BioShock Infinite
Gameplay 9
Graphics 10
Sound 10

While it might not have a multi-player mode and doesn’t stray as far from the familiar Bioshock experience as you might think, Infinite is an outstanding game with a lot to offer. With intense combat, an eye opening storyline and unwillingness to back away from sensitive topics, Infinite is a game that should not be missed.

Gameplay: Familiar yet fresh, Infinite is a worthy successor to the Bioshock franchise.

Graphics: Looks great even on moderate hardware.

Sound: Excellent voice acting and a great musical score

Summary 9.7 Perfect
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 0.0 Terrible

BioShock Infinite

Developer: Irrational Games / Aspyr (Mac) / Virtual Programming (Linux) | Publisher: 2K Games / Aspyr (Mac) | Release Date: 2013 | Genre: Action / First Person Shooter | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

The floating city of Columbia was supposed to be a shining representation of all that is great about America. Although styled like an early 1900s version of what heaven might look like, things quickly turned sour when this beacon of American superiority opened fire upon a group of Chinese civilians. The United States were obviously not impressed by this turn of events and Columbia slipped off into the clouds to pursue its own agenda.

The founder of Columbia, Zachary Comstock hails Columbia as another Ark and it is into this intriguing world that the lead character, Booker DeWitt must step in order to clear his mounting gambling debts. With a mission to “save the girl” Booker must brave the city in the clouds in order to liberate its most precious prize, the daughter of Comstock. Since the citizens revere Comstock as a prophet and his daughter as a “Lamb” that is safely guarded in a tower, this is not an easy task. Unfortunately for Booker, freeing the girl is the easy part as escaping Columbia is not that simple.

Bioshock 2 was a great game but at times it felt more like an expansion than a true sequel. Bioshock Infinite on the other hand has no such problems. At first glance the wide open, pastel colored expanses of a city in the clouds might seem to have little in common with the dimly lit and oppressive corridors of Rapture but there are definitely ties. Booker starts his adventure on a rowboat leading him to the lighthouse that ultimately boosts him up to Columbia. Upon arrival the vibrant city, filled with smiling citizens appear to be worlds apart from Andrew Ryans dystopian underwater vision but it hides a dark secret of its own. Infinite is a game that isn’t afraid to tackle topics such as racism and religion but does so in a manner that is more thought provoking than outright shocking.

As the third installment in the highly popular franchise, Infinite had a lot riding on its shoulders. The fact that is not part of the storyline told by the previous two games allows for a refreshing break without straying too far from the familiar. For example, instead of wielding Plasmids, Booker finds “Vigors” which are potions that function in the same way. These require salt instead of EVE to use and allow you to fling about fireballs, terrorize your foes with swarms of crows, electrocute people or possess machinery amongst other things. While these Vigors are not as tightly connected with the story and setting as the plasmids were in Bioshock 1 and two, they make for exciting combat encounters. You can only carry two weapons at a time but the Vigors have up to three different modes of attack so you never feel limited in combat.

The wide open areas of Columbia also mean that you are able to use much more of the environment to your advantage.  The city is crisscrossed with a rail system which Booker can use to hitch a ride on via the new Skyhook gadget he finds early on. Zipping around on these rails while shooting enemies can make combat feel like a rollercoaster ride, and enables you to quickly get out of a tricky situation before resuming the attack from a better vantage point. The sniper rifle quickly became one of my favorite weapons but there are other guns that are just as useful.

The enemies are definitely not as creepy as the ones roaming Rapture but they put up a mean fight. There is a power struggle going on between the Founders with their racist ideals and the Vox Populi who is determined to bring down their oppressors. You’ll be facing off against both sides as well as freaky mechanical creations. Elizabeth’s guardian, the Songbird, will also not take your attempts at freeing its captor very lightly so expect to be pursued by this mechanical menace.

Once you encounter Elizabeth, you’ll come to realize why she is so important to the prophet. Unlike the dreaded escort mission partners of days past, Elizabeth is sensible enough to stay out of harm’s way during combat and can actually help you out by tossing ammunition, salts and health your way. It is her ability to open tears in the very fabric of space-time that makes her the most useful though. You can direct her to pull objects such as gun turrets, cover or skyhook anchor points through these tears and then use these to your advantage during combat. Only one can be called upon at a time so you should pick the objects that best suit your style of play. Her years in solitary confinement with only books for entertainment has left Elizabeth with quite knack for picking locks, provided you have enough picks for her to use so having her around is genuinely useful. Thanks to some heartfelt voice acting you will also grow fond of her character during the course of the game.

