Who’d have thought that Episode 2 of Burial at Sea would end up, essentially, being Batman in Rapture? Batman as in the Rocksteady series of recent titles. Well, it is. As Elizabeth (spoiler?) you sneak around in the shadows, generally avoiding combat. You use air vents. You get a vigour which essentially gives you detective vision.
Not only that, there are some large rooms where you have to hang from gargoyles, or something. And drop down behind foes and silently dispatch them. Hmm.
That said, it’s the story that’s the main point of the game. What, you were playing it for the mechanics? You’re doing it wrong, in this episode especially. It’s not about the fighting, it’s the sneaking and finding and getting to the end.
Little of which I can talk about because of big spoilers. That, and how I’m not completely sure what actually happened at the end there. I did like the link back to the original BioShock and how this tied in with it though.
Just a quick mention of this, as I’ve only played about 90 minutes and it’s supposedly less than twice that long. As I enjoyed BioShock Infinite, and I found a cheap copy of the DLC, I thought I’d give it a go.
It’s confusing. Elizabeth doesn’t look right. Plasmids and Vigours have become mingled into one thing. Rapture feels weird.
I think that Sally, the girl we’re looking for is basically Anna from Infinite (and therefore Elizabeth), so presumably this is a parallel universe retelling of the same story? Maybe?
Warning: here be Bioshock Infinite spoilers. Read not further if you wish to remain in the dark about the plot and ting.
Those OK with spoilers, proceed.
Remember in the first Bioshock game when that “Would You Kindly” reveal made you go woahhhhh? Bioshock Infinite doesn’t have that. Not to the same degree, anyway. Part of the reason is that the backstory and twists, if you could call them that, are drip-fed to you in mainly in the form of audiologs supplemented by the odd happenings regarding tears you come across and some seemingly out of place dialogue here and there.
The first suggestions that things aren’t what they seem come about in the form of music, where a barber shop quartet stops by to sing some Beach Boys, and a brass band strike up with an instrumental version of Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. Not in keeping with the 1912 setting. Coupled with Elizabeth’s ability to open tears – one of which shows Paris in the 1980s – it becomes obvious some sort of time and/or dimension jumping occurs and technology (like many of the guns) and music are pulled through.
Later, you jump to alternate realities yourself, with Elizabeth’s help. With exposition from the “twin” Lutece scientists the game essentially becomes an series of episodes of Sliders.
So what I have pieced together, is this: DeWitt has a baby daughter, which he gives up to pay off his debts. He forgets about this, however, although part of him remembers her – Anna – died, or was lost, or something. The baby is given to Comstock, who is the “prophet” who creates the flying city of Columbia, and grows up to become Elizabeth, the daughter of the prophet.
Now, other places no doubt have a full breakdown of everything, but ultimately (in my ending, anyway), it is revealed that DeWitt is Comstock. Rosalind Lutece and her other-reality “brother” Robert have made Anna/Elizabeth into a conduit between realities, and they are able to travel freely between realities to further their aims. The city flies based on one of their experiments too: An audiolog from Rosalind says she made an atom levitate, and if not an atom, why not something bigger – like a city. In fact, it doesn’t levitate. It just doesn’t fall. Erm.
Confused yet? Well, what about when Elizabeth opens up a door into Rapture? Here is the killer line. No, not DeWitt’s “A city under the ocean? Ridiculous” which was funny. The other line, from Elizabeth: “There’s always a lighthouse. There’s always a man. There’s always a city.” BOOM.
That’s right. My reading of this, is that Rapture is just another reality’s Columbia. Andrew Ryan is just another reality’s Zachary Comstock. The reason the whole game felt like the same damn story in a different place, is because it was the same damn story in a different place.
There’s more to it all than this, including who was from which reality, but that’s my take on it. Other places explain more. Once you know DeWitt is Comstock, some things make more sense too. Slate, for instance, is incensed that Comstock proclaims he was at the Battle of Wounded Knee. He says he was not, and DeWitt (who was there) agrees. But since DeWitt is Comstock, it makes sense.
Anyway. That’s the plot. What about the game?
I’ll put it this way: Bioshock Infinite is a great story punctuated with pointless, annoying combat sections. The wonderful trap-setting from Bioshock 2? Gone. What remains are horrible skyrail-heavy fights, mostly useless “vigours”, and never enough ammo. Honestly, I think Bioshock Infinite would have worked much better as a straight narrative discovery game.
Still, I did enjoy it overall and will look out for the DLC being on offer.
Finally, after much configuring and tweaking and getting a wireless adaptor for the 360 controller, I managed to get my Steam Link working both reliably and without cables all across the lounge. Which means, in my mind, I now have a new games console and an instant library of hundreds of games I’ve collected over the years and barely played.
