BioShock: Infinite – I Find It Kind Of Sad

By Alec Meer on December 11th, 2011 at 9:58 pm.

Press X to end starvation

Straight from the Gears of War / Mad World school of ironic juxtaposition-based maudlin marketing, this new vidotrail for BioShock: Infinite features EXPLOSIVE ACTION set against someone singing unhappily. It’s quite affecting, I’ll give it that, but I think we’ll need someone to do the excruciatingly dedicated frame-by-frame analysis thing to identify exactly what new stuff we’re seeing.

For the most part it’s now-familiar sights from new angles, and a bit more of Elizabeth’s healey powers and worried face. There is, though, a stronger sense that Columbia is a city occupied by fragile civilians caught in the crossifre of conflict, rather than purely a hub full of angry murderers waiting to be introduced to the explodier end of your assorted weapons. The fall as it happens, rather than after it had happened, as in BioShock.

That’s something I’m… well, it sounds pretty psychopathic to say I’m excited about seeing people starving to death and forced to live out their days according to the cruel mandates of a colossal roulette wheel. But I am.

This came from the VGA awards thingies. Everyone seems to think they were a big deal and/or horrible, but that’s enormo-budget videogaming events for you.

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105 Comments »

  1. Vinraith says:

    It’s quite affecting

    It is? Maybe I have no soul, but it’s all much too cartoony (both in style and substance) to have much impact IMO.

    Also, Elizabeth’s angry face is hilarious.

    • Dreamworkers says:

      Are you implying you did not cry when you saw Up?

    • Vinraith says:

      I am not. That’s an interesting point, actually, why is that affecting and this isn’t? Hmm. I suppose cartoony is the wrong term, there’s something fundamentally offputting and unengaging (to me) about the art style this is done in, and particularly the character design and animation. Elizabeth’s “pouty 6 year old girl” expressions typify the problem.

    • Damo says:

      IMO, ‘Up!’ was simply better at tugging on our emotions.

      This video was alright – it showed us a small portion of the game at least. As for the tone of it, well, it all just looked a bit stupid for me and I didn’t really give a toss about the starving people :P

    • Stupoider says:

      Up wasn’t interspersed with explosions, shooting, biological augmentation and a “politically conscious” setting- I use those marks because Bioshock’s “commentary” was a load of guff. The setting was fantastic though, and this seems to be doing all right (except for the rails).

    • liquidsoap89 says:

      I didn’t feel anything after that trailer either, but I don’t think it was because of the visuals. I think maybe I’m just tired of the action video/mellow sound trailers that have stopped interesting me.

    • pilouuuu says:

      I think it’s fairer to compare a trailer to a trailer: http://youtu.be/pkqzFUhGPJg
      We should wait ’til the full game is released to say if it will make us feel emotional.

    • Ultra Superior says:

      I’m with Vinraith.

      Pixar’s Up – I cried in 6th minute, the exposition story was profoundly human (two nice people falling in love, getting old, inevitable death of a loved one), and the cartoon package allowed for masterful “artistic shortcuts” to jerk your tears way before the actual movie even started and all of its comic relief kicked in.

      This trailer looks shallow and artificial. “Circusy” in a bad way. The music feels stolen and forced to the footage, connecting only through the phrase “home awaiting in the sky”.

      It does not look believable and engaging. The faces and the overall art direction seem off. I’d expect such visuals from some Will Wright’s or Molyneaux’s next casual hit.

      Not a good fit for a more ambitious game this is supposed to be.

    • Jake says:

      I once cried watching Fantastic Four (I don’t know what was going on in my head at the time) so I am not exactly a bastion of manliness, but this trailer just looks awful, as does all footage of Infinite I have seen with the same weird plasticy dolls that were in the previous Bioshocks. And I REALLY wish it didn’t because I know the Bioshocks are clever games and I would like nothing more than to be able to love them unreservedly. But all I can see when I look at Elizabeth is Elastigirl from The Incredibles.

    • CaspianRoach says:

      Well it’s very easy to explain, really. BioShock’s a game, where you can (presumably) fix every wrong around you by shooting at waves of henchmen. You know that you’re in power of making everything good again so you don’t really feel bad. “Up” tells us a story about human aging and death and you know for sure you can’t do anything about it, and of course it’s even non-interactive so you can’t do anything to even alter the storyline. You feel yourself helpless and that makes you sad.

