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    BioShock Infinite 
  • 8.8: GameSpot's negative "re-review" six months later has received divided responses. Many readers are accusing the review of being click bait to draw attention to the site's relaunch.
  • Abandon Shipping: Many, many people who were not spoiled by early leaks of the game shipped Booker and Elizabeth in the opening acts of the game. As soon as The Reveal that Elizabeth is Booker's daughter happened, they quickly dropped it like a hot potato and warned other players that haven't got to that point yet about The Reveal. It didn't stop some shippers from changing their father-daughter relationship altogether and making sure that they're not biologically related in fanfics through. Or just going "Hooray for Parental Incest!"
  • Accidental Innuendo: One of the Gear items you can get is "Head Master" (two words) that makes your headshots do more damage. Heh.
  • Alternate Aesop Interpretation:
    • With Death of the Author, one could easily turn the game into an elaborate Christian parable. Booker, essentially, living through hell until he accepts a "meaningful" sacrificial baptism that cleanses his soul. You could even argue he dies at the end and The Stinger is Booker in heaven. No matter how hard Comstock or Booker work, they cannot fix themselves. They must eventually come to grips with what they have done and forgive themselves, similar to Christian theology that only accepting Christ's forgiveness, and not justifying one's self with works, is the key to salvation. When Booker and Comstock attempt to earn forgiveness, their good intentions tend to make things worse.
    • From a Christian perspective, Comstock can be seen as an excellent example of what happens if you follow false prophets and worship idols.
    • Even more simply, Comstock embodies the failure to differentiate forgiveness and redemption. The line is "Go forth and sin no more", not "You can now do no wrong forever".
    • Also, combined with Alternate Character Interpretation: Comstock might actually not believe in God, but rather, considers it necessary to create him. So, he creates his own Heaven and his own Messiah.
  • Angst? What Angst?: A meta-example on account of the stock dialogue Elizabeth and Booker share every time you find a lock that needs to be picked. She will almost always respond with a peppy, sarcastic attitude regardless of how she may be otherwise feeling at the given time.
    Elizabeth: [coldly] Don't get too comfortable with my company, Mr. DeWitt. You are a means to an end, no more.
    Booker: Got a lock needs pickin'.
    Elizabeth: [suddenly chipper] Sure thing.
  • Anticlimax Boss: When you run into Zachary Comstock himself near the end of the game, despite the fact that he's sent armies against you, tried subjecting you to Death from Above, and even sent in Songbird. So naturally, he'll be quite the difficult boss fight, right? Except Booker kills him by strangling him, slamming his head a few times on a stone pedestal, and then drowning him with said pedestal's holy water. Justified since several audiologs throughout the game state that Comstock has terminal cancer, meaning he was in no real state to pose a physical threat to Booker.
  • Anvilicious: The writing seems to pick from the worst excesses of racism, totalitarian religious fanaticism (Comstock), crony capitalism (Fink), revolutionary movements and communism (Fitzroy) exhibited within the last 150 years and adapt them to Columbia. If there's any kind of moral to take away from the story, it's probably "Extremism in any direction is bad." Which is perfectly in line with the message of the other games, really, except they didn't cram so many ideologies into one game. The game was originally going to be even more anvilicious. Ken Levine admits to having highly altered Comstock's character after a member of the design team threatened to resign over feeling that the game was a blatant attack on religious beliefs.
  • Author's Saving Throw: After fans complained about boxart featuring a gun-wielding Booker aiming for the generic FPS audience, Ken Levine revealed a more artsy reverse cover featuring Songbird.
  • Awesome Music: The game features a great deal of contemporary music rearranged to fit the 1912 zeitgeist. The man responsible, Scott Bradlee, went on to found Postmodern Jukebox. So you can bet that the music in this game is solid.
  • Broken Base
    • The ending is either the best thing ever written and a perfect example of how to do Time Travel correctly as well as a fascinating metaphorical exploration of the "world" of a story in progress (or a game played by many people), or a confusing Gainax Ending that cheapens the moral choices of the game since they retroactively never happened. Not helped by people reading it as pure Time Travel instead of something more fundamental (like a Skyrim modder using the game's editor to remove an entire branch of a questline or dialogue tree). The presentation of the ending alone caused a lot of confusion among players as to what it was representing, with the people seeing it as just Time Travel bringing up the slew of paradoxes that could result.
    • The plot turn during the second half of the game, where the focus shifts from the city and its society to a more personal story centered around alternative dimensions. Was it a more original and interesting concept that gave the main characters more depth, or was it a patchwork of plotholes that turned the setting and its inhabitants into footnotes?
    • Whether or not comparing Daisy Fitzroy to Comstock is a false equivalency.
      • Compelling philosophical consideration of the history of racial and class conflict and revolution? Or bizarrely revisionist middle-ground platitude? Doesn't help that the only ostensible voices of reason and reconciliation are police keeping the unwashed masses in poverty through... supposedly stern looks and a steady supply of painted baseballs.
      • It's further complicated by the insane, child killing Fitzroy of the end coming about after you repeatedly jump into alternate realities to complete your mission. False equivalence or your fault?
      • This actually becomes a plot point in Episode 2 of Burial at Sea, where Daisy is vindicated with the reveal that the Luteces convinced Daisy to engineer the entire scenario to martyr herself for her revolution, so Elizabeth would have enough resolve to bring down Comstock once and for all. She actually was appalled with their suggestion to harm a child and only agreed after being assured that the child would be unharmed and her death would ensure Comstock's defeat. This comes across as a particularly bizarre retcon not only because it changes the nature of the scene where she attempts to kill a child, but because it changes absolutely nothing about all the other mass killings depicted in that future which she clearly ordered, so in the end she still comes across as no different.
      • Still, quite a few fans found the fact that Fitzroy, the only significant black character in the entire game, had to die for the sake of empowering Elizabeth (a white woman) under the notion of turning the latter into a "woman," extremely problematic. What definitely doesn't help is that Fitzroy is told point blank she had to be a martyr and to pretend to be a villain, which made the Retcon very ham-fisted for many.
    • The lack of multiple endings and the main character's death. Allows for a more focused plot and a definitive ending, or shoves the player onto a single path where none of the choices they make matter? Some have even argued that the fact that Alternate Universes are a major plot point makes the linear nature of the story's plot inexcusable.
  • Captain Obvious Reveal:
    • The fact that Sally is a Little Sister should surprise exactly no one, given the setting. Virtually any other fate would have been more surprising. In hindsight, it's probably to make the reveal that you're playing as Comstock more surprising.
    • Elizabeth wandering in a heavenly version of Paris is quite clearly a dream.
      • Everything seems far too perfect, even bordering on the surreal (two lovers in the marketplace are named Christian and Roxanne, Georges-Pierre Seurat is painting the view of the Seine, and a bluebird even alights on her finger and sings "La Vie en Rose" in harmony with the crowd). The incongruities are even lampshaded in some of the dialogue.
        Bookstore Owner: <Every book you could ever want! And all so reasonably priced!>
        Elizabeth: Do you have "The Age of Innocence" by Edith Wharton?
