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Thoughts about Bioshock Infinite

September 21st, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

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Spoiler Warning: This post talks about Bioshock Infinite and might contain spoilers.

So recently I finished playing “Bioshock Infinite”. My first thought was: my god, what passes for “deep storytelling” in video games nowadays.

In my opinion this scenario is a bungled mess of a story full of contrived, preposterous twists and an overly complicated narrative about unexplained motivations. I mean ANYBODY can write an absurdly knotty story full of confusingly interrelated parts. It doesn’t make it a good story.

That THIS is lauded as a potential game of the year and praised for its supposedly amazing storytelling is frankly beyond me. A friend of mine wisely noted that the threshold for writing in games is extremely low. And the writing level of Bioshock Infinite would pass for a mediocre novel. But slap it onto a video-game and suddenly gamers are gushing about a masterpiece.

I could try and pick up one by one all the pieces of the story that do not make sense or rather only make sense in the writers’ minds because they thought it up in the first place. I could point out the contradictory motivations, the lack of genuine emotion… But I won’t, because it would be a little akin to laughing at an Alzheimer patient because he can’t remember stuff.

I feel this problem will go on as long as gamers (and gaming journalists) mistake complexity for richness. I KNOW video games have long lived a very healthy life without anything resembling a satisfying story. But come on. The quality of writing really needs to improve. Or does it? Let’s be honest here; if good writing was a necessary component of games we wouldn’t have those kind of issues anymore. But still. I’m hoping for better days.

So in the end what’s left of Bioshock Infinite are some very nice visual moments and some pseudo-philosophical attempts at making you believe there is profundity at the core of its story.

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  1. ayellowpaper
    July 24th, 2015 at 14:31 | #1

    Great article! Every time I was talking to someone about Bioshock Infinite they always said how brilliant the game and it’s story was. I never understood that. To me the game had obvious contradictions when one would just put a few minutes of proper thought into it. And it drove me crazy how nobody was able to see it. Finding your article is like a salvation, giving me back some of my sanity that I lost arguing about the plot holes.

  2. Seith
    July 24th, 2015 at 22:01 | #2

    Thanks! I remember I was pretty angry when I wrote that. But I still stand by it. Glad it could vindicate your opinion! :)

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