    • TheEighthDay says:

      I agree, it didn’t hit any heart strings for me either. Unlike say this trailer, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZqrG1bdGtg&ob=av3e.

      Sadly the game that trailer represents doesn’t have one bit of the same emotional impact as their trailer.

    • mihor_fego says:

      I’m among people who are too easily affected even by video games and the song here could work on its own, but I really think whoever edited this really screwed up. It’s too short for emotional build up and even though Alec is right in what it was supposed to convey, it pretty much fails to do so by the selection of scenes depicted. Small glimpses into details of the world like the screenshot used in the post would be better than the lightshow of the blimp attacking.

      I”ll disagree on the negativity towards its visual style though. You could call it catoon-ey but for me it’s more of a mixture of fairy tale illustration and the aesthetic of posters from the era it depicts. I don’t know what part Pynchon’s “Against the day” had as an inspiration for this game’s setting, but when I first watched this game’s screenshots it was as if someone decided to illustrate a “Chums of chance” book.

    • barfmann says:

      There’s no facial animation to speak of, aside from Elizabeth blinking. I never noticed it before, but this is par for the course with these trailers: http://youtu.be/kEBwKO4RFOU?t=4m29s A lot of work seems to have been put into the vocal performances, but body language / facial animation are pretty sparse and generic.

      After Uncharted 3, Arkham City, RAGE, and L.A. Noire (hell, even the Half Life 2 episodes) Irrational’s poor character animation is starting to show its seams. This was always the case with them (they’ve admitted as much; they shied away from human characters in Bioshock), but I don’t think they’ve ever suffered as much from comparison with their contemporaries.

      I’d also say the art direction is pretty plain, or maybe predictable. The spaces all have a fairly simple geometry to them – the look like “game” spaces, and not real life spaces. They’re too clean. It’s all flat streets and right angles. Columbia just looks way less interesting than any of the large cities in Skyrim, for example. or the streets of Arkham City.

    • Stevostin says:

      Count me in the “not moved at all” wagon. Actually I realised after watching it I really didn’t pay attention to anything in it. I can hardly remember any narrative and I am to lazy to check it there ever is one. If not, well we know why it’s not moving :P

      That being said, I didn’t pay attention because I was troubled by why I am being put off so much by the visuals. Sure, it’s ugly console style, but there definitely are some talented people working on this. I think the palette is wrong in the sens of that’s what you’d have in a Mario Game but not in a movie – let alone an inspired, elegant movie. Also the cartoon style feels plain wrong for the goal. This screams at me that everything in the design will not be made to be believable and convey a sens of place, but to be gamey and tell a story, actually like Bioshock I & II. Well I bought Bioshock I but not II and probably not that one either. Give me back System Shock II !

    • edit says:

      Seems to me that while this may be a little affecting relative to much of the total coldness and bleakness of many many games today, there’s nothing actually happening to tug the heart strings. For that you need to be drawn in enough to invest in the characters. Perhaps the game will do that, and I’ll certainly give it a chance. In general though, good versus evil is so tired to me at this point that it fails to move me in just about any context. I’m more interested to see people overcome conflict than to win it.

  2. Joe The Wizard says:

    It looks pretty awesome. I loved the original Bioshock, as well the System Shocks, but, for whatever reason, never played Bioshock 2. Is it worth my time? I’m not sure.

    Nevertheless, I am very excited about wasting my precious time in Bioshock Infinite when it drops.

    The new Transformers game totally did the same BOOMBANGPOW/tranquil song thing in their trailer.

    • pill7 says:

      In my opinion, yes. Just dont be expecting anything new, because for me it was alot of the same thing with a few new mechanics. Fortunately, I’m fine with more of the same thing because bioshock has a story and feel that appeals to me.

    • Creeping Death says:

      I always think of Bioshock 2 as being a better game mechanically, but not as good as Bioshock 1 in terms of story.

      Really you just need to decide if an inferior story is reason enough not to try it for you.

    • Xocrates says:

      And I would debate against the “inferior story”, I find Bioshock 2 plot much more cohesive and meaningful than that of the original, but it does lack an antagonist as good as Andrew Ryan, and a moment as memorable as the twist in the first.

