BioShock Infinite (Xbox 360) Reviews

  • Murder of BirdsMurder of Birds78,136
    27 Mar 2013 25 Jun 2013
    86 9 36
    Note: Review contains progression spoilers, but nothing in direct alignment with the story or that would ruin your experience.

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    Intro

    Bioshock Infinite is the 3rd game in the Bioshock series. Much like it's predecessor, Bioshock Infinite stands as a gaming masterpiece. It's breath-taking and beautifully crafted setting makes for a world that you only want to understand and envelop yourself into. Not being a direct sequel/prequel to any of the previous Bioshock games, Infinite offers a fascinating and gruesomely enjoyable adventure, taking place in an entirely different setting, while it shares similar features, gameplay and concepts of the previous games. The emotional, intense, and dynamic atmosphere is one that will make you feel needed in this game and with the duties that follow. And making it a battle when it comes time to put down the controller. For some this game will be a great game, for others, especially myself, it's an experience like no other. Infinite is amazing!
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    Story
    "Bring Us The Girl, Wipe Away The Debt"
    The year is 1912. The game starts off with you, Booker Dewitt, a former soldier and Pinkerton agent on your way to a lighthouse in the middle of the ocean. (Sound familiar?) Drowning in immense amounts of debt, for him to clear of it all he has been given the job of finding a woman named Elizabeth in Columbia, who is being confined and protected by the Winged-Beast, SongBird and return her safely to New York City. After being given essentials you stumble upon a comfy red chair, that ascends you up to the gorgeous airborne city in the sky known as Columbia. At the time of DeWitt's arrival, Columbia seems to be a "happy and prosperous" marvel city. But among the happy-go-lucky patrons, families, and scrappy kids lies a city of extreme, manipulative ideals, racial discrimination, and dark secrets within the facade. And all from the watchful eye of their Prophet, Zachary Comstock.

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    Conflicts & Adversaries
    During your adventure in Columbia you'll be faced with many trials from all different angles. Within there are signs of a religious movement that causes many to stand together against you. You'll also learns that Columbia is in the middle of a faction war between The Founders, a faction of the white and rich supremacists led by Comstock against the Vox Populi, a multi-racial and nationality group of the poor and working class led by Daisy Fitzroy. From this split, due to racial motivation, both factions desire Elizabeth and the special abilities she possesses, believing they can change the tides of the war.

    But adversaries do not stop there as the floating city has plenty of baddies that are just waiting to stop you in your tracks. Rapture wasn't the only "Haven" with a few crazies among them. These are just a few that await from within the city:

    Founders: The white and rich supremacists. They are the enforcers who dictate action and stability to the majority of Columbia. They are also standard as enemies wielding firearms and melee weapons.

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    Vox Populi: The multi-racial and nationality group of the poor and working class. They are discriminated and segregated due to racial factors among the Founders, ever so that even their weapons are segregated, to differentiate from Founder kind.

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    Vigor Users: So for Columbia the lovely new gene modifiers known as Plasmids, in previous Bioshock games, have been reestablished as Vigors in the world of Infinite. Used more on making lifestyles easier and prosperous, however these baddies use them as a way of control and authority. And with each having their own abilities, these users are a challenge to behold.

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    Handymen: These hunks of metal are Columbia's own version of our lovable Big Daddies of Rapture. These baddies are modified civilians who were disabled and/or severely injured. This procedure made it so Columbia can reclaim them to be able-bodied, as well as advertise a way of prolonging vitality.The Handymen possess great strength and speed and are capable of leaping great distances. In addition to their incredible strength and stamina, they are completely free-willed, unlike the Big Daddies of Rapture. This makes them even more dangerous because they will simply attack the player until Booker dies; they seek cover, exploit the environment around them to flank, and even throw other AIs at Booker if he is out of reach. The Handymen are the most worthy of adversaries in the game and will give anyone either a good challenge or a hard time. I also love how they have a glass display of their beating hearts on their chest plate!

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    SongBird: Songbird is a 30-foot winged creation creature that is feared by the citizens of Columbia. It's name derives from the tune that plays on a steam calliope organ in Elizabeth's room in Monument Tower whenever Songbird arrives. And he serves as Elizabeth's guardian during her imprisonment of 15 years, since she was 5 years old. During that time, it was the child's only company, bringing her such things as books and food. Although it held her captive, the creature had been her caretaker and protector. Eventually, she grew to love it as her only friend. And after she escapes the SongBird feels compelled to do and destroy ANYTHING to return her. It is truly an influential character in BioShock Infinite. Also a Badass!

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    The girl, Elizabeth
    Elizabeth is a 21 year old woman and one of the central themes to the story of the game. From the moment you meet her she displays such vivid levels of life and enthusiasm, that I have never experienced in a videogame. Her early development is something to be admired, given her situation she expresses such emotion and passion for life and wonder. There are even several animated nuances that display actions of human-like behavior and character that is almost unseen, at this magnitude, in other videogames. From her skipping rocks on a beach shore, to singing harmoniously in tune with Booker at the guitar. With every action she takes, it breeds a phenomenal idea of achieving the impossible, from a gaming standpoint. And one of the greatest features of the game, and one that made me truly care for, was the companionship between myself and Elizabeth.

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    From the start she's more like a damsel in distress, but her development is one that progresses with every step and experience. And from an emotion perspective her situation is one that drives her to become dynamic and independent and not just some sidekick. And trust me, she can handle her own! She quickly becomes a reliable asset during your adventure, providing provisions of health, ammo and money. She then becomes a huge asset in combat, utilizing her supernatural ability of opening Tears in time to provide weapons and assisting allies. (turrets, mechs). Heck, she even has a skill at lock-picking to get you to hidden areas and discover hidden goodies. And as you uncover new areas and progress into the story you'll begin to understand both herself and her past. It's truly a moment that I wanted to know and venture into, and made me feel closer to her. I also felt that she was a representation of a Little Sister to this Bioshock. With being protected by the SongBird, and providing aid and assistance to you once you've helped her. Just my take on it.

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    Gameplay
    The feel and combat of Bioshock Infinite is both fun and exciting. The game features a wide range of environments that will force the player to adapt, with different weapons and strategies for each situation. As well as some new features.

    A running ability has been added to provide more swift actions and thinking, even among battles. And with an increase of danger and limited options of healing there has also been a shield ability which gets damaged before you suffer from health loss, and it regenerates! As for your arsenal, there are a TON of weapons to choose from. From starting with the Sky Hook, which serves as a form of transit upon the Sky-Line, as well as a kickass melee weapon. The selections expand greatly from pistols and shotguns, to RPG's and chaingun. And more-so with the segregated weapons of the Founders and the Vox. Players also gains powers and abilities by using the genetically modified intakes, Vigors, utilizing the equippable Gear for active/passive abilities and Infusion bottles that are found throughout Columbia to increase your Health, Shield and/or Salts. With abilities such as summoning flocks of deadly crows to the classical electric shock there are many way of approach and combinations with your immense arsenal. And with Elizabeth by your side you'll have no trouble tipping the scale of battle for some awesome gameplay experiences.

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    Achievements
    The game has a total of 50 achievements for 1000G. If you're familiar with previous Bioshock games then it's nothing too foreign. The some of the achievements include basics of getting an X amount of kills with each weapon/Vigor. Using Elizabeth's abilities and other assisting features, collecting and interacting with collectibles (Infusion bottles, voxophones, telescopes, kinetoscopes,) And completing the game at least twice with stackable difficulties (Easy, Normal, Hard, 1999 Mode & without purchasing items from Dollar Bill vender) And other miscs. Also note that kill based achievements and collectibles are carried over and/or re-tracked when doing multiple playthroughs. I plan on going for this completion and pinning it in my Trophy Case!

