Bioshock Infinite Review

bioshock_infinite

Hey guys! I just finished Bioshock Infinite last night so I will be giving you a fresh, spoiler free review! My initial thoughts after finishing the game and seeing the credits roll: “Wow. Holy crap.” There are very few games that have left me speechless and my jaw on the floor after it is all said and done. Bioshock Infinite does not fail to impress and it definitely left me feeling this way. And if you’ve been wondering why this entry in the Bioshock series is called “Infinite”, you won’t find out until the very end.

Setting

“Bring us the girl and wipe away the debt.”

You play as Booker DeWitt, a former agent of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency and also a former soldier, in the year 1912. You stumble into the floating city of Columbia, left to your own instincts and devices. All seems well in Columbia as you explore but remember, this is a Bioshock game. You are tasked with finding a girl within Columbia and bringing her back to New York. Of course, things won’t be easy in doing so.

Gameplay

Like Bioshock and Bioshock 2, Bioshock Infinite is a first-person shooter with role-playing elements. You can travel around Columbia on foot and also use a tool called a Skyhook on Columbia’s rail system that connects buildings called “The Skyline.” You can carry two weapons and use “super human” powers known as Vigors, comparable to plasmids in the previous Bioshock games. The role-playing elements come into play as you can upgrade your weapons and Vigors using vending machines located all around the city of Columbia. The gameplay itself is very self explanatory to gamers and also has a navigation hint feature to help you along if you are ever stuck.

I thought what Irrational did in the original Bioshock game, in terms of gameplay, was a lot of fun and having that sense of a satisfying experience. In this game, I think Irrational took what worked very well from the first and made this game’s experience even better which is an incredible achievement. Speaking of which, Infinite introduces gamers to one of the most advanced AI characters I’ve ever played with: Elizabeth. Just this past PAX East, a few members of Irrational Games, including Ken Levine (Creative Director of Irrational Games) held a panel to talk about Bioshock Infinite and the work to bring Elizabeth to life. I was amazed at what the development team achieved in creating this great AI character for the player to interact with for most of the game. After finally seeing what Elizabeth could do in Infinite, I think the “whole package” came nicely together and this AI technology could be in the future of games.

Oh, and as far as the game difficulties? Ken Levine himself stated at PAX East that if you want a true experience from the game, you have to play it on hard. And if the Creative Director says that, you better well do it!

The Presentation

Overall, I was very impressed with the visuals in the game. Infinite is a very different game from the previous two Bioshock games, as this game is set in 1912 in the floating city of Columbia. There are massive amounts of color in this setting and it works very well for the environment you play in. I think it’s a nice departure from the dark and dismal setting in Rapture from Bioshock and Bioshock 2. The animations of characters and events happening all around are smooth, making the player feel more immersed in the 1912 setting. I think the development teams did an excellent job of harnessing the power of the Unreal 3 Engine to give the player a spectacular gameplay experience.

Score

I very much enjoyed my experience with Bioshock Infinite and I think it is the best game from Irrational Games yet. That is saying a lot after I played Bioshock, saying the same thing. One of the things that’s great about this game is that it always leaves the player guessing what’s going to happen next. If you think you know what’s going to happen, you are completely thrown off by twists and turns in the story, especially right until the very end. I give Bioshock Infinite a 10/10; the game truly earns it and the quality of the game definitely shows by the hard work put in by all of the development teams.

The next game I will review for you guys is:

TheLastofUs

The Last of Us, created by the studio who brought you the Uncharted series, Naughty Dog. The game releases this Friday, June 14th and I cannot wait to pick up a copy. There is so much hype about this game and it has been called “the best game of 2013” already. When Friday and the weekend comes around, I will be busy playing it! Until next game.

-John

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