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Bioshock Infinite Review


Booker DeWitt, a disgraced former agent of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, has his head on the clouds. I really mean it. Things all start off quietly enough for him, with two people escorting him to a large lighthouse in the middle of the sea. However, soon after arriving at the lighthouse he finds himself being rocketed to a city in the sky, known as Columbia. The reason he is heading there is that he's been hired by mysterious individuals to infiltrate the air-city and rescue a young woman named Elizabeth. Getting her back to New York will free him of old debts, but then things are never that simple, not in the world of Bioshock Infinite.

Booker's main task when first landing in the city of Columbia is to find Elizabeth, it's his sole aim and nothing is meant to get in the way of this, however as soon as you lay eyes on this city built on the clouds it's hard not to be distracted. It's an incredible place, filled with townsfolk, propaganda and more personality than most current gen games put together. So much care has been put into the attention to detail that it is hard not to be impressed. In this respect, it is wandering around the city of Columbia that will give you the first taste of what is to come, as you explore the carnival, play various games and are rewarded with silver. However there is one prize in particular that will help you more than most...Vigor.

Vigor is a potion that Booker drinks which in turn grants special powers. It comes in various forms, allowing him to turn machines in his favor, fling firebombs, electrocute enemies or even wash them all away. Vigor is activated using the L1 button on the PS3; L2 will switch between the two that are active, while holding L2 allows you access to all of them. These powers are essential to getting you through the game, helping you to weaken multiple adversaries to the point where you can then finish them off with any of the game's huge arsenal of weaponry.

Helping to mix things up even more, you are soon introduced to the Skyhook. Given that Columbia is essentially a city in the clouds, then there has to be some way of getting between platforms when you have missed the last air balloon, therefore soon after claiming his first victim Booker manages to get hold of a Skyhook. Essentially this is a magnetic tool which allows him to attach to the rails connecting each of the city's platforms, allowing him to travel at speed and if necessary, jump between rails without falling to his death. One of the bonuses about the skyhook is that because you are up high in the air you are able to launch onto any enemy below, taking them out with one swift hit. In fact the Skyhook makes a pretty special melee weapon itself, taking out anyone who gets too close to you in the most bloody and brutal way imaginable.

Using the tools mentioned above Booker eventually fights his way to Elizabeth and in all honesty this is when the game really begins. When first meeting Elizabeth you realize that she seems to be a scared young lady. She doesn't really understand why she has been captured, or why Booker has suddenly appeared to rescue her. Even once they become aquatinted Elizabeth is still a little guarded as far as Booker is concerned, however as the game goes on she opens up to him, becoming more open and more willing to help, which is quite handy considering the unique powers you soon discover she is hiding.


Unlike most AI characters, Elizabeth is actually pretty handy to have around. Not only will she throw money at you, but during combat she'll keep you topped up with health, salt (which is required for vigor) and ammo. Perhaps her greatest use though is her ability to open portals. Using this power Elizabeth can open up turrets, provide cover for you to hide behind or even open up skyhook points for you to latch on to, giving you an advantage over the enemy. There are occasions throughout the game when Booker and Elizabeth are separated and it's quite telling that these moments just don't feel the same. Protecting Elizabeth and having her help really makes Bioshock Infinite stand out. Not just because of her abilities but also because of the emotional attachment that you will form with her throughout the game.

As with any great game, Elizabeth and Booker are not alone in their quest for freedom. As you would expect, wherever the good guys go, the bad guys follow. The villain of this piece are particularly nasty, first up there's 'The Prophet', he's the perfect villain, constantly hounding you and always reminding you of his presence through propaganda and his evil views, although there is a even greater threat, 'The Songbird'. Every time you think you are getting somewhere, up pops this flying metal beast to stop you in your tracks. The Songbird is certainly a formidable looking foe and is also involved in a twist or two as the plot unfolds.

