Bioshock Infinite is a very addictive game and it’s not your normal first-person shooter. The main character is Booker Dewitt. His mission is to rescue a girl held captive in the city of Columbia and bring her back to New York City in order to wipe away a debt.
The graphics are fantastic. Much of the action happens in Columbia, a city that is both beautiful and disturbing. This is literally a city in the clouds. Think of Cloud City from Star Wars with a look of early 1900’s Boston or Philadelphia. How do they get buildings to float in the clouds? The game explains that.
One of the disturbing aspects of Columbia is their religious beliefs. Their leader is called “The Prophet” and Booker will encounter statues of “Father Franklin”, “Father Washington”, and “Father Jefferson”. It doesn’t take long to figure out the local belief system is seriously messed up.
Another thing I found disturbing about Columbia is that segregation is still in effect. Keep in mind that the story is set in the year 1912. This is several decades after slavery was abolished and a few decades before the civil rights movement. It is uncomfortable, but it does fit with the story.
One interesting aspect of this game is that Booker is limited to carrying only two firearms at a time. If you find a new weapon that you like, but you already have two, you have to give up one to pick up the new one. This is mildly annoying, but it makes sense. In other FPS’s, one has to wonder where anyone has the room to carry a dozen different weapons at the same time! Hint: remember where you drop one weapon to pick up another as you can usually go back for it if you change your mind.
Though limited to carrying only two, there are a variety of different weapons available. My favorite combinations were the sniper rifle and machine gun. I love the sniper rifles ability to take out targets at long range and the machine gun does a great job at medium and short range. If you run out of sniper ammo, the carbine makes a good substitute: it may not have the scope, but it has good range and good sights. Other fun options include the pistol, shotgun, repeater, hand cannon, and so forth. I say try them all and go with whatever fits your style of play.
This is not Star Wars, so you do not have the Force. You cannot cast spells, but they do have a system that lets Booker do some interesting stuff. They are called “Vigers”. Basically, you drink a potion and it gives you unusual abilities. My three favorites were Possession, Devil’s Kiss, and Murder of Crows. Possession lets you take over another character and turn him/her/it to your side, which is very useful when you are seriously outnumbered (that happens a lot). The Devil’s Kiss lets you throw these fiery explosives at your enemies. Murder of Crows makes a bunch of crows appear out of nowhere and attack your enemy. There are others, but these were the three I used the most. Once again, I say try them all and go with what you like.
The girl to be rescued is Elizabeth and she is arguably one of the most likable AI characters in all of gaming. For starters, you don’t have to babysit Elizabeth; when the shooting starts, she knows how to take cover (why can’t other games get this right?). Also, she is very useful in a fight as she will toss Booker ammunition, health items, and so forth as needed. Still, the most interesting thing about Elizabeth is her ability to open ‘tears’. These are openings into parallel dimensions. She can make things appear from one dimension into this world, or even step from this world into a parallel universe. This is important as much of the story relies on the understanding that there are several parallel universes.
Also, you may notice that Elizabeth is missing part of her right pinky and it is covered with a thimble. There is a connection between her injury and her ability to open tears. What is that connection? You’ll just have to play the game and find out.
Overall, I really enjoyed the game, but the ending made me scratch my head. Eventually, it makes sense, but I had to think about it for a while. It is too bloody and violent for children, but I think late high school and older looking for a unique FPS with great graphics and a complex, interesting story would find this most enjoyable.
The final bonus is that the original Bioshock is on the disk. The original Bioshock is a lot of fun, but you do not have to play it first in order to understand Bioshock Infinite. Both have a lot of similar gameplay elements, but they are two standalone games.
yes: I recommend this product