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BioShock Infinite post-review: Your questions answered

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We hope that you enjoyed both our spoiler-free BioShock Infinite review and spoiler-full analysis of its ending. It’s a great game that has left so many players, who have completed it, stumped and spawns so many unanswered questions. We at Games Per Second have put together a Q&A that answers many of these questions.

There are plenty of spoilers ahead, so you’ve been warned.

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How do I enable floating combat text and what is it?

Floating combat text adds a role-playing-game (RPG) feel to BioShock Infinite by introducing words and messages hovering around enemies as you attack them. Words such as Vulnerable, Critical and Combo that pop up along with the amount of damage you’ve dealt to enemies add to the fun of the game and give you information on how much more damage you need to deal to take them down. However, I feel Floating Combat Text does add a little clutter to my screen and reduces the immersion into the game.

Floating Combat Text can be enabled/disabled from the gameplay menu in the options area of the game.

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What graphics options are there for the PC version of BioShock Infinite? How much better does the game look compared to consoles?

In addition to the usual fullscreen/windowed mode and resolution settings, settings you can toggle for BioShock Infinite include: Anti-aliasing, texture detail & filtering, shadow quality, post-processing, light shafts, ambient occlusion (AKA bloom), object detail, lock frame rate (AKA 60 FPS vertical sync) along with brightness and field of view. Many of these options can be adjusted on 4 levels from low to ultra. There are also options to toggle subtitles, enemy health bars and object highlighting in the graphics menu.

BioShock Infinite looks amazing on PC compared to consoles. The game is rendered at the native resolution of your screen (which is highly beneficial if you’re using a high-resolution 1920×1080, 1920×1200 or 2560×1440 monitor) while console versions run the game at 720p. Specifically, textures are noticeably better along with various environment effects (smoke and lighting) and the PC version brings more life into everything, making gameplay more immersive and the widespread vistas in the game more impressive to look at.

Is Songbird a boss in BioShock Infinite?

No, you do not get to actually fight Songbird in BioShock Infinite. Instead, you do get to call upon Songbird, using the flute, as support to destroy the Vox air assault fleet/blimps in the final battle of the game.

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How do I enable 1999 mode on BioShock Infinite? How does it alter the storyline?

1999 mode in BioShock Infinite makes changes to various aspects of gameplay that makes it more than just another level of difficulty. There’s a description of 1999 mode going around which mentioned that your choices have a permanent impact in the game; however, there’s a lack of clarification (which I’m now mentioning) that ‘choices’ refer to your playstyle (such as choice of Vigors, Infusion upgrades and conservation of ammo), rather than plot choices (such as choosing between the bird and the cage for Elizabeth’s choker), and that ‘effect’ actually refers to how hard of a time you will have trying to complete BioShock Infinite in that mode. In other words, BioShock Infinite’s 1999 mode does not affect the game’s storyline and ending.

1999 mode becomes unlocked after the first time you play and complete BioShock Infinite’s story on the Hard difficulty setting.

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How many endings are there in BioShock Infinite? Is there an alternate ending?

There is only one ending in BioShock Infinite and there are no alternate endings to the story.

How do the choices in BioShock Infinite affect the story? How many decisions do I have to make?
There are four “A or B” choices you have to make in BioShock Infinite, none of them affect the ending or story but they do alter small aesthetics seen throughout the game after you make those decisions.

  • Near the beginning of the game, you are given the choice to throw the #77 ball at the interracial couple or the announcer. Either way will result in Booker’s “AD” brand becoming exposed as he lifts his hand and cause the Columbia police to try to apprehend him. If you do throw the ball at the announcer, the interracial couple would escape and are later seen near the bathrooms, after you rescue Elizabeth. They will then thank you for your decision.
  • When faced between choosing the cage or bird for Elizabeth’s choker brooch, your choice will affect the brooch she wears for the entire duration of the game (except towards the very end where she has a blank choker)
  • When you have to choose between demanding for tickets or drawing your gun at the scene in the station, this affects what happens to Booker’s right hand (which he lifts up to view several times in the game). Drawing your gun will cause the enemy-posing-as-a-cashier to quickly close the shutter and Booker’s hand will be fine. If you choose for him to continue demanding for tickets, the backstabbing cashier will pull out a knife and stab Booker in the right hand. Shortly after this happens, there is a scene where Elizabeth tends to Booker’s hand and wraps a cloth around the wound; this makeshift bandage remains on his hand for the rest of the game.
  • The choice of keeping Slate alive will affect whether he appears later in the game, just shortly before you try to rescue Chen Lin from jail and find him dead. If you do keep him alive, he will appear in the questioning room in the prison, in a wheelchair and apparent vegetative/traumatized state. At this point, you can leave him alone or shoot him with your weapon to put him out of his misery. If you kill him at this point, Elizabeth will make a comment about how “that’s probably what he wanted”.

