There’s always a lighthouse, there’s always a man, there’s always a city.
When the original Bioshock was released in 2007, it changed the way people viewed storytelling in games. Bioshock: Infinite is aiming to outdo the original. Does it triumph over the original?
You play Booker DeWitt, a former Pinkerton agent whose gambling debt has led him to take on a dangerous job. “Bring us the girl, and wipe away the debt.” Elizabeth is the dame that needs rescuing, and the entire population of Columbia believes that you are the “false prophet”(an anti-christ-like figure, if you will). The creation and idea’s of Columbia come from the old school of thought that other countries may not fully understand unless they did a fair share of reading. Despite how well done the entire beginning is, the plot has some minor issues. It falls to the trap of too many development cycles and hurts the game’s pacing along the way. In spite of all of that, the ending is well thought out and will surely leave you in complete silence.
Without Elizabeth, Infinite wouldn’t be the exceptional game that it is. The way she interacts with the environment and the people of Columbia has never been pulled off so natural before. Elizabeth is hands down one of the most lifelike characters in a video game. Not only is she a great side character, she’s also helpful in the most dire of situations. While in the midst of a firefight, she’ll throw you money, salts, and ammo. Games that feature prominent objectives with escort missions can be frustrating to play, in that your entire focus is protecting the individual. Irrational is aware of this, and designed the game so that Elizabeth cannot be harmed or captured. She can also open “tears” that contain aid as well as friendly turrets and other offensive friendlies you can use to turn the tide in battle.
Firefights in Infinite take place in “arenas” where plenty of options are given on how you want to take on your foes. The skyline rails that are placed all over Columbia provide for even more tactical advantages. Moving along the rails feels tight and gives a great sense of speed. Infinite has plenty of weapons to choose from, most are your standard shooter weapons that control well and feel just a good as the others in the genre.
The plasmids that were in the original have been replaced with something called vigors, which act identically the same. You’ll find bottles of new vigors as you travel around Columbia that are much more advanced than the powers you had in Rapture. Each vigor has an alternate fire that most of the time is used as a “mine”. For example: “devils kiss” gives the user fire-like abilities. By holding the right trigger you can lay down a fire-trap that will set your foes ablaze. Only problem is that your vigor meter is very small in the beginning. It doesn’t help that they don’t cause a great deal of damage when compared to the guns. Later on though, you will find “gear” that acts very similar to COD’s perk system. These make the vigors much more powerful, and much more enjoyable to use.
One of Infinite’s greatest strengths is the way Columbia is presented. The amount of detail that is displayed is uncanny to any current triple-A title. Irrational games has really outdone themselves here. You can clearly see that great care went into this universe that they have produced. The rich Americana is well implemented and makes Columbia the exotic floating island that it is.
Graphically speaking, the game looks fantastic. I played the 360 version, which has more bugs and glitches than the PS3 and PC versions. A lot of muddy textures and frame drops are seen throughout the 360 version. If you have a rig that can handle it, go with the PC. Otherwise go for the PS3 version as it seems to run much better than the 360 copy.
Score and sound design play their parts and do so with great stride. Voice acting is incredibly well done. Both Booker and Elizabeth’s performances are perfect and very believable.
Bioshock: Infinite isn’t as good as the original, but nothing could ever be. Bioshock is still one of my favorite games of all time, and no sequel in the series will ever live up to the first adventure in Rapture. Infinite is still a worthy game that exists in the same universe. which is one hell of an accomplishment. The ending will be dissected, and talked about for years.
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