        Bookstore Owner: <Ah, I am sorry, my dear, but that book has not been written yet.>
      • And if you know your music, you would have been tipped off at the very beginning of the dream sequence. "La Vie en Rose" was not composed until 1945.
      • The above is suitably anachronistic to fit a Columbia dweller's dream, as is the Wharton reference, but more telling is Seurat. His paintings and their price were remarked on by Jeremiah Fink in his prerecorded broadcasts when playing through Finkton in the original game.
  • Complete Monster: "Father" Zachary Hale Comstock is the alternate version of Booker DeWitt who accepted baptism and took pride in being "The Hero of Wounded Knee", where he massacred several innocent Native Americans, children included. Creating Columbia, Comstock made himself its "Prophet", where he had his citizens worship him, while oppressing all people of non-white races. Comstock also conspired with the Luteces to steal the daughter of Booker and imprison her in a tower which drains her powers, having the Songbird serve as her warden. When Comstock learns of Booker's arrival, he has his followers hunt him down, having one immolate herself and later raising the wife that Comstock himself murdered, from the dead, to kill him. Upon retrieving Elizabeth, Comstock has her repeatedly tortured, molding her into his successor and carrying out his final plan to destroy the world below.
  • Contested Sequel: Most critics consider the game to be an Even Better Sequel by all means, but the fans are much more divided on what to think of the game. There's a camp that thought the game was an improvement over the original in every way possible, a camp that dislikes the game due to the simplified mechanics, and a camp that thinks the game is fine, but doesn't necessarily care about the original.
  • Crack Pairing: Jack/Elizabeth is becoming quite popular.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • The Handymen. Wide AOE attacks, high damage, immunity to Possession and resistance to Shock Jockey, high health, a weak spot that can be extremely hard to hit, the ability to leap huge distances, and the ability to electrify sky lines will have you thanking the Prophet there's only four of them in the main game.
    • Also any enemy with a Volley Gun (Flak Cannons, as Elizabeth calls them). Thanks to their high rate of fire, infinite ammunition, very good accuracy, and the fact that they keep shooting at areas where you take cover, a single Flak Cannon can effectively seal you in one spot and force you to stay there taking potshots until you can manage to kill it. Oh, and they are heavily armored and can take multiple hits from a sniper rifle before going down.
    • The Boys of Silence in the final level. They act like security turrets from the previous games, except on steroids. Instead of summoning a couple regenerating turrets that wear off after a minute, they summon a large group of resilient human enemies that will melee you to death. Mercifully, only one absolutely needs to be fought, and the second will only summon normal mooks.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Daisy Fitzroy, due to a combination of a tragic backstory and completely understandable motives for destroying the Founders, not to mention a bit of The Revolution Will Not Be Vilified. She has a not insignificant following on Tumblr, who feel that her attempt to kill a child was ham-handed. Said advocates also say that Booker's "the Vox are bad for their violence" is a false dichotomy.
    • The reception to her was so positive, and that kill-a-child scene was so negative, that Burial at Sea actually retcons it. In the final version of the plot she was bluffing and was doing said bluff at the behest of the Lutteces, who had shown her that being killed by Elizabeth in that moment, while throwing the city into chaos. would guarantee the downfall of Columbia and Comstock.
  • Enjoy The Story, Skip The Game: Received this even more than BioShock - extensive praise for its storytelling, but criticism for its gameplay, which had been simplified even further from its predecessors. Much like the first Bioshock, it was also criticized for its Disappointing Last Level.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • SkyoShock, AeroShock, or HighoShock instead of BioShock Infinite, due to the game being set in a floating city.
    • ChronoShock for the timeline-jumping the game goes through in the second half.
    • "Disney Princess" for Elizabeth due to her resemblance (both physical as well as personality-wise) to Belle. She even sings, and some of her Idle Animations had to be removed due to being too much like Rapunzel from Tangled.
    • "Bookerstock" for the Rapture version of Booker or rather, Comstock from Burial at Sea - Episode 1.
  • Franchise Original Sin: The game has been criticized by some for its "extremism is bad" message falling flat. Bioshock 1 and 2 had the same "extremism is bad" message but works much better mainly because it's hard to sympathize with the Founders compared to the previous two games' antagonist ideals of objectivism and enforced altruism. By contrast, it's hard to make xenophobic racists have a legitimate point or be sympathetic with today's audiences without straight-up promoting racism so they come off as pretty uninteresting and generically evil. The Vox has the opposite problem where is extremely easy to sympathize with them because it really hard to make downtrodden people fighting against racism unsympathetic in today's political climate to the point some people get insulted on how villainous the story tries to make them.
  • Game-Breaker: Not as many as in previous games, but there are still a few which arguably break the game even harder.
    • Possession is really powerful, especially once it's upgraded. Early on it is rather expensive to use, but once you increase your salt meter and get the upgrade that cuts the cost in half, it becomes a murder machine largely due to the fact that any non-heavy hitter/mechanical enemy that is possessed will kill themself at the end of the duration. On a single standard enemy, that isn't too impressive, but against the more durable enemies with rockets or flak cannons, not only are they instantly removed from the picture, but they'll rain death down on the other enemies before they go. And when charged up, if it hits multiple targets, all but one will instantly kill themselves. Pretty powerful for the upgraded cost.
    • The Season Pass and DLC rewards do this to several weapons, especially interesting because they come with the game on Steam and are always on by default. Those Include: 500 dollars, 5 lockpicks to start out, a half-dozen infusions and no less than eight gears, which the game requires the player to pick up before allowing them to progress.
      • The Electric Punch Gear (obtained by purchasing the Season Pass) allows you to stun-lock enemies while punching them to death. You can even defeat a Motorized Patriot just by using your melee attack. The non-DLC alternative sets them on fire instead to inflict massive damage.
      • The Pistol receives, among other things, a massive damage upgrade that turns it into a good weapon along with a straight upgrade to the Hand Cannon-quick draw time, a ridiculously high critical multiplier, easy to find ammo for and a very fast firing speed coupled with the damage upgrade makes it possible to take down Handymen on any difficulty using it. And a snazzy gold paint job.
      • The Machinegun gets a similar golden upgrade, and can be brought up to ridiculous levels by wearing the Ammo Advantage gear, which increases the magazine size by 75%. 122 bullets total, larger than its reserve ammunition. As long as Booker can keep a constant bead on an enemy, the humble machinegun becomes a bullet spewing death machine that serves as a discount heavy weapon, and has the bonus that Machinegun ammo is both exceedingly common and extremely cheap.
      • It's safe to say that gear alone qualifies. It also allows the Flak Cannon and Repeater to hold more in their clips than in reserve, buffs the Sniper Rifle's capacity up to where it can functionally supplant the Hand Cannon, and gives the infamous Vox Heater a second shot before reloading.
      • Another notable victim to this overpowering is the Vox Hail Fire. Normally it falls squarely into Awesome, but Impractical territory, due to both a small clip and an insanely fast rate of fire. But using that gear and upgrading its capacity makes it a a 16 shot grenade launcher able to empty its clip in under four seconds. The only disadvantage to using it would have to be the amount of ammo it goes through, which can be easily remedied by buying from vending machines.
