So far, the game reviews on this blog have been of what you would call art games. Dear Esther is a good example of this. Bioshock Infinite is not an art game, it’s a masterpiece.
Visuals: Bioshock Infinite is, hands down, the most beautiful video game I have ever seen. The game takes place in the floating city of Columbia. Its sun-baked streets shine with detail and genius use of colors and textures. Even the darker, dreary-er parts of the city are stunning to look at. The use of lens flares is fantastic and even the unimportant side characters feel alive and real. This makes the fight scenes extra dark. You actually feel bad for murdering these wonderful people, even if they were bad people. They’re still wonderful.
There were a few muddy textures here and there but they were sparse and hard to come by.
9.8 – 10
Gameplay: At its heart, Bioshock Infinite is just a first person shooter. But it has many unique game dynamics that set its gameplay apart from the others. By far my favorite thing about the game’s action is the fact that it actually makes sense. You’re only killing people because you have no choice. The main character (Booker Dewitt) is a war vet, (telling which war would be a huge spoiler) Which explains why the violence doesn’t slow him down.
But apart from that, there are some other fun combat features.
Skylines let you soar around the battlefield and drop down onto your enemy’s heads with satisfying ease, and your companion (Elizabeth) has some fun combat options too. She can summon just about anything by literally ripping holes in the the world and pulling stuff out. Med kits, turrets, guns, cover, just useful stuff in general, it’s great. She can also help you find loot. And point out sneaky enemies before they get the drop on you.
The truth is, the combat is just so fricken’ fun because it just fits. Without the games FANTASTIC story in would probably fall flat. Hard to say though
The games world is also wonderfully interactive. It gives you the opportunity to do just sort of… well, interact.
8.0 – 10
Bioshock Infinite has one of the most interesting use’s of music I’ve ever encountered. The game takes place in America 1912. Which is around when the radio was invented.
(MILD SPOILERS) Due to a rather interesting side story, several tunes from the 80′s have made their way into the world of Bioshock. Altered versions of songs like, Girls Just Want To Have Fun, God Only Knows, and Everybody Wants To Rule The World.
Songs like these playing from radios throughout the city give the game a super surreal Quentin Tarantino feel. There are also some fantastic orchestral pieces that chime in at just the perfect time to make everything seem just that much more beautiful.
9.7 – 10
The game opens with a black screen and the words “Booker, are you afraid of God?” “No, I’m afraid of you”. Dear god. You remember when I said this game is a masterpiece? This is where that part comes in
“Hey! Is someone meeting me here?” shouts Booker Dewitt. “I certainly hope so, it does seem like a dreadful place to be stranded” Are the last words you hear as the odd couple on in a row boat drops you off at small island in the middle of the ocean.
The island is home to an ominous looking lighthouse. All that you have with you is a box containing a Broadsider Pistol, a photo of a young woman in a blue dress, some notes, a piece of paper that reads “bring us the girl, and wipe away the dept” and several silver coins.
As you make your way through the lighthouse you find you find some rather… uncanny things.
Once you reach the top you discover a small room where the light should be, after using one of the notes to pass a sort of combination lock with bells instead of buttons. A door opens revealing a small velvet chair. You instinctively sit down in the chair, which quickly locks your arms down with braces.
The floor around folds away revealing gears and machinery. Several plates of metal raise and lock into position to form a sort of pod. You hear a recorded voice saying “Ascension, ascension in the count of 5… count of 4… 3… 2… 1. ”
The sudden sound of rocket engines starts as the storm clouds fly past you revealing bright blue sky and…
Then you meet Elizabeth.
By the end of the game. My heart was pounding, after being ripped apart and put back together. And after some truly surreal moments, this game will leave a soft mark on your heart and your soul. Here’s the first five minutes of gameplay to give you an idea of how god-dang awesome the writing and acting truly is
10 – 10
Adult Content?: This is the first game I’ve ever played that actually made me flinch during the combat.
Gore blood and more gore. But even with the blood gore removed this is truly a mature game. America was not a very pleasant place to be in 1912, especially if you weren’t white. Racial discrimination is a common theme in Bioshock Infinite. Along with some truly heavy religious symbolism. This game requires a player that understands that separating right and wrong is not something you can just do.
8 – 10
Please for the sake of yourself play this game… I’m waiting, oh too pricy? Then rent it. Oh still too pricy? Then borrow it. No one you know has it? Hmm… ok then, steal it
9.9 – 10 Outstanding