The wait proved to be worth it; Bioshock Infinite is a fantastic adventure that delivers on all fronts. It will be lionized for years to come as the standard to which other first person shooter games should hope to achieve.
For the record, FPS is definitely not my genre of choice, mainly because I pretty much suck at shooting things and prioritizing my targets. (Unless, of course, there’s one really big one, and I just fire at its weak point until it’s dead.) Also, I didn’t finish the first Bioshock, nor did I play its sequel. When I first saw previews for this game, however, I knew that I had to experience it. I was right; not only did I have to experience it, but I’ve been highly recommending the experience to anyone I know that has even picked up a next-gen controller. You HAVE to play this game, because gamers will be talking about it. I’m going to keep this review short, because others (including Adam Sessler) have done a much better job of singing its praises.
Bioshock Infinite is, for lack of a better term, downright gorgeous. You are immersed in the majesty and beauty of the sky city of Columbia only a few minutes into the start of the game, and even when the game is turned off you still can’t pull yourself away from it.
Environments are colorful, vibrant, and even when they are dreary and rainy, they are teeming with activity and life. There were points where I just had to stop and take a look around in awe at the utopia that Irrational Games had created… between the people, buildings, sidewalks, vendor booths, and even faraway structures, I had never seen such unparalleled detail and creativity.
Few games could keep me as captivated with their story as Bioshock Infinite did. You play the role of Booker DeWitt (brilliantly voiced by Troy Baker, known for playing Snow Villiers), a disenfranchised Pinkerton agent sent to retrieve a girl named Elizabeth (voiced by Courtnee Draper) from the sky city of Columbia. The story from the very start is as immersive as the world you are looking at, so I will go no further to spoil details that you could very easily find out on your own. It does a fantastic job of mixing plot twists, drama, action, and deep thought of an existentialist nature.
As I said before, first-person shooters are not my thing. But damn, this game was fun as hell to play, even when it got the most frustrating. Elements from the previous Bioshock games are returned in the form of Vigors, which give Booker powers that emanate from his left hand to disable, damage, and manipulate enemies in whatever style you choose. Throughout most of the game, Elizabeth accompanies you, and not only does she stay out of harm’s way (so no ‘protecting the damsel’ nonsense), but during battle, and oftentimes when you are in most need of it, she’ll toss health, ammo, and Salts (for your vigors) to you that she finds. Outside of battle, she’ll find money and perform lockpicking to give you access to areas off the beaten path. Throw in the large collection of weapons available to suit any play style and you’ve got a great formula for the ideal shoot-‘em-up. Dying isn’t even that much of an inconvenience; you lose a little bit of money, and Elizabeth resurrects you in a safe zone away from where you fell. Throughout the entire game, you are pushed to keep going.
The most fun part about combat, though, is when you get a chance to be on the Skylines that are found throughout the world. They’re Columbia’s main form of transportation, and their addition to your strategy is nothing short of pure bliss. Hop on a Skyline and start wailing away at helpless targets below, zooming or coasting along as you please, or target an enemy on the ground and hurl toward them with a melee deathstrike. Some enemies also have the ability to follow you onto the Skylines, but it’s still just as fun shooting them off.
I feel privileged that I got the chance to play Bioshock Infinite. Surpassing the excellence of the original Bioshock was probably a very difficult feat to pull off, but the developers managed to do it, and I’m sure they’re revelling in it at this point. If you’ve read any of my game reviews, you’ll see that I have not yet given any games I’ve played a perfect score like this. Bioshock Infinite is an experience that even the most casual gamer should attempt, as I’m willing to bet they’ll get as lost in it as I did.
For my favorite review of this game, see the YouTube channel Rev3Games review that Adam Sessler did here.