Del Toro calls BioShock Infinite a 'mindf*ck'

Pan's Labyrinth director praises Ken Levine and Irrational Games for latest BioShock, says he would consider large-scale Pacific Rim game "God willing."

Pan's Labyrinth and Pacific Rim director Guillermo del Toro has sung the praises of BioShock Infinite and creative director Ken Levine.

Speaking during a recent Pacific Rim pre-screening event attended by Polygon , del Toro said he recently finished BioShock Infinite, calling it a "mindf*ck" and "beautiful."

"Two days ago, my daughter and I finished--she finished it before me--Infinite, BioShock Infinite. It's such a great mindf*ck," he said. "It's also beautiful, and I think, obviously, Levine always has such beautiful cross-cultural references, like Comstock and the Civil War and all that. I have to explain them to my daughter--I don't explain Comstock, that's a little heavy. I did explain, you know, he's a puritan guy, blah, blah, blah. I love the richness of those worlds. He's one of the best world creators in any of the visual forms, period."

BioShock Infinite won high praise upon release, netting the highest Metascore on GameSpot sister site Metacritic until The Last of Us unseated it last week.

Del Toro was at work on a big-budget game with THQ called InSane until the publisher went bankrupt. This experience has not soured del Toro on large-scale development, saying "God willing" he would like to make a "proper" game based on Pacific Rim.

"We are thinking if, God willing, the movie connects with an audience to create a game properly and take proper time, three years minimum, to create a video game that can expand the world," del Toro said. "When you think about other mediums, the mistake Hollywood makes, I think, is to think of these things as a concept that was 1980s, which was ancillary product. In reality, however modest the multimedia thing may be, it should be transmedia."

Del Toro explained that this project, if it ever comes to life, would be "hand-made" in the sense that he would be involved in "every stage of it."

All hope is not lost for del Toro's InSane project, as del Toro said earlier this year that he is in talks with a "big company" to bring the game to market. Del Toro recently had dinner with Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima.

Pacific Rim opens July 12.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

488 comments
Ripper_TV
Ripper_TV

Who gives a "f*ck" about Del Toro?

AU_gundam
AU_gundam

Agree on this one. As far as games are concerned, Infinite really stands as one of those masterpieces, in some ways outshining the original game.

sSubZerOo
sSubZerOo

Bioshock Infinite is pretty over rated.. The game went from interesting to pointless when the dimension jumping started going on..  The ending was extremely predictable in which I felt the game pretty much gave it away when you were in the mansion trying to save Liz..  

MrTekku
MrTekku

Probably the best game of this generation. I was completely blown away by every single moment of the experience. Ken Levine is truly one of a kind; without creators like him I would probably start loosing hope in this industry.

kaolcxlaf
kaolcxlaf

Yaheah!!! Boisoohocl K iz clerarly!!! easily best story game evorR!!1` Lolz I mean comnon guyz amirite?!!11 itz all boutt DayZZ!!!1= 420$

Strategizer
Strategizer

I can't say I agree with Del toro. Bioshock Infinite is good yea but not as good as I was led to believe. The shooting feels streamlined compared to bioshock 1 and 2. The story while good had some pacing issues and I got sick of getting to the place I needed to and having to travel somewhere else just to come back. Why even bring me there to begin with? Maybe I am nitpicking I don't care but pacing is one of the most important things in a game to me especially when it's story driven. The gameplay was still good just nothing really different compared to other shooters today and while the story was great and kept me guessing till the end that was bout the only unique part of the whole game to me. 

Everyone has their own opinion this is just mine. Also can't wait to see Pacific Rim.

Mudpooch
Mudpooch

"BioShock Infinite won high praise upon release, netting the highest Metascore on GameSpot sister site Metacritic until The Last of Us unseated it last week"

I think that's unfair since Bioshock Infinite had to be consistently excellent across multiple platforms and The last of us "only" had one that it needed to perform on. Which I'm almost certain that it somehow managed to do ( I have not played the game so I'm not an authority on it) cause everything that naughty dog puts out is primo stuff...

