TGC Review: Bioshock Infinite

bioblueBioshock Infinite is a fantastic game. Nothing more to it. It has a great cast of characters, fun gameplay, beautiful scenery, a fantastic, engaging story, and more. It’s the kind of game you could wait seven years for, and after you finish you could say it was worth the wait. This is the kind of sequel games deserve. A definite worthy follow up of the highest rated FPS of all time.

Irrational Games – a mix of former employees who made the first Bioshock – have somehow made this game believable. They’ve made a floating city above the clouds real. Columbia, heaven. The atmosphere, the scenery, the people, they’re all life like. They’re all… real. You have your average Joe buying a Hot Dog for his wife on one corner, you have a flock of birds gracefully gliding in another corner, then you have the Prophet’s oh-so biased propaganda being spewed in the next corner. Everything about this world feels polished, alive, genuine, and just plain phenomenal.

Not only that, but remember that dry character from the first Bioshock? Jack was his name? Yeah, your average silent protagonist who runs around shooting things and taking orders. Of course, the latter part of that was intentional, but that’s another story… Bioshock Infinite has you playing as someone new, someone you’re going to like. Booker DeWitt. A war veteran turned Pinkerton on a mission to bring them the girl and wipe away the debt.

 Booker is full of life, he talks to Elizabeth, he interacts with the world around him, and oh so much more. But he’s nothing to the perfectly crafted A.I. that is Elizabeth. Remember our concerns of an annoying A.I.? Well, have no fear, because Elizabeth is anything BUT annoying/useless. Elizabeth feels like a real human being. As you progress through the world, she interacts with the city of Columbia around her, often stopping to look for supplies for you, examine a plaque on a statue, or explore the environment. When in battle, she not only never gets in your way, but she actually takes cover and looks for supplies to protect herself and to give to you. Now that’s a woman.

"Promise me, Booker, you won't ever let him take me back!"

“Promise me, Booker, you won’t ever let him take me back!”

Elizabeth isn’t just there as a pretty face though, she plays a crucial role to the story and it’s development. As the story progresses, you notice Elizabeth’s change in emotion, from fear to hatred to guilt, it’s noticeable and well done. You really feel a connection with her. Just like the Big Daddies and the Little Sisters from the first Bioshock, I felt a need to protect her. The best thing about her is that her presence always adds something good and never takes away.

 Elizabeth and Booker aren’t the only characters I can praise though. The main “villain” in this game, is Zachary Hale Comstock, the man who essentially brought Columbia to be. He’s basically an Andrew Ryan. Zach isn’t the only villain here though, he as a sort-of accomplice. Songbird, a gigantic robo-bird assigned to protect Elizabeth from the “False Shepard” at all costs. He’s always lurking around, looking for Elizabeth, it creates a very ominous and effective atmosphere for the game.

 The enemies you will be fighting are well done, too. They’re varied, intelligent, and sometimes rather comical. You have your Patriot robots in the style of George Washington who are pretty much Big Daddies but don’t protect anyone. Then you have your Columbia police force who are smart enough to take cover often and use Skylines when appropriate. You have dropships swooping down on you, special types of enemies firing explosives at you, but it all adds to the experience and is relatively balanced in difficulty.

You have more than enough at your disposal to defend against them though. You’ve got your Vigors, basically Plasmids from the first game. These Vigors range from lifting someone up to laying down fiery traps and pulling enemies to their doom. It’s rather fun setting up traps like that, it made me feel maniacal in a way, but I liked it. Crazy? Yeah, pretty much. But these “Vigors” aren’t your only way at disposing of your foes… You have your guns that range from Rocket Launchers to Hand Cannons. You have Elizabeth are her convenient ability to open tears to aid you in the course of battle. You can ride the Skylines and rain fire down upon you foes, or you drop right onto them with your Sky-Hook thing and run around slice and dice style. There are many ways to go about a battle, and all are an experience on their own.

This game makes burning people alive too much fun.

This game makes burning people alive too much fun.

 The world you run around in is also drop dead phenomenal. Everything from the style of the buildings to the wonderful looking environment, it’s all beautifully crafted and you can tell Irrational has put a lot of effort into their masterpiece. While I played it on PC, apparently the console versions take a bit of a drop. While nothing too serious, a few NPC characters might feel a bit stiff and some textures a little bit iffy. Nothing to really worry about though, it won’t take away from the experience.

 It’s also because of this art style that makes Bioshock Infinite such a fantastic game. You can really see the emotion on Elizabeth’s face at times, you can hear the despair in Booker’s voice. When you walk around, you feel like you’re in a living, breathing world. A real one. People interact, they talk, they engage in casual conversation with one another. The places you visit are unique and relative to the story.

 But Bioshock’s greatest strength here is it’s story. The story of Elizabeth, Booker, Anna, Comstock, Robert and Rosalind Lutece. All characters you come to love, and the story takes just enough twists and turns at points to always keep you on the edge of your seat the entire ride. While the ending wasn’t as great as I was hoping, it was still a phenomenal journey and I would highly recommend you take it multiple times. The amount of content with trophies/achievements, voxophones telling you more stories, upgrades to buy, 1999 mode, side quests, and the (excuse the pun) infinite amount of meanings for the game, is all done fantastically. 

Summary:

Buy this game.

Gameplay: Vigors, Skylines, Melee, Guns, everything is kept fresh with options to mess around with. Varied, intelligent enemies. Is just a little bit generic. 9.8/10

 Sound: Troy Baker as Booker is excellent, and Courtnee Draper as Elizabeth is mighty fine. The music is touching and chimes in at the right moments, and the sound effects are a nice touch. 10/10

Presentation: Relatively easy interface, had some trouble with only two slots for my Vigors to choose from, but the keyboard mapping option made it much easier to deal with. No manual saves made it sometimes a hassle to be forced to finish an area in order for it to autosave. 9/10

 Story: The best of the best. No doubt about that. Only matched by it’s predecessor. 10/10

 Graphics: Downright beautiful game. Everything from characters to environment, will make your jaw drop. 10/10

 Replay Value: You will want to play through this game again. A plethora of content to keep you coming back, well worth your 60 dollars. 10/10

Overall: 9.9/10

About Chris

Hi! I'm Chris. It's not the name I would have given myself at birth, but it'll do... Playing games is my favourite pastime, whether it be on a console, a handheld, a phone or some simple snakes and ladders, I just love playing games!