Publisher: 2K Games
Developer: Irrational Games
Release Date: 3/26/2013
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Well, here it is. One of the most anticipated games of the decade. BioShock was a masterpiece that raised the bar for storytelling in games as well as graphics and atmosphere. The underwater city of Rapture was loved by most gamers and became an instant classic. Infinite raises the bar yet again, and I have to say that this is one of the most beautiful and well-made games I have ever played, but even beautiful things have flaws.
The beginning of the game is just breathtaking and spectacular. Probably my favorite opening to any game. I honestly can’t explain much about the story because everything would be a spoiler. All I can say is that you are a man named Booker DeWitt who needs to bring back a girl from the floating city of Columbia named Elizabeth. If he brings her back he can wipe away his debt (from gambling). The story progresses into a huge twist ending and fully cuts you loose and doesn’t quite answer every question. The ending will shock you and even made my jaw drop. It’s a beautiful ending that is going to have gamers talking about it for years to come.
BioShock’s story is also told through the journey. There are no pre-rendered cutscenes or anything to break the flow. A lot of the story is told through hidden journals like in previous games. There are a lot of similarities to older BioShock games, but everything is improved upon. The combat system still uses the gun and magic attacks, however, you get Vigor this time around. They are replenished with Salts that you find instead of Eve Hypos. Honestly, the Vigor’s don’t seem as useful as the Plasmids did. I pretty much stuck with a couple through the whole game because there are so many guns that these end up being more useful. Crow’s Trap is one of my favorites. You send angry crows at enemies to pick and stun them, or you can lay traps. My favorite was the shock Vigor. It can stun enemies, but later on, it can chain across enemies and their heads pop. There’s one for fire, Bronco lets you throw enemies into the air, there’s a tentacle one that pulls enemies towards you, and there’s also one that allows you to charge enemies and cause damage. They sound neat, and they look neat in action, but the combat is more fast-paced and challenging than in previous games.
The guns feel so great to shoot in this game. There are pistols, sniper rifles, shotguns, and the typical ones in shooters. Hail Fire and Volley Gun shoot grenades, there’s an M1 Carbine, a repeater, and various others. Honestly, I wish there were more unique weapons like in older BioShocks, but at least they feel good to shoot and there are plenty of them. I didn’t really need to resort to Vigor unless I had a lot of people after me or had large enemies to deal with.
Speaking of enemies, the ones in Infinite are some of the most imaginative since BioShock 1. There are various human enemies, but the Patriots and Handymen are awesome. There are also various creatures and some fun boss fights as well. I just wish there was a larger variety. There are different reskins of these enemies, but I really just wanted more to shoot at. The Patriots have Chain Guns that are hard to bring down but are weak in the back. Handymen are rarely encountered but they are giant lumbering beasts and are bosses on their own. Infinite gives you more exploration options during combat. Using the Skyline is so fun and magical. You can slow down, reverse, and hop down wherever you want. You can shoot from these skylines, so it adds a tactical element the series needs. You even get a better melee weapon that has gruesome finishing kills that will make you cringe.
Combat is just very solid in Infinite, but by the end of the game it started feeling repetitive and all that kept me going was the story and new places to explore. Infinite has a lot of secrets that need to be opened with lockpicks that you can find. You can equip Gear that adds attributes and you can upgrade weapons via stations around Columbia like you did in BioShock. You can also upgrade your Vigors which is nice, there are a lot of upgrades and you won’t get them all in one playthrough.
When it comes to visuals, Infinite is one of the most beautiful and original games ever made…ever. On PC the DirectX 11 upgrade looks fantastic, the lighting is amazing, and the art style the team went for will blow your mind. I spent the first few hours just staring at everything because of how beautiful it looked. The pacing is spot-on, and the story makes you care about all the characters, or hate them. Ken Levine and his team are masters of their art and it’s proven here. This may even be his opus, but only time will tell. There’s nothing out there like Infinite, this is probably one of the few shooters in years that has tried to use the genre for what it’s good for. There’s no multiplayer, but you don’t need it. I also wish there were visual upgrades to the weapons like in BioShock 1, but those are minor gripes. Honestly, it’s hard to complain about this game other than the lack of enemy variety, Vigors feel underpowered, and there are no visual upgrades on weapons. The story is fantastic and gripping, this game will hopefully live on to be one of the best ever made.