All things BioShock Infinite:

How did Elizabeth kill Booker? And why?

Elizabeth (Along with multiple versions of herself) kill Booker by drowning him in a river. This is after she and Booker discover that Booker turns out to become Comstock and killing Booker would be the only way to ensure Comstock does not live or exist in the future.

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What actually happens at the end of BioShock Infinite? Are there any post-credit scenes?

We discover that Booker and Comstock are essentially the same people and that Elizabeth is Booker’s daughter and originally named Anna.

BioShock Infinite ends with Elizabeth destroying the Syphon (the statue tower in which she had been imprisoned) with the help of Songbird, Elizabeth transporting herself and Booker to various places to explain the ‘alternate universe’ concept, including the underwater city of Rapture and a scene with countless other lighthouses and versions of themselves, and finally bringing Booker back to his baptism. At this point, we see various ‘versions’ of Elizabeth appear (each from different universes and timelines) to drown Booker. After this happens, the Elizabeths disappear one-by-one until each of them is gone.

There is a post-credit scene where Booker wakes up in his New York City office on the day he had originally given Anna (his daughter) away. He hears the cries of a child from the sideroom and is surprised, exclaiming “Anna?!”, before going to check on the child. The screen fades to black as Booker opens the door.

What is the meaning of BioShock Infinite’s ending?

The ending of BioShock Infinite tells us that Elizabeth kills Booker at his baptism, which is the ‘root’ of all his alternate universes where he eventually becomes Comstock. This sets Booker free from the ‘infinite loop’ in alternate universes trying to save Elizabeth (the game being one of these loops) and returns him to ‘real life’. This also means the elimination of Elizabeth as we saw her in the game along with the erasure of all the game’s events in Booker’s life.

The post-credit scene shows that Booker has returned to ‘real life’ where he never gave away his daughter Anna.

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Do we get to visit Paris in BioShock Infinite?

Unfortunately, no. The only time we get to see Paris is when observing Elizabeth through the one-way mirror in the tower and she momentarily opens a Tear to show a scene of Paris in the 1980′s, with a theater screening The Revenge of the Jedi in the foreground and the Eiffel Tower in the background. I’m a little sad and disappointed myself since we didn’t get to explore Paris as Booker with Elizabeth.

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What happens in the DLC?

Your guess is as good as mine. Irrational Games have not made any official announcements or released details on what they will do in the DLC of BioShock Infinite. Personally, I hope we see Paris with Elizabeth and Booker, even if there were no enemies to fight there; just to see them happy. And a puppy, yes, Elizabeth deserves a puppy!

All things BioShock Infinite:

Got a question you don’t see here?

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12 Comments

  1. Sideras March 31, 2013 Reply

    “1999 mode becomes unlocked after the first time you play and complete BioShock Infinite’s story on the Hard difficulty setting.”
    You can input the konami code at the beginning of the game aswell to unlock 1999 Mode but I wouldn’t recommend it, I did it and while it was a good challenge (often cheap) it sort of ruined the immersion abit so go for hard or whatever first.
    Konami code for those who don’t know:
    360: up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, A, B.
    PS3: up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, X, O.
    PC: up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, SPACE, ESC (I think, I actually plugged in my controller for this :P)

  2. Jon March 31, 2013 Reply

    Hahaha! Nice touch. She will definitely love the Beagle!

