Bioshock Infinite – Review (PS3)

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Bioshock Infinite is one of those games that has been on my radar for ages, having loved the original Bioshock and enjoyed the sequel Bioshock 2.

It was created by the team who crafted the original game (whereas Bioshock 2 was made by a different developer) so hopes were high for this game.

Moving the action from Rapture’s underwater city up into the skies above, Infinite is set in Columbia – a floating city that has broken away from the US to become the master of it’s own destiny. This all takes place in 1912 – decades before the events of the original Bioshock.

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Ruled by Zachary Comstock, a self styled prophet, Columbia is a fantastic world to explore and is as much a part of the game as the characters themselves. You get some basic history while playing the game but there is even more available through the various audio logs and video machines scattered across the game’s levels.

You play as Booker DeWitt, a former Pinkerton agent, who has found himself saddled with financial problems due to his love of gambling. To clear his debt he is tasked with one simple mission. Get to Columbia and bring back a girl called Elizabeth.

Bioshock Infinite is such a well designed game and you can tell a whole lot of care went into the crafting of the world. The opening is fantastic and gives you a little bit of time to explore and take part in the optional tutorial exercises if you want to.

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Similarly to the previous games, in addition to a weapon your other hand will house a special ability – ranging from electric shock right through to possession of enemies. There are a decent amount of these to choose from however you don’t have them all at the start of the game, they get unlocked as the game progresses.

I really liked the feel of the weapons, especially Booker’s pistol – which I used for almost all the game. The carbine was also very handy and, of course, some of the more bombastic weapons also helped along the way.

Musically, Bioshock Infinite is brilliant. The score is very effective and the use of music to punctuate firefights is really well handled. There are also a few astounding sections where music is used… but I won’t discuss that any further for fear of spoiling anything!

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Speaking of spoilers, I’ll tread very carefully around the story. Needless to say it’s one of the best of this generation and is handled with a soft touch, which makes a refreshing change from being beaten over the head with simple plot points like some other titles do. The last half an hour of Bioshock Infinite is some ride and as the credits rolled I was busy trying to work everything out. Great stuff.

The combat is good, as I said earlier the weapons felt weighty and there are some quite brutal melee attacks to finish off attackers. Elizabeth can pull other items in from different dimensions, which is helpful and means you can strategically alter the course of battles if you need to. Elizabeth will also throw you health/ammo when you really need it, which saved me on numerous occasions.

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You have a skyhook as a method for getting around and mixing things up in battle. There are rollercoaster-like rails that Booker can use his hook to slide along – all it requires is for you to aim at them and press a button which makes them simple to use.

My only complaint was that at times you’d see the shimmer of another dimension item ahead of you and know a battle was coming up. It just takes you out of the world for a second. There are two particularly tough sections in the game but they are certainly not insurmountable, especially on Normal difficulty.

The voice acting is brilliant, with some really great performances. The banter between Booker and Elizabeth is really well handled and a favourite for me was the Lutece characters. Jennifer Hale continues to impress with a wide variety of game roles – I didn’t even realise until the credits it was her, which says a lot.

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Bioshock Infinite is one of those games that I wanted to start again as soon as I’d finished it. I definitely want to jump back in soon so I can experience it all again and, hopefully, fill in any gaps in the story by grabbing all those audio logs and whatever else I can find. A truly great game experience.

Rating: 10/10

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  1. Nice review, Greg. This is the game of the year for me so far, and it’s going to be tough to top it.

  2. […] last time I played a game at such a slow pace, desperate to drink it all in. I thought I had played Bioshock Infinite that way but compared to this, I was much quicker through Columbia than the wastelands of The Last […]

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