WTL;DR: I complain about Bioshock: Infinite like a cynic idiot who's in desperate need of a life.

Disclaimer: I'm an aging and jaded old-school a-hole PC gamer[1] with an Inner Cynic who's slowly consuming my mind (NO IM NOT!). In order to placate its voracious appetite I'm gonna tackle the several problems I found in Bioshock: Infinite. Now, do not get me wrong, much in the same way that Columbia stood miles above the “Sodom below”, so does Infinite stand way above the current videogaming standard. Alas… the game is getting so much love and praise that my Inner Cynic is threatening to emasculate me if I don't rant into the Internet.

I'll essentially be covering the three “Shock” games spearheaded by Ken Levine: System Shock 2 (1999; henceforth “SS2”); Bioshock (2007; henceforth “Bioshock”); and Bioshock: Infinite (2013; henceforth “Infinite”). There are massive spoilers for Infinite and lesser ones for the other two, many of them are needless spoilers if I can say so myself, but I think they look rather pretty so I left them in.

Advertisement

(DID YOU KNOW THAT AFTER YEARS OF PUBLISHING LIMBO YOU CAN FINALLY BUY SYSTEM SHOCK 2? Well, why haven't you? EDIT: Now you can also get it from here!).

Ken Levine Knows His Shit.

I have no intention of saying this game is a mediocre hackneyed job without a soul - keep that in mind through the rest of this magnificent piece of written media. There was a lot of effort and, perchance more importantly, *love* put into it from Levine and his team at Irrational (Don't you get misty eyed? To think some imbecile thought it would be better to rename it “2K Boston/Australia” for a while). Levine has said they cut/developed enough content from/for Infinite to fill five games[2], and I believe him.

Advertisement

I believe him because Levine knows his shit: he operates beyond the simplistic rule of cool and he actually has some standards. Ignoring his pedigree, you can see this in more subtle things[3], like when he's directing voice-over recording sessions, he's there and he cares about the acting during line delivery! And not only that, he actually goes the extra mile: he makes sure to record the same line in different contexts (shouting if the PC is far away, angry if NCP is angry, etc.). Now look at Figure 1.

Figure 1. Showcasing Elizabeth's interaction scheme in “Editor Mode”[3].

Yeah, I'm not sure if that's more complex than the scheme Elizabeth shipped with or not, but that's beside the point: the effort and care was there. Five years of development went into this game, that's quite a bit of time in the age of CHURN GENERIC AND STREAMLINED SEQUEL AS QUICK AS POSSIBLE Big Publishers(TM) are so fond of doing. So I must also thank thee, Take-Two, for allowing the studios you bought because of the nice things they do to keep doing the nice things that you bought them for, and largely unmolested at that[4].

The game presents coherent plot and characters, a story with emotional build-up and pay-off. Yeah, I may feel the need to point out that, this time, I found every single standout moment to be a scripted sequence. (It's not like that time you prepared the stage and yourself for a clever ambush and battle to the death with a powerful Big Daddy, and then decided to save the Little Girl despite being low on Adam). And yet, you know what? In principle, I'm not against this kind of thing, I don't find scripting that limits my character too annoying if you actually put care into it and you know how to direct and pace a story that also features themes and dialogue beyond the reach of a 7 year old.

Anyway, I'm trying to say that it's with sadness that I found myself somewhat dissatisfied by Infinite, I found it lacking. Oh, do read on, mighty reader, if you dare.

They Should Have Sent a Poet!

-

Figure 2. Angels don't wait for slowpokes.

-

Amidst the generic Sodom of brown landscapes and gray corridors towers Columbia, city in the sky! Columbia is a colorful and vibrant open land of contrasts, where you'll find yourself gaping at both the hummingbirds feasting upon the pretty flowers and the demigod statues of idolized all-American Founding Fathers. “How is it that they would manage to do this?” Asks the average gamer. “Did they pull this off thanks to next-gen shaders and N2-cooled hardware?” No, they did it with interesting art direction and competent designers with a clear idea of the concepts they want to tackle[5].

