Bioshock: Infinite

I was excited when I saw the previews for Bioshock Infinite about two years ago.  The rumor was that the game would take place in a city above the clouds.  City above the clouds, how could the developers do that?  Bioshock has been a series that has revolved around an underwater city called the Rapture.  Mind you the game was still in it’s early stages, so I figured things would change.  Then a rumored third installment to the Bioshock franchise seemed to fade away for a while, until sometime last year I saw an article for it in a Gamestop magazine.  I then became exited all over again.

The original Bioshock is still my favorite video game of all time (yes, even more so than the COD series).   The Bioshock games have always been about the campaign mode and its captivating story telling.  It is like a movie in a video game with all of its twists and turns, and surprisingly decent acting from the character actors.  As screen images from the game started to flood the internet, I again was brought into this utopia in the sky in which the game would take place.  I began to doubt if this game was going to be any good, and I was wondering if I should even buy it at all.  On top of that, I became worried when this game was delayed several times.  At last the game finally released on March 26, and I picked up my copy of the Collectors edition that I purchased from a local Gamestop and went home and played the game.  After playing this game just a few minutes, things were different, but the game had the same old Bioshock feel.  I would end up liking this game after all.

Many things players were accustomed in the Bioshock series have changed for this game.  Aside from the city in the sky, game play has also changed.  In the previous games, players could collect as many weapons as they wanted, and could toggle between them as the game went on.  In this game however, the player can only use two weapons at a time.  Strategy becomes important with this feature and not all weapons are meant for every situation.  I found myself dropping guns a lot to pick up a new one because I had to adapt to the introduction of new enemies, and the sometimes seemingly endless waves of multiple enemies.  Ammo also seem to be an issue in this game.  In previous games because you have several weapons to choose from, I could manage my ammo better.  Since the player can only use two weapons in this game, I found myself running out of ammo a lot, and would have to pick up a new weapon.  Weapon upgrades were also done differently.  In past games of the series, the player found a Power to the People machine that allowed a one time upgrade to one weapon of the players choosing.  There were several of these scattered about the game as the player progressed, so you had to be careful what you wanted to upgrade because it may be awhile before you found another machine.

In Bioshock Infinite there are vending machines that allow the player to purchase upgrades.  The upgrades cost money, and the cost goes up the more the player upgrades the weapon.  There are also four weapon upgrades for each weapon rather than two like in the previous games.  This change gives the player the convenience of upgrading whatever guns they want practically whenever you want  if they have the credits for it.  With the advent of the four weapons upgrades, the Developers have removed specialty ammunition from this game.  I was disappointed by this because I like being about to change what type of ammo I was using so I could better adapt to what enemy was attacking me.  The player will not find a shortage of different types of weapons in this game though.  There are two variants of each gun, the normal version, and then a Vox Popli version (You will find out what Vox Popli is later in this review).  Both types can be upgraded to four levers, and each has its strengths and weaknesses.  Another change in weapon system is doing away with melee weapons, and given the player a perminent melee weapon called the skyhook. This weapon is extremely fun to use, and gives the player the ability to do critical hit strikes that instantly kill the enemy and bring about a cool death scene animation such as ripping of a bad buys head, or tearing the enemy in two.  In summary the change in the weapon system is a unique addition to the Bioshock gameplay and forces the player to use more strategy to over come his or her opponents.

Another major part of the past two games were the ability to use plasmids and tonics to give the player supernatural-like powers.  Bioshock would not be Bioshock without these items in the game, and they returned in BioShock Infinite with some changes.  In Infinite the powers are now called Vigors.  In the previous installments of the series, most plasminds were either purchased with ADAM, or found during the course of gameplay.  This game changed how a player uses vigors.  The player must find the vigors in this game, and rather finding the vigor upgrades during the course of gameplay, the upgrades must now be purchased through a vending machine.  There are also two levels of upgrades for each vigor.  Much like the weapon system changes, a player can have only two vigors equipped at one time.  The player, however, can go into his or her inventory and select whatever two vigors they want, meaning the player still retains all of his or her vigors and does not have to drop one to pick up one.  The game also brought on changes to the tonics.  Instead of tonics the player now has gear.  In the previous games, there were three types of tonics: physical, combat, and engineering tonics.  There could also be five types of each tonic selected at a time.  This game ditches the tonics and uses gear instead.  The player has the option of using for types of gear: hat, pants, shirt, and shoes.  Unlike previous installments, the player may only equip one of each type of gear, and the gear can only be located during the course of gameplay.  There is no purchasing the gear if you miss it.  Much like the change to the weapons system, this requires the player to use strategy in selecting what gear to equip.  I found myself self changing out gear frequently as the game progressed.  Although there have been some tweaks to the powers, the powers did not loose their luster.  It is still fun to run around and use Devil’s kiss to light you enemies on fire!

