A/N: This was a magazine short written for Writing Magazine Features – PWP221. Grade: Pass.

“Bring us the girl and we’ll wipe away the debt” 

Imagine this:

You wake up in a dingy apartment; there is a desk, a chair and a sink. Two doors; the windows are boarded and the floor is dirty. You try one door it does not open, you try the other and everything goes black.

Suddenly you open your eyes; you’re in a small boat in the middle of the turbulent black sea and the rain is pouring down.  Lightning strikes to your left and two twins bicker as they row you through the blackness, you are confused.  The female hands you a box you open it, inside is an old fashioned gun and some paper.  You stare at it as the rain drips off your hair and into the box.

You reach your destination, your mind is jumbled; you climb the lighthouse stairs.  You worry as you stumble upon death and destruction.  You didn’t expect to wake up and deal with this did you?  You reach the top and ring the old rusty bell; slowly a door opens to reveal a chair. You sit, your heart jolts in your chest as you are secured against your will. You struggle, you didn’t sign up for this. An awful wrenching sound occurs and your stomach drops as you are shot into the air.

The clouds and smoke clear and you are drifting slowly down to an Eden, a city in the sky, floating majestically above the world. You are in awe.

Welcome to Bioshock Infinite.

Grab your Mountain Dew and your Two Minute Noodles guys and gals because from the moment you stick this first person shooter (FPS) game in your CD drive you are not going to want to move! Winner of over 85 awards in 2013 including; Best Shooter, Best Visual Design, Best Story and Character of the Year, Bioshock Infinite is truly a work of art, rather than a simple computer game. Set in 1912 you assume the role of Booker DeWitt a disgraced cop on a mission.  Rescue Elizabeth.

When I sat down to play this FPS I was expecting an average, yet enjoyable game.  What I got was a mind blowing storyline that dragged me in like a moth to an open flame.  Not only were the graphics amazing, the gameplay challenging yet remarkably fun but the story was like launching yourself into a gripping novel, one that you simply cannot put down. I had never experienced such an interesting storyline while playing a game.

Unlike the first two games in the Bioshock Trilogy, you don’t continue the tragic tale of the previous character allowing you to play a new storyline.  Also unlike its predecessors this game leaves you wanting, it feeds you only the tiniest bit of plotline at a time. ‘Just one more level,’ you say to yourself and before you know it BOOM! It’s three in the morning and you’re hopped up on Cheetos and Mountain Dew, you’re on the last level of the game, they’ve strung the whole thing together and you’re left staring at a black screen in awe.

The majority believe gaming is reserved for the nerds of the population.  While this is true to some extent the games today have become so much more.  With games of old, like Quake, Duke Nukem or Serious Sam you got decent graphics, some awesome guns and a slight plot, but mostly it consisted of shoot and kill. Today you receive incredibly life like graphics combined with fun and an epic story.  Bioshock Infinite is just one of many new games to include intricate plot lines.  There are several others emerging like it.  Tomb Raider, The Mass Effect Trilogy, Dishonored and Remember Me; these are all games that combine the traditional point and shoot with a storyline that grabs you and holds on tight.

The creative lead of Bioshock Infinite, Kevin Levine stated that the ending of Infinite is “like nothing you’ve experienced in a video game before”. I won’t go into details, lest I ruin it for you, but I can safely say I have never sat slack jawed through the credits of a game before, my best friend looked at me and said “Are you alright?” I turned to him and stared before exclaiming “That game just blew my freaking mind!”

Bioshock Infinite sold over four million copies, proving in sales alone that point and shoot games are no longer the dominant species.  These new games not only immerse us in innovative and exciting world of play, they teach us morals, values and make us really consider the choices we make.  Each decision you make in games like these changes the game, creates a new path.  Bioshock Infinite and other games like Mass Effect and Dishonored are particularly interesting for these plot decisions. In Bioshock Infinite you can choose whether to throw a baseball at an interracial couple or at the announcer, who has captured them, I almost broke my mouse as I clicked it rather savagely when I chose to throw it at the announcer, little did I know at the time this choice I made, changed the entire game. In another game called Mass Effect 2 if you do not prepare enough for the end mission you can end up killing your entire crew. A crew that you become very attached to over the hours of play.  They are your friends, your family, your love interest; their deaths mean something to you.  The decisions you make as Commander Shepard affect that.

These games allow us to live differently to how we normally do, after all most of us would never have to fight tooth and nail to rescue Elizabeth, like Booker DeWitt or have to save an entire galaxy from a race of crazy machines hell bent on extinguishing all organic life, like Commander Shepard, but we have to make decisions, sometimes tough ones and these games can help us see a different side to our own moral dilemmas. It sounds stupid unless you’ve experienced it, but these games can change you in ways you would never imagine.

So I encourage anyone who has not tried Bioshock Infinite and other plot-reliant games to give it a go.  It may just change you.

“Give us the girl and we’ll wipe away the debt.”

What will you do?

Works Cited

“Bioshock Infinite”. Wikipedia. 20th December 2013. Wikimedia Foundation Inc. Web. 13th

December 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BioShock_Infinite >. Web.

Matulef, J. “Bioshock Infinite Sells Over 4 Million Copies”. Eurogamer.net. 31st July 2013.

Eurogamer.net. 13th December 2013. <http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-07-31-bioshock-infinite-sells-over-4-million-copies >. Web.

“Bioshock Infinite”. Writ. Ken Levine, Drew Holmes and Joe Fielder. Dev. Irrational Games and 2K Games. 2K Games, 2013. Game.

“Dishonored”. Des. Ricardo Bare, Harvey Smith and Raphael Colantonio. Dev. Arkane Studios. Bethesda Softworks, 2012. Game.

“Mass Effect”. Dev. BioWare. Electronic Arts & Microsoft Studios, 2007. Game.

“Mass Effect Two”. Writ. Mac Walters and Drew Karpyshyn. Dev. BioWare. Electronic Arts, 2010. Game.

“Mass Effect Three”. Writ. Mac Walters, Neil Pollner and Chris Hepler. Dev. BioWare and Straight Right. Electronic Arts, 2012. Game.

“Remember Me”. Dev. Dontnod Entertainment. Capcom, 2013. Game.

“Tomb Raider”. Des. Darrell Gallagher. Dev. Crystal Dynamics. Square Enix and Feral Interactive, 2013. Game.

Creative Commons License
The Infinite Choice by Sheridan Brownlie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.


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