After finishing up the new Bioshock Infinite from Irrational Games, I am left in a state of reflection over what an amazing experience it was. The game starts in a very similar fashion to the original Bioshock: You are heading towards a lighthouse. This time, however, you are arriving there by way of a small rowboat. In fact, there are several Bioshock tropes that seem to have come back in this game. Instead of the first game’s “Plasmids”, the power-giving concoctions are now called “Vigors”. Instead of “EVE”, this substance is referred to as “Salts”.
Visually, Bioshock Infinite is a real beauty. What truly sells the game world is its overall art design. Much like Bioshock’s Rapture, the floating city of Columbia is a wonder to behold and get lost in. The game’s dialog and voice acting is incredibly satisfying and all of the game’s voice actors should be commended for amazing performances. Special mentions much be given to Troy Baker and Courtnee Draper, who voice the characters of Booker DeWitt and Elizabeth, respectively. They play off one another very well and it was one of the only times I found myself reacting emotionally to specific things each character would say throughout the course of the game. Speaking of Elizabeth, I have not been so attached to an AI companion in a game before. The fluid way in which she helps you during the game’s combat sequences, her previously-mentioned, amazing voice work, and her incredible animations have created a character I would love to meet in real life and thank for all the memorable moments. Bioshock Infinite sets a new standard in character design.
Unfortunately, to say ANYTHING about the game’s story-line beyond what its official synopsis says would spoil something, and this writer cannot, in good conscious, do that with such a fine work of art. This needs to be experienced for one’s self – leaving you to form your own conclusions. What I can say about the game’s story is that it has a lot of twists and turns which affect the whole Bioshock IP. Truth be told, some of these twists you will see coming and some you will not. Either way, Irrational Games has weaved a very well-told and executed story which feels at many times like some awesome hybrid of an addictive video game and engrossing film.
The game introduces some very cool gameplay mechanics, such as the ability to whiz about on Columbia’s sky-rail system. Using these rails is very simple, with a few keys needed to effortlessly glide from one to another, perform attacks off of them, or even switch directions in mid travel. The flexibility this, and… other game mechanics (again – won’t spoil anything!) bring a lot of options to the table for players to make use of.
Overall, Bioshock Infinite is a much more worthy sequel/successor to the Bioshock name than Bioshock 2 was, and manages to add a lot more dimension to Bioshock’s universe. You will regret not playing this – I suggest you pick it up soon before anything gets spoiled for you. It is, in a word: Brilliant. I am rating Bioshock Infinite a 5 out of 5 and presenting it with our “Seal of Excellence”. Great job to both 2K Games and Irrational Games – we can’t wait to see how the game’s ramifications affect the future of the series.
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