Back in 2007, we were introduced to an exciting new underwater city named Rapture. The city of Rapture was the setting to one of this generations most amazing new game franchises, Bioshock. Fast forward to 2013 and we once again embark in a new adventure in the Bioshock universe. Only this time, there is no underwater city. There is no Rapture. This new adventure takes us up to the skies, in a marvelous new city as impressive as Rapture itself. This new floating city is Columbia and what lies ahead is a mystery so deep, it makes you question the entire Bioshock universe.
You begin the game as Booker Dewitt, a former Pinkerton Detective that was disgraced from the agency due to alcoholism and a gambling addiction. At the beginning of the story, Booker is hired to travel to the city of Columbia and retrieve a young girl. The successful completion of this job will result in Booker's debt being "wiped away". Booker manages to infiltrate the floating city and learns it is being controlled by a man named Father Zachary Hale Comstack who has convinced the citizens of Columbia that he is a Prophet. When it is discovered that Booker is in Columbia attempting to free the young girl named Elizabeth from Comstacks control, Comstack has Booker labeled as a False Shepard leading Booker to have to fight his way through the city to reach Elizabeth. Once Booker reaches and rescues Elizabeth from her state of imprisonment, the two work together to fight their way through Columbia in search of a way to escape the floating city while avoiding the giant mechanical bird like guardian named Songbird.
For a game that was released in the later part of this current generations console lifecycle, the graphics and visual scenery in Bioshock Infinite are beautiful and really help bring the city of Columbia alive. The gameplay is very similar to previous Bioshock games. You control a firearm in one hand and the powerful abilities known as Vigors with the other hand. Vigors in Bioshock Infinite work exactly like Plasmids and Tonics from the original Bioshock games. A few of these abilities include a fire attack, water attack, a possession ability and the ability to control a flock of attack crows. The gun fighting feels very solid and there is plenty of ammo laying around so you shouldn't feel too threatened going into any gunfight.
After you free Elizabeth from her state of imprisonment, she stays by your side throughout the rest of the game. This is where I feel Bioshock Infinite truly shined. Elizabeth was the smartest and most helpful AI character I have ever had the pleasure of playing beside. She locates money and ammo for you and assists you in battle by keeping you supplied in health and ammo. She is also an expert at lock picking and can open up locked doors and vaults that may contain money, weapons or upgrades. The most impressive ability Elizabeth possesses is the ability to open dimensional tears located throughout Columbia. Elizabeth can use these tears to bring ammo, health, weapons and automated defenses into your dimension to aid Booker in battle.
The enemies in Bioshock Infinite are more diverse than any previous Bioshock game. This time around you're not fighting off bands of splicers. Instead, you're fighting your way through normal security and police agents working for Comstack. There are also four classes of new larger mechanical enemies known as "Heavy Hitters" that act as replacements for the legendary Big Daddy characters from the original Bioshock games. These new Heavy Hitters include The Handyman, The Motorized Patriots, The Boys of Silence and the Sirens. In my opinion, neither of these Heavy Hitters posed any major threat and they all failed to live up to the intimidating feel of a Big Daddy.
The story behind Bioshock Infinite was very interesting. It would be difficult to go too much into detail about the story without spoiling the ending. However, I will say that I was left a little disappointed with the ending of the story as it felt a little too forced in my opinion and was more confusing than it needed to be. It's never a good sign when the ending of a story has you going back to question the entire plot while trying to make sense of all the inconsistencies. I also felt the final boss battle was very anticlimactic. Overall though I will say Bioshock Infinite was a fantastic experience and is so far one of the best games of 2013.
Playstation 3 Exclusive:
The PS3 version of Bioshock Infinite came with a couple of exclusive bonuses for PS3 gamers. Much like with the Dead Space and Assassin's Creed franchises that both included a free digital copy of the original games of their respective series, Bioshock Infinite also came with an exclusive free digital copy of the original award winning Bioshock game. This is a great bonus for gamers new to the Bioshock universe or for long time fans that would love to replay the original game one more time.
The second PS3 exclusive bonus is the addition of the Playstation Move compatibility. PS Move has been a hit or miss with PS3 gamers and understandably so. In my years playing with the PS Move, I have found the motion peripheral works best with shooters and sports games. I have played through many PS3 shooters including Killzone 3, Resistance 3, Socom 4, MAG and DUST514 and in my opinion, Irrational Games did a very solid job of incorporating the PS Move Sharpshooter mechanics into Bioshock Infinite. For gamers like myself that enjoy a more interactive motion gaming feel, the Move Sharpshooter works very well and is a nicely added option. However, gamers that aren't comfortable with motion gaming may prefer the traditional Dualshock 3 controller instead.