Bioshock Infinite is one I picked up ages ago, probably in a Humble Bundle (that’s where most of my games come from), but was still on the lookout for a 360 or PS4 version to play on my telly. Now, I don’t need to!
I’ve played about 4 hours of it so far, working my way through Columbia, rescuing Elizabeth, taking photos of toilets, that sort of thing. It looks very pretty, especially since I realised my iMac can handle running the game on the highest possible graphical settings, with blue skies and stuff, but there’s something I can’t quite put my finger on that’s missing from the game.
It’s all a bit linear so far, with “free roaming” only bolted on for those who wish to explore. There’s quite a bit to explore, but the rewards are pretty poor. The “vigours” I’ve collected up to now are pretty dull – one is a grenade, essentially, and is useful, but the other two are very underpowered. “Murder of Crows” seems to do little but distract, and the possession vigour isn’t a patch on the berserk darts from Assassin’s Creed.
These are negative points, but minor in the scheme of things. I don’t know what is making it feel a bit poor, but hopefully things will improve and it’ll go away?
Another observation about Bioshock Infinite is that it isn’t Dishonoured. I remarked when I played that game that it felt a lot like Bioshock, and the world of Bioshock Infinite feels a lot like that of Dishonoured. So far, Bethesda’s game is the better of the two despite coming an year earlier. We’ll see.
As for where I am – I’m just working through Soldier’s Field. It’s been very easy until now. Does it get harder?
Oh! And I think I’ve figured out why they exist already, and why The Prophet can “see” the future, but hearing the barbershop quartet singing Gold Only Knows by the Beach Boys, and a brass band playing Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, when the game is set in 1912, was a little… awesome. And confusing. The way it just permeates your subconscious and you realise what you’re listening to. That bit where Tears for Fears plays though – that pretty much explains it.
I never bothered with the other Bioshock 2 DLC, as the online stuff never really appealed (although I did play online a few times). A completely new story, though? Couldn’t resist.
Once more, they managed to find bits of Rapture that hadn’t previously been visited (it’s a big place, clearly), and like in the main Bioshock 2 game you’re a Big Daddy. It’s pretty much more of the same, really – just with new locations, story and some new weapons and stuff. The main new enemy, a Lancer Big Daddy, is a bit of a joke though, since he’s actually easier to kill than most of the normal baddies.
It took me 4 or 5 hours in total to finish the story, which was (once again) clever with a great twist. I’d seen the twist coming, but the reveal was excellent anyway.
Certainly all well worth the asking price, I’d say.
At a rough guess, I think I’ve put around 18 hours into this. My understanding is you can complete it in under 10, but since I have OCD, I had to search everywhere, examine everything, access every bit of the map, open every door, hack every machine, rescue every Little Sister, max out every research track, buy every plasmid and gene tonic slot, and listen to every audio diary. I even found myself using up ammo just so I could collect more ammo to replace it. Yes, I clearly have a problem.
How to sum up the game without spoilers? Well, it was more of the same of the first game really. Some improvements (dual-wielding plasmids and weapons, better “where am I going” hints, less getting lost), and some let downs (more linear game, too many “collect X of Y”, less powerful storyline, no proper end boss). Still an excellent game, but perhaps a 4/5 rather than the 5/5 of the original.
Strangely, the thing I missed most from the original was something I thought quite irritating at the time – all the vending machines singing “Welcome to the Circus of Values!” and stuff whenever you went near them. They rarely did it in the sequel.
Since completing Lego Indiana Jones 2, Bioshock 2 is pretty much the only game I’ve played. I’ve not played it terribly far in, either, having only picked up the film camera about an hour’s play ago, and I’ve only just finished the Sinclair Hotel bit. I don’t know how far that puts me through the game, but if I assume the train line map is an indication, then perhaps a quarter?
Things I’m liking so far:
It’s Bioshock. Mostly. Only more of it.
The story is keeping me hooked – I know there’ll be a twist, but what?
My OCD is well catered for with research and Fallout 3-style item searching.
Lots of plasmid/weapon combinations for varied kills.
Things I’m not liking so far:
It doesn’t feel “right”. It’s not quite BioShock.
I’m a Big Daddy, but Splicers can hammer me? What?
It’s a bit easy – only one death so far, and that was only because I didn’t use a first aid kit in time.
Big Sisters can die in a fire.
It’s certainly enjoyable, and it’s nice to be back in Rapture. I think it’s a shame that the original seemed to have all the “best” locations (so far) as the amusements were little more than a single “ride”, and Pauper’s Drop is dull. The hotel is almost a clone of the apartments from the original too. Doesn’t look like you get to revisit anywhere from the original either.
I suppose it was never going to be as good as the first game, and it’s not bad at all, so I can live with all that. Needs to have an OMFG AMAZE reveal like “would you kindly” though.
