I know anyone who cares has probably already read all the Bioshock Infinite reviews that they are interested in reading, But screw it, I write reviews to become a better writer, not because anyone cares. Anyway, here's another review.
Bioshock Infinite from Irrational Games is a beautiful first person shooter that draws the player in and does not let go for 12 hours. The immaculate art style, passionate voice acting, and the incredible level of detail provide a backdrop for the most thought provoking game I have ever played.
The start of the game is straightforward; the year is 1912, and you play as Booker Dewitt. In order to pay off a debt, Booker must take a girl, Elizabeth, from Columbia, a floating city in the sky. From there things start to get complicated, but everything makes sense once you have delved deep enough into the lore of Bioshock Infinite. The story provokes thoughts on philosophy, racism, big corporations, the idea of choice (in real life and in games), war, and more; it is something everyone should experience first-hand.
The art style is immaculate; every part of the city of Columbia is detailed to a demandingly engrossing level. I spent a large amount of time just looking around at the splendor. From statues of the United States founding fathers, to artwork hung on walls of mansions, to gardens, to just watching clouds below while floating along in a city in the sky; everything is picturesque. The exceptional beauty of everything in Columbia invokes an immersion level few forms of media have ever achieved. Everything is voiced, including hidden recordings that contain some backstory. The voice acting is superb; the emotions of the actors shine through their characters and pervade the mind.
At times, Booker uses a skyhook to zip along skylines (rails connecting parts of Columbia) in order to travel around the city. Skyhooking around is fun, but at times I had a hard time locating enemies or my destination while I was grinding along the rails. Bioshock Infinite’s combat doesn't reinvent the FPS genre (it is the same combat style from previous Bioshock’s), but is entertaining. The left trigger is ‘magic’, granted by drinking Vigors, and the right trigger is shoot. Enemies die with a generous amount of blood and gore. The horrified reaction from Elizabeth at the brutality of melee kills does a nice job reminding the player that slamming a weapon into someone’s face is horrendous.
There are eight Vigors to choose from; fiery grenades, bolts of electricity, Possession, Charge, Bucking Bronco (which levitates enemies), Undertow (which drags enemies towards Booker using a water-rope), Return to Sender (which reflects projectiles), and Murder of Crows (which summons a flock of crows to eat away at enemies). Most abilities can also be used to create traps. Casting two Vigors in succession will combine their effects into a more devastating attack. For instance, Murder of Crows plus a fiery grenade equals flaming crows.
Booker can only carry two weapons at a time, but he can carry ammo for his entire arsenal. This encouraged me to utilize all the weapons I could find, switching once I ran out of ammo. The guns can be upgraded with abilities like enhanced damage or reduced recoil. Pressing the left analog stick will zoom in on enemies through the scope of the weapon, but the reticle already turns red whenever a gun is aimed at an enemy, so there is no real advantage to using the scope of any weapons (besides the sniper rifle with its enhanced scope).
The gameplay is not the most innovative in the world, but it remains fun for the entirety of the game. The real reason to play Bioshock Infinite is the intriguing story and beautiful art direction, which do a remarkable job keeping the awesomeness going all game long.