    Note: The game can be completed in one playthrough if you choose use the cheat code to unlock 1999 Mode at the Main Menu and play it off the bat: Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A.
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    Downloadable Content
    Prior to the game's release, 2K Games and Irrational Games had announced the production of the Bioshock Infinite Season Pass to be available for download on launch day. It would include three brand new Add-on packs that will provide hours of additional gameplay and continue the player’s journey in the sky-city of Columbia with new stories, locations, characters, abilities and weapons. Those who purchase the Bioshock Infinite Season Pass would also receive the Early Bird Special Pack at no extra cost. This bonus pack contains four pieces of exclusive gear, a Machine Gun Damage Upgrade, a Pistol Damage Upgrade, a gold skin for both weapons and five Infusion bottles that would become available immediately, following purchase. As for the Add-on DLC, it will provide nearly $30.00 of add-on content for $19.99 or 1,600 Microsoft Points; a savings of more than 30%, rather than individual downloads. No release date has been set for any Add-ons, however, it is confirmed that ALL Season Pass content will be available on the Xbox LIVE Marketplace by March 2014. So let's hope for a graceful release pattern over the next year. I will add to this review for the add-ons once they becomes available.
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    Conclusion
    Bioshock Infinite delivers a truly marvelous gaming experience. Much to it's credit it up to it's predecessor as one of the greatest story-driven games of all time. The combination of the game’s two central characters, the beautiful and breath-taking game world, excellent game mechanics,enjoyable combat and everything in-between is executed to near perfection and leaves very little, if anything, to be desired. It's one of the best games I've ever played and if you simply won't be disappointed. My only disappointment is that with every game, good or bad, this one had to come to an end. But with the Season Pass of adding 3 new Add-ons, I can't wait to soar back into the gorgeous world of Columbia in the future! Thanks for reading, now GO BUY IT!!!

    P.S. Be sure to wait past the credits for an ending cutscene, once you've finished the game.

    Bioshock Infinite Trailer
    5.0
    Showing most recent comments. View all comments.
    dropK1CK ninJAJust a heads up, your intro graphic doesn't show up in the little intro box that appears on the game's page. Try just using text for that portion.
    Posted by dropK1CK ninJA on 14 Apr 13 at 13:55
    a44Specialmy only question is did you play this game and beat it on PC? Or are you coping someone else's review? I noticed you don't even have the beat the game on easy achievement.
    Posted by a44Special on 30 Mar 14 at 23:34
    Murder of BirdsNeither. I don't prefer PC games, and it's be idiotic to copy/paste a review, when you can't find it anywhere else. This is 100% mine, and I've completed the game before on 360! What happened was I bought this game Day One, and at the time I also had a completely different gamertag (Not a name change). Down the road I ended up creating a new, separate gamertag and TA swapped the tags, but left all of the works that I had on the site intacts when the swap was complete (Reviews, solutions, walk-throughs, etc..) So alot of games that I have reviews for, but have not replayed yet would give you that perplexed impression. Hope that clears up any confusion.
    Posted by Murder of Birds on 31 Mar 14 at 12:14
  • RomanAroundRomanAround686,245
    29 Mar 2013 29 Mar 2013
    20 1 4
    Having just played Bioshock Infinite I feel compelled to write my first ever review on this site. The game is absolutely brilliant.

    STORY
    You play as Booker DeWitt, a private investigator from New York who has agreed to rescue a girl from Columbia in exchange for wiping out a mysterious debt. You start your journey on the way to a lighthouse in the Atlantic ocean (which has great significance to anyone that has played Bioshock 1 and will have even more significance once you've finished Infinite).

    To say anything more of the story would spoil it, but rest assured that the story is compiled magnificently and told through a number of techniques, such as environmental details/graffiti, vaxophones (audiotapes), Kinectoscopes (old-time silent movies), flashbacks, flashforwards and character interactions, all culminating in a final 30 minutes that was more thought-provoking than any other game I've played. I'm just finishing my second playthrough now and - knowing what's to come - the story is even more engaging the second time round.

    It touches on many things, including religion, racism, sexism, science, honesty, integrity, murder and faith and the behaviour of the NPC's in the context of these story themes adds a great deal to the experience - although I am very sure that some of the themes will upset some people.

    More than anything you can see that real effort and passion has been put into the narrative and it remains at a consistently high quality across all 22 chapters of the game.

    Finally, the character of Elizabeth is very well drawn and, hands down, is the best AI companion I have ever had in a game. Most AI companions stand dumb and mute next to you while waiting for you to do something. Elizabeth feels like she exists in the world and contributes a great deal to your survival within it, and during the times when I feared I was going to lose her, or that she would come to harm, I was damn committed to protecting her.

    ENVIRONMENT
    From the first moment you enter Columbia it is truly unlike any other gaming environment. The city is absolutely incredible. The graphics are superb, the lighting beautiful and the ebb and flow of the city is awesome to behold. The shops, the people, the posters, the flowers, the roads, even the little Hummingbird's buzzing around.

    Unlike Rapture, where you arrive at a dying city, in Columbia you arrive in a living, breathing one, full of people talking and going about their day. In-fact, it's how normal and lovely everything is that really makes the horrors of the story so gripping.

    Throughout the game the mix of environments is well handled, including outdoor fairs, amusement parks, museums, test labs, chapels, markets, zeppelin's, seaside beaches, shantytown's, factories, Historical re-enactments of famous conflicts and fog covered graveyards, to name but a few. That the developer's have crafted such varied and scary environments in the middle of a city floating in the sunny sky is a real triumph.

    COMBAT
    This felt pretty much the same as Bioshock on the whole. The major difference is that you can only carry two guns at a time instead of the 8 or so you could carry in Bioshock 1/2.

    It took a little getting used to, and I was initially annoyed that I couldn't carry my pistol, machine gun and rocket launcher all in one go and had to choose, but as the game went on it made sense and the need to constantly change out my weapons and scavenge from dead bodies mid-combat added to the intensity of the game.

    The game nails the old one-two. The vigors (replacing Plasmids) work well and have better variety than the previous games - it was quite a pleasure to throw someone into the air (Bucking Bronco) shoot them with my Machine Gun then zap them with electricity (Shock Jockey) and then wait for them to fall back to the ground, and then send a wave of water at them (Undertow) to wash them off the edge of Columbia and tumbling thousands of feet through the sky!

    In total I think there were around 11 different guns and 8 Vigors with each vigor having 2 types of attack - so that's a lot of options. Add to that the fact that you can engage in combat while standing, sitting, running, or riding on air-rails, plus take possession of people and machines, and call in bots, mechs and turrets to fight on your side, and you have enormously satisfying and significantly varied gameplay.

    The hit detection and draw-distance on the game is very good also, making all engagements feel fair and all victories well earned.

    Lastly, and this may seem a strange thing to say in a FPS, but there is a pleasing amount of time in this game when you aren't in combat and when, given the chance to be in combat, you can actually choose not to be. It pays you well to not always be the person that shoots first.

    NAVIGATION
    Navigation is awesome. The game doesn't perhaps have quite the amazing scope I would have wanted - i.e. the ability to go from any building to any other building at the drop of a hat - but that's just me being greedy.

    Riding the skylines is simple enough, with A used to hook up to them, B used to change direction and Left Stick used to control speed. Shooting targets while riding the skylines, then jumping to a rooftop and firing off a plasmid before jumping on another skyline to another rooftop, all the while trying to keep myself orientated and clear headed, was a very satisfying experience

    ACHIEVEMENTS
    Good achievements. A few too many achievements to do with 'Get x kills with Y weapons' but then it did help encourage variety that I otherwise might not have pursued. There are good collectibles achievements, most of which allow you to collect over multiple playthroughs rather than forcing you to do everything in one go. Then there are the 1999 Mode achievements, which offer up strong challenges for completionists.

    SUMMARY
    This review is already too long so I'll wrap it up by saying that, as much as I've described above, there is still so much more to experience in this game. I haven't even touched upon:

    - Gear (which replaces Tonics)
    - The Patriots (heavyhitter enemies)
    - The decisions (will you pick Bird or Cage, Heads or Tails, Draw or Demand?)
    - The Handy Man (which replaces Big Daddies)
    - The SongBird (which is absolutely badass)
    - Melee atatcks and executions
    - The Tears (which mix up the gameplay even more)
    - Infusions (upgrades)

    Nor have I touched upon a quite wonderful moment where you stop, sit, play the guitar and have a little sing. Buy this game. Buy it immediately!
    5.0
  • Papa El LoroPapa El Loro440,708
    03 Apr 2013 04 Apr 2013
    17 2 2
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    This review will be as spoiler free as possible.

    'Booker, are you afraid of god?' Booker: 'No, but I'm afraid of you.'

