A lot of games that build suspense around the first kill. But then five minutes later, you’re mowing down bad guys like a champ. I did notice that Lara remained unseated throughout the entire experience when I was playing Tomb Raider.
It’s about balancing the needs of gameplay with the needs of narrative. The needs of narrative don’t always trump the needs of gameplay. In fact, it’s usually the other way around. And so I’d say from a narrative perspective, we would have liked the ramp-up to be a bit slower. But, you know, there are other factors to be considered! When players get a gun, they generally want to use the gun. We were brave in going such a long time without giving players a gun in a game where you end up doing a lot of shooting. We tried to innovate a little bit, but narrative can’t always win. Ideally if you can find a sweet spot, that’s great. But sometimes combat, or gameplay or whatever, has to win out.
That’s still better than the political threads of the plot. Infinite becomes bored with those about halfway through. Levine sets up a conflict between American exceptionalism and rabble-rousing populism, but he punts by casting practically every prominent figure in Columbian politics as an irredeemable asshole. Comstock is an asshole because he’s a megalomaniacal eugenicist—something of an open-and-shut case right there—and the Vox leader is an asshole because she’s more concerned with the narrative of her triumph than the welfare of her citizens.
It’s hard to think of another example where the ruling power and revolutionaries are as interchangeably evil as they are in Levine's work. There is an overabundance of revolutions where the struggle produces horrific acts of violence, from the Maoist attempts to overthrow the Nepalese monarchy to the ongoing civil war in Syria. Yet these instances also show the disproportionate pressure placed on the revolutionary cause that makes an individual moment of violent resistance a sin, while systemic violence of a ruling power is tolerable. It could be said the American colonists were being irrationally violent by refusing to pay taxes to the British and violently destroying property in protest, or that John Brown’s violent slave rebellions crossed a moral line. Both statements are true, but it ducks the more difficult question of whether violence is a necessary catalyst that cannot be done without. The question of when and how violence might be justifiable is not easy to answer, but it’s one that deserves better treatment than to throw up one’s hands and say that both sides are bad.
I cut my teeth on Doom [...] there was no story beyond shit there are aliens, kill them!
Because of the episodic model, the price points are similar across all platform. Our average revenue per user is about $16. That’s consistent across all platforms. The episodic model has allowed us to create an economy that works on mobile. As far as size, at this point it’s probably about 25% of the revenue of the product and it is on the largest upswing of all platforms as well.
For us to sell 200,000 pieces would mean that we can carry on making games like this for five years.
... the Booker who became Comstock was able to distance himself from his own actions. What Booker was seeking from the baptism was not a way to atone for his past actions, but rather a way to relieve himself of guilt. Free of remorse, the baptized Booker went on to look back at these events in his life not with pain and regret, but with solemn necessity or even glory. They were idealized in his mind, and rather than horrific atrocities they became exemplary feats to which he constructed monuments. It's for this reason that he would go on to found a city that would accentuate all the worst aspects of his own past....
The Booker that rejected the baptism recognized that such a symbolic gesture would do nothing to free him of guilt for his past actions. He views himself as completely irredeemable. He would go on to live the rest of his life dwelling on past mistakes....
Booker is transported to Columbia, a monument to his sins, and forced to relive them. Each area is a mirror into Booker’s past: Monument Island reflects his neglect of his daughter, the Hall of Heroes reflects his past of violence and racism, Finkton reflects the economic oppression that he took part in....
Booker and Comstock represent two different ways of looking at the American past. Comstock represents an America that has forgotten to regret the atrocities of its past. Booker represents an America who has clung to regret and allowed it to consume them. The fact that they inhabit two entirely different parallel universes is no mistake. They reflect the different schools of thought in American politics that are so separated in perspective that they appear to inhabit entirely different worlds.
I’d happily swap a lot of reality in games for much more of Infinite’s poetry.
It’s a fascinating game. The more you give to it, in terms of your thought and attention, the more it gives back. I’ve rarely been more happy simply watching and thinking in a game.
If it isn't boring and gives you something to talk about then it can't be bad. And Infinite isn't bad, it's good, perhaps even great.
One man goes into the waters of baptism. A different man comes out, born again. But who is that man who lies submerged? Perhaps that swimmer is both sinner and saint, until he is revealed unto the eyes of man.
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