Overall BioShock Infinite is a brilliant game. The story is fantastic and there is enough here for two playthroughs at the least, with the story being the biggest motivator. If you are a fan of fantastic story telling or FPS/RPG games, this is definitely one for you to try out! A must try for all gamers looking for a mind-boggling experience.
Unveiled in late 2010, BioShock Infinite quickly reached the top of the most anticipated games list. This time however the setting of the game has changed. You are no longer in the underwater city of Rapture as in previous games. Instead, you take to the skies in the floating city of Columbia. The lead protagonist too has changed. You don the role of Booker DeWitt. Put simply, BioShock Infinite is an ambitious game. In a day and age dominated with war-based shooters, can Infinite carve a place for itself?
The story of the game starts out pretty simply. Reach the floating city of Columbia, find the girl, Elizabeth, and bring her to repay a debt. As always the task is easier said than done. This is as far as we go in revealing the plot of the game. On the surface it seems simple and you can expect the usual twists and turns but what you won’t expect is the direction in which the story goes and the grand finale which will really mess with your head. Elizabeth is protected or rather guarded by Songbird, a large mechanical bird that keeps on spoiling your rescue attempts.
It is possibly one of the best laid out stories with subtle hints throughout that you will overlook, that is, until you reach the end. It is only when you will play the game a second time that these hints will start to make sense and you will stop questioning the brilliance behind the storytelling of the game.
Apart from Booker and Elizabeth, there are other characters in the game that will intrigue you. The best part is that each character is developed to a decent extent and leaves you wanting more once you figure out the story. The Lutece twins are two characters that keep popping in at regular intervals and leave quick one-liners that leave you scratching your head as well as chucking at times.
As far the gameplay goes, if you have played any of the two previous BioShock games, you will feel right at home with BioShock Infinite. At its core, the game is a first person shooter with RPG elements thrown into the mix. There is a lot of collecting to be done, and most of it is money, so you can purchase and upgrade your arsenal. At any given point you can carry a maximum of two weapons which is a bit of a letdown considering some of the upgrades are really good and it definitely would add better variation in gameplay if the arsenal at your disposal was bigger.
Just like the previous games, you have access to special abilities in BioShock Infinite. Called Vigors, they give you access to a bunch of powers like controlling an opponent for a brief period of time, shooting a flock of crows at an enemy, throwing bombs and much more. The Vigors add a nice variation to the combat. You also have access to a grappling hook that works as a way of navigating the environment and also for melee combat, along with the ability to deliver some disturbing finishing blows. You also pick up various pieces of clothing that add to your combat abilities.
Another addition to the gameplay is Elizabeth. You don’t get to control her but you don’t have to protect her either. In battle she hides and provides you with ammo, health and salts (to replenish your Vigors). She also opens up what are known as ‘tears’ to aid in combat. These tears give you access to extra ammo, cover, a turret and more. Elizabeth also revives you once you die.
There aren’t really any puzzles in BioShock Infinite, and the environments are really large. Thankfully, there is a waypoint system that shows you exactly where you need to go. It is very reminiscent of the waypoint system in Dead Space and is great, as it gives you the option to explore the environment and get back on track for the main quest as and when you like.
The graphics of the game deserve special mention. Put simply, BioShock Infinite looks gorgeous. The environments are vibrant and the city of Columbia resting sky high looks beautiful. You can see far in the distance and wonder if you can “reach that place in the corner” only to find yourself there a few hours later. There are elements such as the posters and sayings all over the place that make the game feel very BioShock, and yet the colourful and dynamic environment is a drift from what the series has offered.
Be it in the open skies, inside a ship or inside a bar, the colour palette of BioShock Infinite is vibrant and there are distinguishing factors that separate one area from the other. The richness in the environment is immediately lost to a dark and gritty environment when you reach the ghettos of Columbia. The animations and effects of the Vigors too look great and it is a treat to use them.
BioShock Infinite looks great on both the Xbox 360 and the PS3, but if you have a killer rig, this is one game you should play on the PC as this is where it truly shines. Some of the boss fights and intense combat sequences are the highlight of the game and you should look forward to the small boss battles thrown in at regular intervals.
The sound in the BioShock Infinite is also brilliant. To start with, the voice acting is spectacular, and could give any Hollywood studio a run for its money. The emotions expressed in the voice of the characters really touch your heart and the sarcasm portrayed by the Lutece twins will definitely make you chuckle.
The sound effects of the Vigors and the guns in the game are top notch, with each bang and whoosh an adrenaline rush. Special credit for the rush goes to the background score, which gets intense with every heated battle and there are times when there is pin-drop silence only to be broken by the sound of enemies detecting your presence.
Overall BioShock Infinite is a brilliant game. The story is fantastic and there is enough here for two playthroughs at the least, with the story being the biggest motivator. If you are a fan of fantastic story telling or FPS/RPG games, this is definitely one for you to try out! It isn’t Call of Duty or Battlefield at its core, but it is a great shooter nonetheless. You can complete the game in 10 to 15 hours depending on the difficulty you choose and the amount of time you take out to explore the vistas of Columbia. A must try for all gamers looking for a mind-boggling experience.
Tested on: PS3
Publisher: 2K Games
Developer: Irrational Games
Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3 and the PC
Price: Console: Rs. 2,499 PC: 999
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