So the new installment of the Bioshock series has been possibly the most anticipated games of the decade so far. It saw a string of media upheavals from its initial announcement right up to its release, with more than a few fan boys (and girls) rubbing their hands together in mouth-watering excitement. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t overly bothered by it leading up to the release and it wasn’t in my top 10 most anticipated games this year. Nonetheless I picked it up a few weeks after release and had a stab at it.
First off it is a very nice looking game, following on from the graphic style from the previous two games, the environments were wonderfully lit on the interior and the exteriors carried a real air of grandeur, that is if you don’t look too closely.
It plays identically to its predecessors aside from the addition of the sky hook, so don’t expect any wonderful of equally terrible new features. The game is open-ish and back tracking to scour for more cash and voxphones is an open ended option, it wont let you go to far since the Game does constantly leave a sense of urgency to get to the next point in the story.
Speaking of the story it is phenomenal, the twists and turns will have you scrambling from one gun fight to the next in sheer determination to learn more of Booker and Elizabeth’s tale. The two characters are wonderfully written and the addition of Robert and Rosalind Lutece just adds to the line up. Comstock wasn’t an overly interesting villain but I think that’s predominantly down to his absence for the most part.
My biggest issue with the game is how easy it is, when you realize that Elizabeth is the one escorting you, the game just feels a bit pointless. Yeah the story kick ass but with no real fear of dying regardless as to whether on not Elizabeth is with you, just kind of makes you recklessly effective at going in guns blazing. The Vigors seemed a little under thought with maybe four of them actually being of any real use at a constant, this annoyed me a bit since they are a big feature of the game and deserved a bit more attention, only one received a special section in the game that required you to use it to continue. My personal favorite is the crow swarm, pecking your enemies to death while you pick off as many as you can with whichever weapon you prefer. One of the things I enjoyed most about the former Bioshock games were the little sisters and the morality choices involved, a concept they totally got rid of in Infinite. Again when the moral choices of your character have no consequence in a game like this, it just takes away from the point of having it as a videogame.
I did enjoy Bioshock Infinite and it was a refreshing and clever narrative, what it has done is add another great story to a new medium of story telling and that is in itself a huge achievement, but as an FPS it is mediocre, the controls are at times a little annoying and the AI is fairly poor. The lack of a multiplayer is an absolute blessing and was a good call since I think it gave the campaign development team more room to play and expand the game. For an FPS it does feel quite lengthy and again this is a good thing since the story is so compelling.
Don’t expect a stellar shooter, but expect a hell of a story with plenty of twists and turns that will keep you shooting people in the face for hours.