Bioshock Infinite Hate (Gameplay Mechanics)

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#1 Posted by OldManWade (10 posts) -

I've been curious, why has Bioshock Infinite been getting so much hate over the past few months. I understand that the story wasn't going to be loved by a lot of people, seeing how it was maybe handling a bit more than it could take.

However, I've also seen a lot of people hate the gameplay, which I thought was a bit odd. Sure it did have some pretty bad levels like the awful ghost battle and the final ship battle, but overall I found the mechanics to be pretty exciting with the kickass skyline and some cool vigors like Charge.

So I just wanted to know, what did you guys not like about the shooting mechanics?

#2 Posted by jasean79 (2178 posts) -

I thought the shooting mechanics and overall gameplay was okay with Infinite. What I disliked most about the game was the atmosphere. To me, it just didn't have the pure awesomeness that the first Bioshock did with the underwater world. I just couldn't get into this game like the first two installments. After my first playthrough I traded it in. It was just an ok game overall for me - nothing nearly as great as the hype surrounding it.

#3 Posted by Masculus (2800 posts) -

Just the backlash of a mediocre or just good game being treated as godlike by the reviewers.

#4 Edited by Sushiglutton (5171 posts) -

I don't get it either. When I go through the shooters I've played the last couple of years in my head (Crysis 1-2, FarCry 3, Call Of Juarez, F.E.A.R., Battlefield 3, Bioshock 1-2, Metro 1-2 etc) I don't think any of them is more fun than infinite from a pure gameplay perspective. Skylines, tears and vigors like undertow and bucking bronco in combination with hard hitting weapons like the handcannon made the game a blast to play for me.

The gaming community has decided it had bad gameplay. I scratch my head, but whatever.

#5 Posted by firefox59 (4314 posts) -

The boss battles were some of the best parts of the game cause they provided a greater challenge. The most negative aspect of all the Bioshock games has always been the lack of difficulty.

#6 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (8572 posts) -

The Gameplay is fine, infact its way better than it predecessors. But the overall gameplay design as a whole is very undewhelming.

Theres alot of vigor and weapon redudancy and sometimes just plain useless features all together (Pistol, Undertow).

The Enemies were also very simplistic and made no attempt to hide it.

Its also by far the most artificially difficulty game I've played since Final Fantasy XIII.

However, I'd like to congradulat Irrational Games for not using cutscenes.

#7 Edited by HipHopBeats (2840 posts) -

Bioshock Infinite was a disappointment to a lot of people who played Bioshock 1. The new setting and story are overshadowed by the dumbed down mechanics, miniscule linearity and a crap final boss fight even worse than the original. No memorable characters like Sander Cohen or any worthwhile antagonists.

2 gun carry limit? No telepathy vigor which was advertised in the E3 gameplay? Shields and gear? Handymen had nothing on Big Daddies. Burial At Sea looks way more interesting than Infinite. Too bad it's not a standalone purchase.

I know they can't officially make System Shock 3 because of copyright claims on the name, but Irrational should definitely work on another System Shock game, keeping the same mechanics and rpg elements, and just name it something different.

#8 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (8572 posts) -

@ HipHopBeats

Please ! No more RPG Elements ! Those never work out well (Balance Issues).

#9 Posted by OldManWade (10 posts) -

@HipHopBeats: I can understand that. I also think the two-weapon limit was a bad choice. Luckily, I think they got rid of that in Burial at Sea. A new System Shock would be interesting. It's something that could definitely use a graphical update, but I do hope they would fix the upgrade system. I can't say too much since I haven't played it yet, so it may not be as bad as people say. I've just heard it's extremely hard to get through the last parts unless you have specific upgrades.

#10 Edited by OldManWade (10 posts) -

@Sushiglutton: I actually found Far Cry3's mechanics to be more interesting, but that maybe because I liked the stealth a lot. What did you think about Metro's mechanics? I haven't gotten to play it.

#11 Edited by HipHopBeats (2840 posts) -

@HipHopBeats: I can understand that. I also think the two-weapon limit was a bad choice. Luckily, I think they got rid of that in Burial at Sea. A new System Shock would be interesting. It's something that could definitely use a graphical update, but I do hope they would fix the upgrade system. I can't say too much since I haven't played it yet, so it may not be as bad as people say. I've just heard it's extremely hard to get through the last parts unless you have specific upgrades.

