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The Spoiler-Full Recap of Bioshock Infinite

bioshock-infiniteWARNING: This article contains many, many, MANY spoilers regarding the storyline to Bioshock Infinite. If you have any intention on playing this game OR avoiding this story, I recommend you check out our full review of the game and return here AFTER you’ve completed it. Otherwise, I can’t be held accountable for any major plot points being ruined for you.

It’s been about two days since I completed Bioshock Infinite, and with most games, I generally move back into my normal routine or the next game on my list and pay barely a second thought about the game I had just reviewed. Good or bad, whether I play it again or not, it all doesn’t really matter. Bioshock Infinite, however, has lingered with me. Despite the fact that I haven’t actually played it again yet - though I intend to - I’ve spent the last several days just absorbing and analyzing and reading about the story I had just played through and the mind-blowing ending.

If you’re one of those people who has no intention on playing Bioshock Infinite but you really want to know how the story goes, let me give you the $5 summary: You play as Booker DeWitt, a man sent to a magic floating city in the sky called Columbia in search of a girl. “Bring us the girl and wipe away the debt” is the overarching theme to the game, as you understand that Booker is trying to pay his gambling debts. As you explore Columbia, you discover that a man named Comstock is the religious “Prophet” of Columbia and that a man with the letters “AD” branded on the back of his hand - that would be you - is considered the “False Shepherd” who will lead the “Lamb” astray. It’s soon discovered that you’re the False Shepherd, and you have to fight your way to Elizabeth. When you find her, escaping the city is just as difficult, as you realize that Comstock will go to any length to stop you. In addition, Elizabeth’s protector, a massive robotic creature named Songbird, also runs interference.

The bulk of the game delves deep into Elizabeth’s powers to rip “tears” in the fabric of space and time in order to walk between different dimensions. Dimensions that appear the same but have different events. People who were dead are now alive for one, a battle which was waged against the “Vox Populi” is now utterly lost in another, and so on. Several of the major points of Bioshock, of course, come near the end when you and Elizabeth finally encounter Comstock face to face.

In this meeting, Comstock reiterates the story of the False Shepherd and also threatens to reveal “the truth”. Throughout the game, you’re made aware that Elizabeth is missing one of her pinky fingers, capped off by a silver thimble of sorts. Comstock demands Elizabeth ask Booker about her finger, and in a rage you assault Comstock and kill him without understanding what he wanted to know. Elizabeth knows, however, that whatever the answer is is just a memory you’ve forgotten. And oh now right she is.

The final sequence of the game involves Elizabeth discovering a way to gain control over Songbird. This was revealed when, as Booker, you were sent far into the future where Elizabeth stands as Prophet and rains down hell onto the world below. She brings you there only so she can give you this hint and send you back on your way. The “hint” she gives you is a card which contains information only Elizabeth can read, as well as the word “C-A-G-E”. She discovers it isn’t the word “cage”, but the notes “C”, “A”, “G”, and “E”. Those notes control Songbird and the final battle has to holding off waves of Vox Populi forces from destroying your airship while you command Songbird to destroy their zeppelins and gunships.

When the threat is finally stopped, the ending begins. It should be said that the ending is fully interactive and may very well be longer than the final battle itself, but it has a lot of information for you to try and absorb. From the bow of the airship, Elizabeth has to command Songbird to destroy the tower she was imprisoned in which also acts as a “siphon”, or a containment of her true power to manufacture these tears in reality whenever she wants. With the tower broken, her power is restored and despite the fact that Songbird is out of your control now, Elizabeth opens a tear to stop Songbird… into Rapture.

Yeah, that’s right. She opens the tear into Rapture, drowning Songbird and beginning this amazing story’s ending on a huge note. This being the first way that the series is tied together. You follow Elizabeth into a bathysphere and leave Rapture, surfacing at the city’s lighthouse. It’s during this sequence that Elizabeth reveals that every star is an opening to another universe and that every universe follows the same constant - there’s always a man, always a city, and always a lighthouse. As she guides you around, it’s revealed that a pivotal decision point occurs before the game’s story begins. Booker is at a baptism, very similar to the one we played through at the top of the game, but just in a simple pond many years earlier. The first time, Booker pushes his way out of the baptism at the last moment and refuses it.

Then the fun part begins: We go through the door again and discover that the man who said “bring us the girl and wipe away the debt” was not some figure who was hiring Booker to find Elizabeth in Columbia… It was Robert Lutece. And he wasn’t sending you on a fetch quest. The “girl” turns out to be Booker’s daughter, a baby who he gives to Lutece in order for Comstock to wipe his debts clean. We find, through another door, that Booker had regrets on this decision and fights to try and save his daughter, but it’s too late. And as he reaches out for his girl, Anna, she’s pulled through a tear into Comstock’s timeline… and her pinky finger is severed by the collapsing portal.

