I played Bioshock Infinite over the weekend. I was in a hurry to get through it simply because otherwise spoilers are likely to ruin the story. As it stands, well, meh.

This post isn’t actually about the story though, it’s about the weapon mechanics in the game.

Much like the other Bioshock game I’ve played, the first one, it has a selection of upgradable weapons and a number of, for want of a better description, magic powers.SnatchSW2

The thing being, I played through the game with the carbine rifle and virtually nothing else. The reason behind this was simple – I could only carry two weapons and none of the others were worth bothering with. The shotgun had about as much range as a limply thrown potato, the pistol would do more damage if you fed it to someone, and the rest..?

meh-simpsons

 

Meh.

 

 

I hate it when I encounter this in FPS games. There was literally not a single weapon that was more fun to use than the carbine. I’m not suggesting that was fun simply that it got the job done. Pointing it at someone’s head and pulling the trigger invariably resulted in the whole “being attacked” problem being resolved. It was a workhorse that served me well for all but the toughest enemies.

One major problem for me was the difficulty in distinguishing between the weapons. There was the “Repeater”, the “Heater”, the “Volley Gun”, and the “Hail Fire”.

The first of those is supposed to be a modified carbine. Great. Except it fires a burst, not a single round. I don’t want three rounds that might hit, I want one that does.

The Heater on the other hand? It was supposed to be a variant of the shotgun. That’s not really true though – including one in the chamber it could hold eight rounds. That is to say after each shot a reload was required and ammo for it was rarer than hens’ teeth. I’ve experienced farts with greater range than that piece of crap.

Similarly the Volley Gun and Hail Fire seemed to be some sort of inaccurate grenade launchers that were much more hassle than they were worth.

Ultimately the combat in the game simply wasn’t all that much fun. It’s not like I was even playing for that – I simply wanted to experience the setting and story.

Of course such a moany post can’t end without talking about plasmids. I say that because the in-game menus still made reference to them as such even though they’re called “Vigors”. What can I say?

They’re really dull.

I especially hated the tutorial videos for them and just as in the original Bioshock found myself asking “Who on Earth would have a use for these powers outside of a videogame?”

Virtually every power has a “trap” functionality as a secondary function. I think I used that in one encounter in the entire game. Because the game told me to.

Completely worthless.

They can apparently be combined too. How fun, now if I actually got a moment to play around with that maybe I would. Except combat tends to be frenetic in the game, particularly against “Handymen”:Mjsl.png

Any time I faced one it seemed to be trying to hump me to death. Trying to use anything against them just resulted in a confused mess on screen as they’d get so close as to make targeting them damn near impossible.

In general though I’d deal with enemies by shooting them in the head with my carbine. That worked for the vast majority of the game. Why would I try something slower and less reliable?

In fact the only useful vigor is “Possession”, the first one the game provides the player with. I mostly used that to get free money from vending machines.

Also, much like with Dishonored – stop limiting my use of powers! Give them a recharge timer if you must but ugh, just let me play. Collecting “mana” (for want of a better word) is a repetitive chore.

The only positive thing I can say on the resource front is the fact that Elizabeth usually proffers ammo and mana mid combat. Much better than escorting a vulnerable NPC!

Unlike Dishonored this game did occasionally manage to be fun. Admittedly the best bit was wandering around the setting right at the start of the game and doing the same with Elizabeth. She was a delight during those bits.

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