BioShock Infinite PC Review
BioShock infinite is a game unlike any other, it’s a game that never assume that the player is a stupid sack of potatoes, it’s a game with sky high ambitions, beautiful themes, and a narrative that will cause your head to throb in utter confusion, ladies and gentlemen this is BioShock Infinite..
In BioShock infinite you play as Booker DeWitt, a former Pinkerton agent tasked to find a girl in the mysterious floating city of Columbia in order to pay off his gambling debts, eventually all hell breaks loose, and you are forced to fight your way out of Columbia, finding out more about Elizabeth, the girl that you were tasked to find, who apparently has reality altering powers, and the dark secrets of the city itself.
And what a city it is, Columbia is truly going to be one of gaming’s most memorable places, already showing its beauty early on, as you rocket from below and watch in awe as giant floating buildings latch on to one another, magnificent statues, and skylines lingering all over the place. Walking around seeing people going about their business, children playing around a fire hydrant, mechanical horses dragging various wagon loaded goods across the city, and even a raffle and fair which features various 1900 era attractions, Columbia truly feels like a living breathing city.
But the star of the show is clearly the girl you are after, Elizabeth. A strong female character unlike any other in the video gaming world, as soon as you meet her you start growing an attachment, as she goes from innocent young women to a much darker more powerful entity. Plus she isn’t your typical damsel in distress either, which I will explain further in the Gameplay section.
The story touches on some sensitive themes, such as Racism, and Religion. Which eventually turns your dreams of living in Columbia, to nightmares occupied by Xenophobic priests, but what I was really looking forward to was the big plot twist, and boy, was that BIG. Eventually though you begin to notice how much attention was given towards making this game as beautiful and as real as it should be. Nothing in the game is there just because it’s a video game, there is always a reason of why it’s there and why it could happen, since this game is based on the principles of Quantum Mechanics (look it up) everything in the game is there for a reason. For example : the song ‘god only knows’ that was sung early in the game by a barbershop quartet, even though the Beach Boys didn’t even exist yet, was the result of someone listening into other universes by a machine used to open inter-dimensional portals.
The gameplay is straight up FPS mixed with some magical powers, it’s simple, you shoot with one hand and use your powers with the other, the abilities are varied from shooting bolts of electricity to summoning a murder of crows. Which is very fun and addictive, but that’s not all, the game offers a unique variety of enemies that will be thrown at you, plentiful of Handymen, Firemen, Mechanized Patriots of sorts, and they will force you to adapt to any given situation. Elizabeth will also come in handy in the midst of battle, she doesn’t get in the way at all, she doesn’t need to be protected, and she can even toss you ammo, health and other goodies just before the given item is depleted, plus she also has the ability to open up tears in the fabric of time and space, in gameplay terms, she can poof you up stuff, like turrets, med kits, freight hooks, and many more. The firefights are also spiced up by the addition of the skylines, which, by using your skyhook, you can use it to traverse the battle field through the air and pummel enemies with aerial attacks. It has some minor hindrances though, not game-breaking but it is present in the game, sometimes Elizabeth’s running animation gets stuck leaving her to float across the terrain, and sometimes pressing ‘N’ for directions become misleading in one of the levels.
BioShock Infinite looks amazing, especially on PC, with sublime art direction and with settings turned to high, it’s already beating it’s console counterpart with better textures, shadows, etc. although it is very well optimized, I experienced some game breaking bugs during the first hours, ugly slow loading textures, and a mandatory low setting was present, I couldn’t even read the damn quote in the beginning of the game, such was the severity of the problem, it kinda ruined the opening for me but, eventually I found the fix online and it looked beautiful, for anyone experiencing the same, the fix can be found here.
A big coat of 1900s American vibe is given to the music of the game, which you can even hear in the main menu, a few songs such as God Only Knows and Everybody wants to rule the world are present, in ‘live’ versions, and gramophone ones, overall it has a great ambiance. The voice actors also did their job well, with an outstanding performance by Christina Draper (was it?) as Elizabeth.
BioShock Infinite is one heck of a ride, it is one of the most memorable gaming moments of my life, and memorable is one way to describe it, charming characters, a beautiful setting, interesting themes, jaw dropping plot twists, and brain twisting theoretical physics, married with fun and addictive gameplay, beautiful art direction and graphics, and an awesome soundtrack to boot, so why do you ask what, when the delicious question is when the heck are you gonna buy this game??