April 7, 2013

Bioshock Infinite Ending rant

Contains spoilers

Before you start; no, I'm not one of those 'I dont get it'-types, I just have an opinion and I wish to voice it, I think the ending is lazy. There, I said it. In my opinion, you don't create mystique and speculation in a good way by not explaining anything. It's as if I would try to teach someone baseball by pointing at home plate and say: "When you run a full lap and step on this, it's a home run". It's not mysterious. It's stupid. 

I was pulled out of my immersion of the game several times by poor writing and design issues and my biggest gripe is right at the end of the game. As a father to a one-year old girl myself, the part where the male Lutece wants you to hand over baby Elisabeth really got to me and it was a really emotional scene. I had a real lump in my throat because I truly felt like I was being forced to do something I really did not want to, both in the game and in real life. I was looking for a way out.

Then adult Elisabeth ruins it and pulls me right out of my immerson by saying: "Wait as long as you like. In the end you will give her to him". To me, that sounded like: "This is a game. You can't progress until you do what the story wants", and I lost all dedication and doubts I had. Congratulations Mr. Levine, you just made the strongest emotional scene in your game into the equivalent of a locked door. I practically threw baby Elisabeth at Lutece because I wanted to see the rest of the ending, neither invested nor immersed. 

Ken Levine said in multiple interviews that the ending of Bioshock: Infinite was something you have never seen before. I'm sorry Kenny, parallel universes is not really uncharted waters in games or movies. What it is, however, is a way to end your story when you metaphorically paint yourself in a corner or as a tool to retcon. 

As for the game itself, I found it to be really fun. I enjoyed the combat, vigors and skyhook. I did find it to be pretty easy, except for the last part where death brings you back to the previous checkpoint. Completely unlike the entire game, which was fair, but extremely surprising considering the last 15 hours of the game used the 'Vita chamber' solution by reviving you and let you continue the fight.

I would recommend buying the game, even though I do have some issues with the story and writing. It has no message like the first Bioshock did, and I saw the ending twists come from a mile away. In fact, after about 45 minutes - 1 hour, I had a total of four theories about the game ending. I was right about three of them, and the fourth would have been a lot more interesting in my opinion.

(Booker was never real, and the whole game took place in Elisabeth's head while she remains captured after the games conclusion).

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