Saturday, March 30, 2013

Review: Bioshock Infinite (2013)


Developers: Irrational Games, 2K Marin and Human Head Studios
Publisher: 2K Games

Choices have consequences; even the smallest of things can have outcomes that are huge in scope. Bioshock Infinite deals with big choices while striping away a lot of the choice from players. What could’ve turned into a linear shooter that fails to grab the player’s attention instead becomes a game that begs to be played. At its heart is a story that is beautiful, dark, well thought out and one that will haunt you well after the end credits have rolled.

You play the main character Booker DeWitt, a man with a violent past who is told that the debt he owes will be wiped away if he manages to bring his contacts in New York Elizabeth. Elizabeth is a young woman who lives in Columbia and is being held prisoner by a prophet called Father Comstock. Oh did I forget to mention? Columbia is a flying city. No biggie.

The world Ken Levine and Irrational Games have created is absolutely stunning and even on a console some of the scenes are reminiscent of a beautiful painting. Columbia comes across as a living, breathing city and taking your time to explore is full of rewards. There are plenty of interesting characters littered throughout the city and taking those few extra moments to delve into their backgrounds is always a benefit to see the inner workings of Columbia.
 
Propaganda of the Prohet is everywhere.
Of course the greatest achievement is Elizabeth. More than a sidekick, it could be argued that she is the main character of the game. Unlike a lot of game AI, or sidekick characters, she is helpful and really essential to your success. So much so, that in the story moments where she has been separated from you, you’ll be driven to find her again. The decision to enable her character to look after herself in combat is excellent and takes away the burden of care from the player.

Gameplay is excellent. While it may seem that having only two weapons and vigors’ hot-keyed at any point in time is a hindrance, the combat is still incredibly deep and continually changes as it progresses. I found myself constantly having to change tactics mid battle, yet it was always a joy and created a kinetic feel that made me hunger for more. Fighting on the skylines that connect the floating buildings together was also exhilarating, it was like being on a roller coaster and the sense of speed is palpable.
 
There is something very wrong in the world of Columbia.
Bioshock Infinite is a game that manages to create a fun experience that will appeal to most gamers, and yet wraps it up in an artistic sensibility. People may think they know where the story is going but this game treads into dark and thoughtful territory with a finale that truly offers an ending that is a satisfying conclusion. Please, play this game people!

2 comments:

  1. Much like my review of the previous games I consider Bioshock to be a good game not a great one.

    Again its a case of incredible world with great backstory that makes this living breathing place.... coupled with crappy shootbang that only serves to take away from the thing I want to do most which is explore the world.

    The world is incredible and the gameplay isn't terrilbe just boring so its a brilliant world hampered by the game mechanics. Again.

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  2. Sometimes I wish the world of Bioshock was explored in a Skyrim or Farcry 3 RPG style. However when compared to the likes of Battlefield, Modern Warfare etc, I think this is a far better shooter. Of course this doesn't help if you want something more than a shooter.

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