April 4, 2013
Understanding BioShock Infinite
Well 2K, you’ve outdone yourself on this one. You have successfully passed the torch that was BioShock II, created a whole new world for us and given us the chance to once again theory craft about the storyline behind it. It was a long setup, but at the end of it all, it makes sense and the subtleties from the first two are made clear by the third. With that said, I do hope Ken Levine and the team behind it receive all the awards and recognition they deserve; this is merely to clarify what exactly happened for those who didn’t understand.
The Letuce Paradox
Rosalind Letuce decided from a young age she wanted to be a physicist. Eventually she grew up and met Comstock, helping him to create the floating city of Columbia. After experimenting, she discovers she can create temporal anomalies and retrieves her “brother,” a male version of her, from the universes where Booker chooses to not accept baptism. Therefore, it can be assumed that after Elizabeth drowns Booker, that she would cease to exist too, because she only existed in the universes that he becomes Comstock. On a side note, there are also recordings that reveal that Comstock intended to kill Lutece to cover up what Elizabeth is.
Booker and Elizabeth
We know that in every reality, after Wounded Knee, Booker faces a major life crisis and chooses to be baptized as a way to absolve himself of his sins. In realities where Booker is baptized, he rejects his sins, and becomes Comstock, his way of starting a new life for himself. At some point he meets Lutece, who helps create Columbia, and together they experiment with tears (temporal anomalies). However, the side effects of temporal travel renders Comstock infertile and he commisions Rosalind to reveal to him a way to find his biological daughter from a different reality (a reality in which Booker chooses to reject baptism, forms a relationship; and had a daughter, but due to drinking and gambling, he was in debt and desperate enough to actually sell his daughter.) However, he does sour on the deal and tries to steal back Anna, but is unsuccessful and in the process of trying to steal her back cuts her finger off, causing her to exist in two different realities and gives her the power to open temporal rifts (tears).
He then, basically (somehow), rewires his memories and is eventually is pulled through time by the Lutece twins to rescue his daughter. The twins do this in a desperate move to close off the cycle; every universe is in danger thanks to Comstock, who brings about Armageddon with the help of his daughter, whose powers have been amplified through years of torture and augmentation.
At the end of it all, everything makes sense. The first two games gave you significant ways to choose how you got to your ending and gave you a sense that your choices mattered. By removing the element of choice from Infinite, it brilliantly pulls the rug out from under you and leaves you almost blasted in the face with the underlining message that by making the choices you made, entire lives were altered. Hell, shortly after release people started going back and finding little snippets from the games, such as the Splicers wrench in Infinite to the sound of the Songbird dying in BioShock I. I’m not sure if this was the intent of the developers all along, but, if so, you deserve more praise than can be given by a single award.
Image Credit: Irrational Games