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Bioshock Infinite Review

The first “Bioshock” was amazing, and then 2K Marin took over and the second “Bioshock” was not so amazing. So, hopefully now that Irrational Games is back in the driver’s seat the franchise can start heading down the right path again.

You play as Booker DeWitt, a former Pinkerton agent now being sent to retrieve a women named Elizabeth in order to wipe away a debt. “Infinite” takes place in 1912 on a floating city called Columbia, which outwardly appears to be something of a floating Worlds Fair, but is actually multiple highly armed battleships. Father Zachary Comstock is the leader of Columbia.  He is lovingly referred to as “the Prophet,” claiming to receive visions from the future from an archangel. Comstock will stop at nothing to keep you from reaching his daughter, Elizabeth, and will send all available bodies to stop you from leaving with her. The story is amazing, with great twists and turns, the growing chemistry between Booker and Elizabeth is perfectly captured, and the voice acting by Troy Baker and Courtnee Draper was perfection. The class war between the Founders and the Vox Populi is a great catalyst to kick the game up another notch.

The enemies to really look out for are the Heavy Hitters; they can really put a damper on getting yourself and Elizabeth out of Columbia in one piece. There are four Heavy Hitters, most notably The Handyman.  This hulking enemy is covered in armor and is really vulnerable in two areas, his face and his heart. The second is The Motorized Patriot, a robot that resembles George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Comstock; they are most vulnerable when attacked from behind but have fun getting behind them while they are ripping into you with a Gatling gun. The Fireman, who is the first Heavy Hitter you come across, uses fire to eliminate his enemies.  The fourth is The Zealot Of The Lady.  This pest likes to transform into a murder of crows and zip around you; you encounter them right around the time you get the Murder of Crows vigor. Although they are all a general nuisance, the quicker you figure out their weaknesses,the easier time you will have beating them. While fighting The Motorized Patriot use Undertow, Shock Jockey and Bucking Bronco. Against Handyman use Murder of Crows and whatever powerful weapon you have and aim for the heart. For The Fireman you can use pretty much anything except Devil’s Kiss, and the Zealot Of The Lady use anything but Murder of Crows.

Throughout the game you can find yourself anywhere from the beautiful shiny affluent parts of Columbia occupied by the Founders, to the dark Vox Populi areas of Columbia. Now, when I say beautiful, I mean the game is friggin gorgeous! The colors are super crisp and vibrant, the sun, the shade, the dark and dingy- everything is beautiful. You’ll make your way around the city on foot or via elevators, trams and the Skyline through use of the Skyhook.

Controls are super easy to use and are very responsive. I found myself gravitating weapon-wise towards the pistol and the Triple R Machine Gun, primarily. With the machine gun I find that what it lacks in accuracy it makes up for in damage, so I try to pull the trigger in small bursts to group the shots as closely as possible, whereas the pistol is great with accuracy but lacking in damage.  I usually will combo that with a Vigor, usually Murder of Crows or a charged Devil’s Kiss.

Vigors are pretty useful, especially when combining two together. Murder of Crows sends a…murder of crows to attack and distract enemies.  Bucking Bronco sends enemies into the air, leaving enemies vulnerable to attacks. Shock Jockey electrocutes.  Devil’s Kiss will burn.  Return to Sender allows you to take in damage from enemy fire and propel the damage back towards them. Undertow will push enemies back and later grab them and pull them towards you. Charge sends you flying towards an enemy for an attack, and, finally, Possession allows you to take possession of enemies and machinery and have them help you for a short time. What I like about Possession is that a lot of lower level enemies with kill themselves from guilt after they finish helping you.

I have a kind of love/hate with the gear. Throughout the game you will come across packages containing gear in the form of clothing: hat, shirt, pants, boots. Each one of these items will give you a skill bonus, like Electric Touch, which, if worn, will grant you a 50% chance that a melee target is stunned. Now, you can only wear one of each of these items, which is a good thing, otherwise everyone is going to be running around all over-powered and wreaking havoc on poor ol’ Columbia. The only thing I have against the gear is that I don’t think it was needed. For one, it doesn’t add anything style-wise to you and even if it did, it’s not like you could see it. Secondly, I feel like they’re kind of useless; they could have done more of a leveling system with the Vigors. Like, instead of finding gear you would be given points to add towards further leveling Vigors.

I won’t lie, at first I was kind of taken aback by the level of racism, all beginning with, “Are you going to thrown it…or are you taking your coffee BLACK these days?”  After that point my eyes were open and I saw and heard all of it. At first I was like, “What the f…, how the hell did this get through the QA stages?” Then I let the typical, “I’m American and get offended by everything”-phase pass and took the story for what is was. All of this is taking place around the same time that the slaves were freed and the Civil War was won by the North. I know the Civil War was between 1861 – 1865, and the game takes place in 1912, but I guarantee people were bitter.  Shit, go to the South today, they’re still bitter. When all else fails, think of it this way, you’re fighting against the racists, bigots and murders, so you’re on the side of good.

When you take everything into account- the great story, the amazing graphics, the simple yet perfect controls, the stellar voice acting- this game is a must have for any gamer.

Final Verdict for Bioshock Infinite:

5 out of 5