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Oh yeah, this one took long enough! After three playthroughs, mixing play styles and
P lasmids Vigors and completing 1999 Mode, notorious for its incredible difficulty, it’s time to give it the full review. We have previously covered Bioshock Infinite in a First Impressions article, and its highest difficulty level in our Editorial on Higher Video Game Difficulties. Now, for Bioshock Infinite: The Long-Awaited Review.
The Beginning of Our Tale
The story begins with you as Booker DeWitt, a man in a rowboat, heading for a lighthouse, who seeks to erase his debt by finding a girl named Elizabeth and bringing her back to New York. Seems easy enough, until the lighthouse shoots you hundreds of feet into the sky and you see it: Columbia, you soon discover is the name of this mind-blowing city floating above the clouds. After being baptised into the city (that was certainly not a typo, either), you attend a festival to learn of Elizabeth’s whereabouts, at least until you see a sign warning that “The False Shepherd” bears a mark on his right hand with the letters “AD.” Strange that this resembles the letters “AD” branded on your own hand. Needless to say, someone else sees it, you’re branded a fake sheep handler and this town don’t take kindly to that…
George Washington has never been scarier, including at Valley Forge
What follows is one of the most incredible storylines in video gaming. Explaining much more would be a disservice to you. Needless to say, there is combat, political intrigue, well-timed plot twists and enough reality bending to keep you thinking about the game for the next few months. I still haven’t made heads or tails of it, and that is a hell of a statement to make for a first-person shooter.
Friends in High Places
The best companion…EVER
We will say that eventually your path crosses with Elizabeth, which should come as no surprise considering the trailers and commercials that have been aired. She has a hell of an arc of her own, so far as to say her journey is comparable to Booker’s own. She functions as a constant companion through much of the game, and before you finish that sigh of despair you just let out, she happens to be the best companion ever programmed for a video game. She is essentially invulnerable, meaning no annoying game overs, she throws you items like health, salts (magic) and ammunition randomly in battle, and then there are the rifts in spacetime. These tears bring things like automated guns, weapon caches and vending machines into your reality and ready to be used. She makes the game so much more interesting. Just as a heads up, you WILL love her, you WILL want to get her a puppy and make absolutely sure that when the prompt comes up in front of a guitar, that you accept it.
The enemy of my enemy is my friend…or my enemy…
We went on about the voice acting last time, and it holds true throughout, so we’ll focus on the music. Now, to call the music new would be wrong on two counts. First, the songs are covers of already existing songs, and second, they are from much later eras than 1912, the game’s setting, though they are arranged in instruments and styles more suitable to the timeframe.
Again, a disservice to tell you more. Just listen closely as you pass through the world. And yes, the game explains it.
Giant, mechanical defender; protecting his charge. Sound familiar?
If you’ve played the rest of the Bioshock series, a lot is familiar but with small additions to keep it feeling fresh, almost new. The combat uses the same mechanics, but melee executions and skyline-based combat make you feel like a swashbuckler. The environments are beautiful to behold, but instead of dark, horrifying corridors, you have wide open, brightened skyscapes. Plasmids have become Vigors, and while no longer tied to the story, still come in a good, but limited variety. Enemies come in the easy-to-fry and use-all-your-ammo varieties, but there are more of each type this time around. This should be expected of all sequels, even if the story doesn’t quite match up.
They love him so much… must be a bad guy
There are some things that may irk you at first. First, the campaign is about twelve hours long, longer if you take the time to explore every crevice, but the length is excellent in that it doesn’t feel overly extended nor the story underexplored. This is compounded when a lack of multiplayer is noticed, though if anyone remembers the tacked-on disaster of Bioshock 2’s multiplayer element, this might just be a blessing. Also consider the ending, which for people who want a simple end to a story, may not be satisfying, but so intricately fits into the plot that it’s hard to suggest something that would better fit there.
Even Elizabeth is wondering why you don’t own it yet
Every console generation has games that define the era they came from. Gamers think about great games like Super Mario World, Sonic the Hedgehog, Metal Gear Solid and Final Fantasy VII, Goldeneye 007, Halo: Combat Evolved, Grand Theft Auto 3 and God of War, among others, as examples of the finest games ever made. Bioshock Infinite will stand among Uncharted, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Gears of War to represent the gaming of achievements of the Seventh Generation of Video Game Consoles.
This game is a must-have. Buy it now if you own a console. If you don’t, buy a console and get Bioshock Infinite. This game earns every bit of the recommendation we give it.
Bioshock Infinite is Rated M for Mature for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Language, Mild Sexual Themes and Use of Alcohol and Tobacco. It is available for the Mac, PC, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. And you should own it immediately.
Have any incredible memories of this game? Of course you do! Share you favorites in the comment section below!