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Ken Levine

Shooting and missing

BioShock Infinite Screenshot

The discussion around BioShock Infinite's combat doesn't just involve the question of whether its quantity of violence is essential to the story (yes), or whether telling a story where its quantity of violence is essential is interesting or worthwhile (no). Some of the discussion has centered around the question of whether the combat mechanics are any good. Eric Schwarz has written a fantastic post that describes most of the combat mechanics, and I want to expand on it a little. Even though I think violence helps to express the kind of character Booker is, I don't think the combat systems of BioShock Infinite do much to help characterize him, and in some ways actively oppose that characterization.

The Constant Monster

BioShock Infinite Screenshot

BioShock Infinite is a violent game, and it has to be. That's a contrast to BioShock, an equally violent game where combat conveyed nothing about its main character and had little to do with the game's themes other than spurring the player to engage in its various economies. Any stimulus—using plasmids to solve environmental puzzles, for instance—would have sufficed. That's not so in Columbia. Violence is essential to who Booker DeWitt is, and what Columbia is. Their story cannot be told without it.

Nobody at the tower

BioShock Infinite Screenshot

One of the things I found most striking about BioShock Infinite is how sloppy it was. The ending, as I already discussed, is a self-contradicting mess held together only by sharply-timed revelations and plonky piano music. The quantum morass of its final moments is only one of the game's problems, though.

Only one of Infinite Endings

BioShock Infinite Screenshot

One of the problems with stories that use the concept of multiple universes is that the word "multiple" doesn't even begin to describe the scale of existence. Consider, for instance, the universes in which I just reached through the internet and handed you a cookie (hope you like pistachio sandies!). Now, in the context of known physical laws, this is an extremely unlikely event, so much so that if you were to try to write out the probability by putting down a 1 and writing zeroes in front of it, you could go the whole lifetime of our universe without ever reaching the decimal point.

BioShock Infinite Review

Schrödinger's Dunk

BioShock Infinite Screenshot

HIGH The classic revisionism of the Hall of Heroes.

LOW The lazy, pointless, and offensive "equivalence" narrative that opens the second half of the game.

WTF I've been finding machine-gun rounds in pickle barrels the whole game, but there's no ammo in this armament crate?

The Horror Geek presents: BioShock lands a director

bioshock

I think we were all pretty excited by the idea of Gore Verbinski directing the cinematic adaptation of 2K Games' BioShock. Unfortunately, though, the global economy and other issues killed that dream and cast the future of the project into doubt—at least it did until last night.

Variety is reporting that director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo is currently in negotiations to take over the project.

While Fresnadillo isn't a household name, he did direct 28 Weeks Later—which was nice piece of apocalyptic zombie cinema. The style he displayed behind the camera in that film certainly gives me hope for BioShock.

This isn't official yet, but I'll keep you posted as details emerge.

BioShock Second Opinion

BioShock Screenshot

BioShock is a simple, straightforward first-person shooter dressed up in next-generation trappings and superb artistic design. There are numerous distractions attempting to draw the player's eye away from the basic formula at its heart, but really, that's all it is.

BioShock Review

BioShock Screenshot

From the moment BioShock began, I knew I was in for something special. Its opening sequence, placing the player in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the fiery debris of a sinking plane, is one of the most dramatic prologues I've ever seen in a videogame.

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