Story-driven first person shooters don’t usually get me excited. I enjoy first person shooters for the shooting…obviously…but the storytelling feels limited to me. There are some exceptions such as Halo: Combat Evolved; however, I prefer seeing my characters interact with the world, which helps me engage with my character.
But I had played Bioshock. I was pumped to get my hands on Bioshock Infinite.
The original Bioshock set an amazing atmosphere of captivating horror. I don’t play many horror games because they are so dark. I’m not talking mood here, I mean…literally. No lights, difficult to see, and strange noises. It’s a scare tactic that is so overused and such a crutch to compensate for poor writing that I don’t feel there’s any point in playing. I know what is going to happen. Some freaky things will flash on the screen, accompanied by a sudden loud noise meant to cause instant panic with a side of incontinence. Bioshock was different, more intelligent. I was curious if Infinite was the same.
Infinite’s world is brighter and more visible than the original, and the horror feel does suffer slightly because of this. However, Infinite still was able to have me on edge in a few situations. Columbia (the balloon world) was beautiful, although by the end I didn’t explore it too much. I mean, at a time like this, who would really stop to watch a tourist motion picture? The story was vamping up, crap was going down, the repercussions of rampant racism were coming to fruition, Elizabeth’s pinky was driving me crazy…did she superglue it? Did she weld it to her bone? How in the world was that thimble staying on???
I had a lot on my mind. Tourism was far from the top of the list.
Seriously, the story was so intriguing to me that I had to finish. I’d grab all that crap during my second play through. All I wanted to know was how the game was going to end. Who was this strange girl, who wanted me to get her, where was I taking her, and would her thimble pinky last the whole game?
In summary, music – amazing, graphics – lovely, story – very curious…freaky pinky – anomalous.
First person shooters follow a typical formula…shoot, run, shoot….then run. This is also the case for Bioshock Infinite, however, it creates a fun playground in which to do this. It also enables you to perform some less typical tasks during combat. You can use powers because you drank some strange crap that jerks your genes around…you know what, don’t worry about it, just enjoy yourself. You can also fly around the city as a human light rail thanks to a sky hook that latches on to the city’s tram system and, as a bonus, enemy eyeballs.
It is an entertaining romp through the sky world, and I enjoyed it enough to return to the game a few times after completion. Elizabeth is a good companion. I normally hate having another character tag along, but that’s because you usually have to watch their health and take care of them as well as yourself. Elizabeth at least has the brains to hide when it hits the fan.
I played this game several times through just to make different choices through the game. They don’t really mean anything but it was a good excuse to run around the city again. Writing this review actually has me thinking I might fire up the PS3 and take another ride through Columbia. It’s not the most bang for your buck in replay value, but as far as first person shooters, it’s not that bad.
Yes, Bioshock Infinite is not as good as the original Bioshock. However, it is a blast to play through. Especially now that the price is down or if you got it for free on PS Plus a year ago. If you haven’t played the original, don’t worry about it, my copy of Infinite came with the original Bioshock as well. You can’t go wrong with that!
Spoilers…the thimble stays on.