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Old 04-26-2013, 02:15 AM   #1
Blueman2
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Rate this review: Bioshock Infinate

Human characters provide ground for a tale that reaches for the sky

High: Waking up on a crowded beach to find Elizabeth dancing after an intense set piece

Low: Fighting an obnoxious mini-boss three times

WTF: guest appearance by a Willem Dafoe sound-alike


The sameness of AAA releases can be explained with simple mathematics, the more money that goes into a game the less risks can be taken. Rising costs of games seem to go up every year resulting in publishers re-using tech and pumping out yearly releases. Irrational earned such accolades with 2007's Bioshock that 2K allowed the developer and lead designer Ken Levine to make a challenging successor with the condition that the name Bioshock remain. The result is an ambitious follow-up that reaches high and comes down with a game that's distinct, imperfect, and gripping.

Set in one of the most imaginative places seen in a blockbuster release, Columbia, a floating metropolis lead by a ultra-christian government that uses propaganda to make it's leader less a man more a religious icon. The city is populated by many people, yet while you can overhear barbershop quartets, bickering kids, and preachers however taking your time will be beneficial as this game will keep you moving from one set to another at an almost breathless pace if you allow it. Taking place before Columbia's eventual demise allows more warm and frequently amusing sights that provides a break from the serious moments, the addition of Booker Dewitt in place of the mute player character and Elizabeth give the game a real emotional core in a world that's frequently surreal.

Giving more leeway to look around and absorb the scenery with audio logs and secrets behind every nook, infinite continues to carry larger levels than you'd expect in a current first person shooter, almost resembling a scaled down Bethesda RPG. The levels frequently resemble old-school arena design as special weapons and tools are scattered throughout and enemies flank you wherever you go. Like Halo the levels are made for the player to have multiple combat options using your array of vigorous, firearms, and skylines in one of the funner yet impractical combat abilities that has Booker leaping off a sky-rail and punching an enemy to death, it's something better seen than read.

The narrative of Bioshock has been seen as both a depiction of idealist politics gone wrong and a meta-commentary about video games, the lack of any true choices you have in the rigged world of video games, and trust in an objective maker who makes sense of the situations in front of you. Infinite takes a isolated society that mythologizes it's history and riddled with class warfare and shows you it's downfall driven by lies and self-important hero figures. Though those looking for gaming’s A Tale of Two Cities may be a little disappointed as the conflict between the Vox and Columbia is largely disconnected from the player as an abstract plot device mid-game causes an immediate change in the power struggle removes any empathy for a faction that soon becomes another enemy in a manor that is a tad contrived. At that point the game is less about political struggles and instead takes form into a loopy and sometimes confusing narrative that resembles the works of Phillip K. Dick. Even when the multiple realities start to cause fatigue the characters and skillful mystery hooks will keep you intrigued until an ambitious and somewhat overreaching ending that curious gamers will pick apart while others search Gamefaqs answers.

The violence of the game combined with the bright colors and grotesque character models have the effect of a horrific yet whimsical comic book. While Infinite's violence is gruesome and occasionally ridiculous as many heads explode threatening to become a distraction, the narrative doesn't ignore these actions effect on Booker's companion though it doesn't quite overcome the occasional feeling that a well-realized world is suddenly taken over by endless enemy waves to deliver the genre goods.

However the combat provides a nice variety of abilities, many of the boss encounters leave something to be desired. A certain enemy type who turns into crows is more obnoxious than fun, a late mini-boss that appears multiple times is downright horrid on hard mode. The guns have excellent sound and animation giving a sense of real force yet said mini-boss reduces your firearms to peashooters as it's health slowly depletes. As encounters continued to expand in size I found myself possessing enemies to fight for me, midgame encounters reek of padding as you fight another handyman and two waves of soldiers though chain lighting can make most of these fun.

Faults and all however, Bioshock: Infinite is easily worth playing. If not as the bastion of gaming's artistic triumph then as a wonderfully imaginative and engaging action game who's imagery will stick with you long after it's over. It's the kind of raw ambition of high concept ideas that may not gel together in the end but offers more humanity and sense of place than it's predecessor. Whether or not the game transcends the medium as the pre release hype would have you believe, there is still a lot to enjoy about Irrational's thrilling roller coaster ride of a game. 8 out of 10

Parents: Rated M for "Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Language, Mild Sexual Themes, Use of Alcohol and Tobacco"

Deaf and Hard of Hearing: Subtitles and hand HUD tips make this playable though sound cues may put the impaired at a disadvantage.

