Bioshock Infinite has inspired an awful lot of writers to set forth since it came out. Count me among them, obviously.
There have been articles about the world of Columbia, the city in the sky, and its pre-war politics of segregation and exclusion. Chris Plante from Polygon wrote a couple of posts on the game’s combat and the often extreme violence, along with Cliff Bleszinski (whose main contribution to the current generation of games is the chainsaw rifle). Whatever you think of the game, it deserves consideration.
Then there’s the strange, hallucination of a story. Ken Levine, one of gaming’s few superstar creators, has poured his love of history and science fiction in to one place. He also spends a remarkable amount of time on character building. There’s a lot of downtime where the hero, Booker, and his victim/conspirator, Elizabeth share their feelings and thoughts about the world.
This rare attention to detail in the middle of an action game gives real heft to the game’s conclusion. Which is something of a surprise, because the conclusion, and the surrounding narrative, isn’t really that diverting when you examine it. I look at it as more a compelling collection of ideas, stuck together with little rhyme of reason. Which sounds like I didn’t enjoy it. I did, but it’s not the triumph some are suggesting. I’m going to talk through some of my thoughts on the story and the characters (including the city), so there will be spoilers and possibly stuff you don’t agree with.