BioShock Infinite Review
publisher: 2K Games
developer: Irrational Games
PIV 2400, 2GB RAM, 20GB HDD, ATI Radeon HD 3870 / NVIDIA 8800 GT / Intel HD
|ESRB rating: M
release date: Mar 26, 13
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In 2007 Irrational Games and game designer Ken Levine took the gaming scene by storm with the original BioShock, which was released on Xbox 360 and PC platforms, and subsequently on the PS3. BioShock introduced us to a whole new world. Many gamers still remember when they first stepped into the City of Rapture. It was a perilous journey in a mysterious, new world. Even with the dangers lurking around every corner as you strolled through Rapture, it was easy to get hypnotized by its beauty and mystery.
Following the success of BioShock, Irrational went through some changes and was renamed to 2K Boston / 2K Australia, and eventually a new team was assembled, named 2K Marin, who were responsible for the creation of BioShock 2. The sequel had a different design team, but some of the old staff remained. While it didn’t quite live up to the quality of the original, particularly in terms of art direction, it was still a solid game. In early 2010, 2K Boston officially returned to its former name, Irrational Games. Here we are, years later, when Levine leads the renewed studio to give us BioShock: Infinite.
I know what this is. He is dead!
Damn, there goes my shield again.
To make things absolutely clear, this game does not continue the narrative of the original, nor does it touch on BioShock 2. There are some themes that are associated with the previous two installments, which should be most gratifying for any BioShock aficionados. We’re not gonna reveal what these themes are, so as not to spoil the experience. The story in BioShock Infinite is a bit tough to swallow and it remains like that very much throughout the entire game. Whether it’s good or bad, it depends a lot on what your cup of tea is. This one’s all about unexplained phenomenon, weird characters and mysterious environments such as Columbia, the massive floating city where our two main characters, Elizabeth and Booker fight to stay alive. You’ll be playing as Booker and it is your task to grab Elizabeth and bring her back to New York in one piece. Things don’t go according to your plans. Also, Elizabeth doesn’t feel inclined to accompany you just because you say so. The more you stay with the story, the more it gets perplexing and bizarre. Straight away I have to say that if you’re looking for down-to-earth characters, rational explanations and realism, you must know that you won’t find much of that in BioShock Infinite. On the other hand, big-budget games don’t normally get this uncanny in terms of storytelling. From our perspective, this is really one of the most fun aspects of the whole ride.
Exploring Columbia may lead you to some unique and truly mesmerizing locales. Two such locales immediately leap to mind. It’s a level in which Irrational Games skillfully and creatively take the player through events like The Boxer Rebellion and The Battle of Wounded Knee. Rarely do we witness games that manage to tell a tale within a tale with such craftiness and imagination. Making a single room into a beautifully made theatre stage and then turning that into an intense shootout is what this section of the game is about. It’s fun and it looks gorgeous. BioShock Infinite is full of subtle touches. Personally, I just wanted to stop and look at the surroundings in most cases, when taking a breather from all the fighting.
The game remains true to the distinctive FPS mechanics of the original, which denotes the use of standard ranged weapons from the Machine Gun, Shotgun and Pistol, to the Sniper and Carbine Rifle. Of course, those who want to add a bit more punch, can resort to more destructive weaponry such as the Pig Volley Gun. The selection of weapons suits various play styles, so you’ll find yourself opting for two particular guns and then switching between those. In classic BioShock manner, there’s a choice of super abilities at your disposal: Bucking Bronco, Charge, Devil's Kiss, Murder of Crows, Possession, Return to Sender, Shock Jockey and Undertow. The one I tended to use more often than others is Possession, because it potentially balances things out since you are often outnumbered in battle. Activating Possession makes enemies and turrets fight on your side for a brief time, so use it wisely and on the right opponents. Combining a power like Possession with other powers opens up a lot of opportunities in terms of combat tactics. You can use Shock Jockey (electricity) to stun foes or Murder of Crows to weaken them. It’s up to you really.
Taking part in combat you get a sense of how much the developer strived to keep you engaged every time you encounter a group of enemies. For instance, you can never camp your way out of a jam or by hiding behind a wall or something. That’s usually the quickest way to die. Instead, the game motivates you to run, duck, keep fighting and shooting, and displacing as often as possible. Designed to accommodate all of this, each level leaves a lot of space for improvising during combat. The great addition to the battles is being able to use Columbia’s rail system. Basically, the main character uses a magnetic skyhook (applied to his arm) to jump onto a sky rail system. You move across the rails swiftly and you may change the direction at any time or shoot at any time. In real-time combat, this can be tremendously fun.
Its video game art direction at its finest, intelligent level design, addictive combat, memorable scenes and battles, overall terrific fun, great musical score;
A bit on the short side, some AI bugs here and there.