    So after 3 long years the highly anticipated third installment in the multi award winning Bioshock series hits the shelves. The only question is, does it live up to the Bioshock name?

    Story - You play as Booker DeWitt as you are sent to a mysterious floating city called Columbia to find a girl to bring her to a mysterious employer to wipe away a debt. All seems well in the stunning sky city until you're forced to fight to survive and uncover the mysteries.

    Graphics - The graphics are stunning through out the game. The city is finished to an amazing level. The game boasts several unique areas from gun ships to market areas. There are plenty of places to explore and you'll find yourself looking in every corner. The game also boasts some stunning character design from the creepy looking motorized patriot to the intimidating handyman to the terrifying presence of the Song Bird. Everything is stunning in this game.

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    Sound - There are some stunning music pieces in the game which really set the tone for what's taking place around you. The voice acting is really well done and the voices all match the characters. There are also some sound effects in the game like the nerve-racking noise the songbird makes to mark it's arrival.

    AI - There are some challenging areas in the game and if you don't have your wits about you and use everything at your disposal you're going to have a hard time. Combining your vigors with your weapons is the way to go. The game also boasts 1999 mode for the gamer looking for a challenge. For the most part the enemies are very aggressive and will more often than not come right at you as opposed to a duck and cover style combat.

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    Gameplay - For the most part the game plays out in a similar fashion to the previous games where you will mix your various vigors and various weapons to fight your way through the areas of the game against a mix of enemies wielding various weapons. This game also has the addition of gear, which are pieces of clothing found through the game. You can equip four pieces at one time and they provide you with various benefits such as increased melee damage or enemies are more likely to drop ammo. If you combine these right you will have a much easier time playing on the harder difficulties. The thing that sets the gun fights apart from previous games is the addition of the skylines you use to reach areas for the tactical advantage or fight your foes from them and use them to your advantage. This leads to a much faster paced game. You will also spend time exploring Columbia trying to find collectibles and completing a few side objectives the game offers.

    Achievements - The achievements are very straight forward and will mainly see you getting so many kills with each weapons and finding a lot of collectibles. There are a few miscellaneous achievements as well as story related ones. There are also a few achievements tied to completing the game on the different difficulties, luckily these stack. None of them will cause you much frustration as even the collectibles contribute to the story. All in all, they could have been more inventive with the list it's pretty unoriginal.

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    Replay value - Personally I think that once you've completed the game you're not likely to playthrough it again unless you do it on a different difficulty or to pick up a few achievements you're missing.

    Summary - The game doesn't miss a beat! It lives up to the level set by the previous games, which wasn't an easy thing to do by any means. It also boasts one of the best story lines offered in recent years. If you're a fan of the previous games or just a fan of FPS games then this is a must for you! The game is set in another unique world which lives up to the standards of Rapture which again, is an impressive feat. I can't wait for the next installment in the franchise!

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    Pros:
    - Incredible story
    - Fantastic graphics
    - Fast paced gameplay.

    Cons:
    - Boring achievement list
    - Too short
    5.0
  • Fatal x BladeFatal x Blade1,220,588
    31 Mar 2013 04 Aug 2019
    14 1 4
    Video Review



    Intro

    Arguably 2013's most anticipated game is finally upon us, that game being Bioshock Infinite. The original Bioshock revolutionized gaming with it's unique atomospheric based story-telling; along with having a mind-blowing plot-twist towards its finale. While Bioshock got a sequel a few years back, that was adequate. Infinite is the game that got fan's wishful. Wishful that Infinite could live up to the ridiculously high standards set by the first Bioshock, along with being able to recreate the magic gamers experienced during their first playthrough into the dark twisted depths of the underwater city of Rapture. Irrational games in this new game set their sights to new heights, quite literally seeing as this time around players explore a new city placed in the sky known as Columbia. I myself was skeptical on whether or not a change in scenery would be enough to top it's predecessor. Now having completed the game I find my skepticism surrounding this game to have been wrongly placed, because not only did they manage to recapture the magic; somehow they managed to completely blow the original Bioshock off its pedestal. This is managed through some of the best storytelling I've ever seen done in a video game accompanied with a more refined yet similar combat system.

    Story

    Story, undeniably is Infinite's strongest quality. I really want to delve into all the things that make the plot so intriguing, but that would involve spoilers. So, instead I will simply give a summary of the basic plot. You play as Booker Dewitt, a roguish man with a mysterious past. All the player really knows from the get go is that Dewitt gambled his way into a very generous debt. One that is promised to be payed should he travel to Columbia, retrieve the girl (Elizabeth) and bring her to the man who hired him.

    It becomes obvious early on that Booker is a hardened man, one who has seen and done more than any man should in any lifetime. Basically he's got a lot of baggage, but more or less he has come to terms with the man he is. His mind is hard-wired to completing his mission, and showing no remorse. Or at least that was his plan prior to meeting Elizabeth, who he fairly quickly develops a soft-spot for.

    Elizabeth the girl Booker is hired to retrieve has spent her entire life locked away in a tower by her father Comstock (we'll get to him later). Her only company being the Songbird (basically a very large robotic-like bird) who acts as her friend as well as her warden. Naturally Elizabeth feels very cooped up and aspires of being free and traveling to Paris of all places. Obviously being trapped in a tower day in and day out Elizabeth has a lot of free time. Which she claims is the reason for her being able to create tears in the universe. A tear essentially is matter in a specific area being ripped apart revealing a gateway into another world, one that is both similar yet different to the one they're currently in.

    The dynamic between Elizabeth and Booker is an interesting one. On one hand you've got Booker, a tortured man who understands the necessity of killing under given circumstances than on the other you've got Elizabeth who has been shielded from the darkness in the world and still clings to hope. As the game progresses you see the two of them beginning to learn from each other, grow, and begin to become loyal to one another. Elizabeth gives Booker something to care for again and she realizes the world isn't as it seems in hundreds of books she read.

    Comstock is the main antagonist in this game he is the Prophet, the founder of Columbia. To the people he is their savior, their leader, and they would follow him to the end of the world. He picked up the name Prophet, because he is credited with being able to see the future. He foretold the coming of a False Prophet (identifiable by the marking of the letters AD on his hand), a man who would lead the lamb astray from her destiny of taking Comstocks place as leader after his demise. If you hadn't pieced this together yet Booker is the False Prophet which is why everyone and their brother is trying to kill him, and Elizabeth is the Lamb.

    The story is told primarily through simply playing the game and seeing everything for yourself, but there is the occasional cut-scene. Cut-scenes in this game are all in-game and have the same quality of graphics as the game play itself. The cut-scenes are scripted, but generally the player still has control of looking around and occasionally further interaction is necessary.

    Voice acting in this game is top-notch, to be honest it doesn't get much better than this. Particularly Courtney Draper who voices Elizabeth. She really brings Elizabeth to life delivering loads of emotion, and her performance never falters. Elizabeth is further brought to life through some very realistic looking facial animations.

    Just like the original Bioshock this game has one of those "Wow" moments woven into the games plot where everything comes together. When I was getting close to the end I wondered how they could possibly tie everything together in a satisfactory way. I knew something had to happen yet I was still surprised when it did. Talk about some awesome plot twists, the games finale was well above my expectations, it's one of those ending that leaves you thinking and will remain memorable for years to come. Take note that there is a little extra scene at the end of the credits so be sure and stick around for that.

    Presentation/Design

    Infinite is absolutely gorgeous to behold, it remains true to the artstyle of previous Bioshock games, but due to the new setting the color palette has changed drastically. Columbia offers just as much atmosphere as Rapture did if not more. In the beginning before being exposed as the false prophet the streets of Columbia were bustling with people to watch and eavesdrop on all there amusing conversations. Even after being known as the false prophet there are still areas where the player can see NPC's going about their daily routines and such. Instead of waiting for trains like we do in our world in Columbia the citizens have to wait for different segments of the city to "connect" and allow for people to cross, seeing as the city is suspended in individual bits. The return of Audio Diaries, along with other forms of media further assist in bring the world of Columbia to life. Audio Diaries allow the player some extra information, most of the time relating to the main plot, but also offer a personal perspective into different characters opinions and motives. The Audio Diaries are collectibles that are actually worth picking just for the extra back story they offer. Listening to them is convenient now seeing as with a simple tap of the D-Pad it will automatically begin playing your last Audio Diary picked up.

