There’s been a lot of anticipation and high hopes for Bioshock Infinite. Does it have have what it takes to soar or will it fall short?
In the original Bioshock you emerge from a wreckage to find yourself near a lighthouse in where you then submerge underwater into Rapture. Bioshock Infinite starts off similarly. It’s 1912 and your character’s name is Booker Dewitt. You’re on a boat headed towards a light house with one mission. Retrieve a girl and wipe away your debt. Instead of submerging into the depths of the ocean you are shot up and introduced to the beautiful city in the sky, Columbia. The city has physically separated themselves from the rest of the world to create their own utopia where they’ve idolized former presidents as gods and created a religion around them. If you haven’t figured out by then you’ll quickly discover not all is right with this racist city as a rebellion is underfoot. Not only that but you are already marked for death. All hell breaks lose and you have to make your way to Elizabeth and break her out of the tower which is guarded by the Songbird. A menacing creature much like the Big Daddies is there to protect Elizabeth and keep her locked up.
As the story progresses you’ll discover more about Elizabeth’s power and how it can help you. Without going further into detail to not spoil it for you. You need to play this game to the very end. It’s an extremely rewarding experience and told very well. In previous Bioshock game’s you were given moral choices that affected the game and would result in multiple endings. In Infinite there isn’t much in the way moral choices affect the story this time which is a little bit of a let down but I’m not disappointing that there aren’t multiple endings. For me this is the only way you could have ended it – and what a way to end it indeed!
The game flows smoothly from area to area, sometimes giving you different ways to get to your goal which isn’t marked on a map or with a big glowing light, which isn’t a bad thing. You hit up on the d-pad and like dead space a nice little arrow shows you a general direction to go. A model which I’m growing much more fond of. You’re life doesn’t regenerate so once you get your shield that does regenerate you might want to start upgrading that first.
I started out playing on hard and found it manageable until I came across some of the more powerful characters that really gave me a run for my money. One hit and my entire shield was gone and 3 quarters of my life as well. I tried lowering the difficulty and saw a world of difference between hard and normal. But now I felt the game became more fun and could experiment more in battles with powers in the game. What used to be called Plasmids in previous Bioshocks are now called Vigors and are replenished with salts. I’ve talked with a few friends about how they’ve been using their Vigors and they’ve been using them in completely different ways which got me exited to try new stuff with more I found. You can combine 2 Vigors such as throwing out Murder of Crows and then setting them ablaze with Devil’s Kiss or use Bucking Bronco to lift your enemies into the air and use Charge on them to send them flying off an air ship. You could also lay traps with powers too as enemies chase you, you could drop a Shock Jockey on the floor and electrocute them as they approach.
The areas you fight in could be big vast areas that have many different levels and bringing the sky rails into the mix definitely adds a new level. But don’t think that you would escape so easily as enemies will follow you on the sky rails as well. Probably the best supporting AI I’ve ever had is Elizabeth. She’s isn’t a burden as most partner AI are. I guess it makes sense that they’d have to bring her back alive so the enemies will only be focusing on firing at you. She doesn’t fight but she can help you in many other ways. If you are low on health, salts or ammo she yell out to you if she has any and with the press of a button you’ll turn immediately to her as she throws you a gun or health and you’re back in the fight. Elizabeth also brings another tactic to your arsenal as you can ask her to open tears in the area to help you in combat. Some tears can help you get to higher ground or provide cover. There are also some tears for weapons, health and salts as well.
The only thing that felt kind of weird was that I thought I saw in the E3 demo having your rifle out would startle people and having it holstered wouldn’t bring you any attention. It’s a small gripe but it really pulls me out of the game when I’m running around a town with my gun out and no one really cares. Just a personal pet peeve. As for the weapons there’s about a dozen to choose from but you can’t carry them all. You can only hold 2 weapons at a time so most of the time you’ll be scavenging dropped weapons from enemies downed. You only have one melee weapon but trust me it’s the only weapon you’ll need. The grappling hook. Best use to distract enemies with Vigors and get in close and personal or grapple up to a sky rail and fly down onto an enemy and knock him off an airship. Make sure you use the proper gear to match with your playstyle as gear you wear can provide melee bonuses such as a chance to set enemies on fire with a melee strike or decrease your weapon’s reload time.
The graphics are not ultra realistic but are done with great style. You’ll see the beauty of Columbia as you are thrust above the clouds in the opening section of the game. The presentation of everything is just magnificent and like Elizabeth who has never been out before is great to watch as she marvels at everything with you. Those who played the original Bioshock games may see and hear familiar sights and sounds, but they have a nice charm to it, and help tie this game to others in the series. To walk by and hear all the chatter and see a quartet singing on a near by airship really brings the town alive.
- Fun with powers
- Great characters
- Fantastic story and ending
- Lack of moral choices
- Can’t holster weapon
The Old Guy in Me Says
This is a single player done right. They made the right choice in scrapping the muli-player and focus on making a solid game with a great story. If you’re looking to dig into a game with great design for a dozen hours then there’s no better place to spend it than in Columbia.