Games like Deus Ex HR had the same problems with boss fights which was finally addressed years later in the Director's Cut and Fallout 3's original ending which was fixed with DLC. Hopefully devs will learn from other devs mistakes and avoid making your player builds limited by certain scenarios.

I saw Burial At Sea brought back the weapon wheel which I don't understand why that update couldn't be patched for Infinite other than pure laziness. Even Skyrim added many gameplay elements through updates like kill cams and fighting on horseback that weren't present at launch. I couldn't imagine playing System Shock games since they didn't age well but I watched some gameplay vids and a current gen version, taking into consideration player feedback from the previous games would definitely be something to look forward too.

#12 Edited by Black_Knight_00 (18057 posts) -

It's not a bad game, but it's one of those games that doesn't use analog sticks properly, resulting in less precise turning and often having to adjust your aim after overshooting or undershooting your target. That's my technical complaint.

From a design standpoint it's incredibly repetitive, with few enemy types moved by a barely competent AI, redundant weapons and lackluster plasmids (or vigors) that you'll never use. There's only one boss in the whole campaign and aside from being horrible it's repeated thrice in the span of 20 minutes. The whole game is too long, padded with pointless mandatory fetch quests repeated multiple times with a texture swap excused with the dimensional mumbo jumbo. All of it dotted with overly long gunfights with too many enemy respawns.

On a personal note, the excessive gore was an unnecessary and childish crowdpleaser.

I have complaints about story and characters as well, but since we are discussing gameplay....

#13 Posted by Sushiglutton (5171 posts) -

@Sushiglutton: I actually found Far Cry3's mechanics to be more interesting, but that maybe because I liked the stealth a lot. What did you think about Metro's mechanics? I haven't gotten to play it.

I was mainly thinking of the action gameplay of FarCry 3 as I think it's hard to compare stealth as that is a different genre pretty much. Overall I can see why someone would enjoy FarCry 3 more.

As for Metro it's a fairly standard FPS with a couple of tweaks. Like in Farcry there's a seamless blend of stealth and action, but the stealth mechanics are much weaker. However Metro has a couple of survival elements that are pretty cool. Your flashlight needs to be recharged frequently and since you use it to blind some enemies it can get pretty intense. You also wear a gasmask that sometimes get covered in blood and spiders (lol) and you need to wipe it off to see clear. It doesn't sound like much, but it's a pretty cool idea.

Both are very solid games with good narrative and cool art direction imo, well worth a playthrough!

It's not a bad game, but it's one of those games that doesn't use analog sticks properly, resulting in less precise turning and often having to adjust your aim after overshooting or undershooting your target. That's my technical complaint.

From a design standpoint it's incredibly repetitive, with few enemy types moved by a barely competent AI, redundant weapons and lackluster plasmids (or vigors) that you'll never use. There's only one boss in the whole campaign and aside from being horrible it's repeated thrice in the span of 20 minutes. The whole game is too long, padded with pointless mandatory fetch quests repeated multiple times with a texture swap excused with the dimensional mumbo jumbo. All of it dotted with overly long gunfights with too many enemy respawns.

On a personal note, the excessive gore was an unnecessary and childish crowdpleaser.

I have complaints about story and characters as well, but since we are discussing gameplay....

Played on PC, so can't comment on the stick issue.

I don't think there are that few enemy types. There are normal soldiers, armored rocket troops, snipers, washington robots, firemen, handymen and the ghost ones (from the top of my head). It's not that many, but few shooters have that many more. I agree that there are far too many weapons though making upgrading them kind of pointless. I also think that inly the "heavy" ones (hand cannon, sniper, shotgun) are fun to shoot. Machine guns and the various RPGs etc all feel too light.

I thought most vigors had their uses, even though you obviously didn't have to use them all to progress. It's a tough balance for the designers. If they make all vigors essential than there is less freedom for the player. Bioshock has traditionally been about letting the player choose his own style, meaning you can pick the plasmids/vigors you like and ignore the rest. BS:I is no different.