As Long as There Are Stars Above You

Music has become an essential part of modern videogames (starting in that wonderful chiptune era of FM synthesis if you care about my opinion). SS2, for example, had a very fitting mix of techno and ambient music that did wonders to set and enhance both the cyberpunk setting and the eerie corridors of the Von Braun. With Infinite we have something different. While I didn't find the original soundtrack to be anything of special note, the game also treats us to a plethora of licensed modern rock/pop standards that you can hear through various tears, or their (fictional!) 1912esque arrangements that you can hear via the radio or live singers.

-

-

Thus, one of the standout moments for me was at the beginning. I was strolling through Columbia minding my own business (i.e. thinking about how beautifully surreal and how surreally beautiful everything was) when I stopped in my tracks flabbergasted. There stood, right before me, a flying gondola-thing with a barbershop quartet and a billboard promoting their latest hit. “Wha-?” I struggled to think. “Is-“ nay! “Could it…??” Oh, yes it could. They were singing a delightful a-capella version of God Only Knows, one of the bestest, wonderfullest, beautifullest songs evar.

The Uncanny Valley in the Sky

All this wondrous beauty, though, is marred by a certain uncanny surrealism. People just stand in their spot staring into the ether beyond, as if waiting for someone to come oil their joints. You run up to them, you stare directly into their eyes, you try to bump into them, and they remain there unflinching and silent. You walk up to the Hotdog Stand, you rob a conveniently placed hotdog and yet, the stand-owner keeps staring nonchalantly into the void. You walk up to a couple having an intimate moment, you stand there ogling them like a complete freak, and their dead eyes can't seem to do anything but look through you. You jump off Columbia trying to escape this unsettling madness, but you just get engulfed by a white light and a muffled sort of explosive sound signals you have respawned at the very spot you jumped off; Booker doesn't acknowledge this break in reality and there's no further contextualization for it. You do this right in front of the “people” staring mindlessly into the sky, and they'll keep staring mindlessly as if nothing of note happened.

-

Figure 3. "Good day, kind Sir. Could you point me to the nearest rest-? Hello? HELLO?"

-

You throw your very first spell at them but they just keep staring at you! (WILL THE MADNESS NEVER END?) What's the point? If the game will devolve into a shootfest in but a few minutes, why won't you let me skip to the shooting now? If I'm an idiot who wants to start shooting stuff in the face (SSIF) and miss your carefully crafted raffle scene, then that's MY problem. How can it be, so many years and dollars later, that we have only managed to move further away from that organic and suspension-of-disbelief-compliant way a game can deal with your actions?

Advertisement

Yes, later in the game there are a few instances where you can steal from NPCs and they react accordingly. Yes, NPCs do acknowledge you with an appropriate comment, but only some of them do and only the first time you approach them. It's as if the game wants you to *keep walking* down the ever less invisible rails[6].

With this picture, then, I just couldn't help feeling it would all play a part in some mind-bending, Lynchian ending (a notion furthered because I had read that the ending was something special), but it didn't, it was a straight, completely satisfying story. How am I supposed to fear falling off Columbia as some scripted scenes want me to if the game teaches me I just get engulfed by a magic white light? (And believe me, jumping off Columbia became one of my favorite past-times). How am I supposed to fear an encounter with Songbird, if dying means I just need to cross a magic door that suspiciously looks like the one at my apartment/office without *any* explanation?[7] If Elizabeth is with you, she drags you off and revives you with a nice shot (of the injection kind, not the gunpowder kind. I'm not sure why you'd think you can revive someone with the latter).

But that “explanation” is even more jarring! It's not just that at times she drags you from the most unlikely places, it's that all your enemies - who half of the time are there, ostensibly, for taking Elizabeth back - decide to go the gentleman way and give you another fair chance at a fight for some odd reason (Were Elizabeth to be using for this situation special powers we never get to see, why isn't she using them during combat?). I'll take the Twilightzonesque non-explanation of the magic door every single time, it'll at least keep you guessing, confused and interested during your first playthrough.