In the game’s predecessors the mode of transportation around the Rapture was a bathysphere.  This game introduced a new and exciting method to travel around: the skyline.  Remember that melee weapon I was talking about earlier in this article.  Well, this is where this item becomes important. The skyhook is the method in which a player can attach his or her self to the sky hook rail line.  Once attached the player can fly around certain parts of the map to get one one location to another.  This is not only fun, but offers the player the chance to gaze at the jaw dropping landscape put into this game.  The sky hook can also be use as a method to attack enemies.  While flying around on the skyline, if an enemy is in sight, the game gives you the option to do a devastating skyhook strike where the player flies off of the skyline and attacks the player on the ground.   The player has to also watch because enemies can do the same thing, and  can also attach to the skyline and chase you around.  Overall I liked this change to the game very much.

This game like the others offers the player loads of bad guys to fight as the story progresses. Ammo seems to be scarce in this game, so using the players environment as cover is important in this game.  The enemies possess some decent AI, and they are not just just going to run at you for the slaughter.  Aside from the typical human enemies, this game introduces the player to the motorized patriot.  This enemy is a robotic George Washington that carries around a mini-gun like crank gun that will mow you down in seconds.  The first two games had the player avoiding the Big Daddy, which if disturbed, would annihilate an unprepared player. This game introduces us to the Handy Man as the games Big Daddy. This oversized robotic man is a dangerous enemy to take head on, and also is tough to take down.  The sad thing about this enemy is that I rarely saw in during the game.  I think I fought maybe four of them as the game went on.  All and all, if you are looking for action this game has it as there are many bad guys to defeat through the course of the game.

The Bioshock series has been known for it’s quirky, captivating storyline, and this game is no exception.  This game is actually a prequel to the prequel that was Bioshock 2. This game takes place in 1912, and the players assume control of the main character, Booker Dewitt.  Dewitt is a disgraced Pinkerton agent who suffers from PTSD of sort from his involvement in the Battle of Wounded Knee.  Deeply in a debt, Dewitt is offered the chance to erase his debt by traveling to a city in the sky called Columbia.  He is tasked to retrieve a girl name Elizabeth from a mad man named Zachariah Comstock.  Once there he finds that the population follows Comstock like a cult and is brainwashed by his influence.  Things take a turn for the worse, and Dewitt and Elizabeth must escape the city, fighting the whole way. During the course of the game, the player gets to fight along side the Vox Populi, who are revolutionaries set on removing Comstock from his throne per say.  As the story goes on, there are many twists and turns and shocking moments.  The ending is also something I did not see coming, and will leave the player asking, “what just happened?”  Columbia is no Rapture, but it is something totally different that ads quirkiness to the Bioshock story line.  The storyline feels like you are in 1912, and has a vert patriotic American feel to it. I won’t go into much more about the story line because there is a lot to it, and I do not want to spoil the game for someone who has not played it yet.

BioShockInfinite_HERO

GRAPHICS

This game has some of the best graphics I have seen.  There are several moments of the game that felt very realistic.  The scenery is breathtaking, and I often found myself stopping and staring at the city.

SOUND

The sound in this game is excellent.  I often found myself turning down my sound because it would get to loud, and the explosions would test my bass.  The only down fall to the sound seemed to be the dialogue.  Often times I would have to face the person talking to hear them.  If I turned around, or walking to another part of the room, I could not hear them at all.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Although, this game cannot top the original Bioshock, it stands apart as something totally different.  I like that. It put a breath of fresh air into the series.  I found little to no bugs or glitches and gameplay never seemed to become tiring or mundane.  Given the shocking ending to the game, I rank this as one of the best, if not the best, game of the year.

Pros:

  • Excellent Story line
  • Awesome graphics
  • The skyline and skyhook

Cons:

  • Money and ammo seem to be scarce
  • No Big Daddy’s in this game
  • Only allowed to select two weapons at a time and four gear items.

Style – 1 Player, FPS

Publisher – 2K Games

Developer – Irrational Games

Release – March 2013


 

JUNKIE SCORES
  • 5.0 – Gameplay
  • 5.0 – Graphics
  • 5.0 – Sound
  • 5.0 – Entertainment
  • 5.0 – Replay Value

 

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