I’m going to go right out and start this off by saying I promise not to spoil anything in this game in case you STILL haven’t played it.
Bioshock Infinite was one of those games that i came into with very high expectations, which can really destroy a gaming experience. I usually try to avoid letting hype get to me and often even let games simmer for a bit before playing them so as to let some of the expectations settle a bit. Unfortunately for that Tactic, Bioshock Infinite was presented with a Bombshell Metacritic Score of 94, which lands it squarely in line with such hallowed titles as Oblivion, Diablo, Quake, Grand Theft Auto Vice City, Command and Conquer, and Mass Effect 2. As a matter of fact it fell only a single point behind Portal 2, A title i will gladly involve myself in a steel cage match to defend. Not a single Negative review for this game, not even a single MIXED review from the Critics polled. Even the viewer’s main negative response was that it was over rated, which i partially blame on the aforementioned insane hype and endless praise raising people’s expectations that installing this game will be a life changing event.
I suppose all that is to say, please forgive me for having high expectations of this game, i really tried to go in deaf dumb and blind, but that just wasn’t possible.
One more thing, Before i get into this, I want to comment on the almost universal respect this game has received, bear with me, it’s not like alot of other items whether it be Harry potter, or twilight, Bleach or Naruto, People love to spoil things. And i’m not just talking about assholes on the internet who love to go around ruining things for people, I’m talking about people in general not even thinking about it and just blurting things out. It’s almost unprecedented ( to my eye at least) the level of stock people place in this this game, and seemingly genuinely wanting other people to enjoy it. I think this is one of the truest testaments of something’s greatness, The best Analogy of this i can think of is having either a very fast car, or a very big gun, you WANT someone else to ride in it or drive it. You NEED to have someone else fire it. You don’t want them to hear ” yeah it’ll do 0-60 in 2.1 seconds”, or ” yeah it can pierce through 14 inches of steel plate armor and still disable an engine block.” You want them to hit the pedal, you want them to pull the trigger, and feel the power. This is the level of respect that I have seen for the story of this game from so many people, and i think that alone should be a testament to why you really ought to experience this for yourself.
ON TO THE ACTUAL REVIEW FINALLY!
You start out your adventure As Booker Dewit on a boat with two curious strangers in a row boat being presented A box with your name on it that contains a gun, a picture, and a key. They drop you off on an island with a lighthouse and row away. On the door you see a phrase you’ll be hearing a lot of, ” Bring us the girl, and wipe away the debt”.
You explore as you climb the wonderfully detailed light house , until you reach the top and find a chair atop a rocket that takes you to the flying utopia of Columbia. The city of Columbia is beautiful and expansive with gorgeous Sky Boxes and interesting architecture that it is pretty easy to find yourself wandering around delightedly digging through trash cans and stealing from food vendors and picking up and examining all manner of late Victorian items. Things go south however when you attend a festival and win the raffle to claim the prize of… getting to throw the first baseball at the tied up interracial couple on stage. In the act of throwing the pitch at either the announcer or the interracial couple the announcer seens the back of your hand and immediately alerts the crowd that you are Booker Dewitt, the lying murderous false shepherd. So after you’ve murdered all the people trying to murder you for all the murdering you’ve apparently done, The full city is on high alert and you are to be shot on sight.
This pretty much sets the scene for the rest of the game, you killing all the people in a given beautifully detailed area, then moving on to the next beautifully detailed area to repeat the process. The enemies always seem to come in waves reminding me somewhat of fable the lost chapters where things would be peaceful until the music changes as bandits charge in then suddenly somehow piece is restored until you move to the next area, which works great for me because there really are some really cool things around that it is worth your extra time to look at. It does, however create an odd sense of pacing though when you can kill everyone in an area, then wander about for several minutes before entering the next per-programmed murdering area, Apparently Booker Dewitt is enough of a threat to be killed on sight, but there’s no need to search for him, just shoot him if you happen to see him walk by.
Throughout the game you are consistently given new “vigors” which are essentially special powers only you get by drinking them from bottles the people running Columbia just seem to have left lying around in case someone who happens to be able to use them should come by and desire to shoot fire from their hands.
One of my favorite things though that Bioshock introduces are the skyrails which introduce alot of creative ways to punch people into the ground. They became especially fun for me later in the game once i found some pants that for some reason catch the area around me on fire when i land. It didn’t really make sense to me then and it doesn’t now, but who cares, i’m the god of flame over here.