Oh and Troy Baker is awesome for playing the two male lead roles In what just might turn out be a couple of the nominees for game of the year aaaand his hair is superb...


Cashmoney007
Cashmoney007

I do not care what these people think about this game.  I still give it a 9.4 out of 10.  It is still one of the best story driven fps games that I have ever played.  The game has some of the best AI I have ever seen.  The game is not perfect, but it was still worth my money.  This is just another reason why I have respect for Del Toro.  Bioshock Infinite has one of the best endings in a game that I have seen in a long time.  I will be playing this game again soon.

RCBreaker
RCBreaker

I will tell now you exactly what bothers me about this game:

- The gameplay is basic FPS that does little new with the concept. The vigors hardly have any tactical value other than their function as yet another weapon to blast your enemy with. The skylines were little more than easy escape routes should you be cornered.

- The story's themes of racism and american idealism are first blatantly thrown in the face of the player without the slightest trace of subtlety after which they dissappear entirely from the story in favor of the alternate realities sci-fi bullshit.

- The aforementioned sci-fi bullshit culminated in an ending made up of bad, predictable plot twists built on a variation of an already overused concept. Despite being what made me and many other people buy the game, it failed to convey any sort of deeper philosophical meaning. Instead of making the twists comply with the rules of our existing universe (like good twists do) it instead bent the rules of the universe to allow for the twists. As someone has already mentioned, it attempts to play on people's senses of self-fulfillment as they believe they have managed to puzzle this whole mess together (despite this, Ken Levine somehow managed to break the rules of his own self-crafted universe with the ultimate ending of the game). The ending also managed to make all your efforts in the game seem completely pointless in retrospect.

- On top of this, due to the lack of any moral choices or multiplayer, the game hardly has any replay value at all (playing through the whole game again to collect the ten voxophones I missed doesn't count). Alas, I spent the money with the approximate value of $50 on a game that managed to (barely) entertain me for no more than a week.

DeViLzzz
DeViLzzz

del Toro do the world a favor and don't talk as I don't appreciate the article title

Zignoff
Zignoff

I see someone has lead a sheltered life and has barely read or seen ANYTHING, as this concept was overused like crazy, and in the end the ending DOESN'T WORK..

Seriously if you were mind **** by this game, don't read One Piece, you mind will be blown so hard you will create a new big bang...

ahztek666
ahztek666

@MrTekku Play The Last Of Us. Shits all over B:I in every feasible way .

ahztek666
ahztek666

@Mudpooch Last of Us is awesome. Anyone who doesn't think so is an idiot or a child. Do you self a favour and get it.

ahztek666
ahztek666

@Cashmoney007 Which AI have you got? the AI in MY Bioshock Infinite was hilariously shit-house. Far Cry 1's AI was better!

MasterManiac772
MasterManiac772

@RCBreaker You're so incredibly on the mark that it's not even funny. I don't have the slightest clue how this game has such a hype train behind it. It's literally the only game I've ever played in my entire history of gaming that I uninstalled with sheer disgust.

The racism angle was so painful as to be insulting. If you're throwing around awful racist chariactures, that makes *you* the racist. Hint, hint, Mr. Levine. The game said nothing - NOTHING - about racism and bigotry. It just used it a sounding board to get cheap reactions. Like you mentioned, the issue was all but dropped in favor of that quasi sci-fi BS all but instantly, which further proves my point. Awful, *awful,* and downright shameful in my opinion.

