Man, Bioshock Infinite was surely one hell of an experience. It was nothing short of a brilliant story, with incredibly written characters of both good and evil affiliations. It was a game that didn’t fear reprisal, and included some themes that you wouldn’t normally find in a first person shooter or video games of any kind for that matter. It tugged at the heartstrings, frightened you and intrigued you every second of gameplay. With favourable combat dynamics, breathtaking visuals and loads and loads to find; Bioshock Infinite is one game you’ll play through again and again.
The main setting of the game is Columbia, a floating city in the sky that has seceded from the United States. I cannot imagine the amount of work that went into creating this setting, but the culmination leads to one of the most stunning locales I’ve ever seen in video game history. From the Comstock Center Rooftops to the Hall of Heroes and leading to the Sea of Doors, you will never tire of the ever changing scenery. Obviously the most intense visuals in the game come when you are hanging from the Skylines in combat, or traveling through different areas. The setting also contains reactive materials such as puddles of water to shock and oil slicks to burn which adds to the already high octane action.
If you like the sights, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the sounds. Surprisingly enough this soundtrack contains recorded versions of songs released in the latter half of the twentieth century. My favourite being “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”, which they have remade into a lovely barbershop along with other hits like “Fortunate Son”, “God Only Knows” and “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”. Along with the edge of your seat combat music, this game couples some interesting covers with an enticing array of music.
Swapping Plasmids out for Vigors, Bioshock Infinite offers some interesting powers to overcome obsticles and dole out punishment to your enemies. Firery “Devil’s Kiss” grenades, a deadly “Murder of Crows” and a bulletproof shield from “Return to Sender” are among the deadly choices you have in the way of ingested abilities. That isn’t all these provide. For extra combat bonuses, some of these vigors can be used in tandem to create some killer combinations. For example, using the Bucking Bronco alongside Devil’s Kiss causes damage to all those you have suspended in the air or shocking a person in a group being attacked by your Murder of Crows causes the crows to shock and stun the enemy. These combos can be very useful in a pinch.
Then there is the story and oh man, what a story it is. You are Booker DeWitt, former Pinketon Employee who has become a man in debt, working as a Private Investigator in New York. Your task is to retrieve a young woman, Elizabeth, from the flying city of Columbia. Along the way, you find clues to her mysterious power, your connection with her and the enigmatic religious leader Comstock, and the lives that you and the people of Columbia lead in different universes.
This game introduced themes and touched upon topics you don’t see within gaming frequently. These include blatant racism against multiple cultures and religion. Even some racial slurs appear in the game. This was actually kind of refreshing. I was impressed that this game wasn’t afraid to touch upon some of the more antiquated views of the early 20th century. The heavily Christian tones are incredibly apparent, with numerous references to baptisms, prophets and saviours. Again, something you don’t see, but glad it was in the game.
Each game is not without its problem, but they pale in comparison to the amazing pros. The guns leave nothing to the imagination; they are very simple styled weapons you can find in any first person shooter with the exception of the Skyhook. You have your pistol, rifle, shotgun, sniper rifle. They are very vanilla weapons and I was disappointed as each have their drawbacks and never seem to do much damage near the end of the game causing you to frantically find ammo just to finish an enemy you spent an entire clip on already.
Final Word: Get this. Get this now and enjoy the hell out of it. If you had any interest in playing it even in passing, you have a duty to buy and play this ultimately fulfilling game. It follows in the series of thinking games where your actions have consequences, in a world where you really begin to care about the characters and their personality and plight. Bioshock Infinite was nothing short of amazing.
Final Grade: A