      • Another DLC gear is Handyman Nemesis which gives a 50% damage bonus when fighting the titular enemy, before adding critical hit damage. Providing the player switches to it before Handyman fights, those once-nightmarish battles can go by in seconds.
    • The Sheltered Life hat gear, which makes you temporarily invincible for about 10 seconds every time you pick up food or a first aid kit, and since pretty much every battle field is littered with food and healing items either in crates or on corpses, it is possible to spend large portions of a fight completely unkillable.
    • Similarly, the Winter Shield gear, which makes you invincible when you jump on or off a Sky-Line. The "jumping-on" trigger is a little glitchy, but since you can jump off and retrigger it anyway it makes little difference. There are very few places this can't be horribly abused, such as the final level, and any level with a Handyman in it.
    • The China Broom is also notoriously overpowered, being able to kill anything short of a Handyman or Motorised Patriot in 1 or 2 shots. This is balanced out by the fact that you're inevitably forced to go through several sections of the game without it and it has an effective range of about six inches.
    • The Undertow Vigor has the ability to perform massive knockback on enemies. In a game where a vast majority of time is spent right next to ledges, that spells instant doom (and au revoir). While more powerful enemies may usually take a few rounds of bullets and Vigors to deal with, just knocking them off the ledge will instantly take them out of the picture. If that wasn't enough, the Vigor also has the ability to drag distant enemies towards you; aside from instantly getting Snipers out of the picture, this also just generally makes it easy to pick off enemies, via pulling them over one at a time and gunning them down in their frozen, vulnerable state. Not to mention, using it on the infamous Handyman will expose its weak point and bring it into point-blank range. Getting the Heartbreaker achievement/trophy has never been easier!
    • A fully upgraded Charge vigor + the Overkill gear + the Burning Halo gear + the Brittle-Skinned gear = "Congratulations! You can now Falcon Punch with a Skyhook. God help your enemies." And then it just becomes merciless cruelty if you throw the Blood to Salts gear into the mix. If you replace the Overkill gear with Vampire's Embrace, you'll probably end up out-healing any damage that does make it through your shield.
      • The Overkill Gear qualifies as this on its own. Every time an enemy is killed with excessive damage they blast arcs of lightning out of their bodies, stunning nearby enemies as well as dealing slight damage. Not only does this serve as a discount version of Shock Jockey that doesn't use Salts, allowing Booker to easily get follow-up shots, it actually encourages the use of more Awesome, but Impractical weapons such as the Sniper Rifle or Hand Cannon to trigger that stun effect against crowds.
    • The Return to Sender vigor is pretty darned effective, especially after you buy upgrades to decrease the amount of salts you need to power it. With a fully upgraded salt bar, you can use it almost constantly. The last mission becomes un-Godly easy. Just throw traps on the core, stand in front of the device collecting hundreds of motorized Patriot chain-gun ammo and throw it back at enemies, annihilating them. You can just spend the whole time rushing enemies, practically invincible and blow them away with the shotgun while killing the rest with their own bullets.
    • The Bucking Bronco vigor makes fireman and Crows extremely easy to kill. Just get the gear that increases critical damage by 50% or shoot them until they hover over a bottomless pit and let them fall to their doom.
    • Giving the Murder of Crows vigor the Crows Trap Aid upgrade can trivialize some mook encounters since it turns any killed foes stunned by Murder of Crows into Crow Traps. If you extensively use the vigor in combat, this can quickly lead to Crow Traps being laid out practically everywhere battlefield with very little Salt used and it can mean you may not even know reinforcements arrived until after you catch them covered in crows.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • One broadcast during the alternate universe Vox Populi uprising has the red flag-waving rebel-turned-government leader ordering the slaughter of anyone wearing glasses.
    • Makin' Whoopee is one of the first songs heard on a radio. Most gamers won't know that it's anachronistic. (Another possible choice, "Dew-Dew-Dewey Day", published a year earlier, will likely not even be recognized.)
    • The lyrics used for "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?" are from the 1907 hymn. The tune used, however, is anachronistically from the country-style reworking of the song. The original tune does make an appearance in this game, in the piano solo during Welcome to Columbia.
    • Comstock's ideas have an interesting extra dimension when compared to the Ghost Dance religion that was involved in the massacre of Wounded Knee. In both cases, a prophet spoke of a return to traditional customs and values that would save his race largely by causing the extermination of all other races. The difference being that Comstock's race was the oppressor while Wvoka's was the oppressed.
    • The Latin phrase "Alis Volat Propriis"note  is inscribed on some of the brass fittings adorning the sidewalks - the first clue that Columbia is actually suspended in the air via quantum entanglement, and the hot air balloons lining the buildings are just for show.
    • The Lutece's theme music is played by a pair of accordions. If you listen closely, you can tell that one of the two accordions has a hole in it, by how its notes drag out during the rests in the song. Cutting a hole in an accordion is an actual technique used by accordion players for different playing styles. An accordion with a hole cut in it is referred to as a "female" accordion, while one without is referred to as a "male".
    • A random quote by one of the schoolteacher splicers reveals that the Ryan the Lion Prep Academy apparently teaches its students about the "tragedy of the commons" theory — a principle that did indeed hold true for Rapture, as infighting over scarce resources led to disaster, revolt, and martial law; presumably, the lesson plan skips over the end result and focuses on the temporary benefits.
    • For people well versed in movie history, Elizabeth's first tear to Paris is this. The movie theater she ends up at advertises La Revanche du Jedi. George Lucas renamed Return of the Jedi twice, once to Revenge and then back because a Jedi should not seek revenge. Only the teaser and the corresponding posters still had Revenge on it. At a stroke, this one billboard lays out the scope of Elizabeth's power: the tear is not just into a different location, not just into the future, but also to an Alternate Timeline.
    • The Bee Sharps' version of God Only Knows was not only written by an actual Barbershop Musician (world champion Clay Hine), it was written with stylistic choices appropriate to the genre as it existed in 1912.
    • There are numerous other references to obscure bits of American history that may just seem to be part of the surreal milieu of Columbia at first, but are in fact based in real life. Comstock's personal glorification of his service at Wounded Knee, for instance, may initially seem to just seem to be another part of his ludicrously racist propaganda campaign, but it's based on something depressingly real. Over 20 Medals of Honor were awarded to the men of the 7th Cavalry Regiment who perpetrated the massacre, and the American public generally reacted extremely favorably to it, with no less a source than L. Frank Baum writing a newspaper column praising the Army for it and calling for the extermination of Native Americans. Mention is also made of Columbia representing the United States in the Boxer Rebellion, an event that is almost never taught about in American schools.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • For those having a hard time getting the Heartbreaker Achievement.
    • Another Handyman glitch: the first one you fight can't get through the doorway into the Gunsmith Shop's lobby. Simply trigger him, go into the shop and come back out, and he's a sitting duck.
    • Even though it's possible to set Flambeau on fire with a melee attack, and he will scream in agony as he burns to death, he never loses his impeccable posture. He is a gentleman above all else, don't you know?
