Bioshock Infinite – PlayStation 3
Platform: PlayStation 3
Developer: Irrational Games
Publisher: 2K Games
Release Date (NA): March 26th, 2012
Nerd Rating: 9.5 out of 10
Bioshock Infinite is one of those games when you think “This is as close to perfect as a game can ever get.” An amazingly written, beautifully designed game, that has few downfalls. We play the game from the perspective of Booker DeWitt, a private detective, who accepts a job from the Lutece twins, to “Bring us the girl, and wipe away the debt.” In order for him to do this, he is dropped of at a lighthouse and left to his own devices, with nothing but a picture of the girl, a gun, and a card with a code on it…
Booker finds what he was looking for in the lighthouse, a chair inside a glass dome, with three bells on the door, and rings them in the order listed on the card, and sits down. Suddenly, the chair straps Booker in, the dome gives way to a metal outer shell, and the whole contraption shoots off, straight up in the air. The machine takes over counting up the altitude. “5,000 feet, 10,000 feet, 15,000 feet…”
The rocket bursts through the cloud-line, and then Columbia is revealed, in all it’s glory, as the mechanical voice calls out “Hallelujah”. A whole floating city is laid out before us, and it is one of those truly “wow” moments, when you can’t help but say it out loud. The skyline is dominated by a large golden angel, which the sun glints off, creating a perfect atmosphere, as blimps float about the sky.
The characters are some of the best I have ever seen, you actually feel yourself caring about the characters at an emotional level. You want Booker to be able to clear his debt, you want to see Elizabeth getting out of her tower and going off to explore the world, and you want to kill anything that tries to stop that. Elizabeth has visible personality quirks you would expect from a real person, and due to her being locked in her tower for her whole life, she acts like a child would towards certain things she hasn’t seen before.
She is very naive, trusting things she shouldn’t, and being wary in circumstances which wouldn’t usually warrant it. Elizabeth has a very special ability however, the power to open something called “Tears” in the world. These are rips in the fabric of space and time itself which, when opened, can pull things into their world, or allow them to jump into a different one. This is a key mechanic in the game, which is used very often
It isn’t just the character development which is ground breaking, but the A.I. as well. As we all know, almost every mission that requires you to escort someone is terrible, as your escortee usually put themselves right in the line of fire, and wind up dead. Elizabeth is different though. She not only doesn’t get into trouble near as often as others, but actually helps you solve it! More times than not, Elizabeth has thrown me healing items, guns, ammo or opened tears to give me tonnes of great stuff. Turrets, sniper posts, everything.
Infinite also has an amazing environment, and as such, is a game that needs to be played slowly. It took me around 20 hours, even on the easiest setting, because I wanted to see and do everything that the game had to offer, and it was so worth it.
Even during my second playthrough, I was finding things I hadn’t during my first. The use of Vigours (different powers) allow the gameplay to stay fresh, as you can use a certain power for one job, and follow it up with another. Sky rails and hooks also added different ways to play. Your skyhook can be used as an offensive melee weapon, and a powerful mobility tool, allowing you to zoom around the overhead rails, enabling you to dodge enemy fire, as well as giving you a million more places to shoot from.
However, it did score 9.5, so there are one or two areas I believe the game feels lacking in. While the amount and variety of Vigours available are nice, with all of them having very different effects, and some being combinable, the system feels clunky to me. It was difficult to switch between Vigours during a fire fight, and so more often than now, found myself picking two and only using those two, until the plot needed a different one.
The combat also feels very shallow, with little other than shooting, throwing grenades, using Vigours and ducking. My final complaint about this game, is also my most praised point. The Story. Although a work of pure genius, it is very difficult to understand, and after two full playthroughs I still found myself with questions. The main parts of the story, however, are conveyed very well, with major plot twists kept hidden until the perfect moment.
Overall, Bioshock Infinite is an ambitious game which has, in my eyes, raised the bar for games. It has an amazing story, brilliant character design, an extraordinary setting, beautiful visual styles and a hauntingly beautiful soundtrack that will stay with you long after you stop playing. The characters have as much of a connection to you as they do each other, interacting in ways you could see yourself doing.
The map design is great, and each area seems to have many different paths that you can take to reach your goals. For those who want a great game, look no further, as this will impress to no end, just make sure you look at every little detail, as you never know what you might find!
Reviewed by Asmodeus
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