There is a certain amount of risk in leaving your comfort zone and trying something new, especially when the thing you’re changing is popular. Irrational Games took a huge leap of faith on Bioshock Infinite in leaving Rapture, and starting a new story in the Bioshock Universe. So, the question is, did it work?
Bioshock Infinite follows Booker DeWitt, a former Pinkerton Agent, as he attempts to repay a debt to an unknown entity. He is tasked to get Elizabeth from Columbia, a floating city. Booker arrives on Columbia and it is immediately apparent something’s amiss, to which Booker, and later Elizabeth, have to get to the bottom of. Along the way, it is obvious that Elizabeth figures out that she needs Booker as much as he needs her, and quickly a bond is formed between the two.
Bioshock Infinite’s gameplay is very strong, Booker’s movements have a nice balance and weight, and the world is easily navigated. The shooting is more in line with previous Bioshocks, a little weak and has confusing controls at first. There are, though, a varied assortment of firearms to use, from Machine Guns, Sniper Rifles, and Pistols, to Volley Guns, Burst Guns, and Hand Cannons. Each of these weapons have a different feel to them, and eventually the player will find one he or she prefers. The guns are upgradeable at Vending Machines, as in previous games, and when purchased, the upgrades are well appreciated.
Like previous Bioshock entries, Infinite features a tonic-system, this time call Vigors, where the player has various powers within his hand. My favorite Vigor was call “Murder of Crows”, where you could fire a swarm of crows at your enemy, which gives damage and also keeps your targets occupied. Once upgraded, each person who dies while being swarmed drops a nest to spread to other enemies. Each time, though, you use a Vigor, you spend Salts which can be hard to come by. This is where Elizabeth comes into play. While you fight, you don’t have to worry about Elizabeth getting hurt, or in the way, on the contrary, Elizabeth worries about you, and scavenges to find you health, salts, and ammo. The only downfall is that the game limits how much loot Elizabeth will find, and usually it is two items, so it is imperative that you’re mindful of your resources.
Bits and Pieces
One of my major concerns about Infinite, is that it wouldn’t be able to have the feel of Rapture, but Irrational Games has done a great job of bringing the ambiance of the previous games. The music, the atmosphere, and the visuals definitely bring back memories of the time spent underwater. The writing is spot on, and it is only topped by the voice acting. I had reservations the Infinite would end up being a giant baby sitting game, but Elizabeth almost disappears when the time is right, only to reappear when you need her the most. The transition in and out of battles is seamless, and the narrative flows very well. Overall, the “nuts and bolts” of this game was well thought out, and is a testament to the care Irrational gave the game.
Overall, Bioshock Infinite is a very good game. The story is well developed, they’ve tackled real world issues, and they’ve made a character you can care about, while keeping them safe. The only real issues I had, is that there is a big difficulty spike towards the end of the game, and that Infinite is entirely beatable in 12 hours. My overall grade for Bioshock Infinite is 95/100, with only taking off a few points for the length of the game. No, multiplayer would not have helped in this case, in fact I’m happy that it wasn’t included. The odd thing is, I wouldn’t recommend paying full retail price, I’d wait until it was down to the $39.99 price point, and then put another $30.00 into the upcoming DLC.
Raptr Tale of the Tape
Note, I’ve decided to include the information that Raptr accumulated in my reviews for the Achievement/Trophy hunters to use to help decide if the game is worth to play. The information can sometimes not be 100% accurate when it comes to time played.
Bioshock Infinite: 14 hours played, 22/50 achievements unlocked.
It is my belief that Infinite is going to be a difficult game for completion. I played on Normal difficulty, and there are achievements for a Hard completion, and then also a 1999 difficulty completion as well. This will, of course, require at least 2 playthroughs with a collectible guide, as there are plenty to pick up. I’d recommend you play this game for enjoyment, instead of as a Gamerscore.