    • There's also a way to get infinite Silver Eagles and Gear, by means of going to Soldier's Field after defeating Slate, going to the electric door within the toy store (the one where a Heater Replica can be found early), and then returning back to the Hall of Heroes, and go out again (every Vending Machine, container, and so forth in the general area is reset).
    • Similarly, the fight with That One Boss (the "resurrected" Lady Comstock) is much easier if you continually enter and leave the graveyard, triggering all the bodies to re-fill with goodies. This also, hilariously, spawns an additional gun next to each body. If you cycle this many times, you can leave each body buried under a pile of guns.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • The Vox Populi's depiction as rebels with justified grievances against the ethnicist, repressive dictatorship ruling them who progressively transform into mass-murdering radicals themselves. While this is something that happened countless times in history, which likely inspired this storyline, it became particularly relevant to current affairs only a few months after the game released. By 2014, The Arab Spring in Syria had seen ISIS and Al-Qaeda become by far the most powerful factions fighting against the ethnicist, repressive Ba'athist dictatorship that the revolution had been started to depose.
    • Booker gets really pissed off throughout the story about Elizabeth being locked up by her father, and abandoned completely by her 'mother'. Turns out he sold Elizabeth to them in the first place, albeit under heavy duress and major regret.
    • After Booker is baptized in order to get into Columbia, he says "That idiot priest needs to learn the difference between baptizing a man and drowning one." Guess what happens to Booker at the end of the game.
    • Ken Levine said previously that Rapture shouldn't be the be-all and end-all of the series, yet Burial at Sea turns Infinite into a prequel of the original game and gets the whole Rapture plot started.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The entry for Adorkable on the main page compares Booker's relationship to Elizabeth to something out of a Dating Sim. It was written before players found out Comstock, Elizabeth's father, is an Alternate Universe counterpart to Booker. It's really more like family bonding time, mostly because it is family bonding time.
    • This line, late in the game:
      Booker: I gotta get into the prophet business.
    • Yahtzee's review of BioShock 2 includes this quote: "Just as the original had a surprisingly intelligent undertone that deconstructed the very nature of linear gameplay, BioShock 2 is a sophisticated satirization of the very concept of a sequel that HAR HAR I'm just messing you." By the end, it almost seems like Infinite went out of its way to be that sophisticated satirization of the very concept of a sequel. In his review of Singularity, which was in many ways BioShock with time travel, he commented that he expected a big plot twist at the end like the Big Bad turning out to actually be a future version of the hero. Then along comes BioShock Infinite with that exact plot twist at the end. Double points for Singularity's best ending requiring that you die.
      • He also suggested the Vigors were taken from "a reality rift to the convenience dimension". Burial at Sea reveals they were actually discovered via a tear to Rapture.
    • Some critics complained that the main character of the game should have been a woman. It is later revealed you get to play as Elizabeth in the second episode of the "Burial at Sea" DLC.
    • In Eurogamer's BioShock 2 retrospective, the author comments "I still want a BioShock Noir game where you're a private detective instead of a super commando wizard." Cue Burial at Sea, wherein Booker is cast as a detective in a noir-flavoured Rapture.
    • In this interview for the game, Ken Levine makes a brief mention to Oldboy (2003) before the interview ends. One can't help but feel that Levine was foreshadowing one of the game's big twists by mentioning that, considering the way Oldboy ends.
    • You know all that Deliberate Values Dissonance propaganda used in the game? Guess who's using it completely unironically.
    • And now Fox News has "borrowed" Infinite's logo for a segment on anti-immigration.
    • Fink uses the term "Lion" to describe himself in his social philosophy. In Burial at Sea, it turns out Andrew Ryan did too, at least when teaching kids.
    • Kimberly Brooks voices Daisy Fitzroy, a rebel against the racist and elitist Cult Of Personality-driven oppressors of Columbia. Several years later, she would voice Jasper on Steven Universe, who is an enforcer for a similarly rigid, racist, elitist, Cult of Personality driven government, and who has a strong grudge against the leader of a rebellion against that hierarchy.
    • Besides being heavily compared to Tangled, a number of people have noticed some parallels between Infinite and another wildly popular Disney franchise, Frozen. On top of Elizabeth and the Arendelle sisters being sheltered for most of their childhood, late in the game, it turns out that Elizabeth's name is actually Anna DeWitt — Elsa is a Scandinavian variant of Elizabeth, and Elizabeth's reveal as Anna makes for a hilarious coincidence.
  • Hype Backlash: Much like the first game, Infinite initially received excellent reviews and sales, but there's a very good chance you will come across videos and articles that go on about how the game failed to immerse its players in its world or those being hyper critical on its gameplay mechanics. The ending also divides players, though not quite to the extent of the third Mass Effect's ending - pretentious Mind Screw for the sake of Mind Screw, or hauntingly beautiful and breathtaking? The greater progressivism and politically charged criticism in gaming has also led to its reputation being devalued, with many slamming it for arguing that a violent slave revolt was morally indistinguishable from a violent slave master, along with several of its ideas falling into the "Concepts Are Cheap" trap.
  • Idiot Plot: Burial at Sea 2 requires Elizabeth to be suicidally loyal to Fontaine to work at all, which she claims not to be. If she stopped at any point and considered any other option - which she was outright offered numerous times by powerful people capable of actually fulfilling those offers - the plot would've changed drastically.
  • Incest Yay Shipping:
    • It's near impossible to find a Lutece fan who doesn't ship them together. In fairness they're not really siblings, but Screw Yourself isn't much better.
    • Booker and Elizabeth have an enormous fandom despite the whole father and daughter thing that was kind of an important revelation.
  • Jerkass Woobie: The Songbird, especially after you learn his gruesome origin.
    • Rapture Elizabeth.
  • Magnificent Bastard: The Luteces are two mysterious twins frequently encountered, before revealing themselves to have set the plot in motion. Encountered by Zachary Hale Comstock, Rosalind Lutece agreed to help him build his floating city, Colombia and in return Comstock would fund her research on alternate realities; with these resources she made a contraption that allowed her Alternate Self Robert Lutece to come into her world. Together, the Luteces helped Comstock kidnap Booker DeWitt's daughter, though Robert regretted his part in the kidnapping as well as the state of Colombia and the Bad Future coming after so he decides to plot against Comstock, forcing Rosalind to help him on the threat that he'll leave her if she doesn't. Though seemingly killed by Comstock, they have in fact survived and involved Booker DeWitt in their plan, guiding him throughout Colombia, while also convincing Daisy Fitzroy to ignite her revolution and let Elizabeth kill her ensuring the downfall of Colombia and Comstock. After the death of Comstock and the destruction of his city, the Luteces collaborated with Elizabeth to kill off all the other Comstocks in different realities before leaving her after killing the last Comstock in Rapture completely satisfied with their end results.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "X, X-ed, will X." note 
    • "The X..." "... or the Y?" note 
    • On a similar vein: note 
      He doesn't X."
      "He doesn't
      "No, I mean he
      doesn't'' X."
      "Ah. I see what you mean."
    • Booker, catch! note 
    • The creator of the game commenting that a fight with The Songbird would have felt too much like a video game tends to get brought up a bit.