  3. John L March 31, 2013 Reply

    How about “why did they cut all the major content shown of the game from previous years?” Gamescom presentation, mainly. The amazing interactions you had with Elizabeth – her summoning storm clouds above a group of enemies for you to shock to create a lightning storm, or her fusing together hunks of metal for you to hurl at a barricade and enemies. The dying horse scene. The good stuff. These were the major scenes and gameplay interactions with her that made me excited for the game, but ultimately Elizabeth becomes an ammo bloodhound instead. Love this game just as much as the next long-time Bioshock fan, but damn they messed some things up for no apparent reason.

    • Shan S April 3, 2013 Reply

      Unfortunately what we see in E3 trailers are for presentation purposes to create a little drama and variety (not just continuous scenes of running and gunning). Maybe the developers thought that the content didn’t fit the plot as well as the elements we actually see in the real game. Having Elizabeth to do so many things at once, not to mention Booker, might not worked out the way they liked, so I assume this is why it didn’t get into the final cut. The game has been through many changes and fixes since its first trailer. In the final version, we saw a wider eye design for Elizabeth, a different look from the 15-minute gameplay trailer which showed Elizabeth with smaller eyes. Plus, Irrational didn’t want to recreate a “claustrophobic” setting like Rapture, therefore they removed the rainy weather (referring to the lightning storms you mentioned). I, too, thought the dying horse scene was a nice touch, but it might not have turned out as good as it looked in the gameplay trailer.

  4. blade April 2, 2013 Reply

    the guys who made this game have no idea how time travel is supposed to work

    • Jacob1926 April 3, 2013 Reply

      This wasn’t just about time travel. This was about multiple universes colliding and creating paradoxes. Honestly they did a much better job with the physics then say back to the future (not hating on the trilogy, just the physics behind it).

  5. arsenio April 4, 2013 Reply

    i will say this is a MUST BUY GAME worth the 60 dollors. have to say that the story is much better then it is in the first one. dont get me wrong first one was a good game and is my favorite but bioshock infinite has a a better story then the first one :D

    • Shan S April 5, 2013 Reply

      Best game I will ever play in my lifetime. Not to mention the setting was breathtaking and the characters were incredibly lovable; the storytelling so damn gripping. Can’t wait for the next game which will probably come in about two or three years. What will it be, though? BioShock on land?

  6. skwash83 April 5, 2013 Reply

    If I had not played the original two I would give this a 9.0. But I did. And they cut a lot of stuff that to me was pointless to do. No cosmetic weapon upgrades, replaced the final hold down button flame throwerish plasmid attack was replaced with a trap attack, which didn’t matter because you can’t really sneak and use plasmids. To me enemy types weren’t all that amazing. The plasmids I general were lackluster. The plasmid ecosystem is gone. Liz was cool but in being there she kind makes the game feel like your hands being held. And finally song bird. Totally missed opportunity. Sad because the first impression I got was songbird was the new big sister one who would hunt you down the entire game. You see it once or twice no chase scene’s. No final battle making its death seem very unfulfilled. With all that is score it at an 8.0. If I’d never played the original and other was a songbird boss fight I’d give it a9.5 or a 10.0.

    • Shan S April 5, 2013 Reply

      Irrational Games was looking to create a whole new experience that would appeal to both old and new fans. Looking at the big picture, BioShock delivers an impressive overall experience. I agree about the lack of development for Songbird (which was really a wonderful but strange creature I wanted to know more about) and hopefully Irrational will include its backstory in a DLC, maybe? As for Liz, she didn’t feel like a burden to me. Sometimes she’s not even noticeable, but in times of need, she’s amazing. Every game has its own flaws, but to each his own, I suppose.

      • skwash83 April 5, 2013 Reply

        I think trying to please the new more than the old is were it always goes wrong. The first and second were/ are so awesome if a person saw a commercial or read a review and didn’t pick it up they were never going to. I can see appealing to the new on the second one but by the third if there just making it for the fans it’ll be epic enough for anybody jumping on by that point. They turned song bird into nothing more than just a visual than a 10 to 20 minute plasmid gimmick. I need an epic battle they could have kept everything from the story. Even songbirds death. But they should have put an amazing battle with it right before.

  7. Walter Kovacs April 30, 2013 Reply

    In terms of DLC. I could see playing out the Martyr of the Vox scenario, playing as that version of Booker without Liz.