BioShock Infinite: The Sociable Single Player Game (and How it Ruined My Life)

Snappy titles are awful aren’t they. Who wants concise and succinctly formed information that raises questions and provides answers simultaneously, when they can instead try to ingest a stodge-filled spluttering mouthful of non-description like that? Reading it back now, it’s actually not that long, but my initial draft was worse so I’m running with this opener whether you like it or not. So you better like it. You hear? Thanks for reading, by the way.

So yes, dispensing with unnecessary garble concerning my inability to write titles or headings or interesting, thought provoking content, you might well be wondering how BioShock Infinite, a game that is SANS multiplayer (incidentally proposed multiplayer mode was brutally torn from the game like it were attached only by some wet cardboard and Nick Clegg’s political influence before release) could possibly be the sole purveyor of an inherently social experience! If you’re not wondering that then maybe you should up your game a bit. Thanks for reading, by the way.

When I finally finished the tour de force of colour that was BioShock Infinite, I put down the controller and did my best to correct the gaping hole in my head being stubbornly enforced by my jaw. I felt like I was half way through trying to eat a tree trunk. Shell shocked. And really hungry. Throughout the game I was convinced there was no possible way Infinite could blow my mind like the first game did, because we’re seriously talking Dyson-level exertion where that nautical fellow is concerned. But it definitely, definitely did.

I imagine they’re going to start running the final 25 minutes of BioShock Infinite on big screens at the dentist, as an effective method for getting patients to keep their mouths open, and only be able to manage an incredulous splutter of disbelief at 30 second intervals is just a happy byproduct.  As the information slowly seeps into you, presumably via some sort of psycho-digital osmosis that Irrational Games forgot to tell us they’d invented, you begin thinking back and putting pieces together and adding and subtracting and carrying the 1 and suddenly you realize you’ve just caused a minor flood warning from inadvertently dribbling so aggressively. Presumably the multiplayer was actually removed from the game when Ken Levine told the department working on it the ending, and they all died.

Anyway, I’ll stop gushing. The first thing I did after I hit the credits and was returned, still dazed, to the title screen, was text Guesty. Had the conversation that followed been seen out of context, we’d have each been bought training bras and a copy of Bliss Magazine.








Ahem. After comparing notes through a haze of girly squeals, uncharacteristic abbreviations and deciding a C cup would fit best, I took to the internet to see what others were thinking,  to read their interpretations, their thoughts and ideas on what is, in many ways, an ambiguous ending that encompasses and addresses the entire universe, spanning the whole series.

Suddenly I was talking about infinite to anyone I could find that had finished it. I wrapped up the game itself one Friday night, but it lived on in my mind for many, many hours afterwards; all I wanted to do was discuss it, talk about it, drink in the glorious, weaving intricacies of that finale. With anyone and everyone. Inadvertent sociality, you see? You have to understand, I don’t like talking to strangers. I barely like talking to my friends. But I was indebted to do it, it was an impulsive, implanted, innate action. Would I kindly?

So then, how did BioShock Infinite ruin my life? Well it didn’t of course, but aside from forcing me to engage in conversation with other people (which is pretty life ruining) it meant that I turned into an incessant, slave-driving irritant to all those who hadn’t finished it yet. I could barely have a conversation with resident scribbler Tom without angrily demanding that he dropped whatever he was doing and went and completed the game immediately if not sooner, so a sparring dialogue could commence. Or so we could shake our heads in knowing disbelief at each other in total silence. One of the two.

It’s been a long while since I’ve played a game that’s really lived on in my head, caused me to think and process and rethink and rethink again in quite the way Infinite did and indeed is still doing. Undoubtedly, it’s a roaring success, and whilst visual issues mar the 360 version throughout (though to no real detriment of the experience) and the gameplay isn’t exactly an unrecognizable departure (although Skylines are a horrendous amount of fun) from what we know, there can be no question that BioShock Infinite is a must play. If you have not picked up a copy already, all of us at Respawn command you to go forth and do so immediately. And thanks for reading, by the way.


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Author Description

Rob Vicars

Rob is a writer, wearing many hats that do not belong to him. When not scribbling ardently for his games blog Respawn in... 5, he pretends to be a musician, a videographer, a game developer and an alright guy.

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