Bioshock Infinite

BioShock Infinite is the latest release from Irrational Games, the third game in their BioShock label, which is the latest label in their “Shock” label.  Irrational Games had previously worked on BioShock, but not BioShock 2.  (this inverts their earlier work on “System Shock 2”, but not “System Shock”)

BioShock Infinite has been getting a lot of press for its visuals, its methods of storytelling, and its character interactions.  No one, however, has discussed that one other critical aspect of any game:  its loading screens.

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The game’s standard loading screen depicts a static backdrop, with the name of the location being travelled to at the top, and a small text note underneath.  According to our objective loading screen scoring metrics, a static, representational background image gives the loading screen a base score of two points.  The text at the bottom of the screen is generally not particularly interesting, except (as in this case) where it’s spoiling the game’s own plot by revealing details which had not yet been revealed within the game — so no bonus points are awarded for it.  Long-time readers and loading screen aficionados will no doubt also have noticed the “Loading” text (0.5 penalty points) and the symbol beside it, which is a loading spinner (1 penalty point).

But this isn’t the game’s only loading screen.  There’s another one as well, which perhaps gets less notice, but which we need to take into account for the final score.

The game also has this loading screen:

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I refer to this as the “Load screen load screen”.  That is, it’s the loading screen that’s displayed while the game loads the loading screen.  As you can see, it’s very similar to the regular loading screen (2 base points for the static image), except that it’s missing the text caption.  And it has an extra “Loading” text in the top right (1 penalty point in total for two instances of “Loading”), and an extra load spinner also in the top right (2 penalty points in total for two loading spinners).

“Travelling” Load Screen

  • Static image background: 2 base points.
  • “Loading” text on screen: 0.5 penalty points.
  • Load spinner: 1 penalty point.

Rating: ½☆☆☆☆

“Load Screen” Load Screen

  • Static image background: 2 base points.
  • “Loading” text on screen (two instances): 1.0 penalty points.
  • Load spinner (two instances): 2 penalty points.

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ (capped at zero)

Overall Rating: ½☆☆☆☆