"If you're used to insipid boomfests like Halo then BioShock will seem like the shit, but if you're a long-time PC gamer spoiled by more complex FPS-RPGs then you're in for a kick in the balls." -- Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw.
Yahtzee's review of BioShock basically sums up my thoughts on the original game. Like everyone else at the time, I bought into the hype and bought BioShock for $50 on launch day -- a decision I quickly regretted once I discovered it came boxed with crippling DRM. The actual gameplay did little to assuage my disappointment at the technical problems as I grew increasingly frustrated with its excessively contrived sidetracking, unrewarding exploration, and binary morality system. Looking back, the first BioShock may in fact have been the catalyst that led to my current state of jaded cynicism whenever it comes to massively hyped mainstream games.
Going into BioShock Infinite, I was hopeful that the gameplay would at least be an improvement over the original, but I was still fully prepared for it not to live up to its hype. I had the distinct feeling in my gut that it would be another case of "all flair, no substance," and I probably never would have bothered playing it if not for PlayStation Plus putting it into their lineup of free games. Fortunately, many of the things that actively bothered me in the original have been improved or removed. Unfortunately, what we're left with in Infinite is a game that's been so streamlined as to cut out any form of meaningful interaction, while the game stubbornly insists on being something it probably shouldn't have been in the first place.