BioShock Infinite: Fears For Tears
Your companion in BioShock Infinite is Elizabeth, a young woman with a sweet haircut and the unique ability to interact with tears in reality. Previews have cited examples of this power such as pulling a wagon from another dimension into your own for cover and depositing crowds of sympathetic fighters near your enemies.
My concern is that this system will be relatively limited in scope. How many unique tears will be in the game? Will a conceptually creative mechanic become stale in practice as we see the same options recycled every few encounters?
Don't get em wrong - I have high hopes for BioShock Infinite. Everything about the aesthetic is compelling, and since Irrational Games has effectively killed thoughtful game podcasts by hiring GFW Radio's Shawn Elliott and Idle Thumbs' Chris Remo I pretty much have to buy their stupid game. That's why I've donned my game designer cap and come up with some creative uses of the tear system while the game is still early enough in development to implement them.
- A tear that deposits a pile of hundreds of audio logs into your world. You can interact with the pile, but doing so will play all of them at once.
- Exclusive to Kinect users: A tear which, when activated by spreading your hands apart in an approximation of Goatse, opens up a window into your living room. Has no effect on the game world, but takes a series of three photos of your face then pauses the game to display them in the classic "temporary Kinect photo album".
- A small horizontal tear into another dimension that stays just under your chin so you can hurtle across the skyhook rails without getting any barf on your shirt.
- One incredibly oversized leg of ham. Walking on it restores all your health, accompanied by the sound of your character making exaggerated chomping sounds.
- A blue-bordered elliptical tear that leads into a strange mechanical room. As you approach, a woman in an orange jumpsuit with strange leg braces almost bumps into you. Behind her, you see another tear which contains your own face and the woman's back.
- A book that spells out the game's political and philosophical subtext for players that can't grasp it or think the game is lacking a story because it doesn't have lengthy cutscenes.
- Exclusive to the PlayStation Vita version of the game: Rub the back of the system to open up a tear that shows $250 disappearing down a drain.
- Have you seen the cannon in Saints Row The Third that vacuums people up and shoots them? It's okay to steal that idea. It's okay for every game to steal that one.
- A tear that displays the boss from BioShock, eliciting dismissive laughter from your character and Elizabeth.
- Interdimensional dogs. Not attack dogs that fight your enemies, but cute dogs that need petted. Perhaps one could be in a wheelchair. He'd need the most pets of all.
- Exclusive to PC users: A tear that asks you to log on to the BioShock Infinitely Cool Social Club And Anti-Piracy Checker, where you can buy exciting DLC and connect the game to Twitter and Facebook!
- A screen with an internet message board on it. When brought into the world of BioShock Infinite, everything seems worse and aggressively anti-intellectual but the guns shoot more and make bigger explosions.
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