      So my recommendation would be based on: Do you want to go back to Rapture or not?
      Because while I say that Bioshock 2 is at least as good as the original, it is completely unnecessary, so it depends on whether you want more Bioshock or not.

      EDIT: Also, 75% off on Gamersgate for another 13 hours

    • DigitalSignalX says:

      You are not alone, I liked the first, but never really got hyped about the sequel. I wonder if part of my brain found an entire floating city less fantastic and more crazy then an underwater one.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      @Joe the Wizard

      It is definitely worth your time. I was sceptical to the second game until I read RPS Wot I think.
      http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2010/02/08/wot-i-think-bioshock-2/

      Maybe because it was I had my expectations low, but I got really positively surprised by it. Once I got past the disappointment of being back at a Rapture 10 years later that looks almost the same, I found a game with fantastic music, some of the best level design I’ve ever seen, and highly enjoyable shooter mechanics.

      Edit: Shame about GFWL though and the awful DLC treatment we got though. Minerva’s Den like a year later, and then with zero announcement and only available through Microsoft’s terrible site where it was hardly visible either? I’d be surprised if it sold even 1000 copies.

    • edit says:

      I was pretty impressed with what I saw of Bioshock 2 on a friend’s machine, but GFWL has been a deterrent. Worth it?

    • Lars Westergren says:

      @edit

      In my opinion, yes. Bioshock and Batman series are the only ones I like enough to forgive the inclusion of GFWL. Just remember to create an “offline profile” to minimize the hassle.

  3. Syra says:

    I’m increasingly interested in this, but naughty dog’s new game trumped everything at the vgas by far.

    Also the mass effect3 trailer was possibly one of the worst made trailers of all time.

    • karthink says:

      With you on the mass effect trailer. To begin with It looked like space CoD, and that’s not even considering the trailer on its own merits. BW’s marketing department is not helping.

    • woodsey says:

      After all the speculation I was hoping for something rather more remarkable than another post-apocalyptic NYC.

      At least set it in another freaking city if we have to keep running through the same motions over and over again. The monster design was quite interesting, I guess.

    • westyfield says:

      I thought the ME3 trailer was alright, actually. It was nice to see some straight-up Shepard being moderately badass/shit exploding as is shit’s wont, instead of more co-op rubbish.

    • ulix says:

      So “City with buildings ~20 floors high” MUST be NYC, and cannot be any other city?

    • The Infamous Woodchuck says:

      @ulix:

      Well, it can be chicago, bur really? chicago? why would a dev make such an awfully risky move?!
      NYC is much safer and plus with so many blockbuster games these days located in New york, the players will buy this one too right? Right?!

      ‘sigh’ devs this days. so many potential and Innovation wasted. guess corporate greed beats them all
      atleast we still have the indi… oh wait.

    • westyfield says:

      Also lol at thresher maws on Earth. It looked more like Tuchanka to me, though I didn’t really notice whether the buildings were ruined or not.

    • MSJ says:

      Yes, it was Tuchanka. The Cerberus News Network once reported that some krogans believe in the existence of a giant thresher maw that is widely regarded as myth.

  4. maxsil says:

    Well, for what i know, the game will probably be mediocre.

    I mean, sort-of quick time events, 2 weapons limits, a TALKING protagonist with a fully fleshed out story, etc.

    The rest does look great tho

  5. Vandelay says:

    “Straight from the Gears of War / Mad World school of ironic juxtaposition-based maudlin marketing, this new vidotrail for BioShock: Infinite features EXPLOSIVE ACTION set against someone singing unhappily.”

    The difference between this and that abomination of an advert, is that there is actually some relevance between the song and the events being depicted. Not to say that this is a great advert either, but that really was a horrid attempt to look arty. I can just imagine the ad company in their board room saying “Let’s try being ‘E-mo’. That’s what kids like!”

  6. drewww says:

    For comparison, the two Gears of War ads in this style:

    Mad World
    How it Ends

    I think what breaks the effect in the B:Inf ad is the addition of pure combat gameplay footage. I think part of what makes the Gears ads work (and I think they’re really excellent) is that they showing non-combat footage, basically. It’s the interstitial experiences that the characters have in that world. It’s the moments before you take control, not the combat itself.