Of course the two enemies mentioned above are not the main presence as far as enemies go. Mainly you'll be facing up against cops and other rank and file bad guys as you try to make your way through each area in order to reach your goal. Most of these enemies are easily taken down, although it's their sheer numbers which may stop you in your tracks. Occasionally you'll come up against some tougher enemies, such as the motorized patriots or Bioshock Infinite's 'Big Daddy' who is known as the Handyman. Taking these enemies down is a lot tougher, but no-one said getting through the game was going to be easy anyway.

Away from the combat, you'll find that there are plenty of collectables for you to find should you wish to explore a little. Doing so will allow you to collect items such as Gear, which you can wear and in turn gain additional abilities. Other collectables include Voxphones, which will help build the background to the story, while you will also come across vending machines, allowing you to rebuild health and upgrade both weapons and Vigors. As with previous games you can also loot bodies and boxes in the wake of battle, allowing you to build up your strength for the next fight. There are certainly plenty of options to explore within Infinite, it just depends if you want to spend the time doing so.

Having completed the game in around 12 hours, I have to say that I did feel Bioshock Infinite dragged on a little. It seems to fall in to that old trap of sending you on collect missions in order to pad the story out a little. Thankfully the lulls in the story never seem to last long though, with the game always finding something to surprise you around the next corner. Could it have been a little shorter and still an amazing game? Yes of course, however don't let this put you off as it's a minor blip in what is otherwise an outstanding experience.

I've not played the PC version of Bioshock Infinite as of yet, but even still, you can certainly see the signs of age on the console versions. There is no doubt that it looks absolutely fantastic, however some of the textures and the occasional pause in the action tells me that the PS3 is struggling a little to keep up. This doesn't take away from the experience too much, however when the game does struggle it pulls you out of the immersion of it all ever so slightly.

It has to be said that thanks to the brilliant storytelling, the outstanding performance of the cast and the simply wonderful design, Bioshock Infinite is a must play title. It may not be perfect, however every second you spend in clouds of Columbia will be time well spent.

(Version Tested: PS3)

Pros

- Wonderful storytelling
- Fantastic fast paced action
- Great acting, provides emotional attachment
- Looks fantastic

Cons

- Story feels a little padded out in the middle
- Console version occasionally struggles to keep up

