As always I am Froseph and this is a review for the 3rd installment in the Bioshock franchise Bioshock Infinite, taking place in New Columbia the city floating in the clouds Led by the zealot Sheppard Comstalk, this opposite of the first two which took place under the water in Rapture, a Utopian society run by Andrew Ryan. Now as this is the 3rd installment, I would highly suggest going back and purchasing both Bioshock 1 & 2. However this is merely a suggest, Because Ken Levine enjoys lacing his stories with throwbacks, parallels and references to the games predecessors. So you will get more out of Bioshock infinite with them under your belt. This also allows you to see the progression that each Bioshock game has taken. That being said with or without playing the first two games, Bioshock Infinite does stand alone, So with out further adue. Lets open a rift and travel to New Columbia.
So like any great Bioshock game you start off in the dead of night with a monolithic lighthouse standing out on a island in the middle of no where. with a brief conversation and a singular mission in mind, Booker the main character of this story says the haunting words “Give us the girl wipe away the debt.” One sentence that shapes this game in to a wild ride and makes you want to unravel this mystery and save the girl.
Now while I feel this game has a amazing story line, I feel that irrational games decided that for this installment people need a very linear play through, with little to no choices that effect the overall outcome. Now this is vastly different from the original two bioshock game which had multiple decisions that actually held real consequences for your character and the final outcome of his story.
Among the changes was the overhaul to the weapons system, in the originals you were able to hold all the weapon and could see the changes to the weapon as you upgraded them. In Bioshock infinite the weapons looks never changed and you can only hold 2 weapons at a time. Now while it can be arguing that it gives a stronger feeling of urgency, I felt that it made for a more narrow weapon selection because while I was playing through I avoided picking up the more situation weapons for the more practical weapons I needed to win boss fights.
Another key features that was removed was the map, A feature that is so helpful in Bioshock 1 & 2 and any game really, was replaced with a Navigation arrow. While this is helpful to keeping the plot moving it doesn’t help in exploring the many extra rooms that can sometimes be missed.
Along the same lines as that change was the switch of Tonics to clothes, again they have no effect on how you look while wearing them and while the may be somewhat helpful I feel you lose the major customization to the character
And the final piece of old tech I miss is the ability to hack, While this did cause people to feel they were wasting time in the first two Bioshocks. it was a fun side game that I always enjoyed. hacking left the turrets, cameras and vending machines permanently on your side. unlike the possession vigor in infinite that only allows temporary hacking and only gives you money from the vending machines.
Now I knows it seems like all I am doing is spitting out negatives for a game I said is worth picking up. so I will get to the positives for the game and one of those is the vigors after two games the vigors are more refined and more useful when upgraded. You can use the vigor you find the most fun as they are all pretty balanced. So no needing to feel forced to use one particular one because it is stronger then the others. Another major positive is the skyhook which is one of the most unique play experiences in the game. The sky hook allows you to soar around New Columbia on metal tracks constructed around the city allowing you to jump down on the enemies or shoot them with your weapon from high above them like some vengeful god. This mechanic definitely brings a added level to the game.
Now the last mechanic and plot device is Elizabeth. The first time you meet this poor girl she is locked inside a cage shaped like a angelic statue. Once freed, Elizabeth and Booker try to make their way to their versions of freedom for Elizabeth it is Paris and Booker it is New York to wipe away his debt. Elizabeth is one of the key Plot mechanics she can open rifts and pick locks. She is also what pulled me in to the game, Elizabeth sets the tone and helped reign in Booker’s violent nature and her nature makes you try and solve problems with the least amount of killing as possible. Her innocent nature is what gives you the true understanding of what is going to on around you in the game and care about what has happened both to her and to Booker.
Now graphic wise this is the strongest of the Bioshock series but it is the music in this game with its mix of both a old church hymnals to it a mix of both modern and old music. The ups and downs match the settings and feelings of the characters situations and while much of the music may not fit the time period it has been tailored to feel like it always had been. Bioshock Infinite is a strong successor to the previous 2 and even though many of the features have been streamlined down it is still worth purchasing. And afterwards I found myself waiting for the dlc burial at Sea and when I got it I enjoyed it, 70% of the things I missed were back in it… A new mini game, some unique weapons with the ability to have the full arsenal at your fingertips and while the story line was quick, It was still fun. so while it seems irriational games has closed this chapter of the Bioshock series it was definitely a fun ride so give it a play.