Unkillable Children

Back in mah days ya'd jest hoof it roun' murderin' them annowyin' lil brats like thar warse no tomorry! And, I kid ya nouts, ya'd acshually face relevent cornseuquences fo' doin' so.

Advertisement

Nawemdays ya hafta decadens where ya' ken nuke an intire town (includin' them kids thar, fry mah hide!) jest fo' thar hell of it, ors butscher innercent min and wimmen leff an' right. But them kiddies?! “Oh, no!” Says ther min in Warshinton, “Thay blong 'a moral correckness!” “No!“ Says ther min in thar Vat'can, “Gawd Awlmighty fawrged thers arse outta sum metal alloy as I reckon by them sound bulless make bouncin' off them!” “Me? Whah, ah couldna care less!” says ther min at Moscaw.

An' fella, ya knows th'indestry sin bad shape when ya find yaseff agreein' wiff ther gawdless commie!

-

Figure 4. I'm rather stronger when it comes to the scroll, if you catch my drift.

-

How Do You Simplify That Which Is Already Simplified To the Bare Essentials?

Ah, simplifying, dumbing down, or - as journos and ambitionless devs now like to call it - “streamlining”. Well, let me tell you about streamlining. Streamlining is what Bioshock 2 did, it grabbed Bioshock by the balls and upon forceful surgery in a dark alley it put plasmids in the right mouse button, and SSIF in the left mouse button thus allowing for a more vibrant, diverse, quicker and less annoying combat experience that let you dispense death in the way you want while barely removing anything; a “streamlined” combat experience if you will.

-

Table 1. Speaks for itself.

-

Take, on the other hand, the general Shock series progression. You no longer have an inventory or items to keep track of or manage (gear and lockpicks is what remains instead). All you do is comb the virtual space pressing the F key like a madman and stuff your virtual face with everything you happen across (Jarring moment Nº 126: “Hey Liz! Don't mind me, I'm just eating this presumably rotten and half-eaten apple I just found in the trashcan. It's free, too!”). All the while, the tactical uses of a full-fledged inventory and slots for equipping all sorts of different kinds of items has been eliminated.

Linearity, Or "A Man Chooses, A Slave Obeys"

Speaking of simplification, I would have loved so much to have Columbia open to me and to traverse it from island to island freely using the Skyhook system![8] As the game progresses you'd “open up” more islands to travel to, much like what essentially happened in SS2 and Bioshock. In the same way those two game went, you'd also have to solve problems or fix things! CAN YOU IMAGINE NOT SHOOTING HORDES OF MINDLESS AI BOTS WHO JUST CHARGE AT YOU FOR AN HOUR OR TWO?

Advertisement

And that's what they should have done! What they did in the past two games: give me someone who shouts orders at me and who half-way through gives me a reveal and/or a double-cross. I'm not saying this is the best option, but without changing things too much, imagine if, essentially, Comstock (thanks to his multiverse viewing screen) knows you have a good chance of fucking his plans up, and he knows that in the Universes where he convinces you to work for him, you become easy prey. Thus, he promises you the girl if you do his bidding; you decide to play along for a while in order to test the waters and maybe even get better chances at getting the girl.

So during the first part of the game you follow orders, you fight a bit the Vox, you rough people up, you help Fink fix his dish-washer, you know, both shooting and other stuff (and when it came to shooting maybe we could replace sheer numbers with more variety). All the while you get to see Columbia, you get to see the people actually having a life there (in the actual game their life apparently consists in being nailed to their spot, staring at nothing like robots until the game decides it's time to SSIF, whereupon they promptly pull a disappearing act to rival the Great Houdini), and maybe we also get real side-quests and a few choices in how to tackle Comstock's orders. Then we meet/rescue Elizabeth and have the game more-or-less be like what we ended-up buying, except we would have a more open world and quests where Elizabeth can contribute in a meaningful manner in a plethora of ways given her powers[9].

