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Bioshock Infinite Preview- Will “Fragmenting Reality” Innovate the Series?

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.
Let’s get something out of the way- the original Bioshock game was incredible.

The game released at a time when FPS games were becoming run of the mill “go here and blow this up” shooters. Bioshock set itself apart by taking the most exciting elements of FPS gameplay and refocusing the format into an immense, masterfully created universe- while simultaneously creating what has been argued to be one of the best story lines in modern video-gaming history.



Irrational Games has an uncanny ability to produce their Bioshock series with a fluid connection between art, gameplay, and character creation. Because of this, many gamers are incredibly excited about the upcoming third installment in the series- Bioshock Infinite. Even more, however, are questioning whether or not the innovations of the gameplay, specifically the ability to “fragment reality” will be an improvement to the game, or its downfall.

First, a bit of background for newcomers (feel free to skip a few paragraphs if you've played previous titles):

Moving away from the confines of Rapture's dystopia, Infinite takes place in the expansive city of Columbia; a city built in the sky. The city started as a place of wealth and prosperity, but has become one of anarchy after an attack by the citizens on a group of bystanders down below. After this attack the city was exiled, leaving the citizens (and the city itself) isolated, floating around the upper reaches of the atmosphere. This, of course, leads to civil unrest and a city at war.



Infinite's story begins with your character being tasked by mysterious individuals to infiltrate this lost city and rescue a girl named Elizabeth. This girl, in particular her abilities, have become the source of much attention by the two opposing forces in Columbia (those who have become engaged in this civil war).

Elizabeth has the ability to control fragments of an alternate reality- she can use those fragments to fabricate materials and conjure various entities which are incredibly helpful to both herself and your in-game character. She can for instance, create makeshift cover in front of your character, saving you from a barrage of bullets or conjure a storm of electricity to dispose of enemies blocking your path.

According to what has been released about the game so far, Elizabeth is not directly controlled, but rather reacts naturally to the environment and provides gamers with the choice to use her abilities in times of need. However, as with all things Irrational Games related, there is a twist- using these powers come at a cost-- Fragmenting reality will hurt and damage Elizabeth when you choose to use her abilities.

Thus, utilizing Elizabeth’s abilities becomes a matter of morality- do you make your journey through the game easier at her expense, or trudge through without her help, albeit with a feeling of heroism and good-will?



Bioshock Infinite is a very interesting concept. The game will obviously retain a lot of the natural Bioshock charm, but at this stage of pre-release does cause long-time fans to pause and speculate as to whether or not this “fragmenting of reality” will be a benefit or hindrance to the series. In a game that has proven itself to be solid on all previous occasions, some are calling this mechanic an unnecessary element of change, while others praise Irrational Games for their creativity.

Hopefully the option to use this ability will be just that- an option. I sincerely expect Irrational Games to put the choice in the hands of the gamer; and, if this is the case it shouldn’t change any of the elements which have made the series such a success. If, however, there are moments in the gameplay where using this ability is not optional, but rather forced, I can see this being a very large problem for long-time fans of the game.

As always, thanks for reading.

Cheers!

JohnnyWayne_
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Updated 03-23-2012 at 07:30 AM by Butcher

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Comments

  1. Butcher's Avatar
    Good read Johnny!

    This is my most anticipated game of 2012. I'm buying it day one and will probably play it for a few day straight. I'm not too worried about this “fragmenting of reality” concept. I trust the developers to keep everything in check.

    I actually just purchased Bioshock 2 for $4 off Amazon, which I still haven't played.
  2. JohnnyWayne_'s Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by The Butcher
    Good read Johnny!

    This is my most anticipated game of 2012. I'm buying it day one and will probably play it for a few day straight. I'm not too worried about this “fragmenting of reality” concept. I trust the developers to keep everything in check.

    I actually just purchased Bioshock 2 for $4 off Amazon, which I still haven't played.
    Thanks for the comment! Bioshock 2 for $4 is a steal; you're going to like it for sure. I have no doubt that Infinite will be an awesome experience- if there is any developer I still trust, it's these guys. I'm looking forward to seeing how they show this sky-based environment. Bioshock always seems to find a way to make these extreme environments seem simultaneously real and artful.

    Thanks for reading.
    Cheers!
  3. Butcher's Avatar
    I was reading an interview with one of the Irrational Games developers in a recent Game Informer magazine and he was asked about the breasts on the main character. I think the GI writer had commented on how attractive she was and how good her boobs looked. The developer responded with something to the effect of "I wish people would focus on the world and experience we're creating as apposed to the main characters boobs." He came across as a dick IMO because clearly Irrational Games is promoting her sex appeal. (I just thought it was worth mentioning.)
  4. JohnnyWayne_'s Avatar
    You're absolutely right about that- I remember it from a little while back. Both sides have a point, but, what I found most interesting is that she is a younger girl (exact age I don't know offhand) in the game... and that's where so many people had a problem in the original argument. But, yes, it definitely came across as a dick comment. He okayed his dev team to portray her in that manner, and then he acts surprised when people notice... the characters are A PART of that world he wants gamers to take notice of. Plus, c'mon he's talking about gamers here- people that look into coding to find DLC content and background material within the game's infrastructure- did he really think people weren't going to notice boobs!?
  5. mazthegreat's Avatar
    I read this a few months ago about the boobs. I thought the guy was ridiculous to complain about her boobs when they make her boobs perfectly visible. I'm excited about the game and really looking forward to play outside of rapture. The whole new America theme up in the clouds has won me over for a day one purchase and also being the third installment from a excellent series.
  6. mazthegreat's Avatar
    good read btw Wayne.
  7. JohnnyWayne_'s Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by mazthegreat
    good read btw Wayne.
    Thank ya sir! I'm glad people are interested in the content; cheers!