So I went back to the game to find other stuff. I reloaded the save from just before taking the lift to the final boss, then made my way back through the game. Went to Fort Frolic first of all to spend all my money on the slot machines (although I got it all back when I hit the jackpot, as required for an achievement), and then I set about exploring elsewhere for more “Power to the People” weapon upgrade points. I didn’t find any, but did find some areas I’d previously missed.
I was right – there was very little else to do. I had to assemble the parts of a Big Daddy for reasons I can’t really say, and then with the help of a Little Sister I made it into a museum, where Fontaine was waiting for me. Well, once I’d got through the museum, anyway.
Unfortunately, the museum was pretty much an escort mission, which I hate. You have to stop a Little Sister from being killed as she leads you round the museum and through doors only they can open. Thankfully, I could scout ahead and hack some cameras and turrets to be on my side, helping when the splicers attacked. Amazingly, my third (and last possible) photo of the final camera in the game was just enough to get the maximum research for them, and thus the achievement for “PhD Research”.
Once through the museum, it was the final showdown with a spliced up Fontaine. A very easy to kill spliced up Fontaine at that. It was soon over, and I’d only used one first aid kit and barely half a “tank” of Eve.
So, that’s it. I am tempted to go back round Rapture with an earlier save to get the achievements for Jackpot and Weapons Specialist, though.
With everything done in Olympus Heights, it was off to Apollo Square (the run down part of town) to find some more formula. That wasn’t too difficult, but I’m getting a little concerned I’m very close to the end of the game now and haven’t taken all the photos I could have done. Managed to get the last shots of the Little Sisters and turrets, but I’ve hardly taken pictures of the security cameras at all.
Anyway, found Atlas’ hideout in Apollo Square, killed some more Big Daddies and rescued Little Sisters, and my plasmids are back to normal again now.
Then I went to Point Prometheus, which is the place where they seem to create Little Sisters and Big Daddies. Haven’t done much here yet, aside from kill a couple more Big Daddies and rescue the last Little Sisters (netting me an achievement). I’m really close to the end now – this is the build-up (and power up!) for the final battle!
With the bomb in the core, Ryan decided it was best to just completely destroy Rapture. Obviously. Not only that, but when I found him, he made me kill him. Very odd.
Then… a big fat spoiler. Which makes the next bit somewhat hard to mention, really. I got out of Ryan’s office, and met up with Tenenbaum and all the Little Sisters. More revelations occurred, and it now seems that Fontaine (who isn’t dead after all) is the guy to go after.
I made it to Olympus Heights, killed Cohen (who decided he loved me and wanted me dead as a result – freak) in his apartment, found a formula which has made all my plasmids go nuts, and now I’m off to find some more of it. Of course!
Also managed a few more achievements today, including maxing out all my tonic tracks and some more research, as well as some normal story-progression ones.
So today I was mostly progressing through Hephaestus, which involved killing lots of Big Daddies, and collecting bits for a bomb (many of which were on the Big Daddies – hence their increased prevalence in this areas, it would seem). At one point, I had two Big Daddies in the room at the same time, and I had hoped that the “Hypnotise Big Daddy” plasmid might allow me to get them to fight each other, but it didn’t seem to work when there were two in the room at once.
So I killed them using my New Best Favourite Big Daddy Killing Technique instead: fire loads of shock bolts across a corridor between you and the Big Daddy, then shoot him with your pistol. He gets angry, runs through all the bolts (getting injured by each) and, if you’ve done it right, drops down dead at your feet. It’s wise to have a shotgun ready though, just in case…
So, into Fort Frolic I went. It’s clearly the “entertainment” area of Rapture, with a casino, a theatre, a record studio and a strip bar. It’s also run by Cohen, who is a complete loon and asked me to dispense with four other people around Fort Frolic, take their photos, and add them to “an art” he was creating.
I half expected to have to kill him, but no. I did kill three more Big Daddies and saved the Little Sisters they were protecting. These Big Daddies were like the ones on the box for the game, but were called “Bouncer” and “Elite Bouncer”. I don’t know what that means.
I’ve also maxed out some more research and bought some more “slots” for tonics.
Ran through Arcadia, killed a few more Rosies (are they really Big Daddies?) and rescued a couple more Little Sisters. Ryan decided it’d be good to kill all the plants in the area, so I had to find some ingredients with which to create a formula to revive them all.
This meant finding the Farmers Market, and an area past it where there were lots of bees, seaching their nests for stuff, then finding a wine factory where I had to get some distilled water. Made it back to the lab where I could administer the Lazarus formula to bring plants back from the dead, and then moved on to Fort Frolic.
Also managed to upgrade my pistol today, as well as find a chemical gun, make use a loads of “U-Invent” stations to build things, and increase the numbers of slots I have in my tonic “tracks” for more power-ups.