If you think there are too many/long gunfights or not I suppose has to do with if you enjoy them or not. Since I did, it wasn't really an issue for me.

#14 Posted by ReddestSkies (4087 posts) -

In a nutshell, Infinite makes you fight too many boring enemies that have no AI and that aren't particularly satisfying to fight. It kinda tries to give you retro gameplay (with the vigors and whatnot), but then it artificially limits you weapon-wise (2 weapon limit), control-wise (have to map your vigors manually with a limit of 2) and movement-wise (slow, sluggish core movement).

It doesn't help that the rest of the game is so good that it makes you wish that you wouldn't be stuck fighting these boring enemies and that you could, instead, explore the world and experience the story. Some fights don't even make sense from a story perspective, which makes the combat hurt storytelling even more.

#15 Edited by sukraj (21604 posts) -

I really enjoyed far cry 3

#16 Posted by Black_Knight_00 (18057 posts) -

Played on PC, so can't comment on the stick issue.

I don't think there are that few enemy types. There are normal soldiers, armored rocket troops, snipers, washington robots, firemen, handymen and the ghost ones (from the top of my head). It's not that many, but few shooters have that many more. I agree that there are far too many weapons though making upgrading them kind of pointless. I also think that inly the "heavy" ones (hand cannon, sniper, shotgun) are fun to shoot. Machine guns and the various RPGs etc all feel too light.

I thought most vigors had their uses, even though you obviously didn't have to use them all to progress. It's a tough balance for the designers. If they make all vigors essential than there is less freedom for the player. Bioshock has traditionally been about letting the player choose his own style, meaning you can pick the plasmids/vigors you like and ignore the rest. BS:I is no different.

If you think there are too many/long gunfights or not I suppose has to do with if you enjoy them or not. Since I did, it wasn't really an issue for me.

Yes but most of the time you are fighting normal soldiers and soldier with sticks. Once every 20 minutes a patriot, and only once every hour a setpiece with either snipers, crows or a handyman.

As for vigors, you can stick with bucking bronco and sith lightning the whole game with little to no incentive to use any of the others. Sure, you can hack a turret, but it's much faster to just shoot it. The last vigor comes some 20 minutes before the end of the game, so I doubt it saw much use from anymone.

#17 Edited by Sushiglutton (5171 posts) -

@Black_Knight_00 said:

@Sushiglutton said:

Played on PC, so can't comment on the stick issue.

I don't think there are that few enemy types. There are normal soldiers, armored rocket troops, snipers, washington robots, firemen, handymen and the ghost ones (from the top of my head). It's not that many, but few shooters have that many more. I agree that there are far too many weapons though making upgrading them kind of pointless. I also think that inly the "heavy" ones (hand cannon, sniper, shotgun) are fun to shoot. Machine guns and the various RPGs etc all feel too light.

I thought most vigors had their uses, even though you obviously didn't have to use them all to progress. It's a tough balance for the designers. If they make all vigors essential than there is less freedom for the player. Bioshock has traditionally been about letting the player choose his own style, meaning you can pick the plasmids/vigors you like and ignore the rest. BS:I is no different.

If you think there are too many/long gunfights or not I suppose has to do with if you enjoy them or not. Since I did, it wasn't really an issue for me.

Yes but most of the time you are fighting normal soldiers and soldier with sticks. Once every 20 minutes a patriot, and only once every hour a setpiece with either snipers, crows or a handyman.

As for vigors, you can stick with bucking bronco and sith lightning the whole game with little to no incentive to use any of the others. Sure, you can hack a turret, but it's much faster to just shoot it. The last vigor comes some 20 minutes before the end of the game, so I doubt it saw much use from anymone.

Yeah most fights, especially early on, are vs regular guards. I would say that's pretty typical in shooters. I mean in BS1 you fought splicers the vast majority of the time. In FarCry 3 regular pirates. In Crysis first regular soldiers, than standard aliens. I don't think this is bad per se.

