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Bioshock Infinite Review

Bioshock Infinite Review

It’s a rare instance when a game can be both emotionally enthralling as well as highly cerebral. Bioshock Infinite accomplish both with ease and to astounding effect. It’s racial and religious commentary certainly lend themselves as critical themes, but what’s more thought-provoking is the games use of alternate dimensions and how it intertwines into one of the most emotional stories on any medium.

You take the role of Booker DeWitt, a former Pinkerton agent and Wounded Knee veteran, our main character is dealing with a very checkered past. DeWitt now finds himself in debt to the wrong people and the only way he can get out of it is by going to the flying city of Columbia and rescuing a girl named Elizabeth. You don’t much about the girl at first, but you soon find out how important this girl is.

Elizabeth

Bioshock Infinite Review

Elizabeth is able to open doors to alternate dimensions and times. Known as tears, these rips in the fabric of space and time lead to music far from the future, or even view of 1980’s Paris. This power becomes essential to the gameplay as Elizabeth is able to open these tears in a fight. Cover, automatons, ammunition, health and even some of the games heavy hitters can be brought into the world with the press of a button.

While this impressive power is the most helpful thing Elizabeth can do she’s still an excellent companion by providing you with everything else you need in a pinch. When you’re low on health, she will throw you a medkit. Salts for your vigors running low? If she can find them, she’ll throw those to you as well. Just run out of ammo for your favorite weapon? No worries Elizabeth has your back. She may not be the best AI partner in gaming, but she has definitely earned a place amongst the greatest.

Guns Guns and Skyhooks

Bioshock Infinite Review

[pcgamer.com]

Weapons are highly varied, allowing you to choose which weapon fits your play style best. From pistols, shotguns, grenade launchers, RPGs and a nifty revolver called a hand cannon to suit all your weapon needs.  Vigors are equally as impressive. I wouldn’t say they surpass the old plasmids, but they aren’t any worse. If anything they reach the same bar as plasmids with a fire and shock vigors and a Murder of Crows vigor that is similar to the Insect Swarm ability. There are few different abilities from the original, but either way they offer you plenty of ways to use them against your enemies. Much like your guns they can also be upgraded to awesome effect for each one, if you can spare the cash.

The wrench is gone from your arsenal, but is replaced by the far more enjoyable skyhook. This tool is handy in traversing the skyrails around Columbia, but it becomes an incredibly brutal melee weapon. By holding down the melee button next to an enemy at the end of their life you can deal a devastating execution move. When riding the skyrails you can also launch yourself at enemies to deliver a devastating blow to your enemies.

Compared to the bleak and ruined cityscape of Rapture, you come to a fairly healthy Columbia. The variety of buildings and their beautiful rendering make the city look like a true utopia, minus all the racism and religious bigotry going on around you.

The clouds surrounding the city are excellently executed giving you the sense you’re truly up in the clouds and that sun is truly beating down on you as its light bathes the city. NPCs could be a little more varied, but their banter gives the city its life blood and makes your enemies more human than the splicers of Rapture.

The Story

Bioshock Infinite Review[nytimes.com]

While the games political themes draw you in, the inter-dimensional, science fiction theme takes the show.  Without spoiling anything, these inter-dimensional tears give decisions a whole new meaning. Especially with the games mind-boggling ending in particular it actually manages to make all the little choices you made absolutely meaningless and meaningful at the same time.

I’d like to explain it more clearly, but it would require a lot of spoiling and I’d like gamers to find out. The way you bond with Elizabeth over the course of the story, how your choices affect and everything else all culminate into one spectacular moment. 

The only part of the story I didn’t like was the disappointing use of Songbird in the story. He ultimately doesn’t develop and actually makes only minimal and scripted appearances. Finding out more about this mysterious bird and where he comes from would have made this once important side character, interesting. And for how much exploration you can do the end of the game rushes you a long rather quickly forcing me to abandon some areas of and miss out on key recordings.

I also wished there was a better animation when your shield recharges as it tends to block your view sometimes during gun fights. Weapon upgrades could have been more noticeable and effective as well. As the difficulty is raised in fights you barely notice the effects half of the time.

Bioshock Infinite Review:  {rating}

Bioshock Infinite Review

[pcgamer.com]

Bioshock Infinite is filled with brilliance from its story to the gameplay. I’ve never been taken on such a literal roller coaster of emotions and action. After the final moments of the game come and go and the credits roll you’ll still be left wondering what exactly happened. You’ll never look at the world the same way again.

Senior Stiv shoots his way through the sky, desert and snow, stay up to date with his Twitter Feed. Check out his ongoing Borderlands 2 Guide.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. I agree with everything in this article. The one point I call to is your comments on Songbird. I completely agree they did not flesh out the character enough, but I’m thinking it was intentional and they’ll have a DLC entirely focused on who he is and what his whole deal is. They already have stated we’re getting three DLC’s so I suspect the other two we’ll see the Rise of Comstock and perhaps some more background on the elusive Lutuce’s

  2. Just finished this over the weekend! Loved it and can’t wait for the DLC to add more to the storyline. Took me a while to get my head around the end but that’s the most enjoyable part is reading others’ opinions and trying to decipher everything. Great review!

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