Picky, picky, picky. My gripe with Bioshock Infinite

I know everyone played Bioshock Infinite long ago and haven’t thought much about it since, but I’m new to it. I got it as a Playstation Plus freebie and downloaded it, and now my PS3 hard drive is getting full so I need to work through some backlog on the last-gen machine. BI seemed like a good place to start.

(Oh, there’ll be some early-game spoilers in this post since I figure I’m the last person to play it.)

And y’know at first I LOVED it. I loved the aesthetics and the weird slice of Americana that you’re first introduced to. Y’know, before you win the contest to throw the first baseball at the mixed-race couple that are going to be stoned to death (via baseballs) for polluting the purity of the white race.

Then as you learn more you get really comfortable with remorselessly destroying everything and everyone that keeps this twisted society going. So that’s fun. It’s like shooting Nazis or something. Hardly anyone ever feels remorse about shooting make-believe Nazis in a video game.

But as I played I started to feel really bogged down until now I’m just not enjoying myself any more. Why?

Searching containers.

As you move through the world of Bioshock Infinite you encounter about 10 containers/minute. Exaggerating? Well let’s see, that’s 1 every six seconds and yeah, that sounds about right. And if you’re OCD like me you will HAVE to search every one. They hold things like money, ammo, health and mana (here called salt) and sometimes lockpicks. Or they hold nothing. In addition to containers there’s plenty of junk just laying around that you’ll want to pick up, particularly Silver Eagles (money). But you don’t vacuum these up, oh no. Just in case you decide you’re much too rich and want to pass them by, the game makes you aim at each one and press the Square button to pick them up. Same with ammo, health and mana (though in the last two cases there might be times when you’d rather leave it for now). Oh yeah, and when you kill a bad guy, you have to search his corpse. too.

When you’re not going through trash cans for a Sandwich (+health) and a few Silver Eagles (because the people of this world often throw money away) you’re picking up voxophones (audio recordings), watching kinetoscopes (short old-fashioned movies) or peering through telescopes to be a sight seer.

I just feel like all this constant searching and collecting is really bogging the game down. Plus it makes me a little ill, literally. Since I’m always whipping the camera around checking every corner for a crate or a barrel or a trash can to be searched, I can only play a short time before I get woozy from simulation sickness. So that’s my gripe with Bioshock Infinite, and I’m kind of ashamed of myself for griping about it.

You know, it must suck to make games. Irrational built this huge beautiful world for gamers to explore and play in, and here comes some dork like me whining that he has to search too many containers.

I admit I’m being an ass about this! But I can’t help feeling the way I feel. I’m so sick of opening containers and having to “aim” at something to pick it up that I might just quit, and really I’ve barely gotten started (I just got Shock Jock from Slade).

I want to love it, but when you have a backlog that, were it not digital, would fill your apartment with game disks, it’s so easy to just say “Naaa” and bail on a game. And yet I feel bad for doing so since I know a team of hard working people crafted this world for my enjoyment. I’m such an ingrate. But I need to tip my hate to Irrational for making such an amazing game.

4 thoughts on “Picky, picky, picky. My gripe with Bioshock Infinite

  1. I loved Bio-shock infinite but I agree that some of the gameplay was uninspired I was also not a fan of what I felt was unnecessarily bloody violence. However for me the wonderful story, the characters, the wonderful setting and the sublime ending made up for those shortcomings. I really felt that the whole was more than the sum of its parts and the I thouhgt the ending was an absolute triumph.

  2. Yeah that’s why I’m so annoyed with myself! So many of my friends loved the game and the story that I know there’s something good there if I could just ‘let go’ of this aggravation and enjoy it!

  3. Here is a thought – don’t bother search areas for all the loot just pick up the obvious stuff and see how you get on.

  4. Well beyond the OCD issue, I worry I won’t have enough $$ to upgrade my guns and skills enough to finish the game. Think that’s an issue or is there plenty of cash to be found?

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