Another thing that stood out as a sore thumb was when you step through tears. I was there, right? and Elizabeth was telling me we could step through and probably get what we were looking for... but that there would be no turning back. By the second time this happened I realized that it wasn't Elizabeth who was talking to me, it was Irrational Games. They were telling me this part of Columbia would be forever closed to me, so I better get all the collectables while I still can. If only we could have chosen! During the first tear-event I was scared! What would happen? What kind of world would greet me? Would I really never be able to get back to what I thought was my world? Imagine if during the first tear-event you could chose not to go through, and circumvented your problem some other way. How much more powerful would the second event be if I found that this time I have no choice but to break on through to other side? Why, I may have not even realized Elizabeth was naught but a mouthpiece for Irrational!

-

Figure 5. Simple and effective.

-

Before releasing Infinite the devs talked about "fixing" Bioshock's moral system[10], but the way to do it would have been equivalent to A) Give me Adam by harvesting the Little Girls and B) Make me pay Adam for saving them. I mean, removing the system altogether doesn't fix anything for crying out loud! In Bioshock you only get slightly less Adam if you save all Little Girls, allowing you to just beef up your character to the top regardless of your actions. This is not a Tarkovsky film, so yes! give us the simplicity of temptation for evil, and thus allow us to sink in our righteousness if we avoid said temptation. And that's if we keep the "black and white" morality, once you start walking down the moral ambiguity of grayness, your options multiply exponentially.

Advertisement

But no, what they did instead was embrace linearity and remove choice and morality completely. A certain great developer who traverses the multiverse by the acronym of MCA has shared his thoughts on how he sees companions as being a “sounding board” for the player in his RPGs[11]. In the case of Infinity, Elizabeth would have been the *perfect*companion to act as a sounding board!

If you want the player not to "metagame" the morality system to min-max loot, then make the morality system work purely for and from the story and characters (or, as I said, give loot to the evil path in a significantly differential manner). If what you want is moral ambiguity, give us the choice to help the Vox or Comstock (or nobody in what becomes a very difficult struggle). One group has a worthy cause and horrible methods that are not immediately apparent, the other has a not-so-worthy-cause, but less overtly violent methods. Make the Vox tell us to kill a dude and after mowing down the cops between us (or not) we find out our target is not particularly evil, he just happens to be standing in the way. Then, make it clear that Comstock doesn't want to slaughter the “lower caste”, just have them accept their “proper place” within Columbia.

How far are you willing to go to get the girl and then to get her out of Columbia and wipe your debt? How will she react to the different options you have available and the things you do or decide not to do? I could totally envision a great game with two general endings: one where your actions lead to a confrontation with Old!Elizabeth in 1984 and another one where Old!Elizabeth sends you to the past to fix things and eventually get drowned, much like the one ending we got.

The "System Shock 2 Effect"

Back in SS2 I found myself reaching what I thought would be healthy people only to find they were dead, or dying, or dehumanized assholes, like the game was enticing me with the carrot of character interaction and then deciding it would be best to just shove it down my eye-socket and laugh at me. Technical limitations or not, I can't really argue against such a decision - no, I'm past my carrot fetish - you see, this worked rather well because it made the experience close and personal with SHODAN and kept the Von Braun a creepy, deserted spaceship haunted by ghosts and monsters (not to mention the oppression you felt every time this potential ally turned out to be a false hope).

Advertisement

One of the things that cemented Bioshock as a faithful spiritual sequel was this so-called “System Shock 2 Effect”. For all the technical and monetary progression there was still no way of having a meaningful and recurring interaction with any character[12]. Yet, once again it makes sense in context, this is a city ravaged by extremism coupled with madness: 99% of the population is dead or has become an inhuman perversion of their former selves; not even the kids were spared.