The alternate-reality nonsense has been absolutely done to death, and anyone truly surprised by how it was executed needs a deep, bracing breath of fresh, clean air. No, I am not exaggerating. It was bad. Awful. Worse than simply "predictable." It was off-the-wall stupid again to the point of insulting the player's intelligence. Predictability is forgivable, to a point. But what you said is true: you absolutely nailed it, sir, when you said it changes the rules for the sake of the "twists." Infinite does, and it does it shamelessly. Every single "twist" was painful, oh so painful, and I was seriously hoping, just hoping, that they were ultimately going to surprise me by getting me *used* to the suck and doing a one-eighty on me at some point. Something brilliant. I don't know. Maybe like making it so that the Vox Populi chick *didn't* try to silence you. That would have been shocking. >_>

It didn't help that the main character was such a horrible tool, with bile-inducing writing. His entire role could be summed up as, "I've done such awful things, oh my God I'm such a monster. Ugh, I'm a monster, Elizabeth. A monster! God, I hope we're not blood related in some way because it would be so wrong for there to be some sort of sexual tension between us. Wouldn't that be so surprising, Liz? To invert the whole damsel-in-distress thing? Wouldn't that be weird? Did I mention how much I suck?"

It was obviously trying to make some sort of a statement, what with its somewhat vapid "it's just a game" sentiments. Hence, the shoehorned "Vigors" and the clothes that give you special abilities for no apparent reason at all. Oh, how I could go on.

It was force-fed trash, and the gameplay was clunky and awkward to boot, with bullet-sponge enemies wearing a few different varieties of skins, and stupid map design relying on a clumsy Skyrail mechanic that doesn't make any sense at all. The game doesn't even bother to explain that, either. It is because it is. Simple as that.

I could go on, but to sum it up, it's one of the WORST games I've ever played. I gave it a try - even reinstalled it with an open mind. But, nope, I can say with conviction that it's pure dung. Heck, I even liked Bioshock, despite it barely rating as a shadow of System Shock's shadow, and I STILL hate hate hate this game, and when people exercise such poor taste as to heap praises on this horribly thought out turd it makes me cringe.

God.

WTA2k5
WTA2k5

@RCBreaker Levine is like the Spielberg of video games (at least when Spielberg is making "serious" movies). He purports to tackle weighty subjects but does so in an extremely heavy-handed and didactic manner. Oh well, I thought Infinite was still pretty damn good. Just not an awe-inspiring work of art that should be framed in the Louvre right next to the Mona Lisa.

belekoy
belekoy

@RCBreaker i didnt mind it because it was the best week of my life.. vigors are really really necessary and if you dont use them, you probably are playing in normal mode which is really easy.. for $50 id say it is worth every single penny..

ahztek666
ahztek666

@DeViLzzz sheesh... high horse, much? You'd do well to get off that...

Rohan75
Rohan75

@Zignoff 

The problem with one piece is that it like all manga have signs of filler-i-tis, Not as much as others but they could cut a good portion of it =P MHO

krolm
krolm

@Zignoff This just sounds like a plug to read One Piece, which im not going to do, different mediums here dude.

deathstream
deathstream

@Zignoff 

An internet troll is accusing Guillermo del Toro of leading a sheltered life?  Wow.

AU_gundam
AU_gundam

@ahztek666 @MrTekku I'd argue that Infinite shits over The Last of Us for telling a better story and for being a good game, as opposed to a quasi-game/movie.

MrTekku
MrTekku

@ahztek666 @MrTekku Finished it three times and I really enjoyed it. But it's a completely different game. I don't like to compare ambitious games like that, they can both be good on their own different merits.

AU_gundam
AU_gundam

@ahztek666 @Mudpooch Stop being a Fanboy. The Last of Us is kind of overrated. QUite honestly, it was the only good Survival Horror game to come out in a long time, so that's one potential reason it is doing so well. Had it not been, it would have still been a great game, just nowhere near as good as some people actually say it is.

Rohan75
Rohan75

@ahztek666 @Mudpooch 

Accepting that people have different opinions and not everyone will like the same thing is when you move beyond being a fanboy. Do your self a favor and learn it.

xXJayeDuBXx
xXJayeDuBXx

@MasterManiac772 TL;DR No matter, I would disagree based on your last paragraph.

