Character Profiles: The Evil One (or Why I loved the story behind Bioshock Infinite)

Is it me or are stories for computer games still seen as an unnecessary addition? Perhaps it is down to playing too many games where a plot is not needed.  All you do is kill the bad guys before ending with the big boss where you kill them in a climatic battle.  Good triumphs over evil, end of story.

In Bioshock Infinite the top dog is Father Zachary Hale Comstock.  The first impression is that he is some sort of benevolent demi-god who has singularly guided the community to its current position.  Dig just beyond the surface however and you find that his single-mindedness has been at odds with other people’s opinions.  The phrase ‘absolute power corrupts, absolutely’ comes to mind.  The position he has placed himself in means he ignores their opposition or squashes it.

Civil unrest breaks out across the district and he attempts to use heavy-handed tactics to oppress the population.  All in all, we get the impression that Father Comstock rules with an iron fist.  It is at this point our hero arrives.

Booker DeWitt of the Pinkerton detective agency is sent to rescue a woman who was adopted by Father Comstock.  Where the story gets interesting is just before the end.  I don’t think there were many people who spotted the clue planted very early on (I certainly wasn’t one of them), after all a forced baptism is not the first thing you’d look for.

Like all good stories though, this one made me think.  It made me realise that our paths can change drastically without us noticing.  An infinity of options are out there, yet we take but one which leads us to where we are now.  No one is born purely evil, it is the decisions we make which set us on our journey.  What influences those decisions is a matter for debate.

Father Comstock may have been evil, but he wasn’t always that way.  Remember, behind every character there is a story.

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