Monday, 1 April 2013

Bioshock Infinite Review.

Right so I finished the game and I'm about three quarters of the way through 1999 mode. I love this game so much. It's as good if not better than Half Life 2. Strong words I know but a lot of what it does right is reminiscent of Half Life.

The storytelling is excellent you are never taken out of the action by cut scenes or the like other characters speak directly to you as Booker. At first I thought the fact that Booker was voiced would detract from this but it doesn't at all. Instead it adds a bit of feedback from him on the situation at hand and gives you an idea of what the character you are playing is like.

The story itself is excellent but I won't go into it much here for obvious reasons. Drew Holmes and Joe Fielder have done an amazing job with a complicated subject and you definitely won't leave the game confused or disappointed if you pay attention to the details like the voxophone audio logs.

The graphics are done in a way that really match the tone of the story they are bright and cheerful but somehow this makes the nasty underbelly of Columbia so much more terrifying. I have heard that they took this bright technicolour technique from Stanley Kubrick's 'The Shining' and indeed it works. I ran the graphics on Ultra on my PC (2xGTX 580's on SLI) and they look gorgeous it all worked straight out of the box.

The game play is very satisfying but a little slow to get going. A friend on Raptr was glum because he thought that it was just a shoot and then hide behind cover game. I told him to hold his mechanical horses. At first you have to be really careful facing down enemies but the game introduces your upgrades in a way that makes you extremely grateful for them.

The vending machines in the game are fairly implemented and you really get a sense of balancing your need for weaponry and health kits over the ability to be resurrected or spending them on upgrading your vigors. You certainly can't have all of the above. The fact that you are limited to two guns is great too as you experience choosing your flavor of death rather than just running around like a walking armoury.

I personally was confused at the inclusion of 1999 mode as the game itself is quite far from the health regen cover shooters we get nowadays. You have visible health that doesn't come back without health kits and limited ammo and weaponry. I'm not really sure what 1999 mode was for but in a good way. This game is challenging whichever mode you pick and punishes you appropriately when you do things wrong. It's extremely well designed is what I'm trying to say.

Also cheers Mr Levine for making me feel ancient with your 'experience things like gamers did at the end of the last century!'...  thanks a lot.

All in all Bioshock Infinite receives a 10/10 from me. It's not perfect (nothing is, shut up) but it's as close as an FPS shooter is going to get. It was so good I bought a second copy for my best friend and if that's not a recommendation I don't know what is.

Tip of the hat to Irrational Games, well done.

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