Bioshock Infinite Review

For the first time in over a year, I have been excited enough about a game to play on release and it has been good enough to keep me coming back until it was done, which still took me a couple of weeks with other commitments. There will be spoilers in this post so keep that in mind if you haven’t finished the game yet. Before I go into too many details, let me say that I really enjoyed Bioshock Infinite, the story and world more so than the combat mechanics.  I was late to the Bioshock party, having only a PS3 on which to play I had to wait over a year before I was able to play this gem.  While an option existed (and was the default) to be automatically resurrected upon death, I turned this off and found the game to be the more strategic for it.  Bioshock Infinite does not have that option and I feel this lets the combat down compared to the first Bioshock.

So, first the combat and gameplay, which I played on hard difficulty, the highest you initially have access to.  A shooter at heart, the game allows you to hold two weapons at once, making ammo management very important during some of the larger fights, as well as two ‘Vigors’, the Plasmids of the first Bioshock, available for quick change.  There are a total of 8 vigors you get during the game, with multiple combinations providing better results than individual use.  This, combined with the variety of weapons you can get provide for many and varied fights, however everyone will eventually get their favourites which reduces the variety.  Each fight eventually gets a rhythm to it, with a number of smaller enemies having to be dispatched before larger ones come into the picture, making ammunition and salt (the power of the vigors) management a key to surviving.  Finally to mix the fights up your companions, Elizabeth, can open ‘tears’ which can aid you in battle, either to bring in more weapons, health, salt, cover or an ally to directly dispatch enemies.  She also helps by looking for ammo/health/salt directly and throwing them to you in your time of need.  While all the weapons and vigors have a great feel to them, the fights do become a little stale after a while and you wish for them to be over so you can continue on the fantastic journey.

Next is the story.  This is where the game really shines.  What starts out as a simple mission “Bring us the girl and wipe away the debt” becoming complicated when you are embroiled a civil war and Elizabeth’s tears enable great story changes.  Without giving too much away, the ending was a superb wrap up of the story which itself drives the player forward in a desire to see how everything works out.  Subtleties involved with “Constants and Variables” throughout the game will give players who notice and care a deeper understanding and appreciation of the tale woven here by the masterful writers.

Everything considered, this is a fantastic game, with better than average gameplay (but not fantastic) but with a compelling and griping tale, it well worth a purchase and play.