Bioshock: Infinite - Flirting With Perfection

It's difficult for me to not just gush over the keyboard and start writing wonderful words about the critically acclaimed darling that is Bioshock: Infinite. So I will try to put this into a summation of sorts that keeps it somewhat tame. And I will start by saying, it was absolutely awesome.

It's been a while since I've played a game that has had me in as much awe as Infinite. From the moment you start, to the very end, my jaw was on the floor. I'll start with the games strong suits, of which there are a ton. The story is something different, which is a welcomed approach to the gaming industry that seems to be more focused on explosions and gun fights, which coincidentally the game has many of. It's typical in the sense of the guy, Booker Dewitt, getting girl, Elizabeth, from corrupt bad guy, Zachary Comstock, but that's where it stops, and where the overwhelmingly present aspect of the early 1900's floating city of Columbia. If anything were to steal the show away from the story, and it's wonderful cast its this city. The fine detail Irrational put into the making of this place puts it at a surreal level. Walk around one corner and you'll find a soda shop, walk around another and you find a street fair going on, all with the undertones of severe racism, religious and political undertones, and an uneasiness of tension in every conversation you partake in. They're all things we don't see much of in gaming in a serious sense, and it was refreshing watching it unravel in a well laid out story. But when you think you know what's going on in the story, be prepared to rethink it when the next cut scene starts up.

Booker is a great protagonist with a lot of great qualities in his character. The strong lead detective tasked with getting the girl back, with an affinity for big guns, and vigors. Vigors are your powers for the game, including a lightning, and fire attack, as well as some crowd control, they all come in handy and provide nice combos along with a shotgun blast. Elizabeth, the aforementioned damsel in distress, is a ton of fun to have following you around. Irrational did one hell of a job writing the AI for her as she's never in your way, and is always helping you out, tossing ammo, health, and salts, which reloads your vigors, whenever your stock is depleted. Her biggest addition is her ability to open tears whenever possible. It could range from med packs, armory deposits, sky hooks, or automated turrets. Not once did I ever say, having her around is a pain.

Every little inkling of the game screams with precise detail. Stumbling upon tears where you hear famous tunes in an old timey fashion, looking at posters of current events, the detail of the weapons, and supplies you pick up, they all have the feeling like they should be there. Like you really are in this world with these people. The voice actors for the characters did an amazing job, and I looked forward to their in game banter, as well as every scene they had together. Watching behind the scenes footage of the pair working together was a treat, and their chemistry paid off big time in their interactions in the game. They definitely helped bring the essence of the game to the next level. 

The only qualms with the game I had were small hindrances at game play. I ran into a few bugs that had me wanting to quit a few times, and a couple of the checkpoints became increasingly frustrating. One bug had me attempt to continue through a section I'd never been to. When I got there, I noticed two what I thought were NPC's just standing there talking. As I passed them nothing happened, and I continued on, but I couldn't continue on as the game wouldn't let me. I backtracked to see them again thinking maybe I had to interact with them somehow. They had disappeared. They were actually enemies I needed to dispatch to continue on to the next area. So I had to reset my system, start over from one of the checkpoints, and go through the process again, only this time they reacted properly and I took care of them properly. Another bug, which made me ridiculously annoyed, was that the red glow of the gun when it was overheating, would get stuck on my screen and not dissipate until I had reloaded my gun, fired at least one shot, and reloaded again. This lasted for a few days actually until I was almost at the end of the game. And the last bit I had an issue with was the checkpoints. Maybe because I played on the hard difficulty from the get go, but getting stuck in an endless loop of dying 3 seconds after I came back from the limbo type world was not my idea of fun. There are furious fire fights in the game with turrets and grenade launchers and having the first place I get brought back to being a spot where an incoming grenade is coming is frustrating to say the least.

However, overall this game is superb. There isn't much wrong with it at all, and anyone with a gaming pulse should at least give this game a go for its great story line, fun game play, and incredible voice acting. From beginning to end I found myself smiling at the details. If you haven't played this one yet, do so, I promise you will not be disappointed. 

I give this game a -  9.5/10

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