In honor of the Steam Summer Sales I’m doing a late review for anyone on the fence about Bioshock Infinite!
Bioshock. That word itself spikes up an interesting conversation in and of itself. When I was younger, I used to hear everyone talk about the first one. When I finally got around to playing it, I was continually impressed me with amazing visuals, a fantastic script that nailed plot twists perfectly, and a game that, if it wasn’t rushed through, really gave a unique feeling that raised the bar for all first-person shooters when they were still cool. Bioshock Infinite is twice as good, and gets extra credit for creating an even better game in a generic genre that has been lacking something original for far too long.
The idea behind the game sounds simple enough: Booker Dewitt, a U.S. cavalry veteran is in debt, big time. The only way out is by kidnapping a girl named Elizabeth, who has a unique power to create “tears” or openings to alternate universes. You’re probably thinking, “Well, isn’t the game just one of those big long lame escort missions?” Not at all. Elizabeth can usually find supplies like ammo or health when you’re low, open up tears that can provide cover, turrets or medical kits, and all-around feels like a good sidekick. She’s brimming with personality and constantly keeps things enjoyable in Columbia. But like any good game, the whole concept of the plot will change so many times over, giving a fresh story that will keep you guessing. And just like the first game, the end will have a bunch of plot twists, which is good and bad. Without spoilers, the bad is that there’s a point when you’re tasked to go to a certain gun shop. Soon after that incident, there’s a huge mediocre blend of storytelling focusing on tears which made me lose some emotional attachment. The good is after that there’s a huge amount of consecutive plot twists that are better and better Almost all of them happen at once, and without spoiling it, you will laugh, cry, and be filled with joy at how awesome the twist is, you’ll just know when it hits! In essence the story not only gives a gigantic new idea to approach Bioshock games, it’s something that hopefully many more developers will draw inspiration from, and I’m not just talking story wise. The story gets a 90 out of 100.
The best part about Infinite is that combat scenes are balanced, there’s not combat nonstop, there’s plenty of time to stop and smell the roses (almost literally). The first level is truly magnificent with a four-man acapella group, a carnival, and even wandering through a beautiful garden. Basically there’s something for everyone! Usually I don’t try to involve myself in first-person-shooters because they’re usually the same boring concept: shoot in a straight line. Bioshock proved that there’s a better way to keep things fun, and Bioshock Infinite doesn’t stop that streak. Plasmids (Or as they’re called now, Vigors) are even better than in the last two games, as each of these monstrous additions to your arsenal are uniquely different. Each one is perfect for a different combat situation, and if you can collect them all, they’re a wild amount of fun. The upgrades to your weapons don’t feel as significant or as important as they used to, but it hardly detracts from the fun of combat. The sky hook is a wonderful tool that just feels invigorating to use, and never gets boring! The sky line battles are fast furious and fresh like so many other things in the game! Elizabeth is a fantastic addition too. She never feels like a glorified escortee, she feels more like an actual sidekick, and using her tear power is incredibly useful. What Elizabeth can summon depends on the environment, so maybe a freight hook on a nearby wall or a turret on a balcony. The best part is none of it feels out of place, everything truly flows together. There’s also hidden collectibles known as Infusions, which can give you your choice of extra health, shields, or salts. It sounds small but it feels incredibly satisfying. Another example of innovation on the game’s part is the side quests. It’s very rare when there’s a recurring side mission for every level, and it gives more depth to the world. This is what made Dishonored the kind of game that had a lot of replay value, and Bioshock not only matches this level of quality, but tops it. There’s always a fresh spin on the gameplay eahch time you return to the world, which only adds to the immersion. Gameplay easily gets a 95/100
Yeah, I’m stopping here, because there’s nothing else to say! I’ve given plenty of reasons to prove why this is easily one of the best games ever! Great story that never manages to surprise you? Check. Combat that feels fresh and invigorating each time? Check. The combat and the story alone are enough. Seriously, do yourself a favor and grab it, this is a deal not to be missed! Developers seem to forget that first person shooters were sometimes at their best when there was much more of a sci-fi take and not just, “Oh, crap the Russians coincidentally invaded America again.” Wolfenstein, Doom, and even Spec Ops the Line are examples of something different and eye-catching. The stranger and the more original the idea is, the better. From secret rooms, to the backstory, to the beautiful setting to the people in it that symbolize a life of an unavoidable ignorance and snobbery, this game has something for every kind of player. Come if you’re an RTS fan, come if you’re an action-adventure fan, and come if you’re just a good old fashioned shooter fan!
If demonspawn is throw it in an incinerator and swallow it’s ashes, if bad is cruel and unusual boycott of the product, if mediocre is watching an M. Night Shyamalan flick, and if good is something to take a glance at, this is one that just might win the feel award.
This easily a 95/100.
DISCLAIMER: In case you still haven’t realized, I don’t own these photos or the game. All rights go to beloved 2k games.