Figure 6. A wild lens-flare attacks.

Maybe Elizabeth more than compensates, but in Infinite this "effect" seems to have been otherwise taken to absurd extremes. In one of the levels, you reach Captain Cornelius Slate who a) knows and respects you and b) shares a common enemy with you. So, of course, he sends his troops to attack you. Sigh...

Advertisement

Now, I do have to give credit to Levine et al. because I still managed to be invested in the character and his motivations enough that I wanted to punish him for doing this to me. He didn't deserve death, he was a failure and he had forced his soldiers to die and me to kill them. Maybe I was just taking my frustrations with the game out with him but, even though he laid there staring like a dimwit in a jarring non-interaction-possible way, I still treated him like a character and in one of the few moments of choice in the game, I let him live to be captured and tortured[13]. Later, the game once again goes out of its way to pit you against otherwise potential allies, like this was all engineered by someone with emotional issues who was afraid we would shun away an otherwise great game full of potential if we weren't constantly SSIF, much like we did with that kid we all hated at school. Yes, I'm talking about you, Johnny!

Beth

“The girl”, the main attraction and selling point; no wonder we have already talked so much about her. We all love Elizabeth, she is cute, she largely feels like a real character, she's capable, she's competently voice-acted and she has boobs and outfits to go with them (I'm actually not complaining on this last, uh, front. She has a nice design but I don't think she's ridiculously oversexualized. Add to that a real character behind the nice 3D model and my Inner Cynic is only mumbling, not shouting at me incoherently while foaming from the mouth).

-

Figure 7.

-

She is a likeable young woman who wants to see Paris! You free her from captivity and she learns (or sees firsthand given that she seems to have read quite a lot) about the world, like the struggles between different people or the things you may find yourself forced to do once the chains that kept you in place are broken. She grows as a character, and we get to be there and see that. She goes on to confront her demons, get tortured to madness and eventually she becomes a Time Lord who murders her guardian(s) in a spacetime shattering climax. A classic heroic journey if you ask me. (Let's omit the fact that being raised in a secluded tower by a crazy Giant-Machine-Man-Bird-Thing commanded by another madman should do wonders to your social skills).

Advertisement

This doesn't come easy, of course, there was care and effort put into her from the start (See “Ken Levine Knows His Shit”). After being rescued, she's ecstatic! She wants to dance, she's laughing carelessly as she runs to and fro absorbing the world around her. In fact, she seems to be so interested in the things to be found that she bends to apparently pick or examine stuff and after you get her to calm down and follow you, you will also see her leaning on walls or sitting if you stay at a place for too long... and still, it takes a rather short while for it to start feeling as if she's a robot with three preprogrammed actions for “Condition: idle”. Which I guess she essentially was, but, could it not have been hidden a little better? Maybe if she at first muttered things like “Oh!” and “Look at that!” in an awed voice every, say, five times she performs the “examining” animation, and then after a few levels she keeps doing the same animation but in an always-silent manner, her robotic underpinnings would have been stalled from showing a while longer.

What? That's pretty much what actually happens? And she also has many other animations? Animations that betray attention to detail by part of the devs, like coughing near smoke and pinching her nose at foul-smelling situations?

-

Figure 8. "Do not concern yourself, I shall make it better for I am a PC with agency. Oh, wait..."

-

What went wrong, then? Well, I guess if you want to make me think she's a character, then you should try to make her a character OUTSIDE of the several scripted sequences of story progression[14]. In one of the trailers she finds a display and picks a mask and fools around a bit[15], that's not in the game and I would have liked more interactions like that. Make her interact fully with the world, add more lines that only happen if you go to some specific place, or do a specific action. Meet the interracial couple you helped at the raffle? Have her stop and ask what the hell they are talking about! Listening to the 3rd voxophone that talks directly about her? Make her say something, damnit! Have you defaced the third Lady Comstock painting? Well, what are her thoughts? Do you keep shooting Comstock-statues in the balls? Well maybe she finds it amusing at first but rather stupid after the second time. At one point you get jumped at by simple crooks, her reaction? Nothing, because that's how you react when you get mugged for the first time in your life (let's ignore the fact you can't surrender some coins to them).