    Also, B:Inf never seems to have compelling social spaces. It’s enough people to make it look like it should be inhabited (in contrast to Gears, where the spaces are either never inhabited or clearly abandoned) but not enough that it reads properly as a real space. By trying to show human experiences I think it just highlights how uncomfortable so many of their scenes actually are. But maybe that’s just me. I’m glad to see someone trying to represent social movements at scale, but I’m afraid their caricatured nature + the sparsity of the city won’t make it credible.

    • Quote Unquote says:

      Thanks for the links. I agree that the Bioshock: Infinite trailer would have been much better if it had stuck to non-combat or at least had very little combat, as a climax to a sequence of scenes rather than as the bulk of them.

      I will say though that I like the color use and overall style of Bioshock: Infinite over Gears of War. Now they just need to be able to make animations as amazingly as GoW. And of course, you do have to give them some credit for using only ‘in-engine’ footage… Still, it’d be nice if they could improve on that.

  7. S Jay says:

    What is the name of the song? :)

    • albatrocity says:

      It’s the American Sunday school standard, “This Little Light of Mine”.

      sorry, I’m totally wrong.

    • Metonymy says:

      Can the circle be unbroken
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjHjm5sRqSA

      I’m curious, have you heard it sung before? It’s one of those things that you assume everyone has heard, like a patriotic song, or classical tunes. But I’m mmurikan, so I don’t know about you guys.

    • Jimbo says:

      Apparently it’s Elizabeth’s voice actor singing. I like it.

    • ZamFear says:

      Specifically, it’s the original version of the song, which has pretty much been covered up by the version Metonymy linked.

    • Stickman says:

      I found it interesting that they left out the “lord” in the line “by and by, lord, by and by”. I haven’t really been following the development of Bioshock Infinite, though – is (lack of) religion part of the backstory?

    • Metonymy says:

      I think it boils down to them (correctly) assuming that not all the viewers of the VGA awards are going to be able to intellectually distinguish between ambient folk music and preaching. You’ll also note they changed some details to make it Bioshock-specific. Like she says ‘Is there’ a better home waiting in the sky.

      I don’t remember religion ever being a significant factor of Bioshock. This is a shame, because fiction that touches on religion tends to be enriched as a result.

    • Hidden_7 says:

      Religion showed up in the first Bioshock insofar as Ryan was an arch-Randian, and had banned religion. There was a smuggling business involved in smuggling religious artifacts, crosses, bibles etc, into Rapture.

      I can’t recall Bioshock 2 as well, but I believe that one of the area antagonists was a preacher, naturally aligning himself with Lamb’s altruistic collectivist rebellion of Ryan’s ideals.

      Religion was never a huge theme in the previous Bioshocks, but it did come up and was addressed.

    • Zaboomafoozarg says:

      They dropped “Lord” from the chorus though, which was a dumb thing to do IMHO.

    • Mechanicus_ says:

      Levine stated on Twitter that “Lord” does not appear in the original version of the song.

    • son_of_montfort says:

      Levine seems to be right, the Carter Family version (the famous version) has different verses and doesn’t contain the part about people gathering, etc. Knowing the Carter version, the lack of “Lord” was jarring and felt like she was missing a beat. Pretty song, nonetheless. I like the trailer, but her prodigious bust has always felt a little bit like a “cheap thrill” to me.

  8. ThTa says:

    The jittery animations and poor transitions are extremely jarring, to me. And while I liked the GoW and recent Transformers trailers, the footage doesn’t really match up with the music, here. It’s just a botched editing job. Might as well put Mr. Blue Sky in the background.

    But I do appreciate them showing that there’s still civilians, as you’d mentioned. And I found Elizabeth’s VA (it does sound like her, correct me if I’m wrong) to be a rather good singer, regardless.

    • ThTa says:

      In fact, it might just be me being very fond of that song, but I highly recommend muting the vid and playing the aforementioned in the background, it seems to work tremendously well. :V

    • UW says:

      I agree. I honestly think this is a very poorly done trailer, the music itself is actually pretty good. It could definitely work with a trailer, it could even work with a trailer for this game. But the way this is edited to the music is really pretty terrible.

