I’m not much a gamer. In fact my video game time is extremely limited (I’m talking a less than four hours per week). So when I do have the time to play a game, I want to play something that has a solid reputation of being good or fun. Games like Portal 2, the new Tomb Raider, Assassin’s Creed 2 (yeah I’m a little behind with that series), and the latest Bioshock.
Bioshock: Infinite was a game I was interested in checking out. I played the first one many years ago, skipped past the second one, and somehow found myself curious about the new one. I wasn’t sure how it fit into the Bioshock world, or if it would fit in at all. No Rapture? Would there be any Little Sisters or Big Daddies? I wasn’t sure, and I didn’t remember the first game well enough to know if it was even possible for those to exist outside Rapture.
I finally got around to playing Bioshock: Infinite on normal mode. And let me tell you something, for normal mode I was getting my ass handed to me left and right. It got to the point on some levels that I was dying over and over and over again hoping that each time the boss would have just a smidge less energy for me to have to deal with. It slowed me down and frustrated me the way a good video game should, but since my spare time was already really limited these fights took up most of the game time.
The routine of struggling through the game for small chunks at a time came at the cost of not fully grasping the story. I found myself forgetting or missing key elements because I was so wrapped up in these fights that took so long to beat.
Finally on Comstock’s airship I got stuck trying to kill off all those guys. I eventually got tired of it and put the game away. Months went by and something kept nagging at me. I HAD to find out how that game ended, but I couldn’t even remember what the finer points of the story were. Yes, he had to get the girl out. Yes, her mother was dead. Yes, there were alternate worlds. But I was missing key elements that was piecing it together.
So I did something I never did; I started the game over again on easy mode. I blasted through all the fights and paid extra close attention to the story. I got sucked in. Important details that I missed the first time because I was so focused on the endless dying and fighting became crystal clear to me. All the characters became part of a larger world, and every now and again I would get into a fight that would only take up a few moments of this engrossing story.
The story had me, I played through to the end, and for the first time a video game left me speechless. If you played Bioshock Infinite then you know what I’m talking about. I was given an ending that was so deep and impressive I felt shivers go up and down my spine. Bioshock: Infinite gave me a satisfying story that I never would have expected from a video game.
A few days later I tried playing Assassin’s Creed: Revelations and after two hours I turned it off. I just couldn’t get into it. Main reason was because it wasn’t Bioshock. Sure it was fun like all Assassin’s Creed games are supposed to be, but I wasn’t getting the immersion or story that Bioshock was somehow able to deliver.
Perhaps now is a good time to take a break from the medium and wait until I feel the urge to play video games again. Maybe then I’ll be ready for another Assassin’s Creed. Or maybe now is the time to give Last Of Us a try. I hear that one might be a good follow up for me.