Boishock is a title I really had a lot of fun playing, but, as far as actual GAMEPLAY goes, it’s pretty average. I found myself barely using Vigors at all, increasingly so after the hand canon was introduced and the most efficient tactic seemed to be ” walk into the area and strategically duck and weave while shooting all that oppose you in the face.” It did make things challenging later however once i’d spent all my money on fully upgrading the Hand canon and RPG launcher, and then stopped having access to ammo vendors every 15 steps and Elizabeths mysterious ” pull extra ammo out of her ass” power and i had to traverse two whole levels of crazed George Washington-esque attackers with only four hand canon rounds, 2 rpg’s and my trusty skyhook.
The difficulty is all over the place on it as well, but again that may be in relation to me choosing firepower over upgrading my fire-powers. It was interesting actually, because some areas will present you with 2-3 giant monsters that could be easily taken out with four rapid shots to the face, and then you look around and think to yourself, “Wow look at all these lovely tactical hiding places, salt potions, and summonable aids” as you search all the corpses on the way to the ammo vendor to replace the eight to twelve bullets you used clearing the area.I played on the normal difficulty, but your results may vary depending on factors like what you choose to level up and how good your aim is.
Overall I give the gameplay an 8/10
It’s solid and the weapons are all unique and satisfying to use, but at the same time the vigors fell a little flat for me, and the all over the place difficulty made it a little weird at times.
I’ve already mentioned how i thought the visuals in this game were just absolutely wonderful. ( I played at the highest detail setting available for the PC.) everything from the old radios and voxophones to the steampunk horses in this wolrd are utterly amazing and i can’t really find anything to criticize about it. I’ve seen a few people complain about the character models being not being as great as they really could have been, but I think the Developer made the right choice by going with these models. It’s a fact that When characters start getting too hyper realistic it starts to look wierd,
( example check out psycho from Crysis 3)
The Art Directors made the right choice here, to go for a more animated look for Elizabeth and to a slightly lesser extend all the other characters presented. The use of a somewhat cartoonish animation style really meshes incredibly well with the rest of the art and design in this game. They chose the right model to use in the right environment, and it’s monstrously evident in the feel that it gives the game,
While it isn’t the most technically detailed, the environment and characters do exactly what they’re intended to do, create an immersive and wonderous experience for the player, and Boishock has got that in spades. I wouldn’t give a 10 lightly here, but there is NOTHING that i can find that seems out of place, not a single moment in this game made me say, wow, that clearly didn’t work as the creator intended, This level of attention to detail ( and maaaybe some slightly more destructible environments could easily be used as a high point against which to judge other games)
This is going to be a hard one to rate without any spoilers, and i promised there wouldn’t be any of those, so here goes a wild stab. In the beginning the plot is tight as a drum, and you always have a great sense of motivation to move forward, but around the middle point that sort of falls back a little bit and it becomes a little more point to point killing things- based, but that’s really short lived, and as the game progresses past the 3/4 mark the story is coming out hard and fast as you continue to play and you are continually left guessing until the very end wondering how any of this could possibly make sense as you find more and more voxophone’s and keep getting littls bits. I found myself sincerely doubting as i reached the mandatory tower defense style final level and realized it might have been a really good idea to upgrade my vigors because in this lot they’re next to useless. i was in a total state of what the eff, how can they possibly make sense of all this, and like a shining axe falling from the sky and lodging itself firmly between my eyes, it did. And it did so creatively, and magnificently. So well in fact, that i started playing again, and all the little hints that didn’t make sense before suddenly made tons of sense and i feel like I’m now playing a whole separate game, all the weapons and encounters are the same, but instead of an experience of piling on heaps of unconnected links to a chain, you’re being handed threads that weave themselves into A rope, with each piece working it’s way in as it’s discovered, rather than arriving at your destination with a wheel barrow filled with individual chain links and being told how they fit together.
It’s a pretty unique story told in a pretty unique way, and the attention to detail, foreshadowing, and story telling are unparallelled in any medium this blogger has encountered.
Overall Experience 9.5/10
Bioshock infinite is a hell of a ride, and one you’ll probably want to get back into when you get off, Its incredibly immersive experience and environment will have you hooked, and keep you playing even against some slightly repetitive gameplay , slow moments, and one or two occasions where my “go this direction” arrow steered my astray. (it pointed me straight into the sky, anyone else have that happen?) This was a truly memorable game and if you like action adventure games I would really cite it as a must-play.
I’m tagging into this daily because i can’t think of a better story and exposition of plot twists, anyone who’s played this game knows that it is a golden example of perfect story telling, and flawless delivery.