The game is quite stunning visually and the art direction is superb. Your first glimpse of Columbia is an all out assault of colors and visual effects but things become progressively bleaker as the game progresses. The inclusion of non player characters make the city seem much more alive than Rapture ever was but interaction is minimal and it is not long before everything falls into ruin thanks in no small part to your actions. There is a surprising amount of variety in the locations considering the setting although you will be revisiting previous areas a few times just like in the original Bioshock games. The Voxophones that has been scattered about provide more insights into the motivations of the major players in the story and it all culminates in an ending that will have you shaking your head in disbelieve.

The audio was an integral part of the first two games and Infinite continues this tradition with some outstanding musical tracks and superlative voice acting. Unlike the silent protagonists of Bioshock one and two, Booker is quite a talkative character and will frequently voice his opinions as you explore Columbia. The conversations with Elizabeth are also well acted and flesh out the plot nicely. The sounds that the menacing songbird makes are just as iconic as the Big Daddies from Bioshock and you’ll hear the usual amount of taunts and propaganda being broadcasted over the public announcement system of the city.

Bioshock Infinite is a great game and one that had me captivated from start to finish. As great as the visuals are, closer inspection will reveal low resolution textures that prevent it from attaining the same lofty heights as Crysis 3. Kudos to Irrational Games for actually giving PC players a decent port with settings such as the field of view that can be changed without mucking about with configuration files. While the game might not be a giant step forward for the genre, the incredible storyline and fantastic setting means it should be played by everyone. Trust me when I say you’ll want to experience the tale for yourself before the spoilers hit the Internet.

*Review originally published 2013.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows Vista Service Pack 2 32-bit
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 DUO 2.4 GHz / AMD Athlon X2 2.7 GHz
  • Memory: 2GB
  • Hard Disk Space: 20 GB free
  • Video Card: DirectX10 Compatible ATI Radeon HD 3870 / NVIDIA 8800 GT / Intel HD 3000 Integrated Graphics
  • Video Card Memory: 512 MB
  • Sound: DirectX Compatible
  • OS: Windows 7 Service Pack 1 64-bit
  • Processor: Quad Core Processor
  • Memory: 4GB
  • Hard Disk Space: 30 GB free
  • Video Card: DirectX11 Compatible, AMD Radeon HD 6950 / NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560
  • Video Card Memory: 1024 MB
  • Sound: DirectX Compatible
  • OS: 10.8 (Mountain Lion), 10.9 (Mavericks), 10.10 (Yosemite)
  • Processor: 2.2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (Dual-Core)
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Hard Disk Space: 30 GB
  • Video Memory: 512 MB
  • Video Card: ATI Radeon HD 3870 / NVidia Geforce 640M / Intel HD4000
  • Additional: BioShock Infinite supports both the Microsoft Xbox 360 wired gamepad and the PlayStation 3 Dualshock 3 Wireless Controller in addition to the Macintosh mouse and keyboard
  • NOTICE: This game is not supported on volumes formatted as Mac OS Extended (Case Sensitive)
  • NOTICE: The following video chipsets are unsupported for BioShock Infinite: ATI RADEON 2000 series, HD 4670, HD 6490M and 6630M, NVIDIA 9000 series, 320M, 330M, Intel HD 3000, Intel Integrated GMA chipsets and 3100
  • NOTICE: The Mac version of Bioshock Infinite is available in English, French, Italian, German and Spanish only.
  • OS: 10.10 (Yosemite)
  • Processor: 2.2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (Dual-Core)
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Hard Disk Space: 30 GB
  • Video Memory: 512 MB
  • Video Card: ATI Radeon HD 5870 / NVidia Geforce GTX 775M
  • OS: Ubuntu 14.10, Mint 17.1 or similar Linux distribution
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 DUO 2.4 GHz / AMD Athlon X2 2.7 GHz
  • Memory: 4GB
  • Hard Disk Space: 20 GB Free
  • Video Card: NVidia/AMD OpenGL 4.1/DirectX 10.0 level compatible
  • Video RAM: 1GB
  • Sound: ALSA/PulseAudio compatible
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 3GHz (or similar AMD processor)
  • Memory: 8GB
  • Hard Disk Space: 30 GB Free
  • Video Card: NVidia/AMD OpenGL 4.2/DirectX 10.1 level compatible
  • Video RAM: 2GB

Recommended Graphics Drivers

  • nVidia: NVidia 340.65 or better. 331.xx series are unsupported and will not work correctly.
  • AMD: AMD Catalyst (aka fglrx) 15.7 or better
  • MESA drivers and Intel Graphics are not currently supported.