I think that there are spots that several of the vigors can find a use. For example undertow is great vs snipers as you can pull them towards you from hiding. It can also be used to clear the deck of one of the ships. The fire one can be used to burn the ghosts to keep them from respawning. Return to sender can be a good tool vs handymen as you can stand in front of them and fire at the hear while blocking their damage. Murder of crows can be used to block a route from human enemies as a new trap emerges from every corps. And so on.

In short most vigors have some strategic use if you want to take advantage of them. You don't have to if you don't want though.

#18 Posted by LeftClick007 (76 posts) -

I enjoyed it, the combat wasn't exceptional, but it was fun to mix up the vigors, the hook was good fun as well, the envirinments and artstyle are really what kept me interested the entire time, wish more studios with big budgets would give artists that amount if freedom to create a game world

#19 Edited by ReddestSkies (4087 posts) -

@Sushiglutton said:

Yeah most fights, especially early on, are vs regular guards. I would say that's pretty typical in shooters. I mean in BS1 you fought splicers the vast majority of the time. In FarCry 3 regular pirates. In Crysis first regular soldiers, than standard aliens. I don't think this is bad per se.

The huge difference here is that Far Cry 3 and Crysis enemies have great AI to make them interesting and organic; the variety in these games comes from the fact that every fight is going to feel very different because enemies will react to what you're doing in an interesting way. Infinite enemies have essentially no AI and always behave the same. If they have a stick, they run towards you. If they have a gun, they get to their spot and stay there until they're dead. Normally, a competent FPS developer makes AI-less enemies interesting by making them very diverse, which is why it is considered bad for Infinite to lack variety in that department.

#20 Posted by Treflis (11368 posts) -

Con't say I've heard any complaints about the gameplay Mechanics among those I both know and talked to regarding the game. Plenty that didn't really like and understand the ending and some that couldn't stand Elizabeth however.

From my perspective it's a very Solid shooter that was fun and intiguing to play. Didn't quite amaze me as Bioshock did when it came out but for one that dislike organized religion and over-zealous patriotism it kinda hit home with me nevertheless.

#21 Posted by girlshavefuntoo (114 posts) -

The story and gameplay were both weak in Infinite. I was bored through the whole game.

#22 Edited by BiggChonies882 (48 posts) -

@girlshavefuntoo: Pretty much felt that same way. By the time I got to the ridiculously convoluted ending, I just didn't care. Shame since the original Bioshock is one of my fav FPS games of all time.

#23 Posted by Planeforger (15401 posts) -

In addition to being repetitive, the gameplay was also rarely challenging.

In most lengthy fights Elizabeth served as an endless source of salt and ammo; if you ever ended up in a situation where your health was low, you could always just jump on a skyrail until your shield came back (only one enemy type could actually stop you from doing that, and you rarely see those around); I stumbled across a power combo that could kill five enemies at a time with two clicks, so I never bothered with the other powers; and the game attempts to be difficult purely by piling on heaps and heaps and heaps and heaps of (and oh god why won't they stop respawning) heaps of basic enemies, rather than by providing challenging enemies or set-pieces. That lack of a challenge (outside of the unfun 'hard mode') made the already dull set pieces even more snooze-worthy.

Oh, and after Bioshock's fairly wonderful array of weapons (one of the few really good things about that game), or System Shock 2's mysterious alien weapons, why did Infinite mainly only feature basic variations on the pistol, shotgun, smg, sniper rifle, etc? Where's the creativity?

#24 Posted by firefox59 (4314 posts) -

Games like Deus Ex HR had the same problems with boss fights which was finally addressed years later in the Director's Cut and Fallout 3's original ending which was fixed with DLC. Hopefully devs will learn from other devs mistakes and avoid making your player builds limited by certain scenarios.

I saw Burial At Sea brought back the weapon wheel which I don't understand why that update couldn't be patched for Infinite other than pure laziness. Even Skyrim added many gameplay elements through updates like kill cams and fighting on horseback that weren't present at launch. I couldn't imagine playing System Shock games since they didn't age well but I watched some gameplay vids and a current gen version, taking into consideration player feedback from the previous games would definitely be something to look forward too.

Simply adding the weapon wheel to the main game would affect the balance. The difficulty is based around you only having two weapon slots.

