Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Thoughts: Bioshock Infinite

Will the circle be unbroken, by and by,
Is a better home awaiting in the sky, in the sky?

An apt song to a brilliant narrative.

A narrative that is on the surface and on all accounts in the beginning seems ordinary. A city in the sky, an ostensibly peaceful religion and a plot to rescue a damsel in distress are all your typical parts and parcel of an overused story line in contemporary media. On the onset, racism and religion, class warfare and nationalism were themes that were also thrown into the overarching tale for good measure. It seemed straight-forward enough, rescue the girl and fight the bad guy and bring her to Paris.

As you experience the story first-hand, as you grow to know and care for the damsel whom you've rescued from the clichéd tower, and as you grow comfortable in the city, the world seems to realize your growing disinterest and quickly changes the pace for the strange and unexplained. The year was 1912, yet somehow music from different eras start to appear. You have never been to the city, yet there are posters everywhere brandishing you as a "False Shepard" for having a tattoo that matches the posters. What are these tears? Who are the two folks that keep showing up to help you at opportune moments? How can you shoot crows from your palms? There was no time for questions though as men and machines from both sides of the class warfare took the liberty of trying to rid you from this world and you have no choice but to keep fighting and keep the questions for later.

And when it was time to bring up the questions, the narrative had already ended. Yes. This is one story which will leave burning questions in one's mind after the credits rolled. A thousand external questions could all be answered if the clues were paid more attention when given. The problem lies with the less literal, the philosophical questions that need answering. Everything is open to interpretation - lives, lived and will live; dies, died and will die. These words will heretofore mean more to you than ever before. Aside from all the extra themes as well as the core subject of the entire experience, the story still manages to pull at the heartstrings.

When you think of choice and the meaning of choice, infinite does seem to be the answer.

Bioshock Infinite is a work of art and a work of philosophy with a thousand different strokes of brilliance. An experience that is not to be missed by anyone who has the slightest inclinations for the entertainment form that is video games. I haven't been writing for awhile however, because of this piece of art, I have to record my thoughts lest it be lost through time.

Video 9/10 - Colorful artistic designs representing the early 1900s with a slight twist to accentuate the self-style of this fictional world.
Audio 10/10 - Songs and music are perfect for this world. One particular scene of singing and jamming with an instrument pulls at the heartstrings. Will the Circle be Unbroken is definitely the right song for this epic.
Gameplay 8/10 - Standard first person shooter affair with a touch of innovation - the skyline combats. Less points on the one hand weapon, one hand "spell" combat that has been explored before in the previous Bioshocks.
Story 10/10 - Brilliant, exceptionally brilliant story writing and imagination. Possibly the best I have ever seen on a video game.


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