Related posts

Kindred Spirits on the Roof

Kindred Spirits on the Roof

Enoki Sachi and Nagatani Megumi are two ghosts who want to consummate their relationship, but to do so they want to observe other female couples to figure out what exactly it entails. Since Toomi Yuna is the only person at the Girl’s Academy who can see the two restless spirits it becomes her task to turn the school into a “yuritopia.” While the story might not sound like it leaves room for a lot of depth the game is surprisingly entertaining and treats the subject matter with more care and respect than most other titles. There’s plenty of funny moments too and a great cast of characters who you end up really caring for. Gameplay: It is a kinetic novel, so you cannot really influence the story, but there is a lot of content. Graphics: It’s a pity the resolution is so low, but the art style is quite beautiful. Sound: Voice acting is restricted to important scenes only, but the quality is good and the soundtrack is great.

Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet

Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet

With its quirky sense of humor, interesting cast of characters and plucky protagonist, it is hard not to be charmed by Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet. While the puzzles are somewhat easy, the game had us smiling all the time and even has a few laugh out loud moments. It has obviously been influenced by the Monkey Island series, but without being a carbon copy. If you are a fan of the genre, then The Fowl Fleet should definitely be on your wishlist. Gameplay: Easy enough for newcomers, but even experienced players will enjoy the quirky setting and characters. Graphics: The blend of 3D characters and 2D backgrounds work well and the overall art style is very good. Sound: The soundtrack is nice, but the voice acting steals the show thanks to some great performances.

KAMI

KAMI

KAMI is a puzzle game that challenges your brain and not your reflexes, making it quite relaxing to play. The visual design is very nice with realistic looking paper textures, but the game isn't lacking in the gameplay department either. The 63 puzzles can be completed in a day or two, but the lower price point make it a worthwhile purchase if you are a puzzle fan looking for a fresh challenge. Gameplay: Challenging without becoming too frustrating. Graphics: The handcrafted look of the visuals is very easy on the eyes. Sound: Sparse, but very relaxing.

Bird Assassin

Bird Assassin

Birds have killed your dad and it is up to you to seek vengeance! Bird Assassin is a blood soaked action game where you walk from left to right and try to eradicate every bird that crosses your path. It is action packed, but also a little repetitive and with only nine levels, it won't take very long to complete. Still, it is being sold at a very wallet friendly price, so it is definitely worth it if all you want are a couple of minutes of mindless entertainment. Gameplay: Plenty of action, but a little repetitive and also quite short. Graphics: The birds and main character have a lot of detail, but the backgrounds are a little lacking. Sound: The sound effects are decent enough and the lead character has a couple of funny quips.

The Hong Kong Massacre

The Hong Kong Massacre

The Hong Kong Massacre is a top down shooter with an addictive blend of all out action, slow motion dives and bloody destruction. It will receive a lot of comparisons to Hotline Miami and Max Payne, but the addictive gameplay and John Woo elements ensures that it makes its own mark on the genre. The cut-scenes could be a little better and the game lacks some polish here and there, but overall it is a great shooter that has plenty of thrills to offer for those who are up to the challenge. Gameplay: Challenging and unforgiving, but very addictive and rewarding. Graphics: Plenty of blood and destructible scenery along with some interesting locations. Sound: No voice acting, but the soundtrack and sound effects are good.

Queen’s Quest 3: The End of Dawn

Queen's Quest 3: The End of Dawn

The End of Dawn is the third title in the Queen’s Quest hidden object puzzle adventure series and the second starring an alchemist instead of royalty. This time you have to go on a quest to protect the world from an evil dragon, which obviously means plenty of hidden objects to find, puzzles to solve and mini-games to conquer. The hand drawn visuals are quite detailed, but the story offers nothing new and despite multiple difficulty settings the game can be completed rather easily. It is a title that newcomers might appreciate more, but anyone who has played a couple of hidden object games before will find that Queen’s Quest 3 has very little to offer that is new or innovative. Gameplay: Plenty of hidden object scenes and puzzles, but everything can be completed rather easily. Graphics: Detailed hand drawn visuals, but the fuzzy cut-scenes are a disappointment. Sound: Neither the music or voice acting really stand out.

Leave a comment

8 + twenty =