Sunday, October 27, 2013

Bioshock Infinity sucks

Everyone loved this game and I can't see why.  The game is downright crude in its implementation, really.  Here's a partial list of its crude implementations.

First person.  Really?  The continuation of first person shooters baffles me.  When Gears of War came out, this smooth shooting experience of moving from cover to cover in tactical situations, I thought, "This is the end of first person."  Even before then, first person had become . . . limited.  The lack of any hint of peripheral vision made it frustrating, especially when the game contained a melee component (as Bioshock Infinite does).

Health packs.  Really?  When Halo's - the original Halo - had a shooting game that was as thrilling as could be without a single health pack, I thought health packs were gone.  As opposed to first person perspective, this one is mostly gone from other games.  At no point did I have to look for a health pack when playing Tomb Raider.

Can't fire from cover.  Really?  You can't lean over or fire over low cover.  That's just . . . baffling to me.  Even most first person shooters have this one.

"The spas defense."  In first person games with a melee component, one of the truly stupid, awful things that happens is enemies in melee combat will step out of the character's line of sight.  If you see it happen, it is often accompanied by a spas as they hop to one side.  What this does is take advantage of the limitations of the first person perspective to aid in their defense.  It's just an awful gameplay element, really highlighting the fact that characters in first person games can only turn around slowly and can't move their goddamn heads.  It highlights the weaknesses in perspective of the first person format, which is bad on its own but also draws attention to a weakness in the interface to gain advantage over the player.  Ugh.

The game also lacks any radar or other mechanism so you can keep track of what's going on around you.  Again, this really highlights that the first person perspective has a very limited range of vision.  This is doubly so because game levels are getting downright enormous.  Characters can attack you from such a range that I struggled - with a sixty inch television! - to find their muzzle flashes to determine their location.  (Of course, they never have any problem finding you.  They know exactly where you are at all times, even when you hide.)

Lack of aimed shots.  This one, like so many others, just amazes me that it doesn't have it.  They animated that when you shoot someone in the fucking face their hat falls off but not the little tidbit about how when you shoot someone in the fucking face three or four times they tend to die.

These are, I think, fairly objective reasons to conclude that the game is crude.  Things like the inability to fire over or around cover and lack of headshot quick kills is just preposterous.

Then there's the platforming elements.  I . . . have few words.  You can jump from hook to hook but . . . so fucking what?  Is this supposed to somehow impress me?  Characters of superhuman athletic prowess are commonplace in video games.  Compare swinging from hook to hook to the last Tomb Raider offering, or Drake's Fortune, or - and this becomes cruel - Assassin's Creed or Splinter Cell.  Jesus, this is your exciting mechanism to get around a floating city?  Like the shooting, this is just crude.  It's visually uninspiring after the displays of awesome athletic prowess we see even in other shooters.

Sure, I get it that the art direction is slick.  I wholly approve of getting away from those dystopian grays and browns, putting a game in the sunshine.  Great.  Okay.  I've heard the story is good but . . . it didn't grab me from the onset, something about saving a girl, who I then gathers becomes your sidekick.  Great, another girl sidekick.  Jesus.  Can we get past that, already?  Really, guys.  While I appreciate art direction in a game, you don't play art direction.  If stuff like art direction and music is what your game has going for it, you should probably be in movies, not games.

Anyway, the game sucks.  People who like it are wrong.  Nuff said.

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