ThereWillBeNPCs
ThereWillBeNPCs

@MasterManiac772 @RCBreaker This game could have had so much going for it. Aside from the story, the world could have been more amazing if you had the ability to explore a beautiful world without it being too linear. If you played the game in its entirety you start off in Colombia before its been ransacked. Starts beautifully, progress story, civilians are gone and you just want to go back and explore Colombia when you had the ability to without the constant "go here and kill these guys, then have Elizibath arch her back and tease you with her ass while picking a lock." 

And regarding vigors, I found the only strategy was to use the horse one to knock enemies up, and shoot them off a ship with the octopus one.  

Zignoff
Zignoff

@krolm @Zignoff No, Not really, we are talking about the story structure as a whole and how it is told, BS:I story is really nothing new, nor is it original, my point on One Piece was just the fact that if you would READ it, then something like this game would seem barely meh to you as you would have seen like most of this games plot twist coming at you like ton of bricks.

That and it's basically a retelling of bioshock 2.


Zignoff
Zignoff

@deathstream @Zignoff  Whose Trolling? My point has been made, being that Bioshock Infinite does nothing new, it's story isn't mind blowing by any STRETCH of the imagination,  it's ending doesn't work one bit, and that be known if you watched like ANY thing other then this. The story of BS:I is just Bioshock 2 almost WORD FOR WORD, with time paradoxs to explain it's plot issues. The ending has been done before, and better, and it's poorly explained as nobody seems to grasp THAT IT DOESN'T WORK.

As I pointed out if you bother to read anything with any real writing skill behind it with things that are you know VERY ORIGINAL then you would see my point.

ahztek666
ahztek666

@AU_gundam @ahztek666 @MrTekku Hahaha, good one. You think Bioshock tells a better story than The Last of Us?The Last of Us has a far better development of characters, narrative and story than Bioshock in every way. Even if Bioshock had a great story (which it doesn't), the actual GAME part was boring and was no better than any of the bland fps's that came out in 2005. If The Last of Us was only average, or at the most, good, then I guess every website that called it a masterpiece and gave it 10/10 must be wrong.

ahztek666
ahztek666

@AU_gundam @ahztek666 @Mudpooch I'm not a fanboy by any means. people need to stop with the "oh he likes something and therefore must be a fanboy" bullshit. Its like the 12 year old's "every-response" as soon as someone shares a different opinion.. with that mentality I could call you a Bioshock fanboy?

Rohan75
Rohan75

@ahztek666 @Rohan75 @Mudpooch 

 Not everyone likes the same thing, I know people who called in uncharted with zombies (which isn't a complement in their eyes)

ahztek666
ahztek666

@Rohan75 @ahztek666 @Mudpooch I'm not a fanboy, but if there are people who actually cannot understand the brilliance that makes the Last of Us truly special then I honestly feel sorry for them

Rhys4Peace
Rhys4Peace

@ahztek666 @Rhys4Peace @Cashmoney007 yea, the did really fuck it up on the AI part. Though id did enjpy the rest of the game, up until the whole "elezibeth is a go now" cop out. and the lack of awesome final boss battle with the songbird pissed me off.

ahztek666
ahztek666

@Rhys4Peace @ahztek666 @Cashmoney007 Good point I guess, it did have good AI didn't it... but I was more referring to the age of the game compared to the age of this one. Given that Far Cry 1 is so old now, it is almost embarrassing that Bioshock Infinite's AI was far worse.

ahztek666
ahztek666

@xXJayeDuBXx Sorry, bad analogy :P. but I stopped playing Bioshock after several hours, but was hooked on TLOU and finished it in 3 sessions of approx 5+ hours each.That really says something...

xXJayeDuBXx
xXJayeDuBXx

@ahztek666 I agree, everyone should play The Last of Us, but you're wrong about how it makes Bioshock look.

Rhys4Peace
Rhys4Peace

@Zignoff @deathstream please inform me of when another game or other medium has pulled off the same ending?