If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Will you stand strong in the face of overwhelming odds? Will you remain true to yourself as an entire city wages war against you and your ward? Do you even know who you truly are? This is Bioshock Infinite.
This game is one of the best games I have played in over five years. I’m starting the review off like this so you know I truly love this game. I’m not a big time reviewer or anything, at this particular moment I’m truly just a guy telling you this game is excellent. The game is so good in fact that while playing it I honestly kept forgetting I was reviewing it. That’s how few flaws I could find, not much about this game is mediocre. Nothing in it is bad. Gush gush gush I know but this is honestly one of the best games I have ever played.
(The game is beautiful. Colombia is a character all its own.)
Praise rant over, time for the review. Gameplay wise Bioshock Infinite is much like the first two. You have a power in one hand and a gun in the other. Much like the second Bioshock you can duel wield attacks; powers (in the form of Vigors) in your left hand and weapons in your right. This is a good system that allows for some devastating combinations in combat. The weapon variety has been cut down from the previous installments and gone is the old method of keeping every weapon in your pocket. Now you’re limited to just two weapons. Some people complain about this, I on the other hand find it better. Sometimes you have to drop your gun in favor of one that you have ammo for. It can make combat exhilarating. Firing your last few bullets, falling back on your vigors to hold the enemies at bay just long enough to grab another weapon and continue the fight is all so fast paced and exciting. The Vigors work exactly like plasmids did in Bioshock one and two. You use salts to power them instead of eve but it works the same. They aren’t all that original some even feel deliberately limited, because of the time period I would assume. The new environment adds new spice to the gameplay, the Skyhook. Essentially a hand held pulley that doubles as a type of melee weapon. While only used in a few environments, it makes those environments some of the most hectic and memorable combat moments in the game. You can attack and jump from the skylines to alter the flow of battle in seconds, but beware the enemies can use them also. My only real complaint with the gameplay is that the entire game is set up much more linearly then Bioshock one and two. While not necessarily a bad thing it did make Colombia feel somewhat more limited in scope then Rapture.
(The skyhook is a video game experience unlike anything I have ever had before.)
The plus side is that making a more linear game allowed for a tighter, and in my humble opinion a better narrative, then the previous Bioshock titles. The games story is convoluted but not to the point of ridiculousness. It’s twisty and turny with tons of hints and little things that if you’re not very careful you could miss. Every part of this game was crafted with love and attention, from the story to the rendering of cracks on the street. Characters’ faces are just slightly exaggerated and over animated to really give you a sense that this is a breathing living world. Every area of this game, just like with the first Bioshock, is new and adds to the overall feel you get for Colombia. The city and its citizens are simply breathtaking. Every character you meet adds to the ones you met before. The game also doesn’t shy away from issues such as racism and religion. On the contrary it takes them and confronts them head on in all their horrible glory. Many moments, especially one right near the beginning will leave you feeling somewhat disgusted. The whole game has undertones of tension deliberately put there to make you feel uneasy from opening titles to closing credits. A lot of hullabaloo has been made about the ending, and I enforce it whole heartedly. It’s so wonderful to see a game that manages to stick the landing again. The game is simply a masterpiece of the video game art form. Almost everything it does well is unique to the video game medium, from the way its story is handled, to the skyhook, to the environments. The game is just simply awe-inspiring if you have a true love for the video game industry.
(Vigors are just as good as Plasmids.)
The characters in the game are somewhat of my only let down. I’m not sure if it is intentional or not but the antagonists in the game just aren’t as powerful or memorable as Andrew Ryan and Fontaine were in the first Bioshock. One the flip side the protagonist Booker Dewitt is likeable and fun. I found myself sympathizing with the guy so much, especially as the end drew near. The character Elizabeth, your companion throughout most of the game, was very good. Some may complain about her appearance, some may complain that she is a bad female character but I disagree. I found her to be a strong, intelligent, and powerful female companion. She always had an answer on what to do next, not once in the game do you have to babysit her (actually it’s more often she is babysitting you) and she and you truly feel like partners. You do the shooting, she keeps you alive and does everything else. One could not have accomplished what they did in this game without the other. She was rarely victimized, aside from her corset (something women actually wore back then) she was never sexualized, and most of all she was useful. Personally she is one of my all-time favorite female video game characters.
(Elizabeth is great. She is so useful that the battles that don't have her aiding you become terrifying.)
If you can’t tell by now I absolutely adore this game. I can’t emphasize it enough. Game play is smooth and solid, graphics are stylized so they will hold up better then let’s say Call of Duty or something similar. The story is a true work of art. The game is good, ok?
I give Bioshock Infinite
A 10 out of 5
Written by: Kevin Mason (AKA LempiElinika)
Edited by: Sarah Lawhorne
(P.S. seriously 10 out of 5 it’s my rating system I can do what I want.)