Advertisement

At times she talks to you, as I assume a normal human would do in her situation. In those moments, as I also assume a normal human would do, I tried to get close to her and look at her face (in a more metagaming kind of way I wanted to check her facial animations too). But she would just *turn around and run away from me* while delivering her line! This happens, of course, because her robot brain has been programmed to run ahead of you in a manner that feels wonderful while traversing a level but that maybe could have been given a 2-second lag in order to avoid little suspension of disbelief bumps like these. (Was this not found to be a problem during testing, or did the devs give preponderance to the fast-twitching idiot who just wants to reach the next SSIF section?)

“Yeah, uhm, Elizabeth? Why are you running away from me? Ain't you trying to speak to me? Do I have something in my face? Is it the blood of the 50 random people I murdered but two minutes ago?”

-

Figure 9. "Ooo, big screen release before Lucas tampered with it!"

-

Speaking of murder, combat is what probably kills the character for me, she's rendered in a completely jarring situation. During combat you unleash Hell upon this (All-)American paradise, and Elizabeth is all over the midst of it. She runs through the crossfire, she bumps into the enemy, she stands right next to the guy you blast off with a rocket... Again, maybe this could have been made better with just some tweaking. If you spawn enemies largely from one up to three sides of a given room/map, then make Elizabeth stick to the cover that's found on the fourth side of the room/map. She also has superpowers, why don't you give her the ability to use them in some sort of protective manner? Why don't you demand a sip of the Magnetic Shield for her? If you, as a player, want to make use of her magic bag-of-holding then you'd just have to keep in mind the general location she hunkers down in, especially when you can otherwise make her open tears to satiate your needs all over the place!

Jeez, Can't You Shut Up Already?

Making the game a shootfest only worked against it's main asset: Elizabeth[16]. She stands out dissociated from the silly mayhem going around her, almost like she's not there. She doesn't have much to say about it, and the enemies don't seem to acknowledge she's there. The dissociation only gets worse and worse as the game advances and you find yourself mowing wave after wave of mindless AI drones. Aside from a Significant Hair-Cut and Change of Dress there's nothing during actual gameplay that lets you know the experience she's going through has led to some thought-processes in her robot brain. Spec-Ops: The Line stands here as a simple-yet-wonderful example of dealing with this. In that awesome game our companions - aside from Gruesome and Significant Physical Changes - go through gradual but escalating psychological changes that you witness during gameplay (i.e. outside of the scripted scenes). They start the game as cool, collected and “professional” soldiers, but by the end of the game their “generic gameplay one-liners” would barely be fit for your average PG13 film, much less Pixar's next classic.

-

Figure 10. Now look at the mess you made!”

-

I don't know, those kind of things would make her look more like a real person in my not-so-humble opinion. It's not like throwing me a gun she magically materialized out of nowhere will just make me care because she's useful. The goddam vending machine is useful, and it never tries to drown me! You are her father, having more scenes where you talked about what you have learned, what mistakes you made or where you taught her something, and to have her act, comment and react upon your actions… well, it would have made that reveal so much more powerful.

Advertisement

In the end all of those moments where you see the seams and recognize the man behind the curtain and wonder what-could-have-been become too jarring and dissonant. Elizabeth turns into a robot during gameplay and a character during the cutscenes, and while this is nothing new in a videogame and she is indeed a step forwards, it just seems to me Infinite could have aimed and delivered much higher.

