Publisher:Â 2K Games
Platform: PS3, XBox 360, PC
Number of Players:Â Single Player
Rating:Â M for Mature
Expected Release:Â Available Now
Official Website:Â Click Here
Demo:Â Click HereÂ
Special Discount:Â Click Here
Review Issue:Â Issue #12Â (05/13)
Reviewed By:Â Stu Ruckus
Final Score: 5 Moons (out of 5)
Bioshock: Infinite is set in an alternate 1912 in the city in the sky known as Columbia. (For fans of the original game or just ones that play the included copy of the initial game that comes packaged with it, Columbia is a city very different than the undersea world of Rapture from the first Bioshock game.)
On the surface it seems like a happy place; filled with bright colors, hummingbirds, and artistic posters. These are just a mask to hide the darkness in the city’s soul, filled with malice, hatred and evil. Racism, xenophobia, and a twisted view of religion swirl throughout the game, sweeping you up in a revolution that will change Columbia forever. The â€œVox Populiâ€, the disenfranchised lower classes are on one side, the Prophet and his theocracy on the other. You get caught in the middle after being sent by an unknown client to â€œbring back the girlâ€ to erase massive gambling debt.
This is where your story begins.
Unlike in the first Bioshock game, where the science behind the world you explored was shrouded in mystery, the mechanics used to keep Columbia afloat are revealed to you, which is a nice touch. Traveling through the city is done on foot, â€œsky-railâ€ or by airship. There is another element that sets Columbia apart from Rapture, and that is not everyone in Columbia is hostile. People roam the streets going about their everyday activities, discussing things, complaining and just living in the world. This really adds a fullness to the game, and yet does nothing to take away from the overall experience.
Playing the game on easy or normal mode will allow you to focus more on the story and the carnage, and less on just frantically trying to stay alive. Now if you want an even more extreme shooter experience, once you beat the game there is the 1999 mode which focuses more on upgrades and gives more of a finality to death in the game. You’ll be less inclined to wantonly spend money, and more likely to take your time on the levels. If you use pistols, then that will be what you use, mainly because you make the decision early on to upgrade that gun type, and you won’t have a surplus of money to spend on random upgrades. This adds a completely new element to the game, adding a level of re-playability that isn’t often found in similar games.
The enemies – oh the enemies – they are a pain in the ass. They aren’t overly bright, but just smart enough to make life miserable at times. That being said, it is so fulfilling to melee an enemy, and treat them like a juicy piÃ±ata, a juicy exploding meat piÃ±ata. There are enough gun types to make it fun to try them all out, and find which you like the most, ranging from period pistols and rifles to steam-punk style guns like the â€œBurstgunâ€.
Vigors are the special powers of the game, akin to the Plasmids of the first Bioshock game or the special abilities found Borderlands/Borderlands 2. They add an awesome strategy element, elevating the combat and making your character feel truly unique. You can use them by themselves, or combine them for even better results. You do have to watch your Salts (read: mana, by any other name) usage, as this is your Vigorsâ€™ fuel, but don’t worry: you can upgrade your salt storage capacity to allow for more extensive use of your powers.
Once you find the girl, you’d think it would turn into a drawn out escort mission, much like we’re used to in other games; yet, it doesn’t. The game soon teaches us that we can’t do without her; she finds you supplies, revives you when you die, and quite a few other uses. She isn’t helpless, and you never find yourself back-tracking to rescue her. Which as we all know, is leaps and bounds better than anything prior. She is in all honesty one of the most useful NPCs in a game I’ve played. She starts out as just another mission, and ends up a beneficial companion.
The only improvement Iâ€™d like to see focused on in the next Bioshock as far as are the shooting mechanics. They aren’t quite as tight as I’m used to from other first person shooters, but it’s not so bad that it ruins the game. The focus of the developers was obviously on story development more than game mechanics. If you want a tighter FPS experience this may not be the game for you. However, for most of our readers for whom compelling story and great character development are the reason to play, this is probably THE game for you.
If youâ€™re a reader of this magazine, then there is a decent probability youâ€™re into dystopian worlds, steam-punk technology, and/or dark alternate-history. If so, then this game will grab you by the neck, sink itâ€™s fangs into you, and make you beg for more.
The Victorian dress is really well done, and the shadowiness of the antagonistsâ€™ personas makes for a very dark mood; suitable for long, enjoyably sleepless nights of gameplay. The architecture is at times very period, and other times very ornate and gothic. This allows even more immersion, creating a world that feels both real and foreign.
The underlying themes of the game touch us all. It explores the decisions we make, the lives we live, and how our actions impact those around us. This is what makes this story hit home so precisely and makes me want to do nothing more than to force others to play it so itâ€™s story, philosophy, and life commentary can be discussed. This can become an obsession, much like that of reading your first Lovecraft story and wanting nothing more than to talk about it with friends.
This game will leave you wanting more, like your first kiss with a lifelong love or your first taste of a fine wine. If you take one thing away from reading this, I want it to be this: GO BUY THIS GAME. You won’t regret it, and if enough people show support for a game that gives us an amazing story, maybe we’ll get more of the same and fewer Maddens and Call of Duties (not that they don’t have their place). This game brings together many amazing elements: an incredible story, excellent gameplay, and gorgeous audio/ visual panoramas. It is, in my humble opinion, an amazing game.
Presentation: 5.0 Moons (out of 5.0)
Gameplay: 4.5 Moons (out of 5.0)
Gothic Fit: 5.0 Moons (out of 5.0)
Final Score (not an average): 5.0 Moons (out of 5.0)