I Had BioShock Infinite Spoiled For Me. Here's Why That Didn't Matter At All.

There they were. Two sentences that purportedly said how BioShock Infinite ended. Two sentences that I’d worked hard to avoid seeing for the better part of last week, after hearing that spoilers were popping up on message boards everywhere. That really, really sucked. Don't worry: there are no spoilers in this post.

Spoilers are an occupational hazard when you write about pop culture. You have to keep them away from people, while at the same time exposing yourself to them by virtue of the job you do. Still, I’d gone more than two years without having any of the plot secrets in BioShock Infinite ruined for me. When I got the review build in my hands last week, I thought I’d safely dodged all the jerkholes who wanted to spoil everyone else’s fun. I could start playing and let the game open itself up to me. But a random comment on a Kotaku article—which has since been deleted—crapped all over that. I read the spoiler after I’d already started Infinite and seeing those words affected my experience with the game. Every time I hit a major plot beat, I’d worry if the damned spoiler I couldn’t un-remember would wind up being true.

But you know what? Nothing was spoiled. Not really.

Those two sentences couldn’t screw up the awe I experienced at the art direction and my giggling at NPC dialogue. Those two sentences did nothing to the challenge of the game’s combat sequences. And they didn’t ruin the depth of the world-building, with all its implied history that made me wonder about the everyday people living miles in the sky. I was still able to lose myself inside the game, probably as intended.

And when I hit the final moments of this new BioShock, the spoiler-worry that bothered me shrivelled down to nothing. Look, I realise that plots are kept secret for very good reasons and lots of people want to go into various entertainments with no foreknowledge. I’ve been that way, too, about the TV shows, books and other stuff I’ve been looking forward to. But, when the work has been strong enough, even spoilers can’t ruin good execution. Seeing the moments leading up to a spoiled plot point — the whole cloth of the story being told, if you will — is what I really show up for. And BioShock Infinite’s whole cloth is very impressive

Now that I’ve finished the game, I already know ALL of what happens in BioShock Infinite. But it’s the experience of playing it that will make me go get a retail copy and play again.


Comments

    Yeah, I'm not too sure whether to spoil it for myself or not, because of my curiosity

    Still cant get into the series. Tried the first 2 for a while, didnt tickle me. Hell im even one of those poor unfortunates thats actually read Atlas Shrugged, so a series which supposedly draws from it should ineterst me, even if i did hate the book. But no, i just cant seem to jump on this particular bandwagon.

    best way i've found to have something not spoiled for me (verbally at least) when the subject comes up, turn around and say with disgust "F$#k that, its shit anyway, waste of time and money", people wont want to talk to you about it if you are a dick :D
    its how i've managed to not hear or see a single thing about the new upcoming star trek movie :D (Which im totally psyched for)

    Wait... US Kotaku journalist complains about being spoiled before playing a game, by a commenter? How the tables have turned!

    #FeelingSnippy

    PS: The mere fact that you played the game with this sense of anxiety speaks volumes about the effect of spoilers. Had you not had this anxiety, how much better might your gaming experience have been?

    Last edited 27/03/13 12:39 pm

    I just finished it trust me you don't want it spoiled mind blowing ending

      I was up to 5 yesterday finishing it. Unlike Evan here, spoilers ruin everything for me so I'm glad I avoided them all.

    Spoilers have never really bothered me. In fact, spoilers are the best way to get me interested in something because if it's intriguing enough, I'll play the game to find out how exactly it all fits together.

    I just refused to read anything about it so spoiling wasn't able to occur.

    Finished the game about 10 mins ago. Now I can go and read about it.

    Ending was pretty cool. Not mindblowing but I enjoyed it. Will be a bit of a chore to sit through on a 2nd playthrough.

    Tsk - just before I was about to rant about how much I hated the ending, I just read a blog post elsewhere that there's another scene after the credits... which I missed because I decided to skip the credits because of my disgust at what I thought was the ending.
    See - this is why I need spoilers before I play a game, or watch a movie, or read a book.

    Last edited 28/03/13 10:57 pm

    Okay - so I waited until the credits rolled, and I feel a little better.
    I was ready to cough blood when I thought that:
    Booker (or rather, I, the player) had gone to all the trouble of saving the girl from Comstock (who is actually a bad, fundamental crazy, version of Booker), despite overwhelming odds and terrible enemies - but despite that, ends up being drowned by Elizabeth (and her various alternate versions), who, after killing me/Booker, then just fades away out of existence.
    All those doorways, tears, timelines, realities, possibilities, choices - and STILL Booker and Elizabeth die drowned in the past? What a waste of time & effort into a depressing, fatalistic, nihilistic, anti-climatic, railroad ending.
    I really don't like movies (like Looper), and television shows (like Star Trek: Enterprise and Voyager) that turn to alternative realities and time travel to resolve the plot because such mechanics make anything possible - so much so, that the story loses any drama or substance afterwards.
    For Infinite to use such Deus ex Machina plot devices to force an unhappy and unrewarding ending was like getting stabbed in the back.

    But after going through the credits, and seeing that last part, I don't feel so annoyed as:
    It is hinted Inception-style that all of the pain and death has lead to Booker getting a second chance to be a better father to Elizabeth / Anna - with some inkling of how special she is, and how terrible the alternative would be.
    Mind you, another ending that I was kinda hoping for was:
    After the tower is destroyed by Songbird, Elizabeth is now free to wander through time and space watched over by Booker, Songbird, and Aunty Rosalind & Uncle Robert - where she can save all the other Elizabeths, and enjoy the lights of Paris, New York, and a certain underwater city called Rapture at her all-powerful leisure.
    Heck, that would have also opened the door for new missions via DLC... like fighting through the streets & skyscrapers of New York to get dark-Phoenix Elizabeth to relent, or revisting Rapture to stop a mad scientist from creating a plasmid that would duplicate Elizabeth's power.

    That said, apart from the ending - I really enjoyed Bioshock Infinite. I especially liked hearing Keith Szarabajka (Slate / Harbinger), Jennifer Hale (Rosalind Lutece / Cmdr Shephard), and Kimberley Brooks (Daisy Fitzroy / Ashley Williams) again. I found Elizabeth a charming & engaging character, but I was a little ashamed to rely on her as much as I had to in combat. I liked Booker as a protagonist who had his own voice but still have a character I could identify & sympathise with.
    Columbia was an incredible game world to fight and explore in - and the music soundtrack was a nice touch; I like how they re-mixed 80's & 90's music into old style barbershop numbers.

    Well - rant over, time for another run through.

    Last edited 28/03/13 10:53 pm

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