Sunday 24 March 2013

Bioshock: Infinite Review

The Bioshock series is another series I have not been familiar with, not long after becoming a video game reviewer last year, I had started to play games I wouldn't have even thought of buying, Bioshock: Infinite was one of these games. When I first started up "Infinite" I had no idea what I was in for, I never followed the game or watched gameplay videos, and just after a few hours of playing this amazing game, I found it to be one of those video games that makes you glad you became a video game reviewer just so you wouldn't miss out on such great games like Bioshock: Infinite. Keep on reading this review to see how a clueless Bioshock player turned in to a big fan of the series.

Bioshock Infinite is set in 1912, and features the main character Booker DeWitt who is sent to find a young woman named Elizabeth in the floating air-city known as Columbia. You will find Elizabeth not to long in to the story therefore you and Elizabeth will have to progress through the story together. DeWitt will start to find out something very odd is going on (Even before he officially meets her) like Elizabeth actually being able to rip open time travel tears that can be used to their advantage, that is one of the many different examples of very strange occurrences over the course of Infinite. Elizabeth starts to open up to Booker pretty early in the game, and will do throughout the whole game, she wants to know information before the two met each other, but there is one major problem, Booker isn't really the type of guy who likes to be open with his past, and shrugs off any attempt by Elizabeth to learn more about who Booker is. Two extremely opposite characters work very well in this instance, and  helps to make it a much more interesting story.

Elizabeth isn't just some lame character that you have been ordered to protect, actually she protects YOU more than you have to protect her. During conflict with enemies, if you run out of ammo, Elizabeth can actually throw ammo to DeWitt or if DeWitt is low on health she will throw a health pack at you to use. Not once during the game did I feel like I had to protect Elizabeth which must be relief to many who thought it was a "protect someone in need" kind of gameplay addition. I talked earlier about how Elizabeth can rip through time travel tears in the game, well these tears actually make a presence in the gameplay as an advantage for DeWitt. You can ask Elizabeth to open a tear (X or square) which can help DeWitt in different ways like spawning a heavy weapon that will automatically attack a group of enemies. Hopefully my description of Elizabeth should show you how important she is to actual gameplay rather than her being a drag along that will have a negative effect on the game.

Bioshock Infinite starts off really slow, and lasts like that for at least the first 30 minutes. Within those 30 minutes not one tiny bit of action will occur. I feel this is because the game was pushing for the player to understand the surroundings as well as getting to know the people who occupy it too. After it is known that Booker has been sent to help Elizabeth escape, the game picks up in a big way. At that moment DeWitt will get a hold of his first of many weapons in this game, the weapon we first get a hold of is a melee weapon known as the Sky Hook. The Sky Hook has many other different purposes in the game which will be discussed in further detail later. The Sky Hook (for melee purposes) can be used just to hit the enemy constantly until they die, constantly hitting is boring though so I recommend mixing it up by finishing them off in style with a melee execution. Executions are performed by holding the triangle/Y button when you're prompted too (via a little icon that pops above the enemy's head) Executions can range from a brutal snapping of their neck or even cutting the head clean off for bloody results.

Infinite also manages to mix in some non linear aspects to the story so not everyone will have the exact same story experience  The choices don't impact the game, and most of them aren't the toughest choices in the world, but some can leave you thinking "Hmm what should I do?"A good example of this is having the option to choose if this certain person should be killed or spared. It's a minor addition but it's something I like, and I think others will like the fact that the story isn't totally linear. It felt to me like it was a little extra to add to this already awesome package of various features.

DeWitt will get a hold of a Pistol shortly after his true intentions of saving Elizabeth are well known, the pistol is one of the many guns that can be found in this game like shotguns, RPG's, Machine Guns and other guns can be found, but why keep your guns the same when you can upgrade the guns? Each gun has four upgrade slots that can be used to increase the power of each gun. Only two guns can be in your possession so you will have to drop your weapons if you lose all of that guns ammo/want a better a gun. Not every weapon you use in Bioshock Infinite is an actual physical weapon you have to hold, as the game progresses you will come in contact with these mysterious drinks called vigors. There are eight different vigors that you can obtain in this game, each one has its own power that is given to DeWitt. One of the vigors you will obtain early in the game is called "Devil's Kiss" which gives DeWitt the power to throw these fireballs from his hand. Vigors are also upgradable like guns.

Remember how a little bit earlier I talked about the first use of the Sky Hook? Well I said it has multiple purposes, one of the Sky Hook's purposes was as a melee weapon and the other reason to use the hook is to connect to the Sky Line which helps you travel all around Columbia. Travelling on the Sky Line also brings up even more gameplay options as you have the option to shoot enemies while on the Sky Line or you can perform a Sky Hook strike by jumping off the Sky Line on to the enemy that has a resemblance of an air assassination in Assassin's Creed.

During the game you might want to upgrade weapons or vigors which all can be done at the many vending machines that are scattered all around the world of Columbia. How do you purchase these items? Well there is a currency system in the game which are called Silver Eagles, these Silver Eagle coins can be found all around Columbia, but the best place to find them is looting them from the enemies you just killed. Looting enemies can also reward you with some food and/or ammo. Vending machines also have supplies of ammo and health but become pointless once Elizabeth is there to offer you these items.

The Final Verdict

Bioshock: Infinite was my first Bioshock game, and it was that good that it made me want to play the other Bioshock games that I never had even thought of playing before. The story was fun, gameplay was at a top quality, and I liked the many different combat choices that was on offer like being able to use guns, magic, melee (with executions) or let Elizabeth use a tear to our advantage and kill enemies that way. Columbia was graphically an amazing site to look at, I liked just looking around the area or from a far because it was just a stunning site to see. The game isn't too long, and shouldn't take more than 12 hours to complete the story, but that to me isn't a negative at all because I felt like it ended when it should, any longer would have caused the game to start dragging. Thinking about it there wasn't too many negatives except some little problems I had here and there. Solid game and a 100% recommended purchase.

+ The gameplay is really fun
+ Columbia looks graphically amazing
+ Elizabeth never felt like something that was dragging the story down but rather something that was making it better.
+ Good story. I like how it had me thinking "What is going on!!??" a few times during the game.

-Nothing too bad some might not like the extremely slow start, I personally had problems with the vigor/gun switching layout and not being able to have more than two weapons/vigors in your loadout

Final Score


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