    The game is set-up very similarly to past entries. Technically the game is linear, but the levels are expansive along with all being apart of the one city. Due to these expansive areas there is plenty of exploration offered for the player. Which teases the player into feeling like the game is open-world even though it's not actually a truly open-world game. There are different districts in the city, and typically when travelling between these districts the landscape changes quite a bit. These different districts could be seen as level changes. For anyone confused as where to go players can activate a way-point that points them in the direction of their current objective. This is a handy little addition although it's not nearly as perfectly implemented, such as the one in the Dead Space series. At times the way-point acts a little glitchy along with only appearing for a few brief seconds, and offering only a vague direction opposed to an exact one. This is a minor complaint, because it does it's job well enough.

    Gameplay

    The core Infinite game play is almost identical to that of the previous Bioshock games, instead of changing what worked well they decided to just add on to the existing structure. This time around instead of using Plasmids the player is granted with Vigors. Vigors function the same as Plasmids did. There are 8 Vigors given to the player slowly throughout the course of the game. Each Vigor is completely original, even if some have similarities to past Plasmids. My personal favorite Vigor is called "Return to Sender" it acts as both a defensive and offensive move. It allows the player to absorb bullets shot at him with the palm of his hand, and then shoot the bullets back towards his enemies. The player can swap between a max of 2 equipped Vigors with a tap of a Left Bumper. I thought it was kind of weird to only allow 2 Vigors to be equipped at a time. I would've thought 4 or so would've been ideal. Not that it's a huge deal because swapping Vigors in and out of the slots is pretty quick and simple. All one has to do is hold the LB and use the Right Stick to put a new vigor into the selected slot. But, I still found my constant need/want to swap Vigors kind of a nuisance because each time I did it took me out of the natural flow of combat.

    I experienced a similar complaint when it came to weapons. Just like Vigors only 2 weapons can be equipped at a time. There is a large variety of different weapons in this game. I was actually rather impressed with how many the developers decided to incorporate. You've got multiple machine guns, shot guns, carbines, a chain gun, rocket launcher, type of grenade launcher, sniper rifle etc. Unlike Vigors though you are unable to carry every type of weapon with you and just manually swap between them. Instead it functions like your typical FPS you must swap weapons out as you find them on the map. I think it would've been ideal if I could have at least carried 3 weapons with me at a time. But, since First-Person-Shooters rarely allow more than two weapons to be equipped at a time I can't really complain. I just feel that if I could have had more weapons at my disposal at all times I would've been able to feel better equipped and allow me to chain weapon kills together. There were ton's of areas in this game where I would initiate a battle and realize that I really wish I wouldn't of traded out my sniper or man I could really use a carbine right about now. I feel that if the developers would have allowed a weapon wheel accessible at anytime for weapons you've picked up, one that functions how the Vigor wheel does, than the combat would have benefited from it. Along with preventing some annoying deaths where I couldn't find a new weapon and had low ammo on all my currently equipped weapons. For the most part though weapons are found plentiful around the battle grounds, and some of the time the developers tried to place weapons that the player might find advantageous against the upcoming battle.

    There are some very smart additions added into the game play that truly help in making the combat more intense, and fun. The best of these additions is how Elizabeth is handled during the game play. Elizabeth despite being gorgeous knows how to take care of herself. She will accompany you, through the games entirety, minus the times where the two of you become separated. Elizabeth sets a new standard for companion AI. Most companion AI's hinder the player more than aide, and typically will get in the way. Elizabeth on the other hand is the complete opposite, she truly fulfills every promise one hears when developers talk about how awesome their companion AI are. She will throw you ammo, health, money, and salts (salts are used up when performing Vigors think of them as your Mana). She also picked up the art of lock picking from her years of solitude in the tower. Along with all that she will point out things for you collectibles, and such that you may have otherwise missed. As I mentioned she is not helpless, you don't have to protect her, and you don't have to help her across areas. She will follow you wherever you go. Generally when it comes to female companions they need a lot of help crossing gaps and what-not, with Elizabeth this is not the case at all. The best part of Elizabeth is somehow despite always being by your side, never manages to get in your way. Plus since she is your trusty companion there is plenty of emotional chatter, and bantering between her and Booker.

    Possibly most unique thing regarding Elizabeth is her ability to open tears up for you during combat. These tears range from giving you cover, to granting you friendly turrets. This extra little add-on is yet another thing that makes the combat so engaging. The only thing that some people may find annoying is Elizabeth seems to be able to only have one tear open at a time. But, I suppose it would be unfair for the enemies if she could open all the tears at once.

    Another clever addition was that of Sky-Rails. Sky-rails are used as a form of transportation across all of Columbia. Early on Booker is given a device that attaches to his hand, which allows him to hook onto these sky-rails. While hooked on the player can dictate how fast or slow Booker grinds along. While this feature functions as a means of transport it also can be utilized during combat. The player can shoot from these rails and also perform an attack where when aimed at an enemy whilst within range can jump off and perform an execution on said enemy, that sends them soaring. Booker's nifty little gadget also acts as your melee attack, and can be activated with the Y button. When enemies are low on health the player can hold this button to activate one of many gruesome executions on them.

    Perhaps the past Bioshocks most unique quality was the brilliance behind the big-daddy and little-sister dynamic. Personally I adored the relationship between the two. Slightly underwhelming is the replacement of the Big-Daddy in this game. In this game the Handyman acts as the substitution. While the Handyman lacks the intrigue and emotional impact created by Big-Daddys and Little Sisters, he makes up for it in combat. Fighting him is both intense and challenging, the AI behind him anticipates and reacts to your movements and attacks very well. It doesn't help that he has the ability to wipe out your health rather quickly. Sadly my first encounter with him was not near as epic as the first time I fought a Big-Daddy. Strangely there isn't much reward for killing a Handyman either. Every time I killed one the only thing I looted from him was health, salts, and cash. I think it would've been nice if they at least would've given me some better equipment. Luckily there are plenty of other unique enemies in the game that help balance out the Handyman's shortcomings.

    Longevity/Upgrading

    The game is a decent length taking between 7 and 12 hours to complete depending on how much exploring the player partakes in. Honestly I believe that the length is just about perfect. I feel that if it would've been extended any it might have began to feel dragged out. Luckily though that didn't happen. This is the first game in a long time where I couldn't put it down. I never once felt bored during my time with it, and as soon as completing it all I wanted to do was start it back up and immerse myself back into the world of Columbia and experience everything I missed out on during my first playthrough.

    Vending machines make a return in this new entry. Vending machines allow for ammo, health, and salts to be purchased, but also allow weapons and Vigors to be upgraded. Audio Diaries are not the only thing that player can find strewn throughout the game, but also infusions which can be used to permanently increase health, shield, and salts. On top of that the player can also find gear that can be equipped to Booker. Each piece of Gear adds a unique ability to Booker. For instance one piece of gear makes it so that after your shield is depleted the player will automatically move quicker which helps when needing to make a quick getaway.

    Conclusion

    Bioshock Infinite is above and beyond any expectation I had going in. In my opinion it is an all around better game than the first Bioshock. This new entry tells one of the best stories ever told in a Video Game, and it does it in an interesting way that allows for the player to never feel taken out of the game. Infinite has some brilliant plot twists, and perhaps one of the most epic endings of all time. Somehow the game manages to tie everything together in a more than satisfactory manner. I completed the game two days ago, yet I still find myself mulling over its conclusion and I believe this story will stick with me for years to come. The game has raised the bar in Video Game storytelling. Elizabeth is an absolutely brilliant character that is brought to life both in voice and in animation. She is the best companion AI I've ever seen in a game. Combat is fluid, fun, intense, and engaging. Vigors, Skyrails, new enemies, and weapon types are all great additions. The game is gorgeous, and the world of Columbia bathes in atmosphere. I have no real complaints with this game at all, and any small issue I mentioned in this review was more me just nitpicking at perfection. To be honest, no game will ever be truly perfect there will always be a small flaw, texture pop-in, glitch, or graphical hiccup in every game. Bioshock Infinite though is about as close to perfection as games get. A gem as fine as this game only comes along maybe a few times every console generation. With that in mind, all that's really left to say is "Would You Kindly Buy this Game".

