BioShock: Infinite review (Xbox 360)

GoldenRimz | 526d ago | User review
Reviewing: BioShock: Infinite
Yet another Bioshock Infinite review.
I thought that I should take the time to review Bioshock Infinite because, as someone who’s never played any of the previous Bioshock games, I felt that I could offer a valuable, unbiased opinion. I’ve witnessed all of the hype – from the 10 out of 10 ratings to the varied criticisms on what’s considered a profound ending to an even more profound plot. The real question to anyone clutching their $60 is whether or not Bioshock Infinite lives up to the hype of mainstream reviewers and longtime fans. I believe that I can help you answer that.

As you really get into Bioshock, the first thing that stands out is the immersive universe. You step through the opening gates of Columbia an instantly realize the early 1900s style, technology and propaganda. You transcend the cobblestone streets where racism, steampunk-esque technology and magic seem almost omnipresent. For me, the animation and the settings were very reminiscent of Dishonored, and given that Bioshock was around first I’d reckon it was a major influence on the stealth-action title. Nevertheless, the weirdness only evolves in this standout FPS.

The gameplay is typical of a first person shooter. You’re running through levels shooting robots, people, dead people and bigger robots. As you encounter more advanced enemies, guns eventually begin to feel a bit antiquated. I found myself pumping Handymen (bigger robots) with shotgun blast after shotgun blast. While the lack of power can be irritating, you’ll find that you often feel rewarded when you single-handedly take down each Goliath with a different slingshot. I can appreciate the challenge that Bioshock Infinite offers, especially given the lack thereof when it comes to FPS games today.

Once you get the hang of this game, you find yourself sliding across weird pipelines in the sky and shooting enemies from above (which is pretty cool). You can earn new clothes and change up your outfit for various buffs; however, the game really gets going when you start obtaining special powers from a form of magic known as ‘vigor.’ This is obtained through bottles that are scattered throughout the game and conveniently placed where you’re most likely to bump into them. Unfortunately, after a while of playing Bioshock Infinite, most of these powers (no matter how cool) begin to feel more like novelty items. Using them is like throwing a banana peel in front of a pursuer in an old, Technicolor cartoon. It's a crappy delay.

As for the plot, it remains easy to follow up until you enter the first alternate universe. From there, the needlessly complicated machinations of Bioshock Infinite will likely elude you unless you like weird, abstract stories, typically understand these types of plots or have played the previous games in the series. After a while of shooting robots and entering portals to alternate realities, my general feelings toward the game were something akin to ‘screw it.’ I just wanted to get it over with. You descend deeper and deeper into the depths of Booker’s plight in the worst way -- ultimately wanting to leave Columbia to get the damn game over with but being sucked into the city’s deepest political conflicts.

On a superficial level, I can appreciate some of the morals and philosophies that Bioshock Infinite divulges about power, politics, discrimination and hatred. No, I’m not approaching this from the ‘waah, I just want to game’ angle, because that’s all too typical and there are too many mindless shooters to make this kind of complaint. However, conversely, there are also intricate games that take an extra step to push the envelope and sometimes just come off as slightly pretentious and overwhelmingly confusing. With Bioshock Infinite, the latter makes me contrary to popular opinion.

I believe this game is worth your time but I don’t believe it’s a masterpiece, nor do I equate it to things like the Mona Lisa or whatever that BS was that some guy on GiantBomb was going on about. It’s a decent shooter with a message that will appeal to most who make the efforts to understand it. It’s new, it’s fresh, and for a while it’s even fun, but eventually Bioshock Infinite begins to feel like it needlessly drags itself on and overcomplicates what could be a decent plot with unnecessary twists and turns. At the end of the day, most people will like it and some won’t, but everyone should at least give it a try.
Ups
Unique environment
Decent gameplay
Challenging and immersive
Downs
Plot is overcomplicated and, quite frankly, boring.
Begins to drag on toward the end.
Weapons feel weak and aren't that interesting either.
Score
9.0
Graphics The cartoonish graphics remind me a lot of Dishonored. There's a lot of detail, environments look decent and overall they're styled in a unique manner.
9.5
Sound I was actually impressed with the voice acting in this game. Characters convey sincerity and are brought to life with their lines. These voice actors did an excellent job. I also liked the singing quartet in the beginning.
7.5
Gameplay I mean, what is there to say? Bioshock is a very typical FPS that lets you slide around on pipelines and blast robots and zombies with pea shooters. The gameplay doesn't do anything spectacular but at times it tries to do something different, which is why it's a 7.5 instead of a 6.
7.0
Fun factor Fun in the beginning, maybe. Toward the end? Not so much.
0.0
Online This game has online? If it does, I didn't play it because I probably didn't care to. Sue me.
8.0
Overall (out of 10 / not an average)
SuspiciousRobot  +   523d ago
"After a while of shooting robots and entering portals to alternate realities, my general feelings toward the game were something akin to ‘screw it.’ I just wanted to get it over with."

Couldn't agree more. This was my most anticipated game since it's announcement, but I was very disappointed with how it turned out. One word to sum it up, 'pretentious'.
dedicatedtogamers  +   522d ago
Yep.

I'm glad more people are speaking up about the game. It does the industry no good when games like these are put on an even higher pedestal than their predecessors. It's just too bad that we were (and still are) forced to put up with so much "Infinite is our savior!" worship for the last month with angry shouts of "you just don't GET it!" toward people like me who didn't enjoy it very much.
n to the b  +   522d ago
I kept thinking "The Emporer's New Clothes".

I've played through twice now and have viewed/heard 95%+ voxophones, etc. Pretty sure there are several plot holes, which makes the obtuseness of the story just pretentious.

And the gameplay definitely suffers vs original BioShock. I mostly miss the smaller, more finely crafted environments.
TheOneEyedHound  +   517d ago
You Sir are a Robot.
GoldenRimz  +   516d ago
The Bioshock plot twist of my life.

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BioShock: Infinite

Average Score 9.4 Reviews(476)
Release Dates
PC Release Dates
US 26 March 2013
EU 26 March 2013
AU 26 March 2013
JP 26 March 2013
PS3 Release Dates
JP 26 February 2013
AU 26 February 2013
US 26 February 2013
EU 26 March 2013
Wii U Release Dates
Xbox 360 Release Dates
US 26 March 2013
EU 26 March 2013
AU 26 March 2013
JP 26 March 2013