This first reveal, something that wasn’t too shocking if you were paying attention during the Lady Comstock missions, is still pretty important. Yes, Elizabeth is Anna, your daughter. From that reveal, it’s put together that in order for all of this to not happen, Comstock would have to be killed before he could ever become the Prophet - smother him in his crib is the words Booker uses. Booker and Elizabeth/Anna decide to make that trip, and through the final door we’re back at the original baptism. Here is where it all comes together.

At that moment of baptism, Booker had a choice. In some universes, he made the choice to be baptized and was “re-born” as Zachary Comstock. In other universes, he declined and continued his life as Booker DeWitt. Down one path, he became the Prophet of the floating city of Columbia, breaking from the United States after slaughtering many during the Boxer Rebellion. It would also be here that he and Lutece would uncover the secrets of the dimensional tears, and his experiments with that technology would make him sterile and increase his aging significantly. Down the other path, Booker DeWitt would sink into a long depression, go into massive debt, and be approached by a man who would take his daughter - a man who would bring that daughter to the sterile Comstock and his wife - in exchange to be free of his debts.

However, at this critical moment of baptism, there would be one way. If Booker never made that choice, then Comstock would never be, in any timeline. It was here that all of the timelines converged and Booker DeWitt made the realization that he was both Booker DeWitt and Zachary Comstock and it needed to end there. He was then drowned by the various Elizabeths of the various converging timelines, ending the cycle there.

So, what happens now? Well, if you saw the post-credits scene, you know that a version of Booker still exists with his infant daughter Anna. What version of Booker is this? Is it just a Booker from a timeline free of Comstock, a new variable? Or something different? In this scene, Booker’s sudden surprise and doubt that his daughter is actually there leads some to think that maybe this is our Booker, the Booker we’ve played, who maybe started over in this new place. Or maybe it’s just another path for another story.

But in this point, we know that Booker DeWitt was drowned in the waters of the baptism just prior to making the critical decision and Comstock, Columbia, Elizabeth… all things that didn’t happen, now in any place. Comstock, in a million, million worlds is gone. So now the discussion really begins. At that moment we played at the end of Infinite, where the various versions of Elizabeth converge on the baptism, was that a follow-through on what we had seen back at the surface?

What I mean by that is when we surfaced and saw all of the millions of lighthouses, and all of the other versions of Booker and Elizabeth, clearly every other version had come to this conclusion and realized this end at the same time, and now all of them were about to converge on this one moment. So every different Elizabeth was there, but every Booker was then represented by just one - the player character. That was the Booker that drowned, thus ending all of those possible timeline paths, as well as the various Elizabeths that spawned from them, as you could see by their gradual disappearances.

And this also calls into question Rapture. Remember the line: there’s always a man, a lighthouse, and a city. In some places, it was Columbia, but perhaps in the places where Columbia did not exist - or now in the universes where Columbia cannot exist - we have Rapture, it’s lighthouse, and Andrew Ryan. A city, a lighthouse, and a man.

Bioshock Infinite delivers one of the most powerful and mind-blowing endings in years, and it delivers it in such a way that while many people may love it, many may hate it, and many may also be utterly confused by it all, it’s a topic that even years from now we may still be debating and trying to decipher.

What are your thoughts on the ending to Bioshock Infinite? What would you like to see next? Let us know in the comments section below.

Because Wrestling - Episode 91

because-wrestlingThis week on Because Wrestling, we celebrate the life and career of Paul Bearer, cover the latest on El Generico, X-Pac’s new deal with WWE, Bobby Roode’s TNA contract, DDP raising money for Scott Hall, creative changes in WWE, Mysterio’s future, answer listener questions, this week in WWE, and the Roundtable about our favorite eras of Raw!

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Deck Tease, Episode 27 - Have Car, Will Travel

deck-tease

Oestrus hooks up with an old friend who she met at GenCon - Jaeryn, from Girls Play Magic Too.  The two of them discuss a variety of topics, including the introduction of Star City Games’ Open Trial events, the debut of GatheringMagic’s new “Judge’s Corner” video series, and the controversy surrounding those given special invites to Pro Tour Gatecrash.

Jaeryn also lets Oestrus in on how she plans to come up with the money to pay for future events and about what makes her car so much cooler than yours.

Enjoy!

Stitcher

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Newest Grand Theft Auto V Trailer is Released

Trains crashes. Car chases. An assortment of flying vehicles chasing guys or blowing stuff up. The new GTAV trailer is here!

Introducing the three protagonists of the game, Rockstar is hyping this install of the beloved series as the biggest open-world game to date, with improvements in every department.

 

Deck Tease, Episode 17 - 60 Card Minimum

This week Oestrus sits down with the new man in charge of 60 Cards, Chris Gravelle, and picks his brain about a wide variety of topics - including his background in gaming and Magic the Gathering, what went on behind the scenes during the change of ownership at 60 Cards, what they feel other websites do or don’t do well, and the long term goals that Chris has set for both the site and those that are committed to helping make the site a success.

Candid, funny, and full of opinions - this is Episode 17 of The Deck Tease.

Enjoy!