    Pro's

    + Awesome Conclusion, an ending that doesn't disappoint
    + Plot twists
    + Elizabeth is brought to life and is an emotional master-piece
    + Elizabeth Redefines Companion AI
    + Combat is fast, fluid, and epic
    + The City of Columbia arguably tops that of Rapture
    + Might just be the best game I've played this entire console generation
    + An Instant Classic!

    Con's

    - Handyman could have been more intriguing
    - Being able to equip more Vigors at a time would have been nice
    - I wish they would've implemented a weapon wheel similar to the Vigors wheel
    - Way-point system could use some fine tuning

    Rating

    10 / 10

    Youtube
    https://www.youtube.com/fatalxblade
    5.0
  • themegamancavethemegamancave142,898
    30 Mar 2013 09 Apr 2013
    14 1 2
    I wanted to write this review as soon as possible after finishing the game to ensure I got my immediate impressions as exact as possible. To preface, I want assure readers that my review is as spoiler-free as possible, as I know how angry I've gotten by blindly skimming through them in the past.

    Bioshock Infinite is a fantastic game with enormous depth, often outsmarting itself, and can provide any type of gamer with hours of well-needed excitement. Whether you're a story or gameplay driven gamer, Infinite has it all. Incorporating nostalgic Bioshock elements, this game transports our minds to the same elation that the first two titles brought us, while introducing us to a brand new storyline and characters, with unique added gameplay pieces.

    GRAPHICS/VISUALS: 10/10
    Bioshock Infinite may not be the most graphically impressive game out on the market, but for what it's trying to portray, it gets it perfect. The game is set in 1912, and boasts a bright and dazzling environment. I often found myself awestruck at the level of detail in the scenery, stopping to examine even the most minute objects. The frame rate is also excellent, having experienced zero slowdown while blasting my way through fierce battles left and right. The NPCs are resemblant of the time, and dressed to kill, even sporting the proper attire of the teens and twenties.

    Some of the special effects the gamer will experience throughout a playthrough are as original as they are visually stunning. Epic fight scenes and dimensions overlapping on each other, topped off with a chaotic and immersive end fight. I was in a sense, lost in the game's environment, not wanting to put the controller down for any reason. Simply put, Infinite's graphics are top notch.

    STORY: 10/10
    This game may have the most complex and gripping story I have seen in quite a long time. You start the game as the protagonist, "Booker Dewitt", who is traveling out to a strange distant lighthouse serving as a gateway to a distant land. Dewitt is a former detective from the Pinkerton Agency, who was relieved of his duties from an excess of drinking and gambling, due mostly from battles he had witnessed in the past. He is ordered to "give the girl and wipe away the debt", a phrase repeatedly used throughout your adventure. The so-called "girl" is believed to be hidden away somewhere in the reaches of Columbia, a floating city full of strange places and extraordinary people. While retrieving her, Dewitt butts heads with Comstock, a religious fanatic, who used his spiritual influence to assume dominance and leadership over the city.

    Over the course of the story, multiple plot twists ensue and side-stories emerge, making Infinite a pleasant departure from streamlined video game stories. There's a plethora of unique characters with top notch development, many of whose stories can be unraveled by collecting "voxaphones", a dated recording device which served in this world as an audio diary.

    The ending of this game is what truly set it apart from others in this generation. Like the cult favorite Square Enix title, Nier, Bioshock Infinite kept me guessing up until the credits were completely over. I still had so many questions after the story's conclusion, but I was strangely content with not receiving any of the answers. For the first time in ages, I was speechless about the epic conclusion. I immediately called my wife, who has been jealous about missing my first playthrough, needing to tell someone about just how damn good this game was.

    GAMEPLAY: 10/10
    Irrational Games, the developer of Bioshock Infinite, had loads of ideas to work with on this game. Many of the same gameplay elements from Bioshock 1 and 2 are evident in this title. The movements are the same, the weapons are all unique but relatable, and the new "vigor" magic system pays tribute to the plasmids and tonics used in the originals. One bold but successful change they made to the game was the ability to only carry two weapons at a time. Upon first discovering this I was initially upset, thinking I wouldn't have the right gun at the right time, but as the game progressed, I completely forgot about it. There are enough weapon spawns to go around, and plenty of enemies to kill and commandeer their gear. The guns range from your classic pistol and shotgun, to a badass melee weapon that rips apart (literally) your foes with entertaining finishing moves. Weapons are also customizable, offering numerous ways to equip yourself with tools of your favorite fighting style.

    The special abilities known as "vigors", are permanently equipped powers that serve a variety of purposes. Mind controlling enemies, setting explosive fireball traps, absorbing ammo and damage and launching fiends into the air like a bucking bronco are just a few of the possibilities you have. Similar to weapons, vigors are customizable as well, giving you alternate uses for existing abilities. Your character can also wear 4 different types of gear, found in presents scattered around columbia. Each piece has its own unique properties to help aid you on your quest. Booker Dewitt is also equipped with a rechargeable shield, and can collect vials called Infusions, which permanently increase either your shield, health or salts (used to cast vigors).

    Another intriguing thing about the gameplay of Infinite is the use of Elizabeth, the mystical girl that Dewitt rescues early in the story. Unlike dreadful escort missions of other games, you need not worry about her at all. Elizabeth fends for herself and is pretty damn useful, opening up "tears", or alternate dimensions, allowing you to use anything from turrets to ammo depots and health boxes. She also comes with an uncanny ability to pick locks, and scrounge up random coins, health and salts, and she even solves puzzles for you. She's the whole package!

    The gameplay of Bioshock Infinite is challenging when it needs to be, but is not too punishing for the average gamer. You can choose from 4 difficulties; easy, normal, hard and an unlockable "1999 Mode" which is only to be attempted by the most battle-tested gamers. I played through on normal first, and only died about 5 times, so I think 1999 mode is in my sights :)

    AUDIO: 9.5/10
    While the soundtrack to Bioshock Infinite isn't Grammy worthy, it definitely captures the time period perfectly. Distant hums of old radios and phonographs can be heard in almost any building, and the music is accented by paying homage to songs from the 60's to the 80's, introduced by random tears through Columbia. The soundtrack is dramatic and suspenseful when it needs to be, and doesn't try to overdo itself. The voice acting is also impeccable. The talents of Troy Baker (Snow from FFXIII and Yuri from Tales of Vesperia) are present to play the lead, and a variety of other talented actors are also showcased.

    REPLAYABILITY/ACHIEVEMENTS: 10/10
    Infinite offers countless reasons to attempt a 2nd or even 3rd playthrough by incorporating its wide spread difficulties and interesting collectibles. Unlike other games with boring or pointless collectibles, in this game you can help pave more of a backstory with them. The aforementioned Voxaphones allow you to listen to prerecorded snippets into the lives of various inhabitants on Columbia, and ancient video machines called "Kinectoscopes" help you peer into old ragtime style films of the time. There are also conveniently placed telescopes to help you zoom in on the environment around you.

    The achievement list is also expansive and fun, including a mix of standard story achievements and many more. All can be achieved on one playthrough, but there are enough to keep you cheevo hunting for days. Some are for killing x amount of enemies in a certain way or getting x kills with certain weapons, but I never found them to be repetitive in the slightest. There is even an achievement for beating the game on the hardest difficulty without replenishing supplies from a vendor station, talk about relentless!

    OVERALL: 9.9/10
    Bioshock may be a perfect game. I can't remember the last time I forgot to eat because I was so engrossed in the story and didn't want to stop playing. It's smart, thrilling and funny rolled into one ball of greatness. I urge you to not pass this one up, as it will go down into history as one of the greatest games of all time.

    Time To Complete: About 20 hours
    Favorite Achievement: "Bon Voyage"
    Hardest Achievement: "Scavenger Hunt"
    5.0
  • BigFriendlyGeekBigFriendlyGeek224,214
    09 Apr 2013 05 Jun 2013
    11 2 2
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    Irrational Games have been busy. Since they released Bioshock, widely acclaimed and regarded by many as the spiritual successor to the classic System Shock series, they have been working on in Bioshock Infinite, a true follow-up to 2007’s highly acclaimed masterpiece. I say true follow-up because while we were given Bioshock 2 in 2010 by 2K Marin, this gives us a brand new story, city, villain, hero… and mostly notably a brand new heroine.

