Friday, April 5, 2013

Bioshock Infinite Review

I love the Bioshock games.

Bioshock scared the crap out of me when I first played it, simply because it combined three of my worst fears: raging out of control deformed humans, consistent and aggressive self injections (of random unknown substances I might add), and being stuck hundreds of leagues under the ocean in a rapidly decomposing city. So naturally I found the game exciting.

Not only this, but the story was different. A tale of rescue and escape turns into a self realization for your character and you have the choice to either become a hero or a villain. But what makes you a hero and where is the line between villain? This carried on to the second game, all the while keeping the theme of a utopian seeking power figure who thinks their ideals are what's best for the world.

What Bioshock Infinite did was take away the choices from the previous games and make them redundant. Not because they didn't work, but to emphasize the point of the game.

However, before I spoil the ending for those that haven't played it yet, I just want to comment on the gameplay itself.

Firstly, Elizabeth has made the list of top female companions in my gaming history. Along with Alex Vance, Elizabeth doesn't get in the way, supports you in combat without getting out of control and is not the least bit annoying. Compare that to Skyrim where you had to save before every enemy encounter because there was more than a 50% chance of shooting your side-kick in the head and getting them killed. I also liked that she didn't shout the same ridiculous catch-phrases every 10 seconds to the point that I wouldn't mind if I accidentally shot her in the head. Her scavenging for supplies made the fast action combat a little easier to handle and I just enjoyed her company. In short, she was a mad bitch.

Secondly, Colombia blows Rapture out of the water. Rapture was impressive in it's own way, with it's slightly older graphics and bubbly neon style, but you can't beat a flying city. It's a flying city! And a gorgeous one at that. Just entering the world through that creepy baptism church at the beginning of the game I was amazed to see that there were actually hummingbirds flying around. And once you had a chance to take a breath from decapitating people with your sky-hook and actually took a look around, you could admire the detail of the city. The NPC designs, while a little copy and paste, were beautiful, and the use of the sky-lines as a mode of transportation was like riding a roller-coaster in the middle of a gun-fight.

But the main reason I liked Infinite, for the same reason I like most games, was the story-line. My god the story-line was fantastically done. I will say that after I finished the game I still had a lot of questions as to how the hell this or that came to be, but I still liked that the game designers left in the audio diaries for players to find. I like listening to the characters spout a lot of nonsensical jargon which you must put together yourself. It leaves a challenge.

Although I don't know if it was because I had the game set to easy, but the boss fights didn't seem that much of a fight. When fighting Cornelius Slate, you get this big lead up to a final battle, he sends minions out to kill you, a few patriots, leaves some shock jockey traps for you to run into, but when you finally get up to him, he's already defeated by the vigor he overdosed on. Where's the big sparky battle? Where's my fear of running out of ammo and having to sky-hook him in the face repeatedly to death? And you didn't even get to fight Songbird.

That being said, I probably said "Oh s**t!" at least fifty times playing this game, and that is entirely due to the Handy-Man. "Shoot at the heart!" They say! Well I can't shoot the damn heart when that particular heart is encased by an angry cyborg currently sprinting at me. I also can't shoot the back of a Patriot because whenever I try to get around them they turn around and start pounding me with the wind up gun. So inevitably and ironically I have to shoot robot Abraham Lincoln in the head.

Overall however, I loved this game. Just like the other two, the games endings were enhanced by the main character dying. Which you kind of feel like your efforts were all for naught, you're still left with a sense of melancholia, like you've made some small difference. And while this ending was a bit more obscure than the last two endings, it was still an ending. An ending to all endings. An objective view on life, religion and everything held tight in a game.

I love Bioshock.

I love video games.

I love.

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