Nerd Alert!

Allow me to put on my “Han Shot First” t-shirt and geek-rage out about the new Bioshock: Infinite game.  It’s gotten monstrously positive reviews from just about everywhere.

So what am I missing?

The gameplay itself is kind of lousy.  All of the tactical planning I had to do in the first two games is boiled down to “retreat to a doorway and wait for bad guys to run into your bullets.”

The story is decent.  I do appreciate a video game where a working knowledge of American history allows you to figure out what’s going on (not just racism and slavery, but events like  the Wounded Knee Massacre and the Boxer Rebellion and who the Pinkertons were).  But of course the writers can’t just come out and indict racism and hyper-capitalism without saying “those dirty union organizers were just as bad.”  So sure, racism is bad, mkay.  But that’s hardly a ground-breaking political statement for video games.

The atmosphere is kind of forgettable.  Wee, city-in-the-sky.  But that pales in comparison to the looming dread that infused the first two games.  So basically yeah, it’s too pretty.

And Elizabeth?  Sure, she’s a female protagonist who doesn’t require baby-sitting, which is a good thing.  But she’s also not all that compelling.  And I’m sick of her throwing shit at me every five seconds.

And why the hell do they even bother with food and drink items?  The health benefits are negligible   Money and ammo make sense, but nothing else you can pick up does.

So I think I’m near the end and like a good little nerd I’ll finish the damn thing more out of a sense of duty than joy.  But really, if you took “Bioshock” out of the game’s title there’s no way in hell it would be getting these kinds of fluff-tastic reviews.

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