“Do you ever get used to it? …The killing?”
This is our list of the top 25 female characters of all-time.We’re counting down one by one until we reach the best of the best on Sept. 30.
19) Elizabeth (BioShock Infinite) – 4 votes/113 points
Chris: Before getting the chance to play Infinite, I wasn’t sure whether or not I’d like the idea of having a companion in a BioShock game. The first two entries in the series featured solitary experiences, with only a handful of other characters and some recorded messages to keep you company. That was part of the ambiance, the charm.
In Infinite, Elizabeth was the only reason I kept playing.
It’s not that Booker wasn’t interesting, although it was a little troubling to hear Troy Baker play a role with so little emotion. But his interactions with Elizabeth as she took in the world around her? That’s where it was at. Even if it really only served as a game mechanic, the idea of having someone around to toss me some ammunition or a few spare coins kept me engaged. It was artificial, but it still felt like camaraderie between the two.
We could delve into the actual relationship these two characters share or talk about the game’s convoluted ending, but that has very little impact to me compared to the experience in the hours before that. Elizabeth was a breath of fresh air in a dreary world.
Shaun: You know how the Legend of Zelda is really about Link? Well, BioShock Infinite is really about Elizabeth.
And not just because you care about her more than Booker. Because you do. She’s sweet, sympathetic, and dynamic, but also a demi-god who can cut through space/time.
It’s also because everything you witness in the game sheds more light on her. Through Booker’s eyes, you actually experience her life, and all the pain and strife and struggle embedded in it. When I say life, I mean LITERALLY her entire life. And when I say strife….I’m not hyperbolizing that either…
Being funny and witty and charming is always a great character trait. But being all those things after experiencing what Elizabeth has is god damn impressive. She’s mindful of the pain, but also chooses to be as positive and strong-willed as possible. It’s a trait that’s truly admirable, and was the thing for me that makes her so memorable.
Joseph: Thank you, Gaming Gods, for finally giving us an escort mission that wasn’t completely terrible. We’ve all been protecting the NPCs of the world when, for whatever reason, they beeline it toward the zombies/soldiers/whatever it is you are trying to avoid. Or they clip on something and can’t move, making you go back to your last save. Or they disappear entirely.
Elizabeth broke the mold. At no point did she get in my way or put herself in unnecessary harm. Instead, she spent her time finding items you might need or being incredibly useful in fights. And that’s just her character mechanics. Her story delves much deeper and is laced with tragedy, despair and hope. When the next BioShock comes out, I hope they keep a version of her in the game. If we go back to Rapture, there should be plenty of Little Sisters to take her place.
Jason: So, here’s my thing with Elizabeth. I love her, I do, but her character is a mess. Not her character personally, because she’s adorable and strong willed and opinionated in all the best ways possible; but everything else that goes on around her. Don’t get me wrong, I still get feels right in the chest thinking about her. But those feels come from a place of sadness at her inability to really have any control over her own fate.
Elizabeth is a pawn. She cannot escape being pushed and pulled by the forces around her until she eventually breaks and is forced to make sacrifices to fix everything. These aren’t sacrifices she wants to make or even really chooses to make, but sacrifices she HAS to make. She isn’t a strong character because of anything she’s really chosen to do herself, but because of the things that are forced upon her. To me, that’s a bit of a cheat. And is one of the reasons I didn’t put her on my list.
Even from a gameplay perspective Elizabeth is lacking. She has TONS of personality, but is still forced to follow the player around (invincible, mind you, because no one likes dead weight) and do nothing but toss you health potions, find you ammo and pick locks for you. About the only thing she does on her own is solve riddles that the player is too dumb to figure out, and those are completely optional. Elizabeth’s only saving grace? The Burial at Sea DLC that lets you play as her. If Bioshock Infinite was THAT game the whole time, she’s be at the top of my list. As it stands, however, Elizabeth will forever be a tragic pawn of fate unable to escape the sins that those before her have committed. Her fate has already been sealed, and not of her own volition.