Bioshock Infinite – Review

Michael Bryant
Latest posts by Michael Bryant (see all)

So I’m not sure where to begin on this one. It’s possibly a long story, so I’ll begin at the very start.

In general, about twice a year, I book a random day off work that has nothing to do with getting a three day weekend or anything to do with a friend’s birthday. I do this because a game that I want to play has come out and I want a day to myself with the Xbox, a frozen pizza, and several beers.

So as you can imagine, when I do this it’s not for Superman 64 or a new edition of Angry Birds. The last time I did this was for Batman: Arkham City and I pretty much didn’t come up for air for two days.

So, after a troubled development, a delay of almost six months and near universal praise in the media, I could not wait for Bioshock Infinite to hit the shelves and to get myself a copy. So much so, that I was waiting outside my local game shop to grab a copy at opening (whilst wearing a hoodie in case anyone I knew recognised me).  So was almost two years of excitement worth the final pay off? Well, yes and no.

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So let’s get on with this. You are Booker DeWitt, hired to recover a girl from the floating American World’s Fair, Columbia so that you can remove all of your past gambling debts. “Bring us the girl, whip away the debt”. This sentence sets in motion the whole plot. And that’s basically where you should stop paying attention to the plot, because much like an episode of Murder She Wrote or Diagnosis: Murder, it’s full of holes and about as see through as tracing paper.

Damn it, no, be positive. The visuals are absolutely wonderful. Much like your first entry into Rapture in Bioshock, your first entry to Columbia in this game is a marvel. Light flares across the camera and the screen, just like staring into the sun during an eclipse or watching the new Star Trek film. Oh that’s not a compliment, you already saw that in 2009 and the marvel of seeing a new world that defies logic was first viewed in 2007. Damn it I’m being negative again.

Okay so Columbia is nothing like Rapture because where as in Rapture two forces with separate ideologies had ripped a beautiful city apart, in Infinite they haven’t done this until about half way through the game. So that wasn’t the best differential. In Rapture the population moved to enslave some of their number into indentured servitude via being locked into metal suits… hmm, Handymen in Columbia are exactly the same thing. Okay, third time’s the charm, in Rapture you collected Plasmids that granted you genetically advanced powers that were refilled with Adam, whereas in Columbia they are called Vigors and Salts. Damn it.

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No, it’s basically the same game except everything that was in the sea before is in the sky now. The new features added to the game such as the skyhook and the ability to throw Plasmids, sorry Vigors, amount to next to nothing. They are never of that much use and generally only interrupt gameplay and unfortunately for the most part the new Vigors are of little actual use. You will find yourself using the same two Vigors and guns throughout the game without a care for the others.

So, by this point I think you have come to realise that I did not enjoy playing Bioshock Infinite, which is not what I wanted to bring across. I think I’m just upset because the game was not everything that the media and the adverts and that I was hoping for. The game was really good. I just wanted it to be as good as the original Bioshock, or Portal, or Arkham City. Basically it wasn’t that good, but it was still good and I would recommend it. Just never mention the terrible plot or the poorly fleshed out characters to me again.

So now to conclude would you kindly play Bioshock (the original that is)? Then afterwards we could have a nice conversation about that, maybe with a slice of cake? This isn’t a lie.

About Michael Bryant

Michael is the Director of Vada Magazine. In his spare time he is a massive geek who obsesses over retro video games, Doctor Who and A Song of Ice and Fire.