    • After "Booker, catch!", the next most common source for jokes is Booker eating food he fishes out of trash cans.
    • "Nice Skyrim reference." Explanation 
  • Misaimed Fandom:
    • Many players saw Columbia as the main attraction of Infinite, even disparaging the twists and turns the plot takes to draw attention away from the wonders of the city, and a few articles that popped up post-release that balked at the undue violence that "ruined" the serene beauty of the environment.
      "Some people just hate musicals because nobody goes and bursts into song. But that's not a problem with musicals."
    • Daisy Fitzroy, as highlighted in the Draco in Leather Pants entry, while she does have a sympathetic backstory, she stops being a sympathetic character once she crosses the Moral Event Horizon. Then, come Burial at Sea: Episode Two, she becomes sympathetic yet again, when it's revealed that the Luteces encouraged her to cross the horizon.
    • Aside from these, a Tea Party group unironically used one of the images found in Columbia that depicts the "foreign hordes".
    • Hell, even Fox News is guilty, having used a Serial Numbers Filed Off version of the game's logo for a segment on immigration. Ken Levine himself commented on the ridiculousness of it all.
    • One of the choices in the game is deciding whether Elizabeth wears a pendant with a symbol of a bird, or a symbol of a birdcage. Despite the choice itself being completely meaningless, and the game ultimately depicting it as such, there were quite a few arguments between fans over which pendant was the "correct" one.
  • Moe: She's definitely less helpless than other examples, but Elizabeth's appearance and personality more or less fits this trope.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Daisy Fitzroy crosses this when she puts a gun to a young child's head and prepares to kill him. Fortunately, she is killed by Elizabeth before it can happen. This is then subverted by Burial at Sea, which reveals that she was pulling a Thanatos Gambit in order to give Elizabeth a greater resolve. She was never going to kill the child, and was initially very offended by the plan when she heard it from the Luteces.
    • In an odd way, for Comstock he crossed it by accepting the baptism. It was the moment where he lost Booker’s ability to take responsibility for his actions and started seeing himself a man who could do no wrong leading to several atrocities.
    • Several players have said they felt a lot less bad about taking Columbia down when they found out what the raffle was for.
    • Booker selling Anna to Comstock is a completely subverted/averted example. Were it any other character selling his or her child to pay off his or her gambling debt, this would certainly qualify as an example. However, Booker never knew who was going to take his daughter and he immediately regrets doing this once the transaction was finalized, and likely considers it a Moral Event Horizon for himself and is thus filled with even more self-loathing. Given his ill-fated attempts to get his daughter back and the depression that came as a result of this horrible event, one ends up feeling more sorry for Booker than feel revolted. It's even lampshaded a little:
      Rosalind: To your credit, you did try to weasel out of the deal.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: The triple klaxon of an airship that's about to crash after you've destroyed it.
  • Narm:
    • When Elizabeth realizes Booker is trying to take her to New York instead of Paris, she starts sobbing. Appropriate, as he's been deceiving her the whole time. However, it's rather badly voice acted and sounds like intentionally comical Crocodile Tears. It's a forgivable offense, as the rest of her voice acting is incredibly nuanced, but that does kind of make this scene stick out like a sore thumb. Possibly Stylistic Suck, if one goes with the interpretation that she's deliberately faking the crying in order to catch Booker off-guard. Which she does.
    • In the middle of the drama created by the appearance of The Siren, Booker asks Elizabeth an unintentionally funny question: "Elizabeth, why is your mother a ghost?"
    • Some of the Heavy Hitters' voice lines are unintentionally hilarious:
      Fireman: I AM HOT!
      Handyman: I want to SLEEP!
      Founder Motorized Patriot: WE ARE THE SAVED!
    • In Burial at Sea: Episode 2, a lot of characters (especially Vox) also have ridiculous lines pronounced silly ways
      Female Vox: I can smell ya. You're a-feared a-me
      Vox (upon death): DEATH TO PIGGIES
  • No Yay: You know, Booker and Elizabeth have a pretty cute dynamic. I'd bet they'd make a... oh. He's her biological father. Better toss that out the window, then.
  • Older Than They Think: "Will the Circle be Unbroken," considered by many to be an Award-Bait Song, is an actual gospel number originating from sometime around the early 1900's, and was incorporated by rockabilly legend Carl Perkins into his iconic gospel song "Daddy Sang Bass" in the late 1960s, first made popular by Johnny Cash. The lyrics are adapted for the game's plot, though.
  • Paranoia Fuel: The 'Columbia: A Modern Day Icarus?' trailer is not only dripping with this itself (it's done in the style of those really cheap yet really creepy 1970s/1980s educational/conspiracy theory programs), but it suggests that Columbia became this for the world in-universe — even decades later, aside from a few hints and fragments that literally fell out of the sky (including part of a building that landed somewhere in the Alps) no one seems to know precisely what the hell went wrong, where the hell Columbia went and whether or not it's still lurking around up there somewhere... Then there's the alternate timeline where Columbia bombs New York, so the very people who watch that show get to witness first hand the horror those people wished onto "Sodom".
  • Play the Game, Skip the Story: Played straight in the DLC Clash in the Clouds, where there is no plot other than "survive, complete challenges, unlock trophies and concept art". The main game, however, is the opposite of this trope.
  • Player Punch:
    • Comstock House. The very creepy and distorted music, tears of Elizabeth screaming her guts out as she's mutilated until she's a shell of herself, the old recordings of Elizabeth bitterly accepting her new role as Comstock's successor. And then, to cap it off, seeing an old evil version of herself destroying the world. If you didn't hate Comstock earlier, you will now.
    • The ending. Elizabeth is your daughter and you're an alternate universe version of the game's Big Bad. Then you get drowned by multiple Elizabeths until one by one, they fade away from existence.
    • In Burial at Sea, turns out you're playing as Comstock, not Booker, who accidentally got a version of Elizabeth killed. The Elizabeth you've been hanging out with (as well as the Lutece Twins) chastize you, then you die.
    • In Episode 2 of Burial at Sea, Elizabeth's death at the hands of Atlas. Despite the Go Out with a Smile knowing that she'd set in motion the events that would bring Jack to Rapture and lead to Atlas' defeat and the freeing of the Little Sisters, this still comes across as a particularly bittersweet ending.
  • Retroactive Recognition: So apparently Jasper is the leader of the Vox Populi.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Or in this case rooting for La Résistance. Considering how evil the Founders as a whole are, a lot of players will end up rooting for the Vox Populi in their violent rebellion. The fact that the game's narrative paints the Vox as being nearly equal to the Founders in terms of villainy is often one of the biggest criticisms and points of contention about the story.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • This game removes the ability to save anywhere except predesignated checkpoints. While this does prevent save scumming and avert Death Is a Slap on the Wrist, it means you can't easily replay past chapters you've already completed.
    • Being forced to adhere to a two-weapon limit. This means that you won't be as tactically flexible in fights as you were in the first two games. Also, this means you're constantly forced to swap out weapons because the enemies you encounter always seem to be using weapons different from the ones you have equipped. It also doesn't help that you're pretty much forced to dedicate one of your weapon slots to a heavy weapon in case you run against an elite enemy like a Handyman or Motorized Patriot.