Disclosures: This game was obtained via redbox and reviewed on the Xbox 360. Approximately 8 hours of play was devoted to single-player modes (completed 1 times)
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Old 04-26-2013, 07:49 PM   #2
RandomRob
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Post Re: Rate this review: Bioshock Infinate

misspelled the name of the game, bad way to start-

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueman2 View Post
Human characters provide ground for a tale that reaches for the sky
The title should reflect your opinion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueman2 View Post
High: Waking up on a crowded beach to find Elizabeth dancing after an intense set piece

Low: Fighting an obnoxious mini-boss three times

WTF: guest appearance by a Willem Dafoe sound-alike
That low is kinda.. eh.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueman2 View Post
The sameness of AAA releases can be explained with simple mathematics, the more money that goes into a game the less risks can be taken. Rising costs of games seem to go up every year resulting in publishers re-using tech and pumping out yearly releases.
starting a review by talking about the business removes YOU from the writing and the reader from the review. If it's not your opinion, it's hurting your writing---> chuck it

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueman2 View Post
Irrational earned such accolades with 2007's Bioshock that 2K allowed the developer and lead designer Ken Levine to make a challenging successor with the condition that the name Bioshock remain.
This sounds like a soundbite from a corporate news blurb. Don't do that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueman2 View Post
The result is an ambitious follow-up that reaches high and comes down with a game that's distinct, imperfect, and gripping.
reaches high and comes down?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueman2 View Post
Set in one of the most imaginative places seen in a blockbuster release,
what does that mean? If you can't qualify it with your own opinion, jettison it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueman2 View Post
Columbia, a floating metropolis LED by a ultra-christian
what is 'ultra-Christian'? Is it right wing? Left wing? Conservative? Evangelical? You wouldn't call someone an ultra-Jew or an ultra-Muslim, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueman2 View Post
government that uses propaganda to make it's leader less (OF) a man (AND) more a religious icon.
so the leader isn't the leader, he's just propped up by the government? Does the religion control the government or vice-versa?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueman2 View Post
The city is populated by many people, yet while you can overhear barbershop quartets, bickering kids, and preachers however taking your time will be beneficial as this game will keep you moving from one set??? to another at an almost breathless pace if you allow it. Taking place before Columbia's eventual demise allows more warm and frequently amusing sights that provides a break from the serious moments, the addition??? of Booker Dewitt in place of the mute player character and Elizabeth give the game a real emotional core in a world that's frequently surreal.
underlined transitions are awkward. Try reading this passage out loud to see what I mean, or have a friend read it out loud to you. You'll hear the problems immediately.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueman2 View Post
Giving more leeway to look around and absorb the scenery with audio logs and secrets behind every nook, infinite continues to carry larger levels than you'd expect in a current first person shooter, almost resembling a scaled down Bethesda RPG.
Awkward transitions again.

So it's larger than a shooter, but smaller than a rpg?
What does that mean to you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueman2 View Post
The levels frequently resemble old-school arena design as special weapons and tools are scattered throughout and enemies flank you wherever you go. Like Halo the levels are made for the player to have multiple combat options using your array of vigorous, firearms, and skylines in one of the funner

(OMG YOU DID NOT JUST WRITE FUNNER)

yet impractical combat abilities that has Booker leaping off a sky-rail and punching an enemy to death, it's something better seen than read.
Funner yet impractical? Wha..?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueman2 View Post
The narrative of Bioshock has been seen as both a depiction of idealist politics gone wrong and a meta-commentary about video games, the lack of any true choices you have in the rigged world of video games, and trust in an objective maker who makes sense of the situations in front of you.
Very interesting, but what do YOU think of that statement? And who 'saw' it that way, exactly?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueman2 View Post
Infinite takes a isolated society that mythologizes it's history and riddled with class warfare and shows you it's downfall driven by lies and self-important hero figures. Though those looking for gaming’s A Tale of Two Cities may be a little disappointed as the conflict between the Vox and Columbia is largely disconnected from the player as an abstract plot device mid-game causes an immediate change in the power struggle removes any empathy for a faction that soon becomes another enemy in a manor that is a tad contrived.
Another run-on from hell, and you're not specific about the nature of the conflict- this is like walking into the middle of someone else's conversation.
What does the A Tale of Two Cities reference mean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueman2 View Post
At that point the game is less about political struggles and instead takes form into a loopy and sometimes confusing narrative that resembles the works of Phillip K. Dick. Even when the multiple realities start to cause fatigue the characters and skillful mystery hooks will keep you intrigued until an ambitious and somewhat overreaching ending that curious gamers will pick apart while others search Gamefaqs answers.
Philip K Dick? Which works? How about 'Eye in the sky'? Have you read Dick?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueman2 View Post
The violence of the game combined with the bright colors and grotesque character models have the effect of a horrific yet whimsical comic book.
an opinion! And not bad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueman2 View Post
While Infinite's violence is gruesome and occasionally ridiculous as many heads explode threatening to become a distraction, the narrative doesn't ignore these actions effect on Booker's companion though it doesn't quite overcome the occasional feeling that a well-realized world is suddenly taken over by endless enemy waves to deliver the genre goods.
Although I'm possibly going to almost criticize your overusage of qualifiers, it is nevertheless also true that I am also saying things that aren't strictly about writing, although it depends on who's reading it.....