      It’s a discredit to the GoW ads to compare them. The Mad World one is okay, but I am a huge fan of the How It Ends trailer for GoW2. That is one of my favourite trailers for any game, and lead me into a love for the band DeVotchKa which prevails to this very day. Funny it didn’t make me compelled to play Gears of War, though. I still never have. =P

    • Stupoider says:

      Or… Hawaii Five-O?

    • dsch says:

      Muting the video to listen to the soundtrack. Now that’s deep.

    • Earl-Grey says:

      @ Stupoider
      Yes! Internets, make it so.

    • Skabooga says:

      Edit: Unaco beat me to it later in the thread, so here’s a bonus track instead:

      http://tubedubber.com/#2BIfFeen9q8:jLJLyneZGKc:0:100:0:0:1

  9. Juan Carlo says:

    I didn’t really like “Bioshock.” Neither for its political message (I dislike objectivism as much as anyone, but I’m not even sure Bioshock is anti-objectivist–politically the game seems too half-baked, vague, and ultimately too chicken to make any intelligent political statement whatsoever) nor for its gameplay (which is just a shitty, subpar, FPS only with upgrades–which I guess makes everything better?). Plus, there were like 3 different enemy models the entire game. Nothing’s more immersion breaking than killing the same guy over and over.

    I was baffled once I finally played the game after hearing such raves (I was in grad school when it was released, so didn’t get around to playing it until a few years later). Yes, it has very, very, good art direction and a generally well thought out atmosphere, but that’s really all the good I can say about it.

    • TheGameSquid says:

      I have the exact same feeling concerning the first Bioshock. Excellent setting, atmosphere, and environmental art (the character design was terrible except for the Big Daddies). The rest was a bore. Bioshock 2 was pretty much the same, but with the same setting and atmosphere and an even more cringe-inducing storyline. I still don’t understand how I managed to finish it. Kind of like AC1 in that regard.

    • ThTa says:

      It wasn’t just a political statement, but an exposition of human nature and its various manifestations, taken to an extreme. I found it to be rather striking.

      I’ll leave it up to “different strokes for different folks”, but I honestly can’t understand how anyone could dislike BioShock, for all its merits.

    • Metonymy says:

      I agree with the number of enemies, but mostly I want streamlined ammo management, and a more defined good and evil path.

    • Juan Carlo says:

      “It wasn’t just a political statement, but an exposition of human nature and its various manifestations, taken to an extreme.”

      A bit of a problem, though, given that there are no real humans, much less fully developed characters, in the game at all. The enemies are all overthetop caricatures of drug addicts who don’t really speak much at all. I’m honestly not sure what the game could say about human nature other than “drugs are bad” or “people can turn into monsters when unhinged from social morality”–both of which are pretty trite sentiments.

      Which is another big problem with the game. No one feels real or human. For all of its awesome art design, it always feels like you are playing a game, never like you are in an actual world. No one feels human as much as just like typical video game enemies (and, again, the fact that therer are only like 3 enemies doesn’t help matters).

    • ThTa says:

      No real humans?

      Now I’m starting to doubt whether you’ve played the game at all.

    • JackShandy says:

      The characters were just fine: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JZVycs2jgM

      Attacking that is just contrariness, as far as I’m concerned.

      The problem was that they acted like standard video-game enemies.

    • Juan Carlo says:

      I didn’t see anything wonderful about what the enemies say at random intervals. Like I said, trite, caricatures.

      And, again, it’s a disappointingly inhuman world since finding any sort of person that you can interact with is a rare occurrence.

    • Hidden_7 says:

      The standard enemies weren’t the characters, they almost never are in games.

      Both games are full of human characters, some better drawn than others, they’re just usually all dead by the time you show up. That doesn’t mean they weren’t in the game, or that it didn’t tell their story, however. You may not have liked those stories, that’s fine, but they unarguably were there.

    • TheGameSquid says:

      Like Juan said above me, the game did indeed strike me as a trite caricature. And the writers didn’t seem to realize that they were in it.

      @ThTa
      “It wasn’t just a political statement, but an exposition of human nature and its various manifestations, taken to an extreme.”

      I suppose that’s sort of my main complaint. The “taken to the extreme part”. How can you examine things so human in nature when you’re going to blow them up to these laughable extreme statements? It makes everything in turn less human.

      Pretty much all the lines in the game seemed like they took the main political/sociological ideas of the era, thew them in a melting pot, cooked off all the skin and meat and pasted them in a single tagline so they could show it in the banners and posters hanging around. It wouldn’t even have served the history book of a 10-year old.