Subscribe to Oestrus on iTunes!

 

 

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Scribble in HD with Scribblenauts Unlimited

You’ve scribbled before. Probably on a notepad, or in a bathroom stall (we’ve already told your teacher. You should be ashamed…) If you were lucky enough to have a gaming device, you might’ve scribbled some amazing things while playing the Scribblenauts series!

Well rejoice! If you are even MORE lucky and find yourself with a Wii U at your disposal later this year, than you can scribble your fingers dead with Scribblenauts Unlimited!

Helping Maxwell on his quest, players use their imaginations and dream powers to summon objects and weapons into the world to defeat enemies and solve puzzles. The newest installment of the game has a side-scrolling open world, and totally new HD drawings.

Not only that, but Zelda and Mario characters and objects are lending a helping hand as well. Goomba + Like Like RomCom anyone? No? Ok…

The game comes out on November 18th! Check it out!

Reverb Publishi​ng Giving Away 500 S​eason Passes for Cog​nition​

Reverb Publishing and Phoenix Online Studios’ upcoming mystery thriller Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller has earned its spot in the Top 75 games on Steam Greenlight. The next step for the game’s publisher is to get it into the top 10. So Reverb Publishing  has come up with a cool deal for people that come out and support the game.

From now until October 15, players that “like” the Facebook page and vote for the game on Steam Greenlight (you gotta do both!) will be eligible to win 1 of 500 Season Passes for Cognition. The catch is, the game has to break into the top 10! “If Cognition gets approved on October 15, we can’t think of a better way to say ‘thank you’ to our loyal fans than by hosting this give away,” said Doug Kennedy, CEO of Reverb Publishing. “We think the game is really special, and a perfect fit for Steam’s platform.”

From Phoenix Online Studios, the acclaimed developer behind The Silver Lining, Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller is an engrossing narrative with a truly evocative atmosphere. This chilling point-and-click adventure is a thought-provoking mystery following Erica Reed, a Boston-based FBI agent, haunted by the unsolved case of a serial killer who took her brother’s life. With the use of her post-cognition abilities – seeing an object’s past with a touch – players are challenged to unravel a complex tableau of characters, plots and puzzles over four episodes.

Key features include:

* Engrossing, episodic narrative – As an engaging and narrative-driven game, Erica’s story is rife with intrigue and suspense over multiple episodes of thrilling mystery.
* Fully-realized characters – A very talented cast of voice actors helps round out diverse characters with complex motivations.  Each new character makes the game that much more dynamic.
* Your choices matter – Branching puzzles have several different ways to be completed and solved, offering unique paths for the player to take as they solve the mystery.
* Mind-bending challenges – This game is easy to pick up and play, but it certainly doesn’t skimp out on the challenging aspects of puzzling. Uncovering clues and putting pieces together make for a trial of one’s intuition and savvy.
* Stunning art – The breath-taking, hand-drawn art evokes the mood of the narrative. Intrinsic to the atmosphere of the game, dark hues paint gruesome scenes vividly.
* All-star dev team – Developed by a true indie “dream team”, the lineup includes comic artist Romano Molenaar (Batman, Witchblade, Tomb Raider, X-Men) as Art Director and renowned adventure game designer Jane Jensen (Gabriel Knight, Gray Matter, and the upcoming Moebius) lending her expertise as Story Consultant.

 

 

Blizzard Announces Global Launch Events

If you are hotly anticipating the release of the Mists of Pandaria expansion for World of Warcraft, but are either too poor or your friends are too far away to have an awesome party to celebrate, Blizzard is making sure you have a fall back plan.

The North American launch party will be taking place in Irvine, California on September 24 between 9:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m. PST at the Irvine Spectrum Center! Blizzard wants you all to be there, but if you can’t, there will be a live stream available thanks to the people at Machinima.com here.

Besides watching people nerd out over possibly the biggest expansion to World of Warcraft to date, there are a host of cool events going on at the launch:

-A Challenge Mode duel between a team of skilled Blizzard employees and elite Blood Legion guild members! The fastest team wins, and we’ll have Blizzard eSports’ Rob Simpson shoutcasting with World of Warcraft lead encounter designer Ion Hazzikostas providing design commentary.
-Gamer/actress Felicia Day will make a special guest appearance with an exclusive look at the upcoming sixth season of The Guild.

-Blizzard’s Chief Storyteller Chris Metzen will be fielding questions live on-stage!

-Plenty of loot giveaways! (You can pretend you are getting the loot.)

There will also be launch parties in Paris, London, Madrid, Milan, Moscow, Cologne, and Stockholm… WOW!

If you want the Euro version, check out the stream here.

The Digital Launch Event, scheduled to start at 22:30 Paris time (CEST), will bring all the fun of the live events from around Europe right onto gamers’ screens. Blizzard artists and developers including Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street will be on hand in each city to offer insight into the latest expansion, and the show will also include spectacular entertainment such as a live orchestra playing music from Mists of Pandaria, MANAO – Drums of China and much, much more.