know what I mean?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueman2 View Post
However the combat provides a nice variety of abilities, many of the boss encounters leave something to be desired.
Replace the HOWEVER with ALTHOUGH and this almost works, except does the combat provide the abilities or does your character possess the abilities?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueman2 View Post
A certain enemy type who turns into crows is more obnoxious than fun, a late mini-boss that appears multiple times is downright horrid on hard mode.
another opinion, good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueman2 View Post
The guns have excellent sound and animation giving a sense of real force yet said mini-boss reduces your firearms to peashooters as it's health slowly depletes. As encounters continued to expand in size I found myself possessing enemies to fight for me, midgame encounters reek of padding as you fight another handyman and two waves of soldiers though chain lighting can make most of these fun.
you go from talking about the sound effects to the effect the guns have on a boss, to using other powers, to criticizing the difficulty, and back to talking about powers... writing wise, that's a mess- although the seed of your review, your actual opinions, are here.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueman2 View Post
Faults and all however,
however means you're making an exception to what you just said, it means, ignore what I just said... this is not a good way to start a concluding paragraph

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueman2 View Post
Bioshock: Infinite is easily worth playing. If not as the bastion of gaming's artistic triumph then as a wonderfully imaginative and engaging action game who's imagery will stick with you long after it's over.
Are you saying it's 'fun'? Or are you apologizing for it? Also, how do you know that the imagery from BI will stick with me? As a writer, you should avoid saying things that sound like you're in someone else's head. Advertisers do this, and it annoys people, when you hear catchphrases like 'it sets a new bar for photorealistic gameplay'- it just turns readers off. People don't read reviews to read advertising, they're looking for your opinion. You could say, 'I was haunted by the imagery', and then, as a reader, I might believe you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueman2 View Post
It's the kind of raw ambition of high concept ideas that may not gel together in the end but offers more humanity and sense of place than it's predecessor.
You're doing it again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueman2 View Post
Whether or not the game transcends the medium as the pre release hype would have you believe,
Stop.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueman2 View Post
there is still a lot to enjoy about Irrational's thrilling roller coaster ride of a game. 8 out of 10

Parents: Rated M for "Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Language, Mild Sexual Themes, Use of Alcohol and Tobacco"

Deaf and Hard of Hearing: Subtitles and hand HUD tips make this playable though sound cues may put the impaired at a disadvantage.

Disclosures: This game was obtained via redbox and reviewed on the Xbox 360. Approximately 8 hours of play was devoted to single-player modes (completed 1 times)
....................................



listen, imagine this site is Rolling Stone magazine, and you're a rookie writer who's trying to get his first article published. You've got to remember, you're at a place that has a staff of expert writers, and those guys take on the big stories. Bob Dylan puts out a new album, one of the top guys writes it. New writers take the indie albums. You can't just throw down a review for a new Bob Dylan album and mispell his name and hand in a review that contains borrowed opinions and advertising-style hyperbole and expect to be taken seriously.

Writing is not about sounding cool or being knowledgeable.

It's about speaking clearly and plainly about what you know.

That's all it is.

Writing is about not covering yourself up, it's about not apologizing for your opinion.

It's about being yourself, without all the bullshit.

It is about exposing yourself.

Writing is the truth of your life, of your experience. If you're writing a video game review- then tell me how it felt to play the game!

How did the controls feel? Were the physics well implemented? Did you feel strong, or vulnerable? How was the sound environment, and so on.

Your words, your experience, as plainly and simply as you can. Don't tell people what you think they should be thinking. That's outside your power, all you can do is tell me what YOU are thinking.

That's all I've got-
peace, and good luck.
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Old 04-26-2013, 10:07 PM   #3
Blueman2
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Re: Rate this review: Bioshock Infinate

thanks for the feedback.
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