    • After spending most of the game using the Founder weaponry, and upgrading it as need be for your use, the late game throws the whole Vox Populi attempting to kill you swerve and subsequently the Vox weapons become far more common until there's effectively nothing but Vox weapons. Not only do you have to deal with their Awesome, but Impractical designs that usually are just not as good nor consistent as the weapons you'd been using up to this point, but you have to upgrade them separately. Considering there's not much opportunity to gather masses of cash again or that many upgrade opportunities, this turns the end game combat into an absolute slog.
    • You can't carry health kits anymore, having instead to rely on a regenerating shield and health items in the field.
    • The total absence of hacking. The first two games let you dial down prices at vending machines and create allies out of sentries. In this game, Possession has taken over the effect of hacking, except it costs salts to use and it isn't permanent for sentries (or even effective on anything bigger than a turret), nor does it turn down prices (you get a bit of free cash, instead). As a result, you pretty much have to destroy most every turret you come across, and they are a lot tougher than the ones in the previous games ever were.
    • It's telling that some of the main gameplay improvements in Burial at Sea was bringing back features that were removed from the original game, including being able to carry all weapons at the same time, and replacing the regenerating shield with the ability to carry up to 5 health kits in the second episode of the DLC.
  • Scrappy Weapon:
    • Most of the Vox weapons are Awesome, but Impractical in different ways, but there's next to nothing to recommend about the Burst Rifle. It shoots a three round burst with every trigger pull, but splits roughly the same level of damage between all three shots. Combine that with heavy recoil, an extremely crude sighting system (literally just a lens with an X on it) and a delay between each burst which limits its close-quarter usage and it manages to be just as much a Jack of All Stats as the Carbine, but with none of its good qualities.
    • The Repeater, a variant of the Machinegun, has a lot to recommend on paper. It's more powerful and shoots slower than the standard version, in theory ideal for longer ranges. But in practice, its accuracy is worse than even an un-upgraded Machinegun, which can still make hits at medium-to-long range thanks to the rate of fire. That plus heavier recoil of the Repeater makes it ironically better at close range, and even then it's only equal, not better. These two Vox weapons get a bit of scorn in the chapter they're introduced in, as for a long time you will be finding ammo for these weapons, but nary a moment to actually use them until you start crossing between dimensions and have one or two of these weapons suddenly available. In the meantime, if you're one to look in every nook and cranny for supplies or money, you'll cap out on these ammo types fast.
  • Ship Sinking: There are numerous moments between Booker and Elizabeth that either hint at possible romance between them and even UST (one reason why there is so much Rule 34 featuring them). However, any possible shipping is well and truly sunk when it's gradually implied, and ultimately confirmed that Elizabeth is Booker's daughter.
  • Special Effect Failure: The tobacco on the back wall of Robertson's Tobaccoria stand on High Street in Burial at Sea Episode 1 is clearly just a flat texture.
  • Spiritual Licensee: Some have noted that game plays out at times like a dark Disney movie, which isn't helped by Elizabeth channeling Belle and Rapunzel as well as just about every other Disney princess ever.
  • Squick:
    • In Monument Island, you can see a bloodied piece of cloth in a bell jar labelled as "Age 13: Menarche". Yup, that's right: the scientists saved Elizabeth's first period. In the same area, you can also see pictures of Elizabeth developing in a dark room, one of which is clearly of her naked, while changing. These pictures, let us be clear, presumably being taken under the instruction of her father. There's probably a reason Booker never told her of this...
    • And of course, as explained above, the reaction of people who saw romantic tones in Booker and Elizabeth's relationship after finding out they are actually father and daughter.
  • That One Achievement: Some of the achievements are rather difficult to get.
    • The "Heartbreaker" achievement, which involves killing a Handyman by only shooting (and hitting) him in the heart. However, it's easier by exploiting the above Good Bag Bug.
    • "Auld Lang Syne", where you complete 1999 Mode.
    • The achievement "Scavenger Hunt". To get this one, you must not purchase anything from a Dollar Bill vending machine while playing the game on 1999 Mode. Easy when it comes to ammo. Hard when it comes to health and salts.
    • None of these hold a candle to "Blue Ribbon Champ", where you must complete every single Blue Ribbon Challenge in Clash in the Clouds. Not only is there no indication of which challenges you completed other than the ribbon display on each level portrait, you'll never be able to go back and redo a wave if you ever screwed up without starting the entire level all over again. And it doesn't help that most of the challenges can be ruined by your enemies rather than you, such as when you must kill each enemy with a certain weapon/vigor/order, only to have it ruined when one guy falls off the map. Challenges are also rendered as failed if Booker is killed, even if Booker's death doesn't actually violate the condition of the challenge.
  • That One Boss: Lady Comstock, the Siren fight. Recycled two more times after the first initial boss fight. Her undead mooks are almost infinite (yet almost none of them drop ammo) and she can drop your shields and a large chunk of health every time she gets near you. Plus she leaves you absolutely nothing when you win. Not to mention that the two game-breaking Gears are useless - Winter Shield can't be activated due to the lack of Sky lines or Sky Hooks, and the mooks keep respawning without any food due to you having already used it. Also qualifies as a Goddamned Boss since she flies all around the arena and is hard to actually target. It helps to remember that she needs a body to resurrect, so the Shock Jockey can vape her goons at a high salt cost, but that's still a lot of goons to vape. It should also be noted that while this does work, it isn't foolproof and you will catch her reviving piles of ash occasionally. An alternate method is to use Undertow to move the bodies somewhere she can't get to them.
  • That One Level:
    • The Good Time Club "interview". Three waves of heavily armed enemies, a demonic spider in each wave, and absolutely terrible cover.
    • The final mission, to some. While it lets you order the Songbird around and fight wave after wave of Vox Populi, the fact it's the closest thing to an actual Escort Mission in the game makes it annoying to many players, exacerbated by the fact that the stage is large enough that a single enemy might be off somewhere that you overlooked chipping at your ship's health while you deal with Motorized Patriots with whatever weapons you still have ammo for. What's even worse is that unlike all of the game's other set piece battles, this is the ONLY one where you don't have access to vending machines, so any money you stockpiled up to that point is essentially useless. You're forced to scavenge weapons and ammo from whatever you can find on them or from what enemies drop.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Despite being introduced as a major threat early on, Songbird is absent for vast swathes of the game, only to show up at the end as The Unfought, while having very little direct bearing on the plot.
    • The Vox Populi as a whole. Daisy Fitzroy's little more than a bloodthirsty monster who's a relatively small obstacle story-wise(at least outside of Burial at Sea Episode 2, and even then her scene is little more than a cameo), and the previews promised more glimpses at the Vox Populi. Instead, we get a palette swap of the Columbian forces.
    • Saltonstall is the crazed politician from the 2010 gameplay preview. He's almost completely absent from the final game, with him "appearing" as a scalp Booker finds nailed to a board by the Vox.
