4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
One of the best games I've ever played.,
This review is from: BioShock Infinite [Download] (Software Download)
I absolutely loved this game. While it plays exactly like the first two Bioshock games, it is a completely different world. We're in Columbia now instead of Rapture. It's not the familiar claustrophobic, horror-inspired environment. Now we're in this floating city in the clouds full of bright colors, fairgrounds, and quirky characters. While Bioshock 1 and 2 focused on creepy, weird, and crazy characters, Infinite is much more surreal and visually breathtaking.
There's a steampunk feel to the city, which is really interesting. Lots of old technology in a science-fiction setting. Like in the original Bioshock games, much of the back story is revealed through audio logs, but there are also silent movie viewers scattered around town. The best part of Bioshock Infinite's visual appeal, however, is in the exploration of the city. There are posters plastered over everything to read, storefronts to explore, and beautiful architecture. The graphics quality is amazing. I was able to run the game on a cheap store-bought computer with on-board graphics (8 GB RAM, dual-core processor, 64-bit Windows 7) with few problems that didn't hurt my enjoyment of the game. I since upgraded to a GeForce GTX 660 and can enjoy Columbia in max settings, making it even more enjoyable. So while you don't need to greatest hardware to run it, it naturally looks better with a higher end GPU.
Columbia is a city plagued by fairly in-your-face racism, political unrest, and a tyrannical religious ruler. Some people might not find the thematic elements and intolerant society that appealing.
While the game play and controls are identical to previous games in the series, there is one game-changing element that I felt was the stand-out feature of the game. Her name is Elizabeth and she is not only an incredible, well-acted character who is impossible to dislike, she's also an all-in-one armory, ATM, and field medic. When you're running low on ammo. health, salts (your magic energy), Elizabeth hollers, "Booker, catch!" and gives you the hook-up. While she undoubtedly makes the game a bit easier, the idea of having a companion in an FPS is just so fantastic. I watched an interview with the developers and they commented on how their goal was to keep Elizabeth in view as much as possible, and it really was a stroke of brilliance. You can always count on her to be there and it only strengthens your bond to the character and makes you more invested in her story.
As for Booker, he's kind of a jerk, especially at first. He's the typical tough guy hero, though he is typically self-motivated to do the right thing.
The weapon and vigor (formerly plasmid in the Bioshock 1/2) selection is great. It's not too tough to find money if you explore the environments thoroughly (and once you see them you will want to).
The story is very surreal, leaping across dimensions of reality, and ultimately concluding with an ending that tries too hard to be thought-provoking and mind-bending. It seems a fitting ending for the story that essentially demands a replay to fully appreciate how everything is set up along the way, but it also dumps a lot of new information and concepts on the player in the final moments, making it a little too heavy to digest. It can be said the ending produced the desired effect due to all the discussion it generated among players. I didn't particularly like the way the game ends, but it didn't ruin the experience as a whole for me. I will definitely replay this game in the future.
There are two upcoming DLC story packs that tie the game into Rapture that I'm very excited to play through, so it's nice to see new content coming for this wonderful game.