    I place the emphasis on heroine because while everything in Bioshock Infinite leaps out at you as new, exciting and dripping with quality and excittement, the main thing that will stick with you through the game and after you finished it is Elizabeth.

    I’m not usually big on companions or multiple characters in games. I don’t usually like controlling more than one character at a time and NPC companions are even worse. Their AI is usually shoddy, they get in the way, they mimic your actions and feel like you’ve got a clumsy shadow following you, and usually they’re just usually quite bland as a vehicle for tacking on a co-op campaign.

    Elizabeth is none of these things. Bioshock Infinite is a true single-player experience, but the character of Elizabeth is so well though-out, written, design and developed that she becomes the star of the show. Columbia is magnificent, Booker DeWitt is intense and dangerous, and Zachary Comstock is enigmatic and disturbing. But like Andrew Ryan from the original Bioshock, Elizabeth stands above them all.

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    Speaking of their recently released Tomb Raider reboot, Crystal Dynamics said that you would want to protect their new take on Lara Croft and root for her. While that may or may not have been the case, in Elizabeth Irrational Games have created a character where that is precisely the case. For a game companion that cannot die, that’s a real achievement. You see Elizabeth isn’t your usual companion - usually most characters are designed so that they can die if you don’t protect them, or they’ll get in the way during a gunfight and you accidentally kill them yourself, or they’ll got stuck due to shoddy pathfinding, or their AI is just plain terrible and so on and so forth until they annoy you so much that you begin wishing their death yourself.

    Elizabeth doesn’t suffer from these flaws. As well as being unable to die (which doesn’t make you any less protective of her), she is intelligent enough to not get in your line of fire, she follows you around and doesn’t get lost, she finds health packs, ammo and various other items and throws them to you during combat to help you out, and when you’re not doing anything she’ll just wander around by herself, looking at the scenery or just lean against a wall and just chill. It makes her all the more human to you. Above all she’s charming, innocent, endearing, funny… and frightening.

    Despite Elizabeth being the central focus of the game’s plot, you don’t actually encounter her until a good hour or so into the game, depending on the pace at which you play. The game begins with you as Booker DeWitt, private investigator for hire charged with finding Elizabeth and returning her to a man in New York - “Bring us the girl, and wipe away the debt.” The opening scenes have you approach a familiar-looking lighthouse (if you played the original Bioshock) in a rickety row boat during a treacherous storm with two unnamed, yet rather talkative, individuals. They leave you at the lighthouse where upon a short exploration you end strapped to a chair and launched into the sky to the city of Columbia and begin your assignment to find Elizabeth. Of course, it will be anything but straightforward.

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    Unlike Bioshock’s city of Rapture - which was a dark, desolate shadow of a city which had been decimated by downfall of society and ruin - Columbia is a bright, vibrant city full of life and happy people - although their happiness is swayed by the dystopian rule of the game’s antangonist and Columbia’s leader, Zachary Comstock, a self-proclaimed prophet who is viewed as a God by the city’s inhabitants and who take his word as Gospel. Comstock claims he was approached by the angel Columbia, and pointed him to take the city skyward and separate itself from the Unites States of America.

    You’ll gradually find out more about the city of Colubmia and it’s main inhabitants as you pick up voxophones with recordings detailing the city’s history, or watching propaganda newsreels on Kinectoscopes dotted around the city. There are definite nods to George Orwell’s Nineteen-Eighteen Four, or even Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta, as the feel of the city is one of reverse fortunes. As on the sterling, clean surface of Columbia, there is a darker underbelly where the lower classes and ethnic minorities struggle to make ends meet and are separated from the wealthy elite - represented by the rebel group, the Vox Populi (latin for Voice of the People) led by Daisy Fitzroy. The game captures the feel of the the time period - pre-World War I - attitudes towards racism quite well, although taken to more extreme level to fit in with totalitarian slant of the city.

    The first thing you’ll notice about Columbia when you arrive is how gorgeous it is. The colours are fantastic and the detail and life that has gone into the city is amazing. Irrational Games have clearly gone out of their way to make the city the polar opposite of Rapture. When arrive in the city, while you could quite easily make your way straight to your first objective, you’ll feel inclined, nay obligated, to wander the city and take in the detail and the beauty that has gone into it. People go about their business, discuss the state of the city, picnic, browse the market stalls and shops. It’s a stark contrast to the desolation of Rapture from the first game. Naturally, such is the nature of the Bioshock universe, these idyllic scenes do not last, but it’s magnificent to take them in while you can because when the action eventually kicks in, the streets will empty in a panic and you’ll battle it out with Columbia’s finest.

    The first weapon-slash-tool that you will pick up is the Sky Hook. If you watched any of the trailers or spots for the game, you will have seen Booker flying around the city on the rails using the sky hook. It has a handy magnetic system that allows you to attach to any of the rails that hang above the city, and it also doubles up as a devastating melee weapon, useful for clubbing, strangling and eviscerating your enemies. Plus, while riding the skylines you can launch yourself at enemies and perform a sky execution to take out the local constabulary. Where can I get me one of those?

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    Beyond the sky hook, you will come across a range of weaponry on Columbia, ranging from pistols, shotguns, rifles up to larger weaponry including the crack gun (a handle-operated-minigun) and the RPG. But like it’s predecessor, it’s the plasmids that add the extra element to the combat, or as they’re called on Columbia - Vigors. These strange concoctions are consumed by Booker and allow him to perform a variety of superhuman abilities, including lobbing fireballs, levitating enemies into the air, or possessing enemies and turrets into fighting on your side. Each vigor also has an alternate mode which allows you to do things like set traps for your enemies to walk into. To stay tooled up during combat, you equip yourself in very much the same way as you did in Bioshock - by using vending machines that will allow you to purchase health, salts (to allow you to use vigors), weapons and upgrades.

    It’s difficult for me to fault the combat in Bioshock Infinite. I will raise my hands up and say that I am not the biggest First Person Shooter fan in the world and it’s rare for me to stay entertained by the combat of one through out the whole game, but Infinite’s combat never got dull for me and I constantly switched between the differing weapons, vigors and skyhook system to find new and entertaining ways to take out my enemies. The only criticism I would level at the game is that there’s not a huge variety of enemies - you have your basic grunt police officers, more heavily armed officers with sniper rifles or grenades, a few variety of turrets, and the Handyman - Columbia’s equivalent of the Big Daddy from Rapture - a human bonded into a Fink Manufacturing armored metal suit with giant hands, all the better to kill you with. But the lack of variety in enemies doesn’t really register most of the time since you’ll be too busy experimenting in ways to take out the ones that are thrown at you to care.

    While the combat in Infinite is excellent, it’s the storyline, characters and the moments in between combat that make the game. The set pieces interweave the storyline beautifully, and without giving anything away the ending of the game will leaving you speechless at first and then wanting to replay the game to try and make sense of it all. Infinite is truly a primary example of the quality of scriptwriting that goes in video games these days that is bringing them up to a level of the film industry. It makes you want to take all the time in between the fighting to find out as much about this city, the people in it and the man who oversees everything in Zachary Comstock and why you have been tasked to take this extraordinary girl in the shape of Elizabeth away from the city. The game is a good length for a FPS as well, since so often the campaigns can be a bit short and unfulfilling, but due to the lack of multiplayer and concentration on the single player experience, you'll get a good 8 to 12 hours of gameplay depending on the speed at which you play through. It's likely you'll want to replay the game soon afterwards as well to experience the story again and to find any collectibles that you may have missed, since these all add to the narrative of the game.

    Special credit should be given to the soundtrack of Bioshock Infinite. As you wander around the city, you’ll hear radios and gramophones playing various popular songs that you will recognise, but it will take you a moment as they’ve been turned into early 1900’s ragtime versions that will have you scrambling to the Internet to try and find out where you can get hold of them. Keep an ear out for magnificent versions of “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”, “God Only Knows”, and “Fortunate Son” to name but a few.

