Release Date: 26/03/2013
Developed by:Irrational Games
Published by: 2K Games
Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Windows
Bioshock Infinite is the third entry into the Bioshock franchise, and is set in the year 1912 in the floating city of Columbia. Unlike the two previous games which have taken place in the underwater city of Rapture. Players assume the role of Booker DeWiit, who is sent to Columbia by a group called The Pinkertons to find a girl named Elizabeth, and bring her to New York. However, through-out his journey nothing is really what it seems.
Infinite shares a lot with the previous Bioshock games in the franchise. Mainly gun-play, and just the overall feel of the experience. Which is definitely welcomed since the games have always felt really good on a gameplay standpoint, and the reviews complaining about the shooting mechanics bothers me. I feel it plays great as well, and the shooting doesn’t feel tacky at all. Feels like what you’d expect in a Bioshock game, what we’re used to.
You’ll notice the similarities if you’ve played the previous titles. There’s still that same eerie feeling once and a while, even though it’s been heavily reduced in this game (something I wasn’t too keen on). The weapon upgrading is still there, and even the Plasmids make a return trip, but this time around they’re called Vigors, but they’re essentially Plasmids. They function exactly the same by giving you powers, and what-not. Sure, some of these aren’t as memorable as the ones we’ve encountered in Bioshock, and Bioshock 2 but there’s still some that stand out the most to me. Mainly, Murder Of Crows which allows the player to send out a flock of crows which essentially devour your foes. Definitely satisfying.
Enemies are also completely different in this experience, which they should be. It’s not Rapture after-all, there aren’t any Big Daddy’s (even though we have similar enemies with the Handymen) and there’s also no Splicers. We’re mainly fighting entirely human enemies, and it doesn’t take away from the experience at all. It suits the world, and I don’t think I would of had it any other way.
There’s also a new way to traverse the environment via the Sky Rails, which are essentially tracks in the sky that are magnetized. During the game Booker receives a device called a “Sky Hook” which allows him to attach himself onto a rail, and speed along. It’s so god-damn cool, and feels really good to pop heads while zooming down one of these.
The game also has one of the best plots I have ever experienced in a video-game. It deals with a lot of confusing elements, and brings about a satisfying conclusion that actually makes sense. Alternate realities are the main example of this, and the developers actually made it make sense. So, I have to applaud them for that.
You also have a companion following you about, which is the girl you’re tasked to find, named Elizabeth. When I first found out she’ll be following you around I got really hesitant, and it brought back memories of Ashley in Resident Evil 4 and how she couldn’t fend for herself. Luckily, Elizabeth is an entirely new experience and she works really well. Why? Because she’s independent, and actually helps you out.
There’s a moment early on in the game where a message flashes saying “Elizabeth can take care of herself”. Which is something really awesome. Not only does it make her come off as a strong, female character but it also takes out the frustration of having to worry about two characters, and also enjoy the experience at the same time. Something which I had trouble with in Resident Evil 4 after Ashley joined the mix.
Elizabeth will be able to toss you items to help you out in battle. These items include Health Packs, Salts (which allow you to use Vigors), Ammo, and Coins. She also has the ability to open these things called “Tears” which are essentially portals to other dimensions, and she can bring things through which can also turn the tide of battle. Especially when she can bring in these hulking, chain gun wielding robots called “Patriots”.
I can’t recall how many times this beauty saved my ass. I had no problem having her follow me about. Why? Because she was designed properly, and came off intelligent. It felt good. Especially since she could pick locks too, and I didn’t have to worry about some mini-game, or something to pick them. Just gather the lockpicks when you find them, and let Elizabeth do the tricky work. I really like her as a character, a lot.
But, the game does have at-least one flaw I can only bring to attention at the current moment in time and is really the only flaw I came across playing the game. Being a Bioshock fan since the first game released I came to expect a solid eerie feeling through-out the entire game, but this game is definitely lacking on that (until the last hour or so at-least). However, it does make up for all the missed out creepy stuff in that last hour, but I think I just wanted it to last the entire experience, but again. It makes sense that it didn’t, just bummed me out a bit is all.
If you’re looking for an eerie experience in Infinite, you’re gonna have to wait till the last hour of the game. But don’t be discouraged, it really comes at you full throttle. Especially these creepy lantern head dudes, and their weird costumed friends.
All in all, Bioshock Infinite is a solid game, and might just be the best out of the Bioshock franchise. It feels great to play, has one of the strongest stories in video-game history, and has one of the best endings I have ever experienced. Sure, it does miss out on some of the eerie factor of previous titles, but it is still one hell of a good game.
I recommend everyone try this game out. I don’t have my doubts that this game will win GOTY.