In the world of Bioshock Infinite nothing is ever what it truly seems.
What may be a peaceful spot in one reality could be a war torn hellhole by opening up a tangent to another reality. You begin the game following standard bioshock loor, Abandoned lighthouse in the middle of the ocean that needs to be investigated, check, creepy imagery and symbolism check, oh and instead of taking place underwater Irrational games took the city of Columbia to the sky.
The colorful city of Columbia boasts some of the most impressive if not the most impressive visuals to use the unreal 3 engine. Cliff Bleszinski should be proud to see just how far his engine has come since 2006.
A down on his luck drunkard Boker Dewitt must travel to the highest pinnacle of the city to rescue a young girl with the power to tear holes in the fabric of reality.
But since when is a rescue mission ever this easy, Religious fanatics, white supremacists and brainwashed citizens are only a few of the challenges Booker will have to face along this rigorous life threatening ordeal. While the city of Columbia is heavily populated with civilians just doing their jobs don't be shocked at how some of the seemingly innocent people act out in the name in their lord, as Booker states early on in the game "just cause a city flies doesn't mean it ain't got it's share of fools."
The game's story and character development are some of the best I've seen in a long while. Infinite's story is structured very much like a tv series or a novel about redemption, realization, love and loss. However what makes Infinite so great from a story telling standpoint, is that shows just how certain relationships can only become so strong in a video game. Some things can only be achieved through interactive media, and Bioshock certainly shows this at its best.
Now Infinite not being given a number is a stand alone tittle that requires absolutely no prior knowledge of the previous games to understand. However it does contain Easter eggs and references to previous entries that long time fans will be able to appreciate. So whether you've indulged in rapture before or if you've never even heard of a plasmid or a little sister, it doesn't matter because Infinite is accessible to everyone. Now that being said fans of the original games may be disappointed with the fact that you are limited to carrying only two guns at once, as opposed to the bloated arsenal that you were able to carry around in the first few games. This can be a bit annoying but it rarely felt as if I was in a panic trying to constantly search the area around me for what feels like the rite gun.
If anything the 2 weapon limit forces you to be strategic in every firefight. You can no longer go into the middle of a war zone guns blazing and just shoot everyone with a slew of weapons. To make it fair you can upgrade your guns at stations, and purchase ammo for each weapon individually. Ammo machines are not uncommon, but they are expensive, and although wealth in Columbia is as easy to pick up as searching trashcans, their are other long term purchases that you can make that conflict with your ammo purchases. All of the games weapons can be upgraded, but your never going to have enough money to buy all of them. Your best off just upgrading the few you like the most. You can also find upgrades to your character in the form of gear. You have 4 slots to carry around different types of gear, gear upgrades range from having temporary invulnerability to getting extra heath and ammo with each kill.
I thought at first that the game was a bit too easy, however in order to make dying in the game feel like a menace and not just a nuisance, everytime you die you loose a certain amount of cash. So while I never really died outside of the boss battles, the few times I did die made it so that I was constantly on my toes doing my best to get hit as little as possible.
To help with the firefights you are given Vigors this Bioshocks version of plasmids. Hardcore fans should feel rite at home with them, but new timers to the rpg fps genre will take some time to get use to it.
Vigors are essentially magic that you can use to help you out in a pinch. There are a total of 8 vigors in the game that you can pick up, and just like guns each of them is upgradable. Also for long time fans you should be delighted to know that unlike the previous games where you could only carry around as many plasmids as you could afford, (safe for the ones that are mandatory for player progression) here all the vigors become available to you as to balance out the two weapon limit. While there are only two that you need the shock jockey that lets you shoot out electricity from your hands to power electrical outlets, and the possession vigor that enables you to take over machines. The other vigors are damn near impossible to miss, so if you haven't gotten all the vigors by the games end then it's your own fault not the game.
You can also open up and close tears in the fabric of reality to summon machines to fight your battles for you, or create cover to lean against. This adds a lot of variety to the gun battles, though you can only open up one tear at a time as to avoid being over powered.
Since this is a Bioshock game you can expect to also do a lot of exploring, while it is a linear game the amount of things to uncover is quite amazing. You can pick up lock-picks to open up safes and secret doors to reveal cash and goodies. Though I'm a bit disappointed that the hacking mini game from the first two Bioshock games is no longer present, this does allow the game to further establish its own identity.
My one gripe about the game is that it lacks replay value, or rather why it lacks replay value. On the pc version (The version I'm reviewing) you are only given one save file, and once you beat the game you can't start a new game with the weapons and abilities you have collected from your previous playthrough. By the time I had beaten the game I had 12 extra lock-picks a fairly large amount of cash, and had upgraded most of my favorite guns.
It would have been awesome had there been a new game plus option where you could plow through the game as an overpowered bad ass. Alas no such option exists. While I am a bit disappointed by the games ending the game as a hole is better then the sum of its parts and the epic final boss battle was definitely one of the most memorable moments of any game that came out this year. While previous Bisohock games gave you so many upgrades that by the time you reached the final boss you would pretty much have to try to get yourself killed, here the game doesn't pull any strings and will frustrate you to no end, giving you a chance to test all of the skills that you have in a barrage of pretty much every enemy type the game has to offer.
When alls said and done There are a million million different worlds out their, and I can't imagine any of them without Bioshock Infinite.10/10