    • The Handymen are monstrous mechanical giants, but it's explicitly stated that they were victims of industrial accidents in Columbia whose only hope at survival was being grafted into their suits. In other words, along with Songbird they're basically Columbia's answer to Rapture's Big Daddies, the iconic sympathetic monsters whose presence underpinned much of the moral narrative in the first two games. Yet you only fight a couple at scripted moments, with very little reflection on how and why they became the way they are, and they disappear altogether long before the endgame.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • This is more of a case of a story having too many good ideas. The idea of a class war in a whacked-out flying American Utopia takes a back seat to all the quantum shenanigans and interesting characters like Daisy Fitzroy and Jeremiah Fink are constantly pushed to the side of the narrative.
    • A great deal of the main game could count towards this, actually. There are several reality jumps wherein situations you've caused or even affected are completely unrelated to each other, so the plot turns less into Booker and Elizabeth completing tasks to work their way forward and more of them conveniently stumbling upon the correct rift that furthers them along. The most glaring time this happens is the very first, wherein Booker must deliver a shipment of weapons to the Vox Populi, but after using one of Elizabeth's rifts with the intent to do so, this goal is completely abandoned since the new reality the pair steps into just doesn't need it anymore. It's almost on the level of Deus ex Machina since it implies that nothing Booker and Elizabeth do matters when they can just wander forward and find a new rift if they get stuck at any point.
  • Unintentional Uncanny Valley:
    • Elizabeth's big eyes and small waist make her look almost doll-like in comparison with the more realistic NPCs, and her body animation is occasionally less than great. Moreover, Elizabeth will sometimes get stuck or lag behind you, which can lead to situations where you try looking for her behind you, only to turn around and find that she's been teleported right in front of you. Penny Arcade notes how disconcerting it is commit horrifying acts of violence in front of Elizabeth, who looks exactly like Belle from Disney's Beauty and the Beast.
    • A poster early in the game warning of the False Shepherd depicts the Lamb's face as a bit... too human.
  • Unconventional Learning Experience: Never heard of the Boxer Rebellion? How about the "Battle" of Wounded Knee? Perhaps the heavy slant towards quantum mechanics has inspired you to look into reading some books on physics? Whether historical or philosophical, Infinite certainly has its fair share of elements that will drive most players to Wikipedia and inevitably end with unintentional enlightenment.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: As stated above, Daisy Fitzroy and the rest of the Vox Populi. While the story certainly tries to make her out as just as bad as Comstock and the other Founders, a lot of players find this an incredibly difficult-to-swallow false equivalence considering that a) her own sympathetic backstory and the plight of the lower classes in Columbia's deeply racist and reactionary society are both firmly established while the Founders have next to no redeeming qualities, b) her crossing of the Moral Event Horizon (wanting to shoot an industrialist's prepubescent son in the head) is rather ham-fisted and has the subtlety of a speeding big rig, and c) her end-goal (killing the Founders) isn't really much different from what the player/Booker ends up shooting for anyway.
  • The Un-Twist
    • The incredible amount of Foreshadowing and Tempting Fate moments in the game in regards to Comstock being an alternate version of Booker is a double-edged sword; while it does make a second playthrough full of Fridge Brilliance, it also allows a sufficiently skilled player to realize this before they manage to pick up a gun.
    • We never find out who or what the Songbird originally was.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?:
    • The game takes on themes such as American Exceptionalism, as well as the racism and xenophobia of the late-19th and early 20th century America. Ken Levine, however, denies claims that the game is a thinly-veiled parody of the Tea Parties and Occupy movements.
    • However, some previews showed that the Vox Populi (which have the exact opposite ideology as the city's rulers) are just as bad, so it's more of a Take That! at political extremism in general. Bottom line is that Levine dislikes extremism in any context. Populism, Objectivism, Nationalism, Fundamentalism, etc. The game was later changed to give Comstock more nuance, incorporating the idea of forgiveness into his motivation and backstory... Which is mitigated anyways when one realizes that Booker and Elizabeth seem to be somewhat religious (Booker yells "JESUS" when the nun burns herself alive and Elizabeth indirectly stated to believe in God multiple times.)
    • Quite a few people see the game as a commentary on Mormonism. See here, here, here, and here for starters.
  • The Woobie:
    • Booker and Elizabeth. It's hard not to feel sorry for Elizabeth, given she's been locked up her entire life and has no social contact besides the giant cyborg bird man thing that keeps her caged and possibly the scientists who study her. Booker's a man with a lot of regrets in his life, but doesn't see himself as worth redemption; he sometimes takes the attitude that he'll do bad things to stop good people from doing them.
      Booker: I'm not going to let you kill [Comstock]
      Elizabeth: Really, Booker? [summons a tornado] What are you going to do to stop me?
      Booker: Not a damn thing. Because I'm gonna do it for you.
    • Oddly, the Handymen are as well. An audio log reveals that they are the sick and infirm stripped of everything other than their vital organs and heads and placed in awkward, metal bodies. At the start, you can see one cowering in front of a crowd and cameramen, desperately trying to cover his face. Then you encounter them, and often beg for you to just go away. They may be Demonic Spiders, sure, but it isn't hard to feel a little sorry for them. Then there's the audio logs of the wife of a Handyman. You find him dead next to cheerful Vox members. Then you go to the future where there's a wanted poster for a Handyman. His crime? Pacifism.
    • The revelation of Daisy Fitzroy's Hidden Depths in Burial at Sea DLC more than qualify as one. The idea that she unselfishly damaged her own reputation and died as a villain solely to motivate Elizabeth to fulfill her destiny and nobody mourns or realizes who she was, especially considering how horrible her life was already makes her a really tragic figure.

    Burial at Sea 
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Was that universe's Booker/Comstock genuinely regretful on what he did or was he just a Dirty Coward? The latter interpretation is what got him killed in the first place, in the hands of a vengeful Elizabeth.
    • The Luteces persuade Fitzroy to pretend she wants to kill Fink's son. Her defenders argue that this means she wasn't so bad. Her detractors argue that she was clearly responsible for the deaths of everyone the Vox went after, and her own men that she sent after Booker. She also still murdered Fink in cold blood (although with his status as an Asshole Victim, nobody actually mourns him both in and out-of-universe).
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • Daisy Fitzroy attempting to kill a child, but being killed by Elizabeth before she could was received poorly, but Burial at Sea revealed she only did it at the behest of the Luteces, and initially refused to for the same reasons her fans claimed she wouldn't, that the child wasn't to blame for his father, Fink's, actions. It turns it into one big Batman Gambit, because the Luteces knew what Elizabeth's reaction would be. Of course, this still does absolutely nothing to absolve her of the vast majority of her crimes, namely responsibility for all the clearly-depicted massacres of civilians during the alternate universe uprising, including some who were tortured to death and had their body parts (e.g. scalps) strewn about the city as messages.
    • Daisy Fitzroy having no relevance to the multiverse plot in the base game also didn't go unnoticed, but Burial at Sea also revealed that she did interact with the Luteces all along.
  • Awesome Music: Why Can't I Have a Slice of That Pie?, a blues song sung by one of Atlas' Mooks.