Edited On 25 Mar, 2013

Comments
60
Should have my copy tonight or tomorrow. Cannot wait. My most anticipated game this year so far. Shame about console versions being a bit technically gimped, but I managed to get past that in Far Cry 3, so hopefully I'll manage here as well.
PrometheusFan 2 years ago
It's like Star Wars mixed with Assassins Creed Revelations mixed with Resident Evil 4 mixed with Portal, but in a good way
Johno Muller 2 years ago
hope mine turns up tomorrow, its a first for shopto not getting my copy to me a day early..... getting worried........
battfinkz 2 years ago
roll on 4 o clock ill be going home and destroying this game!! thanks shopto!! love u!
0000000000 2 years ago
Pre-ordered this over a month ago, recieved an email on friday to say order had been dispatched, have still not received it so kinda wondering what the benefit is to pre ordering, had i known i wouldnt get it until the actual day of release i would have just waited and bought it.
GARY 2 years ago
MY BIOSHOCK DIDN'T ARRIVE FROM SHOPTO A DAY EARLY I AM OUTRAGED!! I haven't bought it yet, but my point is still valid.
Johno Muller 2 years ago
ive just been informed that mine has not arrived either :( that post man best get back to my house with mine it got dispatched friday no excuse why its not here today!
0000000000 2 years ago
You can't argue with his logic
Loli-Nox-Tan 2 years ago
boom royal mail strikes again!!! not literally but they really don't like snow do they
Pyroloveridge 2 years ago
When I get around to playing this the revolver will be the only firearm I use, even if there are parts where I cannot progress without using a different gun.
Johno Muller 2 years ago
no sign of postie yet was hoping to get this today , really mad its not like the snow is bad where i am yet royal mail just dont bother to work at all dont they like snow or something
Dark572Assassin 2 years ago
I preordered this, Gears of war and The walking dead, and of those three, only gears has arrived so far, damn you all to hell.
iMerle iDixon 2 years ago
No Bioshock for me today either. It's the first time in 6 years I haven't got a game early. However, even after all this time I still consider getting a game early as a bonus and not a right, but I suspect that these games didn't go into the postal system when shopto sent the dispatch confirmations.
kilz0r 2 years ago
You know what its like in england as soon as a little bit of snow falls everything grinds to a halt. As long as its here for tomorrow then its all good. Will give me some more time on monster hunter.
Zombieflamingo 2 years ago
Lousy Smarch weather
Johno Muller 2 years ago
I've never played a Bioshock before. So it makes sense that I'm getting this one...
Shoxy85 2 years ago
How disappointing. Was looking to blast on this tonight but not even turned up. I'm sure the reason will be the weather but there's nothing on any site saying they expect delays. (and hell, there's not even been a single drop of snow here over the weekend so no excuse for up here if the trains and planes can run fine.) Although likely I'll put this off and keep it as an Easter pressie. Got notification of Luigi's Mansion and Lego City being paid for. And still have Metal Gear to play haha
Robichoico 2 years ago
Probably....should actually comment on the review instead of having everyone complain. This review seems to be more of the fair ones, Sure it's getting near flawless reviews everywhere but none seem to be hitting any bad points. The dragging parts sound a little disappointing, but if they're sandwiched between awesomeness then it's not so bad. I've also seen a few different guesses to the length, 12 hours, 17 hours. 10 hours. I'm guessing it'll be about 14 or 15 for me.Having said that I am getting more and more excited with each passing hour for this one lol
Robichoico 2 years ago
How do I download the original Bioshock that I got free with my order?
HappyNoodleBoy 2 years ago
Redeem code?
Johno Muller 2 years ago
I haven't received a code yet
HappyNoodleBoy 2 years ago
Still haven't received the game, really not happy now, i don't honestly see how the weather can affect the delivery of something that was apparently posted on friday, all my other post has been delivered without any problems.
GARY 2 years ago
It's not Shopto's fault if anything it's Royal Mail
Loli-Nox-Tan 2 years ago
Go in to 'orders' then in to 'redeem code' I think to get the Bioshock game. Gary, what time does your post come? Only time Shopto have ever let me down on a pre-order is when Royal Mail went on strike when FIFA 10 or 11 came out.
DynamiteWhyte 2 years ago
Lovefilm are posting this out to me today :)
Gloria 2 years ago
I broke and bought it! My first day one buy this year! I lasted nearly 3 months!
troublemaker 2 years ago
my other half is at her sisters all day so i wont know if mine is there or not until i finish work! agonising wait! but i know it will be worth it, and mine was dispatched friday night so i know its a royal mail issue not shopto, so quit the moaning people!
0000000000 2 years ago
he only broke because of me :P lol
0000000000 2 years ago
