- Fun Factor
As a fan of the Bioshock series (and at risk of showing my age, the system Shock series as well) in general I loaded up Bioshock Infinite for the first time with extremely high expectations and within the first ten minutes of gameplay I quickly realized that my expectations would not be met…, They would be shattered. In all fairness we may very well have the game of the year right here, it may be early, but Bioshock Infinite is going to be a very, very tough act to follow.
The First act sees you rocketed into the sky to the majestic floating city of Columbia where you are quickly presented with some very tough decisions which have far reaching effects throughout the story, where as the previous Bioshock games had you choosing to save or harvest the little sisters, Bioshock Infinite presents the player with a series of subtle ethical choices which dynamically shape the campaign based on split second quick time event style choices.
The city of Columbia is beautifully presented as well and the first jaw dropping vistas that are presented to you may be enough to make you forget your primary mission objective for a while and simply marvel at the lovingly crafted scenery. The visuals are even more intense when played on the PC version as recent advances in GPU and CPU technology have greatly outmatched the performance that is projected for even next generation consoles such as the Sony PS4, however the Xbox and PlayStation version are not lacking in eye candy in any way as the team behind this awesome game has clearly put quite a bit of work into optimization.
While traipsing about amongst the clouds in Columbia you will hear a wonderful selection of classical period appropriate recording as well as remakes of classical pieces and marvelous emotionally charged instrumentals. 2K and Irrational have clearly proven that they have a deep understanding of the importance that audio plays in the gaming experience as the musical, voice acting and sound effects in general are all excellent. Not since Half-Life 2 transported us to city 17 Has the subtle ambient goings on of a city suspended disbelief so well, from the ambient chatter of the shoe shine man to the charged speech of soap box pontificates every single piece of audio is polished and brilliant.
As far as controls are concerned not much has changed, as such if you are familiar with the Bioshock series or First Person Shooters in general you should not have any troubles dropping right in to the action and unleashing some gravity defying, skyline riding, reality shifting abuse on the fairly intelligent and varied enemies that are seen. The newly introduced skylines do take some getting used to at first, but once you get the hang of things the skylines make travel throughout Columbia quite simple and allow from some impressive tactical maneuvering during intense firefights.
When I was first introduced to my AI partner cum gal friday Elizabeth my initial though was that I would need to protect this NPC from the rampaging enemies surrounding us, however in practice this thought could not have been more incorrect as more often than not Elizabeth is seen to toss ammo and other items to your character during firefights in addition to using her unique abilities to alter reality to gain a distinct advantage over the enemy. Not once was Elizabeth seen to run in front of my bullets or be recklessly killed by the enemy, as such I would have to say that Elizabeth rates as one of the best NPCs of all time if only for staying out of they way quite well, although the extra help is nice sometimes.
Finally we will touch on the plasmids, or as they are known in Columbia “Vigors”. Not much has changed as far as the Vigors are concerned, with the staple fire and electric attacks returning, along with a few fresh new abilities, such as a rippling whirlpool that flings enemies around like rag dolls and a possession Vigor that allows both human and robotic enemies to be converted to fight by your side for a limited amount of time.
Overall Bioshock Infinite is everything that I was expecting and more. An unforgettable experience in of itself, rich with fleshed out, living breathing characters and one of the most beautiful and immersive game worlds to grace the current generation of consoles. We here at Eye Cavity are ready to call BioShock an early contender for Game Of The Year.
Watch The Launch Trailer Below:
Played it? Let us know what you think in the comments below!