Collecting BioShock Infinite fanboy tears
DISCLAIMER: This wasn't originally intended to be a rant, even though it turned into one. Just know that, despite everything I am about to say, I loved Bioshock: Infinite. It's just that I hated most of it.
I thought Booker and Elizabeth's interactions were the best part of the game. The combat was lackluster and detracted from the narrative (there were only a few bits of it that were narratively justified, per se, like the bit with the police at the beginning or the bit at the ticket booth where Elizabeth is first confronted with the dark nature of the world). The rest was just the boring stuff I tried to finish ASAP. The combat was generic; it was better and more engaging than Bioshock 1's, but seeing as punching yourself in the face repeatedly is also better and more engaging combat than Bioshock 1's that's not much of a compliment. (Disclaimer: I loved Bioshock 1, up to the halfway point anyways (after that it was kinda boring) and pretty much every aspect of that game that wasn't combat or related to Frank Fontaine was phenomenal.) The combat was the boring bits between the interesting bits; I can't remember anything about it, honestly (other than that shotgun + carbine was enough to get through almost the entire game, even barely using vigors), and I've played this game within the last few weeks.
Actually if they just took out literally all the bits that weren't Booker and Elizabeth talking, I probably would have liked the game more. (But I'm one of those weirdos who loved Dear Esther, so take this with a grain of salt.) Keep the Luteces too; they were my favorite characters and provided a lot of needed levity. But anyways, I liked the way Booker and Elizabeth evolved - they had legitimate character arcs, with Elizabeth becoming darker, more serious, and more violent as her idealized and childish notions of the world were shattered while Booker became lighter as he learned to care about someone besides himself; coming to worry about Elizabeth in more ways than just "meal ticket", and his quest for money became a quest for penance (in fact, you could make an argument that the game, or at least the bits of the game that I liked, is/are Booker's personal Purgatory). They're fleshed out and well-written, which is not common in the gaming world. I actually cared about them as characters.
Okay, now back to criticism.
Can we talk about the Vox Populi for a second? Mister Levine, do you honestly expect me to agree that killing one kid is equivalent to systemic racism, oppression, and wage (as well as, at least implied, straight-up Old South-style) slavery? Like, for real? I guess he was trying to subvert the whole "hero stumbles upon revolution, somehow winds up leading it to victory" trope, but the way he did it was ridiculously poor. They had spent the whole game up to that point setting up the Vox as sympathetic, and guess what? After that bit, they were still sympathetic. Every time a fight against them came up, my reaction was "If you would kindly stop shooting me, you would notice that I am, in fact, on your side. I think we could get a lot more done by not trying to murder each other." No, Mr. DeWitt, I do not, in fact, believe that "the only difference between Comstock and Fitzroy is how you spell the name."
On an unrelated (and slightly petty; seriously, I doubt anyone else cares) note, what was up with Mrs. Lin? (The original one, that is?) For real, that was straight-up "you no take candle". I managed to block memory of her out after it happened the first time, but the memories resurfaced after I reached the gun shop on my second playthrough and I said "Well, it's getting late. I should go to bed. Besides, I know what's about to happen and I should probably brace myself for the massive levels of garbage that are about to occur." Yeah, that was 20 days ago and I still haven't felt up to playing the game again. For real, could they have made her any more stereotypical?