    I could easily wax lyrical about Bioshock Infinite, Colombia, and Elizabeth for many, many more paragraphs, but it is simply easier to tell you that it’s a story that you will have to experience for yourself. It truly is one of the finest examples of video game storytelling today, and coupled with stunning graphics, soundtrack, voice acting and, of course, gameplay. It is an essential purchase that is quite simply the best First Person Shooter I’ve ever played and quite possibly up there as one of the finest games and stories that I’ve ever played as well. Which coming from someone who usually avoids the FPS genre in favour of RPGs is saying something.

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    Positives

    + Stunning graphics and game design
    + Brilliant voice acting and soundtrack
    + Fantastic Gameplay that even novice FPSers will enjoy
    + Sterling, twisting plot
    + Memorable Characters with one of the best female protagonists ever made

    Negatives

    - Could do with a few more enemy types
    - Um… it ends?

    -----

    This review can also be found on my video game blog: http://bigfriendlygamer.tumblr.com/

    Bioshock Infinite is a huge game with masses of detail, so if there's anything you think I've missed that is important, let me know in the comments and I'll try and incorporate it.
    5.0
  • ryanlegend95ryanlegend95185,753
    21 Aug 2013
    4 7 2
    When I saw the announcement for this game I was like "What the Hell!" The reason for that is because the previous instalments were based in rapture and now it is suddenly set in the sky. The scenery was interesting but since that the new look was so bright with lots of pretty colours it didn't strike me that this game was going to be like its predecessors. The last two titles had a sort of horror like experience but I knew straight away that the next instalment wasn't going to include that feel. And I was right.

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    Don't get me wrong the game was good but I didn't think it was as good as the first game. While the first game had its fair share of mystery, this game did not. I thought the story was pretty predictable for the most part. However the story did offer some of the most unique and original characters in any game I have played. Elizabeth was just a fantastic character from start to finish. She interacts with you in so many ways without actually being annoying. Throughout the game you feel like you really have a real connection with your partner and not many games can do that. Booker was also an interesting character. Whilst playing as him you get to know more about him in due time. Something from his past has been bugging him but for some reason he can't remember. So he is on a quest to find Elizabeth to pay off a debt to make his life easier from the type of people that will make his life a living hell. Whilst looking for Elizabeth he starts to see weird stuff that somehow reminds him of his forgotten past.

    Overall these two characters are the only reason why the story is interesting. The plot it self is pretty standard for a story based on somebodies forgotten past. However saying that. Near the end of the game there are a few surprises but during the beginning and the half way point the story is nothing special.

    Now gameplay is a bit of a disappointment really. Whilst the first two games had horror elements and a more puzzle feel. This game was nothing more than a generic shooter. The guns were like any other weapon from a standard shooter and the powers were kind of lacking. The powers are useful but it was sort of, been there, done that. It was fun possessing people and robots but there wasn't enough powers to play with. You basically have the basic elements like fire, electricity, water, telekinesis and a couple of other uninspired powers.

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    However having Elizabeth aid you during combat is pretty spectacular. Most AI partners are usually crap and do nothing other than hinder your progress. I'm talking to you Resident Evil. However this time its different. For the first time in a long time (if ever) your partner does something helpful. Elizabeth will often give you items like guns and med kits but that's not all she can do. She can use her powers to highlight hidden platforms and make them come to play. Also she does not die which is a god send for friendly AI. If she was just another brain dead AI then this game would not be on the game of the year list. Trust me! Gunplay was pretty solid and the enemy design was pretty standard so nothing special. Although racing from kart railings was exhilarating but when it came to shooting at the same time it kind of felt clunky. However this sort thing is quite new to games so of course it's not going to be perfect but this was certainly a good first go.

    On to graphics. Graphically it looks pretty nice. Character models and animations are very well developed and most facial animations look almost life like without to much exaggeration on the facial expressions. The colour pallets are well organised. They blend nicely with its overall theme but its graphic style is a lot like Dishonoured. Textures on the other hand remain unimpressive. They're not very well detailed and look pretty bland which is a big drawback but other things like particle effects are nicely done. What's more impressive is the technology. While its overall look is pretty standard and some what dated in a few areas, the game does test the console's limits with the amount events happening all at the same time. Plus the draw distance is absolutely gorgeous. you can see little bits and bobs in the distance and they'll still be fully detailed.

    Before we finish I'd like to talk about the sound. Most of the music is very well done and fits in with the action nicely as do as the sound effects such as guns, explosions and ambience. The voice acting deserves the most credit though. All the voices in this game like Troy Baker and Courtnee Draper do a splendid job at telling the story and making each conversation feel real. Even the singing sections brought a tear to my eye.

    Overall I think that this game is good but got more credit than it deserved. If you really like the previous games for its puzzles and horror elements then you might be a little disappointed by the latest instalment but people who like playing a standard First Person Shooter will be playing this for a good few months.

    Summary

    Good:
    - Great characters.
    - A few nice surprises.
    - The technology.
    - The voice acting.

    Bad:
    - The story is no where near as compelling as the first game.
    - Visuals can look dated.
    - A generic shooter.
    - Some mechanics feel clunky
    4.0
  • Danny Dubs 86Danny Dubs 861,209,237
    02 Apr 2013 02 Jun 2013
    15 21 7
    Originally posted on my blog at http://takeaimandgame.blogspot.com/.

    As the heir to one of modern gaming’s royal dynasties, BioShock Infinite follows an impressive legacy. Despite taking the series into the clouds, Infinite lost most of the charm that made BioShock a masterpiece, feeling more like your average shooter than the epic companion to a classic game. Here’s why:

    To put BioShock Infinite’s mediocrity in perspective, it’s worth looking back at why BioShock became the phenomenon that it is. In terms of fundamental mechanics, BioShock is a great first-person shooter, with smooth controls and fun features that make it exceptionally exciting.

    But BioShock stands apart from all other great shooters because it created a wonderfully detailed and engrossing world. The underwater city of Rapture (BioShock’s setting) and the beautifully twisted society crafted by Andrew Ryan (the in-game personality behind Rapture) are incredibly compelling, in large part because they take a real-world philosophy to an absurd degree, which in turn leads to all the game’s major conflicts. This setup puts BioShock’s world squarely in the uncanny valley for societies – it’s similar enough to our world to be recognizable, but bizarre in subtle ways that make it unsettling.

    As a result, exploring Rapture and discovering its secrets was fun (due to the gameplay) and intriguing (due to the world). It was a brilliant game all around.

    BioShock Infinite starts strong. Protagonist Booker DeWitt, seeking to retrieve a particular young lady, travels to the floating city of Columbia and is immediately greeted by a strange cult. There are white robes, a charismatic prophet, candle-lit altars, and an unrequested baptism in the opening minutes of the game.

    After awaking from his near-drowning experience during the baptism, Booker finds that the powers-that-be behind Columbia have developed a religious order that worships the founding fathers of the United States as gods, taking patriotism to an uncomfortable extreme (in much the same way that BioShock treated individualism).

    That. Is. Awesome!

    I was tingling with anticipation, hoping to learn more of the philosophy behind this patriotic cult and expecting to see conflicts arise as Columbia’s citizens fought with the overzealous adherence to this radical religious thought. Infinite was set to be another delightfully twisted adventure.

    But then, little more than 30 minutes into the plot, the cult disappears almost completely. Sure, they still refer to their leader as the prophet, but there is virtually no discussion of the principles governing this world. Instead, the narrative shifts into one focused on segregation and class warfare. Although not explicitly bad, this storyline was awfully mundane because it was historically appropriate for the game’s 1912 setting – that’s the kind of stuff that was really happening in the United States at that time.

    In the latter half of the game, we see yet another plot that supercedes the previous two. This final story borders on pretentious, as it introduces extreme science fiction elements with very little explanation. It’s almost as if the game’s conclusion is trippy purely for the sake of being trippy; it’s the gaming equivalent of M. Night Shyamalan’s later films.

    That’s ultimately my biggest complaint with Infinite: rather than creating an epic, detailed world for the player to explore, they tried to merge three, resulting in three underdeveloped (and therefore uninteresting) storylines. By the game’s final scenes, I honestly didn’t care about the story or the world. My hope that everything would get tied together in the end never came to fruition, so I completed the game disappointed with the journey as a whole.

