Summary: Its characterization and environments are as beautiful as its dystopian setting is disturbing and, at times, racist. You owe it to yourself to play this game all the way through, if for nothing else than the hours you’ll spend debating its merits (if not its ending) with your gamer friends. The world of BioShock doesn’t get much better than this.
Pros: Excellent pacing; wonderful character development; a story you’ll spend hours talking about; barbershop quartet.
Cons: Combat can feel a bit uninspired if not downright easy (save for the game’s final mission); linear.
Excerpt: The last mainstream first-person game we played that had no multiplayer modes stuck on for good measure was Dishonored, and you may remember that it was very well received. Now we have BioShock Infinite, a game whose only aspiration is to submerge your head in a charged ocean of suspense, complex perspectives, and unforgettably weird imagery.
Excerpt: System Requirements 2.4GHz CPU 1GB RAM 8GB HDD space DX 9.0c video and sound Windows XP/Vista Internet required for activation BioShock takes place in the 1960’s in an underwater city called Rapture. A man named Andrew Ryan, who was against government and religion, founded Rapture to be a city of opportunity for those willing to work for it. Instead of a paradise, Rapture is run amuck by zombie like beings who have altered their genes a bit too much.
Excerpt: The Good : Fine single player action. Solid pacing. The Bad : Enemy AI isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer. Elizabeth is a very odd creature. The Ugly : Story lacks cohesiveness. Ten minute ending movie is nearly incomprehensible. I’m going to go against the grain here and say that, while I really liked BioShock Infinite, I don’t think it is as good as the previous BioShock titles. Rapture was a beautiful, self-consistent world full of wonder and intrigue.
Excerpt: Columbia, Bioshock Infinite ’s floating city in the sky, is a vividly imagined place, a marriage of impossible engineering and incredible artistry. Its buildings sway amongst the clouds buoyed atop huge zeppelins of air; its streets are lined with rose gardens, picnics, statues of the founding fathers and candy floss stalls; and its population is drunk on the religious and xenophobic preachings of its founder and self-styled prophet, Zachary Comstock.
Conclusion: Prior to playing BioShock Infinite , I was wondering if the floating city would seem as realistic as the underwater Utopia of Rapture. Yes, it is quite easy to believe a city could survive underwater in an airtight environment, but one floating in the sky? But the wonderful storyline and the memorable characters help to make the unbelievable believable. Despite the change in scenery, Columbia still exhibits the BioShock feel that was evident in Rapture.
Pros: The story, the location and the characters make Columbia believable. Gameplay is pure BioShock with some great new abilities.
Cons: It took me a short while to adjust to the weapons/vigor mouse controls
Summary: Though it sometimes struggles to reconcile its genre-constrained combat with its lofty storytelling goals, BioShock Infinite exhibits ambition and a boldness of theme rarely seen in FPS titles.
Excerpt: BioShock Infinite aims so damn high – fittingly, since its alternate-reality 1912 city of Columbia literally floats atop clouds – that it’s a wonder it successfully hits any of its lofty goals at all. But it does hit them, again and again. A stunning original world of retro-sci-fi technology and gorgeous scenery. A cast of fully fleshed-out, memorable characters who deliver real emotional impact. A great villain and a greater monster.