Bioshock Infinite Review

by / Wednesday, 10 April 2013 / Published in Editorials & Reviews, News & Articles

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I beat Bioshock Infinite twice within the first week it was out. Not for achievements, not to do a harder difficulty (even though that’s what I did), but because the instant the story was over, I wanted to experience that wonder again. I wasn’t ready to be finished, I wanted to stay in Columbia. I clicked new game the instant I was placed back on the main menu.

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 Bioshock Infinite is simply one of the finest game’s I’ve ever experienced; I absolutely love it. I’m a guy that plays games for immersion, plays games for the story, plays to get lost in a world that isn’t my own. I’m going to try to stay away from spoilers here, I may write something later about my feelings regarding the more twisty moments in the plot. But basically here’s what I have to say: you won’t see it coming, and you will be talking about the story for weeks.

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 I was worried I wasn’t going to enjoy the game at first, I was worried it was going to be Bioshock 1 in a different setting. I was rowed to the lighthouse in the beginning…yeah. I was shot up to Columbia…yeah. But the instant those rocket doors opened and I found myself in a church beautiful music, hundreds of candles and a flooded floor, I was taken back. This game is absolutely beautiful. Suddenly I didn’t feel burdened by searching every nook and cranny for objects or money, because every new area was a wonder to explore. The time before you first experience of combat is around 30 minutes, before that you’re walking around the city with people celebrating and having a great time. It was incredible to simply explore the environment. Later in the game there weren’t as many beautiful areas as the opening and Battlefield Beach a few hours later, but I can’t knock on the graphics for being ugly.

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 Then there’s your companion, Elizabeth, and before you ask, no this does not play like an escort mission. I was worried at first that I was going to have to monitor her health or put her in dumpsters before she started screaming like Ashley from Resident Evil 4 did. But no, instead she serves more as a combat aid, tossing you ammo, health and salts (powering your vigors, the plasmids of Columbia) as you need it. She can also open up one tear at a time in the environment, giving you helpful objects like turrets, sky hooks, or cover to get behind. I almost felt like it was cheating at first, until I got to a point late in the game where I didn’t have Elizabeth, where enemies were bullet sponges and didn’t drop ammo or health. I desperately wanted Elizabeth back, I needed her, I was dependent on her. Not even Alyx Vance made me feel like that. Outside of combat was wonderful as well; she will wander around the environment, trying out things or staring at objects that are new to her. For the exploring types, there is one scene in a bar involving a guitar that should simply not be missed, it is beautiful.

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 Back to the combat however, which to me was the weakest part of the game. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still fun, and the addition of the skyhook was absolutely fantastic. You can pick up clothing items that benefit certain abilities, such as melee, to fit your combat styles. But you can tell ahead of time when you are coming up on a combat area when you suddenly see 4 or 5 tears you can use that give weapons or sentries. Eventually it feels like a chore, as the enemies were lacking in variety. Although we did have heavy hitters like the handyman and the motorized patriot, but I never felt the need to plan my attacks ahead and set traps like I did with Big Daddies in the previous games. Not to mention you can’t store med or salt kits, and you can only carry 2 weapons at the time, that’s where Liz comes in, providing munitions. On occasion this made combat a lot more dramatic for me, but I never felt the need to try different weapons. The handcannon that you get around halfway through the game stayed in my inventory for the rest of the game. The vigors were entertaining to use, especially to use them in combination with each other, however I found that too many of them simply stunned the enemy. Why would I use the vigor that stuns the enemies with crows when I can use Bucking Bronco and stun them by suspending them in midair? One more small complaint, upgrading your weapons doesn’t change the actual look of the weapon. But that’s just a small issue, as it doesn’t effect gameplay. Eventually the gunplay kind of felt like an intermission between the far more interesting story. This is the complete opposite of how most games are, with the story feeling like an intermission, perhaps that’s why the combat doesn’t annoy me much despite it’s downsides.

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 For me, the most interesting thing I noticed, especially on the second playthrough, was how much of the story was tucked away, or subtle. Again I’m not going to spoil anything, but for those who look around, connect the dots, it’s an absolute treat. When you figure out why things are the way they are in Columbia, or you realize something that you thought was seemingly irrelevant a few hours ago is actually part of the plot the entire time, it’s an absolute treat. If you want a rich and satisfying world, Columbia is up to the task.

 There is no word yet on what the DLC is going to be like for this game, which leaves me a bit worried, because after such an amazing experience I would hate for it to be diminished by something mediocre. That aside, I will definitely be playing this game again, it is already a contender to be one of my favorite games. The world, the story, the characters are simply unmatched by anything else I can experienced. I highly recommend this game, it’s one that needs to be experienced.

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 9.7/10

2 Responses to “Bioshock Infinite Review”

  1. JayRad11 says : Reply

    Good job Vissari!
    I am thoroughly enjoying this game so far as well. I will likely play this all over again like yourself. B-e-a-utiful game

  2. FaNatic says : Reply

    Agree. The game was phenomenal and such a gratifying visual experience. I started to play again just so I can find different ways to go through the combats.

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