    On the bright side, this underwhelming story is fantastically presented. The world is stunningly detailed, with gorgeous environments and fabulous character models. As an example, you spend much of the game traveling with Elizabeth (the girl Booker’s sent to bring back), and she will idly lean against walls or look out windows while you’re looting nearby trashcans. Those little details bring some realism to the game, despite the somewhat cartoonish visual style. The voice acting and sound effects are similarly immersive, so it’s a solid all-around presentation.

    In terms of gameplay, Infinite is about what you’d expect from a modern shooter. It features several different weapons and a familiar control scheme for eliminating your enemies, plus a gimmick that makes the game different from all the other shooters on the market. Infinite’s gimmick, the indistinguishable-from-magic “vigors,” are functionally identical to BioShock’s plasmids – you wield a vigor in one hand while holding a gun in the other, and they allow you to shock your enemies or possess machines. Unlike plasmids, the vigors aren’t explained (why do I need salt to throw a fireball?), but it gives the game the same basic feel as its predecessors.

    There are some new features, though. The most prominent is Elizabeth. You spend about half the game traveling with Elizabeth, but it’s never an escort scenario; although she makes you do most of the fighting, Elizabeth helps out in some interesting ways and is able to defend herself. She will even occasionally throw restorative items or ammunition to you in the heat of battle, which is pretty cool.

    Infinite also introduces a Sky-Line system of rails circling some of the bigger battlegrounds. These rails allow you to quickly move through an area and let you drop on your enemies for a devastating melee attack from above. This system is unfortunately pretty disorienting, as your perspective will change rapidly when jumping onto or off of the rails. It’s also the one part of the game that really requires precision, but it felt pretty clunky to me; I had a hard time with both getting on and off these rails quickly.

    The most disappointing aspect of the otherwise solid gameplay is the difficulty curve. For the most part, the game ramps the difficulty up pretty slowly, with some spikes each time you encounter a new type of enemy (and therefore have to develop new combat strategies). But then it blasts you harder enemies and much more difficult objectives in the last couple sections. It can be infuriating to progress through the majority of a game without any serious complications only to be greeted with a difficulty wall at the end. If the rest of the game had been a bit harder, I wouldn’t have minded the final scenes nearly as much, but as it stands, the last bit of the game is exceptionally frustrating.

    As for achievements, most of Infinite’s Gamerscore is pretty straightforward. A bunch of achievements for story progress and getting kills with specific weapon types are simple, collectibles are easy with the aid of a guide (of which there are already many), and the random stuff can mostly be farmed easily by reloading saves at major checkpoints.

    The only achievements that will give any serious trouble are the difficulty related ones, specifically the ones dealing with “1999 Mode.” This game mode is particularly tough and unforgiving, so it can be a struggle passing even the first few engagements. It’s certainly not impossible, but it’s also worthy of the “achievement” label.

    In the end, BioShock Infinite is a decent first-person shooter. It’s built on the same great gameplay as earlier BioShock titles, with only some minor hiccups along the way. The real flaw, though, is in the story – instead of boasting a flavorful plot in a fantastic world, we get a schizophrenic narrative that can’t quite decide what it wants to be. As a result, it really does feel just like any other faceless shooter on the market. It’s a fun game, and it’s worth at least one playthrough, but it doesn’t have nearly the same charm as the rest of the series.

    My Rating: 6/10 – decent.

    (For more info on my rating system, including overall stats, see http://takeaimandgame.blogspot.com/p/reviews.html)
    3.0
  • Trick3yTrick3y59,686
    28 Mar 2014
    4 15 1
    This will be a review that places my thoughts in the context of how I feel about the whole series of Bioshock.

    I played bioshock one and two. I loved both games. I believe Bioshock could have been the only game the developers made to immortalize it as one of the greatest gaming experiences ever, minus the Atlas fight at the end. In my opinion I think they could have made Atlas a bit more like a wizard with an army of splicers greedy for adam, fighting against the protagonist who could have recruited the help of a couple big daddies for the final fight. Really if they polished off that final fight I think that would have made the game perfect.

    A lot of people were upset with Bioshock two. This surprised me considering Bioshock 2 delivered everything I wanted from the original game: to become a big daddy, use the drill, and explore more of rapture. The neat aspect I did not expect from the game was the strategy that harder difficulties added. You see, I thought protecting the little sisters was an amazing addition to the game, now you had to defeat a big daddy, then you got to play big daddy to protect the little sister. To complement this the addition of various forms of traps made these collections very entertaining and a scary prospect as each time you went into one you would leave ravaged but the rewarded with precious adam. This is what I thought made the game great, every time you had to collect adam, or fight a big sister, I would end up having used up almost all of my ammo, eve, and health. This created a situation where everything you could savage became important so that you could complete the game. I played these games on the hardest difficulty which allowed the realization of these aspects.

    The final aspect which highlights my final conclusion, that Bioshock 2 was the best in the series, was the addition of multiplayer. I was worried about how that would turn out when the game was coming out. It was a very fulfilling experience, not only was the multiplayer extremely fun, it fit beautifully with atmosphere of the Bioshock world. A splicer war, with collectables on the map, hacked vending machines and turrets, customizable characters, perks and weapons. A great experience that brought Bioshock fans together.

    So what about Bioshock Infinite? I would like to begin by stating I have played none of the DLC but find my review to be on point considering that the DLC decided to return to rapture. I will start by talking about what I liked about the game. I enjoyed using the carbine, the shock jockey and the murder of crows. I thought the infusion and the use of shields was a brilliant step forward for the series. I enjoyed the fireman and motorized patriot enemies, and enjoyed it even more when I could call in a patriot ally. The final fight was also very fun and what Bioshock one lacked, the kicker was the use of the bird for airstrikes.

    Now the bad. The most glaring issues was the level of racism contained in the game. I thought that was absolutely disgusting and replacing the creative atmosphere of 1950s steampunk underwater horror with "Patriotism and racism" was an affront to the Bioshock series. The Americanisms in the game lost its momentum about halfway through the game after you learn that the city succeeded from the union (so was the city the true America or was the land based country the true America now?). Once this aspect of the atmosphere dissolves the racism not only picks up through racist media your subconscious mind is picking up, but after the vox turns on you, your a white guy fighting an army of black people.

    The weapons. I thought the weapons were, for the most part fluid and great to use but I became stressed after being only able to carry two of them and constantly being forced to come up with ways to hold onto my carbine. This aspect was compounded when choosing what weapon to upgrade as you only have so much money. Tossing a favorite gun away and might not see it again for a while became somewhat stressful.

    The upgrades for the weapons also disappointing me , in previous games upgrading you gun added neat cosmetic changes to the weapons which made them feel more special, not so in this game. Furthermore the removal of specialized ammo I felt was a step backwards removing complexity from the game.

    Now for the vigors. I primarily used shock jockey and murder of crows. Murder of crows was a personal preference I thought it was neat, but really just a re-skinned hive from the previous Bioshocks. I never really needed anything other then shock jockey. I also thought bucking bronco was neat but I never really found the need to use any of the other plasmids as there were not many environment opportunities force the choice. The theme for the vigors was kind of weak however, being set in a different timeline than the original Bioshocks, they were not fueled by adam but were rather "mind magic, because magic". Finally I was upset you couldn't see the plasmid hand animations everytime you switched, I enjoyed watching my hands transform in the previous Bioshock.

    In the general world, I found the rails were somewhat gimmicky but a neat attempt to change things up and play the strengths of a city in the air. Contrary to what many say, Elizabeth did actually end up getting in my way a few times which did frustrate me, though whenever she tossed me health of salts in a fight I appreciated that.

    The exploration felt empty and lacking for me considering the various paths, hidden rooms and sections in each area of the previous Bioshocks, containing hidden stories. The ability to go back to previous sections was taken away in this game for a somewhat linear path. This path opened up only momentarily in front of Comstock's place but had only single rooms off the main path to look into. Some suggest this has to do with the metaphysic aspect of the game that the choices have already been made and the path doesn't matter. (the choice of the cage or bird, killing or saving Slate). I felt however this was simply laziness on the developers part.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++Spoiler past here+++++++++++++++++++








    The final wound was the "It was all in Bookers head" ending.
    3.0