BioShock Infinite review
- Beautiful visuals
- Mind-bending story
- Rich and layered world
- Plot spoilers
- All over too soon
Update: We've updated our review to include a BioShock Infinite Burial at Sea DLC review
BioShock Infinite is the sort of game that’s an absolute nightmare to review. The reason for this is because the central appeal of Irrational’s superb first-person-shooter is tied directly to its plot. The story isn’t just an important feature in BioShock Infinite, it’s the overriding factor. And naturally, the less one knows about the plot going into the game, the better a time one is likely to have.
BioShock Infinite: Plot
So right from the start, reviewing BioShock Infinite is a tricky proposition. We obviously don’t want give away any the plot’s major revelations and since they’re the best parts of the game, this places us slightly in a quandary.
Just as the knife-twist in the plot of BioShock depended on the players’ state of ignorance for maximum impact, so too does BioShock Infinite’s layered narrative – to the extent that any mention of the plot’s details seems a disservice to anyone reading this.
There are aspects that have already emerged, however. Players know that BioShock Infinite is set a floating city called Columbia in 1912. They know they take on the role of an ex-Pinkerton called Booker DeWitt who enters this fantastical metropolis in search of a woman named Elizabeth.
Both she and the city of Columbia are held in thrall by a religious zealot called Comstock and a giant mechanical nightmare called Songbird. As Booker heads into the city to free Elizabeth, he runs up against Comstock’s soldiers and a movement called the Vox Populi, who speak for Columbia’s disenfranchised and downtrodden.
BioShock Infinite: Characters
The relationship between Elizabeth and Booker lies at both the heart of BioShock Infinite’s story and its gameplay. Players never need to protect Elizabeth in a firefight, and she will occasionally toss them health, ammunition, coins and power-ups.
Elizabeth also has the power to open up ‘tears’ in the fabric of reality and yank useful items through, such as gun turret, a rack of health kits or a piece of cover Booker can shield himself behind.
Over the course of the game, players will work their way through a variety of weapons – machine guns, pistols, rocket launchers – and Vigors, which are essentially a series of superpowers.
Some cause direct damage to targets – such as Devil’s Kiss, which is an exploding fireball – while others give the player a temporary edge – such as Bucking Bronco, which briefly suspends multiple targets in the air.
Along with his collection of guns and superpowers, Booker has a device called a Skyhook that allows him to latch onto the series of rails that encircle many of the in-game environments.