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BioShock: Infinite (360/PS3/PC)

Written by Syam Araragi on . Posted in Video Games

Before this, Bioshock introduced us to an underwater city called Rapture, including all the crazy splicers and stuffs happening in it. Now, in Bioshock infinite, everything turned the opposite way; Floating city in the SKY and normal looking citizens (unlike those splicers in Rapture)!

Will Bioshock Infinite show us something different and fresh or just another typical Bioshock game? Let us find out.

When they released informations about the game, including trailers and gameplay videos, it really made us wonder how the game will be like and at the same time, wanting the game so badly. Everything looks so different compared to Bioshock 1 and 2; City in the sky, bright and colourful environment, a city filled with normal looking citizens, awesome sidekick throughout the game. Okay, enough with this, lets jump to the review.

The story sets in 1912 and you will be playing as Booker DeWitt, a former agent from Pinkertons. Starting of the game, Booker will be introduced to us as a guy who is having a gambling problem. In order to clear his debt, he had to go and retrieve a girl named Elizabeth, which is held captive in a city he has no idea where.

Just like in the first Bioshock, you will first be introduced to the light house, which works as a transporter to the another city. Now, instead of going down into the ocean, you will be going up in the sky; to the floating city called Columbia. Later then he will learn that retrieving Elizabeth will not be the only thing in the list, there he will learn the truth behind Elizabeth and also the city itself.

Elizabeth will serve as your sidekick in this game. She will guide and help you almost all the time throughout the game. Elizabeth has a really special characteristics; she has the ability to create a portal-
like thingy called "tears". These tears works like a portal to another dimension/universe or different time period, in other words, she has the ability to use the quantum mechanics of many-worlds theory
however she wanted.

To the graphics! In Bioshock 1 and 2, you can see that the environment are mostly dark and eerie. But in Bioshock infinite, everything turns out the opposite, well, almost everything. In the starting point of the game (the light house), the environment is rainy, dark and mysterious, which fits the mood for Booker since he has no idea where he is and tries to figure it out. But, once you enter the floating city Columbia, everything changes.

The city designs are heavily influenced by the classic American style buildings and structures, which comes in no surprise because Columbia used to be part of America, which then got separated due to some conflicts. Because the city is up in the sky, it always get direct hit from sunlight, hence creating a bright and colourful city. By colourful, I meant the beautiful plants which can be seen almost everywhere in the city, the fashion sense of the citizens, and also the shops and billboards. Not all the time it is bright and colourful, there are times where things get bad and crazy; dark and rainy, destructions and deaths everywhere, dark and eerie cemetery, etc.

The character and environment designs are really good. The "classic" feel is everywhere throughout the city, it does feel like you went back in time. This includes the exterior and interior of the buildings, the roads and walkways, how NPCs talks and communicates, the random classic songs playing at random times, and many more. I must say, Irrational games once again succeeded in making a new and immersive city for us players to enjoy and explore.

The dialogues are really good for all the characters in the game, no exception at all. The voice actors really did a good job in this game, each conversation and actions by the characters does make you feel like they are alive. You will be with Elizabeth for almost all the time throughout the game and Elizabeth's behavior can really give an impact to the players. You will often have conversations with her and whenever she's sad, happy or angry, you will feel it. The interaction with Elizabeth can not be considered perfect, but it is good enough to make you feel in need of her whenever she's gone.

And of course, the soundtrack is amazing as well. Each songs does fit into the scenes nicely. Whenever the situation is bright and happy, sad moments, gunfight moments, eerie and scary moments, the songs really fits into each of them perfectly, just like watching a movie. If you can get your hands on the soundtrack, listen to each of the songs, powerful stuff.

To the gameplay! I must say, the gameplay does not feel any different than previous Bioshock games. You hold your weapon on the right hand, while on the left hand you use the traditional Bioshock powers such as fire blast, electric shock, and so on. Instead of plasmids, now the special abilities are called Vigor and to use Vigor you need Salts, instead of EVE.

In this game, you can only hold 2 weapons at a time, unlike before where you can hold at most 4 weapons.This is not really a big issue though, but still I find it more convenient if we can hold at least 3 weapons. Because of this, you have to really choose which weapons you want to stick to for the rest of the game. There are times where you are out of bullets and your only option is to swap your weapon with anything that is available at the moment, which really increases the tension in the game especially when you have to swap your favourite weapon.

The vending machines are back! There are 3 types of vending machines; Normal purchases like health, salts and bullets, upgrades for your weapons and upgrades for your vigors. You can't hack these machines like before in Bioshock 1 and 2, but instead, you can use a vigor that allows you to manipulate the machine to give out free silver coins...and that's about it. The prices still remain the same.

The gunfights can be really challenging sometimes, especially on hard and above difficulties. In gunfights, you will be depending on Elizabeth a lot since she has the ability to summon things such as turrets, health packs, covers, and so on. Besides her summoning skills, she will also help you whenever you are out of ammo, running low on salts or health by throwing the needed stuffs to you from a distance. This really makes you go "Arghh Elizabeth! Gimme something hurry!!" whenever you are low on something. Even when you died, she will drag you to a safe place and revive you. You will be able to continue the fight from how you left it, instead of going back to the beginning of the fight.

Overall, I must say this is a very solid and satisfying game. The storyline and the characters are the strong point of this game. They really did a good job for Elizabeth, she really sets the bar for sidekick NPC to a higher standards; a pretty much "alive" and reliable sidekick. Again about the storyline, I must say the storyline is one of the best in gaming history, it is not that often for us gamers to be able to play games with storyline as good as this. Also, the ending is satisfying and gives a nice closure to the story. Even after you have finished the game, the ending will still mess around in your head, it is that good. To sum everything up... A MUST BUY!


Reviewed on PC {jcomments on}