View Full Version : Bioshock Infinite -- Difficulty Balance (and general discussion I guess)

03-28-2013, 01:18 AM
Wrote this for people wondering what difficulty to start with if they get the game.

Bioshock Infinite and Difficulty Balance

The difficulty in Infinite pretty much shit. The game gives you the ability to switch between difficulties on the fly (which is really nice), which let me experiment with a few things. My conclusions are that normal mode is mind-numbingly easy, and hard mode is extremely time-consuming.

I have yet to try the ultra-hard difficulty because I didn't know how to unlock it when I started playing.

So in normal mode, headshots with specific weapons are insta-kills which is nice, because the game has a very urgent pace and so those precious few headshots you make while frantically running around become really valuable. Hard mode ditches this for the most part. It seems headshots do more damage, but the general idea is that you'll have to fire a lot more bullets to take anybody down. Takes too long.

In normal mode, turrets are pushovers. You can kind of just stand there and shoot at them, whereas in hard mode they must be feared. They can bring you from max to low hp in a matter of seconds, and force you to time when they'll stop firing so you can find new cover and hopefully get into position to posses your target.

Boss monsters. I don't know what to call these guys without spoiling anything, but there are harder than normal enemies you face every once in a while. In normal they are decently challenging, mostly because you very rarely face them alone. Like the first Bioshock, you fight lots of enemy waves with these big guys included. In hard mode these guy's are bullet sponges. It takes forever to take them down, even when you're firing at their very obvious weak points. Since most of these fights just sort of happen, you can't really plan out your course of attack like you could with big daddies. In normal, I just ran backwards while shooting, and in hard mode I just found the most effective vigor (psychic power) and spammed it.

In normal mode, health and salt is fucking everywhere. Hard mode definitely wins out here. Health, salt, and ammo are rare so when your partner throws you an item it really matters.

Also there are enemies who, after you have meleed them, will immediately fire a rocket/grenade at you from point blank range. This means that melee is noneffective against them, which is fine, but because of the armor it takes years to actually kill them with weapons. I've found in normal mode if you just shoot them in the head over and over their helmet will eventually come off so you can kill them. This is actually uncharacteristically boring enemy design because most of the enemies are actually fun to fight.

So I'm playing on normal for now, simply because hard mode fights take too long. Also don't think that just because the difficulty is poorly balanced that the game is bad. The set pieces are very nice, and I always found ample cover. The tear mechanics are pretty neat (although they're more about discovery than actually making any decisions), and of course the powers are rad.

03-28-2013, 12:08 PM
Personally i think the gameplay is a lot better than the first Bioshock.
Like you said, on hard difficulty the level isn't littered with health and mana pick-ups around every corner.

What i do miss however, are the different types of ammo and the ability to carry more than two weapons.
Hell, you had different ammo types in System Shock 1 & 2 which came out long before the Bioshock series.

Speaking of the hardest difficulty, couldn't you unlock it at the start of the game by doing the Konami-code?

03-28-2013, 03:34 PM
Yeah but I didn't find out about it until after I had started.

The only thing I liked better about the gameplay in the original game was planning on how to take on big daddies. Since miniboss encounters are more or less random now its less about strategy and more about adaptation and shitting yourself. Both are viable, but I like planning more.

03-28-2013, 04:47 PM
Games should have more difficulty modes. Like, at least 5.

03-28-2013, 04:51 PM
All you really need is Normal, Heroic, and Legendary-- wait, wrong game.

03-28-2013, 04:54 PM
Eh so playing the rest of the game through normal and now you can't even ohko headshot anymore. What the fuck game. I guess the devs thought difficulty meant turning everyone into HP sponges. My carbine is fully upgraded and still takes me forever to kill dudes. Maybe because they wanted me to use vigors more? If that's the case why make bucking bronco so powerful it's the only one you need?

Also skyline takedown ceases to be a ohko as well, meaning if you use it on certain enemies you'll die for sure, because melee is comically weak. I guess if you have a heater or shotgun you can, but why would you grab one of those during a skyline battle?

04-11-2013, 04:29 PM
Am I the only one who found hard mode super easy?
I haven't (and since I don't actually own the game I may not get to) tried the 1999 mode because I didn't think it was unlockable, but I kinda just walked through hard mode...
The only difficulty I had was ...
The fight with Elizabeth's 'mother' and the fight with the Songbird

and even then it took me two tries.

I don't know ... I felt like I was going through a movie rather than a game trying to kick dirt in your face. Although that wasn't a bad thing. I really enjoyed the game and it's one of my favorites. A game doesn't need to be excessively difficult to be awesome.

I actually found the best *is it tonic..I forget* for me was to be the Crows. Most of the time I just sat in the middle of the road and let the enemies run at me. Then I'd use the cows to stun them / do damage. Since I always usually had a sniper or carbine on me I'd just headshot everyone. The clothing helped a lot with that though, just found the right combination of stuff. Although, the crows kinda killed the mood sometimes. At a certain level of crows, the crows leave eggs on dead bodys which spawn more and more crows. Every time someone would try to ambush me, they'd always run into crows.

For bosses, electricity/fire all the way.

Either way...great game.

04-11-2013, 04:35 PM
Yeah problem with hard mode was just how long it took to kill dudes, not really how difficult it was.

And no a game doesn't need to be super hard to be good, but for me I get stimulation from challenge and without it I need to get it from somewhere else. The only thing really interesting about the game to me were how beautiful the setting is, and the narrative -- and its worth noting the narrative is just okay. I would have preferred a book, but then I'd miss out on how amazing Columbia looked. Movie would have been fine, I guess.