I really wish there were words I could write to describe the overall experience of this game. However, this is one of the first games I have played in a very long time that has ever left me speechless. “Bioshock Infinite” is not only a narrative masterpiece, but a game that not only stands alongside its predecessor, and challenges everything about the original game as well.
In “Bioshock Infinite,” set in 1912, the player takes on the role of Booker DeWitt, a war veteran and former Pinkerton who is sent on a secret mission. The mission seems simple enough: head to a city called Colombia, find a girl named Elizabeth, and bring her back. However, everything is suddenly thrown out the window. Colombia is actually a city high above in the clouds run by the self proclaimed prophet Zachary Comstock.
Colombia is a city out of time. It is technologically advanced, with flying warships, a skyline rail travel system, robots, and music that is ahead of its time. Everything is overwhelming and exhilarating in the first hour in Colombia, which is designed to let the player explore the basics of the game and set up the story. Soon however, the peaceful façade of Colombia is taken away as Booker is announced as “the false prophet” and an all out war breaks loose.
For those familiar with the “Bioshock” series, the game mechanics are the same. Players collect weapons and gain special powers, called vigors, and use them to defeat enemies and complete objectives. While this game is a first-person shooter, to compare it to the Call of Duty franchise would be an insult. “Infinite” is not only a well crafted and exciting shooter, but also an incredibly emotional one as well.
The emotional core of the game comes from Elizabeth. From the moment Booker meets her, she brings something into a game I have never seen before—a companion character that makes the game better. Most often, a companion character gets in the way or says the same annoying phrases over and over. Fortunately with Elizabeth, this is not the case. Elizabeth helps the player, tossing ammunition and health pickups in the heat of a battle, and picking locks and finding money during the quieter moments. In the hands of a lesser studio, a constant companion would have taken away from a game, but luckily Irrational Games makes this something that adds to the experience.
I won’t say any more about the game, other than that you should definitely give it a try. It is a fun and engrossing experience with a few twists and turns that will leave you stunned and your jaw on the floor. If this game doesn’t win 2013 Game of the Year, or at least make many of the “best of” lists I will be very surprised.
Final Score: A+