The Infinite Question – Does a Game’s Story Outweigh the Mechanics?

I just beat Bioshock Infinite. Literally just beat it. My fingers are flying as I type this, way too late on a school night. But I just can’t help it. Bioshock Infinite. Wow. But as I digest what I just experienced, a question popped in my head; “Does that story make up for the questionable mechanics?”. Well does it? Shortly Bioshock Infinite’s release, to me, it seemed reviewers were looking for something wrong, in what I had heard was a perfect game. I bought Infinite on launch, but was away from my PlayStation, on vacation, so I started a week behind everyone else. This gave me the opportunity to take in critic’s and friend’s (when you think about it, they’re both one and the same) opinions and compare them to my experience. Another benefit I had coming into Infinite was that for all of my gaming years I had avoid first person shooters. Sure I had played them with friends, but I could solemnly say I had never purchased, played, or beaten a FPS for myself. I always found them disorienting and difficult. That all changed with Far Cry 3 last year. With no real knowledge on what are good and bad first person shooter mechanics and the slew of critiques on Bioshock Infinite, I wasn’t sure if what I was playing (mechanically speaking) was a masterpiece or something in need of improvement. Sure, some things bothered me, like some disorientation or poor lighting, but don’t all first person shooters suffer from that? Isn’t that the “norm”?

So my question is this- Does a game’s story outweigh the game’s mechanics? Can something so well written and executed trump a poor technical decision? It may not even be the plot, but the graphics or the replay value. Are the mechanics the straw to break the camel’s back? After what I just played, story tumps mechanics, hands down. But that is an isolated situation and, like I said before, I am no FPS master. So what do you think? Share your thoughts with me below in the comments section. I wanna hear your reasons and why. Should Columbia be praised to the heavens? Or shot down by it’s own shortcomings?