The third in the series, Bioshock: Infinite wouldn’t be the worst place to start. Although, without playing the other two, fans would miss out on a couple of nods. Infinite is a prequel to the trilogy, where in this new world, we dwell not in the underwater depths of Rapture, but this time in 1912, Columbia, the City in the Sky. Playing this time as Booker Dewitt, a man who wishes only to pay off his long-lived debt, we find ourselves entangled in the world of a religiously-driven floating city. Elizabeth is a stunning blue-eyed beauty, who to Booker’s knowledge, will be traded for a clean slate. He must find the girl and wipe away his debt. The conflict comes from a man, Comstock, who claims Booker is the “False Prophet” and rises the whole city to fight him off. 2K and Irrational Games introduce gamers to a whole new take on the world of Bioshock with this riveting addition to the series.
This single-player FPS is very unlike the other two games. For one, it’s the only game that actually gives you the option to run, which makes the whole gaming experience much more fluent. They experiment with lots of light and bright colors, which make it a direct contrast to the dark, deceit of Rapture. The graphics are delicate and very appealing, there are no complaints there. It’s simply delicious to the eye. The gameplay is more than well-oiled, it’s fantastic. What fun would it be without the looting? We still have the ability to loot our fallen foes. Although I would like to say this game is suitable for all ages, alas, it is not. The story line is more than age appropriate, however, there is a certain “goriness” to some of the violence that I would not condone a child to watch. It is a FPS, so we can only expect a reasonable amount of… well, shooting! Of course, this game features many difficulty modes including the insanely ridiculous 1999 Mode, which I wouldn’t recommend for any less than avid gamers, because it’s really hard.
The enemies in this game are entirely new, so it’s a refreshing new take on the combat. No more Splicers, and no more Big Daddies. As well as motorized enemies, we fight against the people of Columbia and a few surprising foes. Each has a weakness, so it’s best to experiment with different weapons and powers. Elizabeth has her own type of special ability, and it’s smart to utilize them at your will. She can also lockpick, so she will be able to open doors, chests, etc. Which removes every hacking ability we had in Bioshock and Bioshock 2. Being taken down by enemies doesn’t quite have the same effect, as Columbia lacks Vita-Chambers. Though, it still costs to die. The higher the difficulty, the higher cost. If you run out of money, you return to the last checkpoint. But otherwise, you return to the game, out of combat, but not far from.
One intriguing aspect about the Bioshock games are their illusion of linearity. Without spoiling the other games, it is safe to say that you will have to make moral judgement based choices that could ultimately alter the outcome of the story. They lead you where you need, but the player has much room to explore. As in Infinite, you have opportunities to stray from the path and explore Columbia. I would recommend this, as there are many items to be found. For one, our beloved voxophones! Find all, get an achievement, same goes for many other items. I have compulsions to be overly thorough when I play games, so I try not to miss anything. You also don’t want to miss weapon upgrades and ammo, which you buy at vending machines. These also include your vigor upgrades vendors. It would also be wise to use all medkits you come across. Sure, there are lots, but for the first time, we are not given the option to carry medkits. Bare with me here, it can be a pain, but in return, we are provided with “shields”, which regenerate over time.
Weapons. Infinite is wide on your weaponry range. From the Paddywhacker Hand Cannon to the China Broom Shotgun. The players are provided with many more options for weapons, including an achievement for each. So mix it up. What we lack in the weapon department are the customizations. There are few for each weapon, and none are visible on the actual gun itself. There is also no choice of ammo. No armour-piercing, just standard, good old fashioned ammunition. As a Bioshock custom, how can we fight without that extra power boost? In Infinite we are given “vigors”. They provide us with a variety of different power attacks, including cough cough “Shock Jockey”, which might be familiar to avid fans, or “Possession”, which gives us the ability to control enemies, which makes up for the lack of hacking. We regenerate these powers using “salts”, which we will easily come across through the game. There are a few vigors, and we are able to use two in sequence, combining the force. If you discover all combinations you will also be treated to an achievement.
The storyline was executed flawlessly. As a confused man who was just transported into a floating city, very little is understood. A lot of activity that happens in the story is relevant. It is not clarified at first, but they manage to hold you off just enough to introduce you to just the right amount of information, at just the right time. It makes for a powerful impact and may even entice players to continue into a second playthrough, now with new knowledge. They take the gamers into a world, a story and twist the bounds of reality itself. It’s such a riveting, intriguing mission to discover truth. We are driven to play this game. The most difficult choice you’ll have to make in this game is whether or not to put down the controller. It’s addicting, and with the DLC follow-up, you can be sure many Bioshock fans are on their toes. It’s a long stretch from Rapture, and it’s almost a bit disappointing, but fear not, avid gamers. They didn’t forget about their dedicated fanbase and threw in some nods and hints that only Bioshock enthusiasts will catch.
Overall, the whole game was a thrill and a half. It was beautiful, exciting, and easy on the eyes. Refreshing with new characters, new environments and new concepts. It’s a wonderful take on the Bioshock world, and a sincere accomplishment. I would recommend it without second thought. An easy 10/10.