(Reviewed on the PS3)
Welcome to one of the world's best first
person shooters with Bioshock Infinite that not only pays homage
to the previous games but surpasses their gaming legacy. It features one
of the most elaborate stories to grace a console that not only makes you
care for the characters involved but really challenges your mind through
metaphysics, player choices and parallel universes in this game set in
The main protagonist in Bioshock Infinite
is Booker DeWitt, a man who has been hired to bring back a woman with
special abilities called Elizabeth to New York in order to pay his debt.
The catch is that Elizabeth is on the floating city of Columbia and when
Booker first arrives on this almost magical city, he soon discovers that
its underbelly is quite cancerous. Unlike the dark parallels in the
original Bioshock with the city of Rapture, Columbia is almost its polar
opposite, however upon delving further into this mystery, he discovers
that this city is torn apart by factions and a powerful despot called
The first thing that you notice about Bioshock Infinite is how gorgeous
the game looks on the PlayStation 3. The attention to detail is
outstanding and seeing this early 1900's floating city is a real treat
to the gamer. It's almost like every brick or floorboard has been
carefully placed to create this living breathing city. Whether it's the
clouds moving around the buildings or that gently bobbing sensation as
you see buildings slowly moving up and down in the smy, this is the
first step in immersing you into this game. And then you have your
special "Bioshock" powers or vigours (originally known as plasmids in
the previous game) that will amaze you even more.
Music is another highlight of the game,
especially the creepy renditions of classic and modern songs to suit the
early 1900's themes. The voice acting is professional and this game must
be heard loud and hopefully with surround sound to totally experience
the great ambience of this title. For me, the experience of Bioshock is
like seeing a circus for the first time as a child which has left its
mark on you and this game successfully manages to recapture this wonder.
The story of Bioshock Infinite is quite powerful with adult themes that
revolve around racism, slavery and religion. Also littered through the
city of Columbia are audio logs and videos that help piece together the
story of this imploding city plus side quests. I loved how Irrational
Games made the villain in this game re-write the history of America and
as they say, the victors write the history but in this case, the despot
Once Booker is reunited with Elizabeth, the story of Bioshock Infinite
goes into high gear in not just action but an emotional investment. The
relationship between Elizabeth and Booker feels real and although she
despises him at first due to the men that he killed, this relationship
soon changes into something more comforting. Its this interaction
between Elizabeth and Booker which really make this game so great.
Another brilliant element about Elizabeth
is that she is the most realistic AI who can not only take care of
herself but also gets lost down the beaten path by getting distracted
with people and the machines of this technological impressive city. When
the fire fights start, Elizabeth will hide and if Booker needs some aid,
she will give him ammunition and health to support his battles.
Without spoiling the intricate story of
Bioshock Infinite, the reason why Elizabeth is so important is that she
can open up parallel dimensions called tears which are rips in reality.
From here, Elizabeth can bring items and weapons from these worlds to
support Booker and her cause. As Morpheus said from The Matrix... I'm
trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door.
You're the one that has to walk through it. This is what Bioshock
does, it gives you all the tools but it's up to the player on how they
will use these tools. Touché Irrational Games... touché!
But a first person shooter would not be a
first person shooter without combat. Combat plays an integral part of
the gameplay which first begins with this strange cutting utensil called
the skyhook and then a gun. There's some brilliant 1900's inspired
weaponry to find along the way and as Booker explores the city of
Columbia, he finds additional weapons such as shotguns, machine guns to
something more powerful like RPG's and my favourite, the Barnstormer.
Combat is quite gruesome and whether it's using your vigours or a
shotgun, it's extremely bloody, especially the decapitation of your
melee attacks. Health is handled quite differently in Bioshock Infinite.
Opposed to storing items of health such as medical kits and food, Booker
can only use them when he is injured as he does not store health.
Needlessly to say, some battles are quite challenging when your health
is almost zero.
If you happen to die, Elizabeth will bring
you back with some kind of medical needle after she drags you to safety.
There is a cost involved and if Elizabeth is not around, you go back to
the land of the living through some door from the afterlife. Similar to
health are shields which basically give you additional health and can be
upgraded. To compliment the player's abilities and weapons, gear is
littered through the city that can give you bonuses such as a hat that
forces your enemies to burst into flames. With that said, looting plays
a key component to the game and is a must thing to do if you want to
survive. Should get stuck in the game, pressing down on the thumb pad
will display an arrow pointing you in the right direction.
Of course, vigours are the key to Bioshock
Infinite such as the bucking bronco which suspends your enemies in the
air to then shoot or my personal favourite, the murder of crows which
unleashes killer crows at your enemies. It's like something out of
Alfred Hitchcock. These powers can also be upgraded as can your weapons
which opens up the game to quite a bit of artistic interpretation on how
you can finish this title.
I loved the ability of possessing machines
which could turn on their masters with violence and even humans down the
track. As you upgrade your powers of possession, once the possession
wears off on a human, they then take their life. Very Dark! Nothing is
more fun than mixing up your powers and weapons but all this fun does
come at a cost. Items like ammunition and salt fuels your weapons and
powers and can be boosted by accessing vending machines through the city
of Columbia. It's great to see Irrational Games linking back to the
previous titles of the Bioshock series.
Exploring Columbia is generally done on
foot (although a run option is available by pushing down the left analog
stick which I despise), the next mode of transport is your skyhook.
Skyhooks are used to traverse the city from building to building or via
its rollercoaster inspired network. It does take a little time getting
use to the rollercoaster's of Columbia but once you have mastered them,
it opens up your transport options such as accessing sky ships (blimps)
or other hidden areas. Combat on on the rollercoaster rails is possible
as well. In terms of controls, everything is mapped flawlessly on the
PS3 controller and the game does support the PS Move, however for that
true first person shooter experience, the DualShock controller is a
must. The only thing I did not like about the controls was the run
button, it just feels clumsy.
To use another Matrix quote and this time from Cypher... Jesus! What
a mind-job. So you're here to save the world. What do you say to
something like that? That's how I felt after playing Bioshock
Infinite because once you learn the true story behind this game,
especially the last couple of hours of the game that I really don't want
to spoil. It was amazing and one the best times I've ever had playing a
Irrational Games have found the perfect
formula for Bioshock Infinite, almost flawless gameplay, graphics and
sound plus a mysterious story about a broken city of gold but where the
game goes beyond its predecessors is with the inclusion of one of the
most realistic AI characters to have ever graced a game. Elizabeth is
what made Bioshock Infinite awesome! Enough said... go out and buy this
game now because Booker DeWitt has a whole metropolis of propaganda to
The official face of Elizabeth - Anna Moleva, Model & Cosplayer