      Like you, I find it very, very hard to understand how anyone could take such cheaply written underdeveloped randomness seriously. If anything, it was a study in videogame linearity that merely intended to “prank” the player.

    • TheGameSquid says:

      @Hidden_7
      Care to FINALLY give us some examples then?

      EDIT: As a clarification, I understand you are talking about the voice logs, but I wonder which ones you thought were actually well-made. I don’t recall listening to a single one of those that had believable characters in it. Maybe that’s my fault, but that’s how I felt.

    • Big Daddy Dugger says:

      I’m sorry but there’s no such thing as an intelligent political statement. Principalities are erected out of fear of your fellow man which is initially a product of ignorance before it’s ever a product of experience.

    • Pathetic Phallacy says:

      The writing in Bio is brilliant.

      The wonderfully clever subversion of player autonomy is enough to warrant the high volume of critical analysis this game receives from academics.

      This game’s narrative is right up there with Silent Hill 2.

      It’s just a masterful piece of art. I would sacrifice my left testicle to the nut gods to be able to add this game to an English syllabus.

    • newprince says:

      I’m not sure why people feel the need to constantly say how little they enjoyed Bioshock. Or how trite the writing was. To say this and then turn around and praise a game like STALKER or a trailer for a Naughty Dog zombie game is beyond me.

    • dragonfliet says:

      The writing was definitely not brilliant. Don’t get me wrong, as I quite enjoyed the game and I found it’s skewering of Objectivism to be amusing and I also enjoyed the would you kindly gimmick, but it is nothing worthy of such hyperbolic praise. Sure, it’s a clever twist on the player/player character role and the use of disembodied voices in games, but 1) it is completely and utterly a gimmick. If you are simply controlled, there is no need for an elaborate subterfuge, so why is it there? Because it is dressing entirely for the player (which unwraps the package of dual meanings) and 2) as soon as it is revealed and the mechanism for control supposedly destroyed, the player continues to do the same kinds of actions, only without the same narrative reason. Sure, there is an attempt to justify the decision, but is stripped of meaning and significance. While it came a year later, the ending of Prince of Persia is much more surprising and powerful way to pull off that particular gimmick (and WAY less on the nose).

      It is a good game and it makes interesting use of genre conventions, but it is not a display of particularly interesting writing (it gets a story told, it isn’t BAD, but it isn’t masterful), nor integrating writing into gameplay (ugh, the freaking audio journals are so patently ridiculous) nor of exploiting metaphor or human experience. It is neat, it is interesting, it is fun, but it doesn’t actually hold up under pressure; it’s too flawed and too much of a gimmick to do so.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      @Juan Carlo
      > (I dislike objectivism as much as anyone, but I’m not even sure Bioshock is anti-objectivist–politically the game seems too half-baked, vague, and ultimately too chicken to make any intelligent political statement whatsoever)

      It is one of few games to EVER make a political statement, so perhaps we could cut it some slack. Also, I think some people are mistaking subtlety for vague or chicken. A lot of Rand-bots hate the game too on principle and miss that it actually has some praise for the idea of the self-made genius. Before the collapse, Rapture did amazing things, and the downfall came in part because Ryan didn’t practice what he preached. But at the same time the sociopatic tendencies of some of the geniuses accelerated the collapse once the fabric of their society started to unravel.

      There are lots of examples of them exploring the ideal through different characters, but I don’t have time to write a big essay about this since the workday has started. It is some of the greatest writing ever in games, but I agree with JackShandy that the shooter gameplay worked against the narrative.

      As I have said before, this is what I hope the future of shooters look like, not what the future of RPGs or adventure games look like.

      @Big Daddy Dugger
      >I’m sorry but there’s no such thing as an intelligent political statement.

      You just made a political statement.

    • Hidden_7 says:

      @ TheGameSquid

      I never said they were well made, I said they existed. I said some were better than others, which is probably true of most things. Some of these sentences I’m writing are probably better than others. As to specific examples, honestly I’ve not played Bioshock is a few years now, I can’t really think of any off the top of my head that stand out as really great. Nor any that stand out as really bad. I don’t remember being particularly enamored or annoyed by anyone specific at the time. Everyone was pretty much good enough. They had their little stories about a small part of their life in Rapture, it all added to the overall atmosphere, it all worked well enough for me.