#25 Posted by girlshavefuntoo (114 posts) -

@girlshavefuntoo: Pretty much felt that same way. By the time I got to the ridiculously convoluted ending, I just didn't care. Shame since the original Bioshock is one of my fav FPS games of all time.

Yeah, the first Bioshock was great.

#26 Posted by Sushiglutton (5171 posts) -

@Sushiglutton said:

Yeah most fights, especially early on, are vs regular guards. I would say that's pretty typical in shooters. I mean in BS1 you fought splicers the vast majority of the time. In FarCry 3 regular pirates. In Crysis first regular soldiers, than standard aliens. I don't think this is bad per se.

The huge difference here is that Far Cry 3 and Crysis enemies have great AI to make them interesting and organic; the variety in these games comes from the fact that every fight is going to feel very different because enemies will react to what you're doing in an interesting way. Infinite enemies have essentially no AI and always behave the same. If they have a stick, they run towards you. If they have a gun, they get to their spot and stay there until they're dead. Normally, a competent FPS developer makes AI-less enemies interesting by making them very diverse, which is why it is considered bad for Infinite to lack variety in that department.

This is true to some extent. Part of it is comparing different genres though. Crysis + FarCry 3 both have solid stealth components. Bioshock is a pure action shooter and in this genre enemies are typically very aggressive. Let's take the melee focused enemies (guys with sticks). What other actions, then runing towards you, would you like to see them take?

To compensate for the lack of stealth BS:I derives a lot of its variety from the enviroments instead. Tears + skyline/hooks means that there is an incentive and means to move around the entire levels, which is the most fun and frantic way to play imo.

#27 Posted by SirSlimyScott (266 posts) -

@jasean79: The first one felt creepy, and claustrophobic. It was brilliant.

#28 Posted by ReddestSkies (4087 posts) -

This is true to some extent. Part of it is comparing different genres though. Crysis + FarCry 3 both have solid stealth components. Bioshock is a pure action shooter and in this genre enemies are typically very aggressive. Let's take the melee focused enemies (guys with sticks). What other actions, then runing towards you, would you like to see them take?

To compensate for the lack of stealth BS:I derives a lot of its variety from the enviroments instead. Tears + skyline/hooks means that there is an incentive and means to move around the entire levels, which is the most fun and frantic way to play imo.

Heh, the big levels were fun because of the tears and skylines, but a lot of the time you're fighting in narrow corridors, stuck on the ground with slow movement, against boring enemies. That's why they should have had more enemy types.

If you want to compare it to pure action shooters, look at Painkiller, Serious Sam, etc. They all have a lot of different enemy types to make up for their lack of AI.

#29 Edited by MLBknights58 (5015 posts) -

@Black_Knight_00 said:

It's not a bad game, but it's one of those games that doesn't use analog sticks properly, resulting in less precise turning and often having to adjust your aim after overshooting or undershooting your target. That's my technical complaint.

From a design standpoint it's incredibly repetitive, with few enemy types moved by a barely competent AI, redundant weapons and lackluster plasmids (or vigors) that you'll never use. There's only one boss in the whole campaign and aside from being horrible it's repeated thrice in the span of 20 minutes. The whole game is too long, padded with pointless mandatory fetch quests repeated multiple times with a texture swap excused with the dimensional mumbo jumbo. All of it dotted with overly long gunfights with too many enemy respawns.

On a personal note, the excessive gore was an unnecessary and childish crowdpleaser.

I have complaints about story and characters as well, but since we are discussing gameplay....

Pretty much this. After several hours I just couldn't push myself to fight through another room of dumbass bad guys that offered 0 challenge, even on the hardest difficulty. Aside from the crow vigor (which wasn't much different than the bee vigor from Bioshock 1) I had very little interest in using the vigors, since I could 1 hit KO most bad guys with a headshot from the carbine. The tears were interesting for maybe 5 minutes, they did barely anything to change how the combat scenarios played out, or were just flat out unnecessary.

Maybe one day I'll go back to finish it to justify my purchase.

Edit: Best thing about this game IMO was how Elizabeth was handled as an AI character. She wasn't completely useless nor annoying, and actually added to the experience instead of hindering it like most AI partners in my experience, a la Sheva (Sheba?) and Ashley in RE5 and RE4.