  • Broken Base: For the ending of Burial at Sea Episode 2, there seem to be two camps. Those who feel it was a fulfilling ending that wrapped up the series as a whole, and those who are angered by it suddenly making BioShock's protagonist Jack the centre of the universe and reducing Elizabeth, one of the series' most powerful characters, to an accessory to his success, by the way of having her undergo a gratuitously violent and rather needless sacrifice. There's also another, tangential camp who view the Jack/Elizabeth interaction from a completely flipped viewpoint, but with equal dislike: with her sacrifice Elizabeth effectively becomes the "true" saviour of Rapture and thus protagonist of the whole franchise; meaning that Jack's heroic efforts to break free of his conditioning and choose for himself in (determinantly) saving the Little Sisters was much less meaningful than it seemed in the first game, since it couldn't have happened without Elizabeth's intervention to begin with. Some in the latter camp(s) even argue that the ending taints the original BioShock's theme of Utopias always turning rotten and corrupt before finally collapsing in on themselves due to fundamental human errors in their inhabitants, by making Elizabeth, a outside force, having a direct and significant hand in Rapture's fall. Therefore making Andrew Ryan's argument absolutely right.
  • Complete Monster: Frank Fontaine under the guise of Atlas and Dr. Yi Suchong. See BioShock.
  • Continuity Lock-Out: Although marketed as an add-on to Infinite, Burial at Sea also assumes that the player has completed and is familiar with the plot and characters of the original Bioshock. A recap trailer is provided with Episode 2, but is of little help; if you haven't played the earlier game, many characters and plot references, especially in Episode 2, will make little sense. And in particular the ending of the game itself will make no sense at all unless you have played the first game. Ironically, there is actually less of a continuity lock-out for anyone playing this game before playing Infinite (beyond a few references and knowing the relationship between Elizabeth and Booker helps).
  • Demonic Spiders: Episode 2 has Ryan's Houdini Splicers, which have the same powers as a Houdini Splicer plus the area explosion ability of Firemen. They will use the latter if they are alerted to your presence, even if you're using Peeping Tom to hide from them, making them the only enemy in the game that can hurt you in that state. They also teleport constantly, which makes getting a Back Stab on them a matter of luck, since they need to teleport close enough to get hit by it. To a lesser extent, the metal-masked Vox in the Columbia section are immune to the Back Stab. It's a very rude awakening if you happened to look away when it flashed up the warning about it rather than stopping the game to give it as it had been doing.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: The "Bread Boy" from Elizabeth's Parisian dream at the start of Episode 2 — an NPC inexplicably dancing around a noticeboard pillar with a baguette — became one of these to BioShock fans. He received a minor resurgence years later after the ridiculous dev story of how he came to be came forth.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • Possession is even more useful this time around. The single upgrade for it cuts the cost to 50% of normal, and there are less enemies around so the possessed enemy can usually take out at least one other opponent before dying. The only drawback is that Possession no longer comes with Psychic-Assisted Suicide until Episode 2, which uses a non-lethal variant.
    • In Episode 1, one melee gear increases your melee range and attack power, but drains 20% of your shield on a successful hit. Another gives you health for killing or executing Splicers with melee. Combine these two and you will never die. So long as you execute every Splicer and avoid getting flanked, your health will stay full constantly.
    • The Radar Range, a portable microwave oven in the form of a giant ray gun. Intensely powerful on its own, with very cheap ammo - but factor in the upgrades for stopping power and increased damage, plus the fact that focusing on enemies for more than a second turns them into super-heated proximity bombs that wipe out whole crowds of Splicers, and suddenly it's the most valuable weapon in Rapture. In Episode 2, it also has the distinction of being the only weapon that doesn't get its ammo capacity and magazine nerfed.
    • The Peeping Tom plasmid in Episode 2 allows you to see through walls and turn invisible, and can be upgraded so both of these actions cost no EVE as long as you're standing still. It is literally the only plasmid you need to beat the entire game. Even better, nobody will notice or care that you've vanished right in front of them, so it's entirely possible to knock someone out in plain sight, turn invisible, smack the next one that inevitably goes to where you're standing, and repeat.
    • The Iron Sides Vigor in Episode 2. On its own it's a non-aggressive Return to Sender, which instead of tossing back a projectile at enemies it refills ammo supply, and when upgraded, can refill Health and Eve as well. Since Radar Range ammo is incredibly hard to find in Episode 2, it gets limited use until one realizes that when equipping the Radar Range with Iron Sides active it refills Radar Range cells! Standing in front of an enemy turret with Iron Sides active makes this even easier!
  • It's Short, So It Sucks!: The general reception towards the DLC Burial at Sea: Episode One is that it is very well done. However, it has received poor reviews from video game journalists due to its price-to-hours ratio. Because of this, part of the selling point for Episode Two was subsequently that it was a longer game.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Atlas/Frank Fontaine in Burial at Sea: Part 2 has many potential examples, but especially notable was his genuine threat to lobotomise Sally to get Elizabeth to talk and beating Elizabeth with a wrench when she handed him the Ace, causing her death. And when he did the latter, he didn't kill her. Elizabeth being still alive near the ending implied that he deliberately beat her senseless then left her to suffer a horrible and extremely painful death.
  • Narm:
    • At the end of Episode One, during the flashback when Comstock is trying to steal Anna away from Booker, the scene is very dramatic, with the Luteces and Elizabeth trying to make him stop. However, the goofy expression on Booker's face, like he's on drugs or drunk, is pretty funny. Made funnier when you consider that Booker is canonically The Alcoholic, so he very well could have been drunk.
    • Similarly, the brief flashes we see of Bookerstock peering into the baptismal font, or nonchalantly shaving his beard.
  • Sequel Difficulty Spike: In Episode 1, ammo and money are harder to find, upgrades are fewer, and the shield is much less effective than in the main campaign. However, prices have been reduced accordingly, the Hyperspace Arsenal is back, and Possession is a whole lot more useful. Episode 2 is even worse, as Elizabeth is weaker and has fewer weapons than Booker, but this is balanced out by her being a lot better at stealth than him.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Despite being the driving motivation for both Booker and Elizabeth in both parts of Burial at Sea, Sally is never given any characterization and, especially in Burial at Sea Episode 2, there's very little reason for players to actually care about her.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Episode 2 promised us the chance to play as Elizabeth...but rather than the Elizabeth of the main game, a quantum powered Physical God who can shuffle reality around her and so provide interesting unique gameplay, we have an Elizabeth Brought Down to Normal with some stealth options but nothing very different from Booker or Jack.
    • Episode 2 followed on from the reveal that Booker was actually a Comstock, leaving players with questions about how he could still have existed after the ending of Infinite seemingly wiped out all possible Comstock timelines. It is never explored in the second episode, nor does it explain how Columbia is also still around.
  • Unexpected Character:
    • The Luteces appear at the end of Episode One with absolutely no foreshadowing.
    • The Reveal that the Player Character in Episode One was actually Comstock rather than Booker shocked many fans who believed Comstock no longer existed after the events of the main game.
    • Daisy Fitzroy's appearance in Episode Two caught plenty of players off-guard.
    • The return to Columbia was a bit of a surprise too, at least to those who didn't read the achievement descriptions ahead of time.