      Maybe it’s a bad thing that I can’t really remember specific folk. Certain people like Sander Cohen or That Doctor From The Medical Pavilion I can remember (somewhat), though the level bosses tended to be very big and vividly drawn personalities, which thus are obviously poor counter-examples to disprove the suggestion that everyone was caricature. In their defense, it’s a fine line between a very large, magnetic personality, and pantomime, and obviously evaluations of such will be fairly subjective. As to the rest of the smaller folk, whose names and specifics have eluded me, like I said earlier, maybe that’s a bad sign, but then again I find most actual humans fairly forgettable. I don’t personally see it as a mark against believability to be a shade mundane and wallpapery, but I can see why someone might.

    • suibhne says:

      @Lars: If BigDaddy’s line to you classifies as a “political statement”, then it’s fair to say that many, many games have “made political statements”. Bioshock is not unique in this. I’d say it is fairly unique, tho, in being so exclusively concerned with social structure – the question of how people get along in large-scale social arrangements. That concern has popped up in other games – for example, it’s a significant theme of FO:NV’s main quest – but I can’t think of another game where it’s been the consistent overarching theme, always and everywhere. Aside from shooting people in their faces, of course.

  10. JackDandy says:

    Seems kind of a waste to make this interesting of a setting an FPS. Maybe it’s just me.

    • Navagon says:

      It makes sense from the developer / publisher’s point of view. It sells, you see.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      I think, if nothing else, the First Person view is one of the better views to show the player shape and scale of “spectacle”. You can look up, down, over the edge, through windows, convey a sense of “speed”, etc… sure, the shooting thing is a bit monotonous, but combat is kinda the heart of most games.

    • Hidden_7 says:

      I think the issues was the S, not the FP. In that video of Infinite so far has suggested a move toward a COD-style corridor rollercoaster ride style shooter. Which are fine, but maybe not the best sort of genre for experiencing a interesting and unique setting.

    • Tyrone Slothrop. says:

      Because the setting can only come to life with an isometric perspective containing rogue-like gameplay.

    • Acorino says:

      Because the setting can only come to life with an isometric perspective containing rogue-like gameplay.

      Aw, how nice, an exemplary straw man in the wild! It’s not something you see everyday!

    • Apples says:

      Agreed – when your only method of interacting with an environment or character is to shoot it, it can never feel THAT engaging or real. Same problem as with GTA; it may be a fully rendered city, you might be able to follow people around, but literally all you can do is use a gun on them. (At least SR2 had compliments/taunts and lots of spots where, if you idled, your character would perform an NPC action like chilling out in the park or fishing. Made things feel a lot nicer somehow.) Say what you will about RPG-lites like Mass Effect but at least they offer some level of human interaction, allowing them to show human dramas, and might be a better choice of genre for a game like this.

    • Tyrone Slothrop. says:

      @Acorino

      I do believe you’re conflating a strawman for an obvious joke that I hoped would illuminate saying a setting being ‘wasted’ on an FPS has as much legitimacy as my obviously absurd statement. Who here can authoritatively define the parameters of an FPS or what’s capable within them? Deep NPC interaction, choices and consequences are not somehow mutually exclusive with the genre nor certainly the -actual- genre of Shock games which are FPS-RPGs

  11. Navagon says:

    Perhaps not the best trailer. But it does show me what I needed to see in terms of how this game is progressing.

  12. rockman29 says:

    Why do all these people with no food and medicine have so much paint? What is the explanation!?

    • ThTa says:

      They tried to drink the paint when they ran out of food, so now they need medicine.

      (And yeah, it’s safe to assume they’re dependent on external supplies for perishing goods like food. Building materials and most luxuries don’t have such a short shelf life)

    • Shadram says:

      Either they’re not quite hungry enough to try eating the paint yet, or it’s not paint…

  13. Sunjammer says:

    This trailer had absolutely no effect on me at all other than maybe annoy me a bit.

  14. Unaco says:

    No need to thank me. (Mute the one on the left, and ignore the video on the right.)

  15. magnus says:

    I’m annoyed with the people who are annoyed, I thought it was alright, how annoying is that?

