The next installment of the widely popular Bioshock series swaps the deep, dark underwater setting of Rapture for the much more colorful and cloud-level heights of the city of Columbia. However, is Columbia truly a heavenly place and will bringing them the girl result in the debt being wiped away?
Past Bioshock titles have looked stunning in the graphics department and Infinite is no different. The amount of detail throughout each level is amazing. The lighting for the levels is spot on as well; dark where it is needed to help set the atmosphere, but bright and exuberant when outside amongst the beauty of Columbia. There are points where the beauty might be too much for the Xbox and causes the frame rate drop. Luckily this does not happen when in combat or during cut-scenes; it is mostly noticed when exploring the expansive levels.
When you start playing Infinite everything will feel like classic Bioshock. Difficulty scales nicely for each level of difficulty. Instead of just increasing the amount of health and damage the enemy AI has, they also seem to get smarter the higher the difficulty you are playing on.
In general though, the AI certainly acts smart during combat; once you start shooting in their direction they will instantly seek cover. Those that carry batons or close range weapons will attempt to flank you in hopes to gain the element of surprise on you. The enemy AI is not the only AI present in the game; lucky for us as the story unfolds we meet the second main character to the game. While you won’t find her holding a rifle and returning fire towards the enemy she will be searching around the nearby area for ammo and supplies for you.
Warning: There most likely will be spoilers in the next few paragraphs. I would advise skipping to the end to avoid possible spoilers.
The story places you in the role of Booker DeWitt; a former Pinkerton agent turned private investigator. After having a troubled early life, Booker turns to alcohol and gambling to take the pain away. He is soon told by a mysterious person to “Bring us the girl and wipe away the debt.” Soon you find yourself off the coast of Maine in a rowboat heading towards a lighthouse. Flashing back to the original Bioshock are you? After ascending the lighthouse, and roughly 15,000 feet worth of atmosphere, you are graced with your first site of the flying city of Columbia.
After setting foot on Columbia you begin your search for the girl throughout the expansive levels. The amount of exploring that you do through each level is impressive. You can choose to stick with just the main storyline, but doing even a little side exploring can lead to you finding some extra supplies or even some backstory. The main story can easily last at least 15 hours and if you add in the extra exploration possible you can easily double this time.
Towards the end of the story, you find out exactly who Elizabeth is and why it is imperative that Booker must save her. The ending of the game is nicely done, but is one you will want to pay full attention to. Otherwise it won’t make too much sense and you’ll end up having to do some extra research as to what the meaning behind Elizabeth’s message is. While it’s nice to think out the ending of a game, it might not be something I expected from the Bioshock series.
Author Note: It is safe to resume reading; there should be no more spoilers present.
As a whole, Bioshock Infinite is easily a fun game and perhaps one the best looking games this year. The controls make you feel right at home just as if you’re playing the original Bioshock. Both allied and enemy AI act intelligently during combat, but your allied AI companion feels much more than just a helping hand in the heat of battle. The campaign is lengthy by itself and can easily add double the amount of play time by simply exploring the expansive levels. Bioshock Infinite easily grabs a 9/10 in my book.