The only question that remains is: was the originally quite-oh-so-very ambitious[15,17] game cut down because the devs couldn't make all the complexity work in a satisfactory manner given their high standards, or was this-? Hey... hey! What do you think you're doing? Oh, OH NO ITS HAPPENING AGAIRRGHSSS... YOU BET YOUR ASS ITS HAPPENING AGAIN! THE GAME WAS BUTCHERED BECAUSE IRRATIONAL WAS FORCED TO CATER TO STUPID AND LIMITED CONSOLES AND THE EVEN MORE STUPID AND LIMITED AVERAGE FPS PLAYER! IM DISSAPOINTED IN YOU, VERY DISSAPOINTED. YOU EVEN PRAISE TAKETWO! HAVENT I TRIED AGAIN AND AGAIN TO TEACH YOU HOW THE WORLD WORKS?? FFS, ITS ALL LIKE *THAT* TIME WHEN YOU...

  • [1] Oh, and a nerd. And a virgin too, of course.
  • [2] http://www.pcgamer.com/2013/02/19/bio…
  • [3] Watch Ken Levine.
  • [4] My Inner Cynic is reveling about every word in that statement, feel lucky I managed to restrain the beast.
  • [5] Another very nice thing they did was the introduction of a tutorial in a completely optional and devilishly mimetic fashion.
  • [6] In these latter sections you also walk around waving your unholsterable (Yes, it is a word.) gun in everybody's face. And what do they do? Exactly! They stare like idiots stuck to their spot. If you start shooting at them and their kids, Elizabeth won't have any reaction! Hell, the civilians 50 meters (164.041995 feet) away from this mass murderer have no reaction either...
  • [7] Some scenes (that would look like mere dreams before you finish the game) imply you are actually dying and an alternate!Booker is summoned by the Luteces. But this doesn't make much sense when you start thinking about the specifics.
  • [8] Watch this promotional trailer. Meaningful quote from the vid: "[…] That's what Bioshock games are about. They are about giving the player a ton of tools and a ton of options, and just letting them go to town".
  • [9] The only special use of Elizabeth's powers that stands to note outside of scripted cutscenes or combat happens in Shantytown, when she can summon food to the people we are informed are "poor" (poor, rich... they all share that distinctive human quality of remaining still and staring into the void). Another thing to nitpick here is that you can go for an "Infusion" bottle and start a fight with the "civilians" or you can just wait eight minutes for the inevitable SSIF to begin, the "civilians" to disappear and then you can get the Infusion anyway.
  • [10] http://www.polygon.com/2013/1/17/3886…
  • [11] http://kotaku.com/5942307/the-pe…
  • [12] Andrew Ryan gets killed when you reach him. Julie Langford is killed when you reach her. Dr. Tenenbaum prefers to remain largely out of physical reach. Sander Cohen offers little interaction if you decide to let him live.
  • [13] Don't worry, after being tortured into a real dimwit, I decided to put him out of his misery. Bonus points also go to Levine et al. because the little phrase "Tin soldier/man" will probably stick with me along with a specific new meaning.
  • [14] The game is so linear and restricted that I can only recall two situations where she says something that's not scripted in a way that everybody will see and hear it every single time they play the game (in other words, scripted "cutscenes" or scripted lines she delivers when she passes through points you HAVE to pass given the game's linearity). Once when you enter public (though segregated) bathrooms, and then an example of what I wanted more of: there's a small room in Soldier's Field where she quotes the Bible (regarding how it's best to get at kids while they're still young). Her character is supposed to have read a lot, why don't we see more of that?
  • [15] This may be carefully crafted set-piece condensing many cool bits to show off, but you can notice there was certain level of character development cut from the finished game. You also have citizens actually behaving like real people. You have stuff happening around you, not centered around you. Apparently there was an open, living Columbia in some alternate universe...
  • [16] Dimwits are sometimes found trying to argue that the mindless and constant shooting serves to enhance the main plotline. As a Duke I confidently retort that if you need that to "enhance the main plotline" then your story is not that good (not to imply Infinite's plot isn't good).
  • [17] http://www.officialplaystationmagazine.co.uk/2013/04/05/the…