  16. bhlaab says:

    Do yourselves a favor and don’t get too excited about this.

  17. Angel Dust says:

    I find it kind of sad that a game with an intriguing a premise as this is still going to revolve around shooting dudes in the face for 15 hours.

    Now that probably sounds far more pissy and snarky than I intend because I really am a little despondent about this. I mean, I like shootin’ games as much as the next guy (Serious Sam 3 is awesome!) but Irrational Games really seem like a collection bunch of brilliant and passionate people so why do they keep marrying these intelligent and mature concepts to dumb, noisy gameplay? Obviously a big factor is this is what sells but a part of me is starting to wonder if maybe they’re just lacking in imagination when it comes to the gameplay mechanics?

    I’ll probably enjoy this anyway but I’m starting to really want more from developers like Irrational.

  18. ncampbell says:

    How could you forget the Crysis 2 sad music/explosions trailer? Best of the lot!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNufxAoleGI

  19. Wooly Wugga Wugga says:

    I think that the Bioshock games are just the wrong genre. I don’t think that making them generic PS games does the world design any favours. I’d love to see them done as tense survival games focusing on exploration and tesnsion. I don’t want to be mobbed byt endless waves of cookie cutter enemies while I do so.

  20. Demiath says:

    It’s quite affecting, I’ll give it that, but I think we’ll need someone to do the excruciatingly dedicated frame-by-frame analysis thing to identify exactly what new stuff we’re seeing.

    Couldn’t disagree more. I unintentionally saw the trailer for the first time via GameTrailers’ “Pop Block” version which adds lots of unhelpfully explanatory blocks of text to ensure that the experience becomes utterly broken in all sorts of tragic ways without adding anything apart from meaningless nerd facts and/or painfully obvious “explanations”. Thanks GT, for spelling out so clearly that “Here Below” is a Christian hymn about “a heavenly afterlife with God”, but I think I could have figured that one out on my own…

  21. Lars Westergren says:

    Hmm, people here are harsh critics. The trailer wasn’t great and didn’t show anything new, but this is by far my highest anticipated game of the coming year. Dishonored is a close second.

  22. Muzman says:

    At least the music and so on is kinda appropriate to the theme and tone this time. The Gears of War one was prime grade bullshit, in a “Hey that Donnie Darko song gets people’s attention” kind of way.

  23. JohnnyMaverik says:

    I wasn’t affected at all but I suppose that’s because I don’t have any affinity with the plight of the people this trailer is depicting. I actually liked Gear’s version a lot better despite absolutely hating that series and having no interest in the announcement of a third instalment.

    Still, can’t wait to play this.

    Edit:

    Come to think of it Metro 2033 did it best IMO:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xc2hhef-Nzo

  24. Kleppy says:

    I think this game looks great, and people are just cynical. You’re bad people who are also cynical. So there.

    Looks fun though, some real potential here.

  25. Konil says:

    Am I the only one who got a huge Deja Vu playing the original Bioshock?

    I know it was supposed to be a spiritual successor to System Shock, but I didn’t expect a literal remake of System Shock 2 (with difficulty adjusted for inflation: no death to speak of, loads of upgrades no matter what you did, etc). Same progression, gameplay and even the same plot-twist.

    Key difference is that SS2 scared the shit out of me and Bioshock did it only in the first few minutes, up until the point I died and was magically reborn with no penalty to speak of in a nearby vat. Was there even some explanation as to why the inhabitants of Rapture did not use these abundant vats of immortality?

    Here’s hoping that Bioshock Infinite is more than an interesting setting!

    • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      Yes, there was an explanation. Something about them being tied to Ryan’s DNA (also why you could use them).

      What I have noticed most playing System Shock (the first one) for the first time is how similar it is to Bioshock; so SS2 (which I’ve not played yet) must have been a pretty close sequel mechanically and structurally to SS1.

  26. Iskariot says:

    To begin with, I am very much looking forward to this game. I think it will be great. And I like the style.
    But I wasn’t moved by the trailer either. Not the trailer’s fault, I am never moved by trailers.
    But I think the trailer does what it should. I makes me curious about the game.

  27. Noni says:

    I really REALLY like the song paired with this game, but the video editing is just sloppy. The timing and clip placement is throwing everything off.

    Looking forward to fans re-making this.

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