Kiki the bastard! He did it! He peer pressured me to buy it! - Was that convincing enough? that's what I'm gonna say when the wife comes at me with a fork with the intention of taking my eyes!
troublemaker 2 years ago
You better hope it's the eyes she's going for.
Gloria 2 years ago
OUCH
Loli-Nox-Tan 2 years ago
I live so close to Lovefilm distribution centre that I think they get a staffer to drive me my stuff as it always arrives within 24 hours of postage, same with Boomerang. Gary you cannot blame ShopTo, if it was dispatched Friday then it was probably stolen by your postie or fell off the van if it doesn't arrive today. ShopTo usually send you a picture of your parcel of dispatch so it's more than 'apparently' posted
Johno Muller 2 years ago
I hope it's not! She can take anything else, I don't need it to game!
troublemaker 2 years ago
That's dedication right there
Loli-Nox-Tan 2 years ago
She'll take your thumbs or the tips of your fingers, utilising a cigar cutter
Johno Muller 2 years ago
First time Shopto has let me down. All previous order came a few days before release date. Bioshock hasn't turned up on release day. Very disappointing
Jonathan 2 years ago
I'm going to go ahead and say that's royal mail! Considering the amount of people that haven't received their games yet, I'd even go so far as to say, it's going to be an issue with RM in Bracknell
troublemaker 2 years ago
I don't understand the whole blame the retailer for the failings of the delivery service.
Johno Muller 2 years ago
HAH, some guy actually made a twitter account to slag off ShopTo he has 3 tweets total, Oh Liam Douglas you funny man
Johno Muller 2 years ago
i did peer pressure troublemaker into buying 2 games :P good luck with the pregnant other half mate, i had permission from my pregnant wife so im ok :P and ITS NOT SHOPTO'S FAULT back of you muppets! phone RM and let rip ffs!
0000000000 2 years ago
in my case i blame the retailer for miscommunication, if the retailer fails to post on the date they said they did then that screws the whole thing up and no matter what delivery service is used from then on the delivery will always be late. 1 email arrives friday 22nd saying order processed and dispatched, picture included in email is dated 25th 1 email arrives saturday 23rd saying order processed and awaiting dispatch but due to no saturday collection order will be sent monday 25th hence my use of the word apparently.
GARY 2 years ago
ill shock you with this gary, maybe its not shopto or royal mails fault, maybe its yours! did you upset your mailman :P
0000000000 2 years ago
It will come when it comes just back off it's not like you guys don't have anything else to do
Loli-Nox-Tan 2 years ago
not as far as i can remember kiki although there was that one time i answered the door naked soooo..... :P
GARY 2 years ago
Maybe his postman is with Gloria and the Milkman? Just throwing it out there. GLoria has your Bioshock mate!
troublemaker 2 years ago
She'll be alright Kiki, I bought Crysis 3 too! I talk alot of tosh about the wife, but I wouldn't do none of it behind her back. She'll be fine, I hope. That's not to say that she won't try to spoon my kidney's out if I don't buy some baby stuff this month!
troublemaker 2 years ago
Glora is never going to live down that joke is she?
Loli-Nox-Tan 2 years ago
nope!
troublemaker 2 years ago
my copy still not turned up either today and no sign of any royal mail in my area , the postal system turns to crap just for some snow very peed off right now
Dark572Assassin 2 years ago
Gloria can you spare a copy for me to save buying it
Pyroloveridge 2 years ago
One thing has to be said about Shopto is that their confirmation emails and texts are ridiculous. I get about 3 everytime. I ended up getting about 12 when I ordered 3 games to be delivered. And they appear at different times too sometimes, so you think you've over-ordered.
DynamiteWhyte 2 years ago
True I always get duplicates
Loli-Nox-Tan 2 years ago
Yeah, but the system seems temperamental! I've ordered two games from shopto today, and both have been dispatched. I haven't received a text for either! haha!
troublemaker 2 years ago
i normally get a double text and email on every order
Pyroloveridge 2 years ago
What did you get if you don't mind me asking (It's a slow day)
Loli-Nox-Tan 2 years ago
lol poor gloria i really did give her some postal/milkman stick yesterday and now everyone is well into it lol (sorry gloria) totally worth it, but maybe us joking has actually made her help the postman out which has ended up getting her many copies of bioshock (all ours) i think my jokes back fired!
0000000000 2 years ago
Yep, I'm just off down to GAME this afternoon to trade them all i n ;)
Gloria 2 years ago
i peer pressure him into buying tomb raider and bioshock :P im very persuasive
0000000000 2 years ago
not only has she robbed us shes making money of us :( how un fair is that!
0000000000 2 years ago
I like to think I helped, Kiki
Johno Muller 2 years ago
Bayonetta 2 Inc. Bayonetta 1 - WII U Pre-Order Now
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