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Bioshock Infinite PS3 Review - -
Bioshock Infinite
Reviewed by
James Wright
Bioshock Infinite PS3 Review. It was amazing and one the best times I've ever had playing a game.

Gameplay 10
Graphics 9.3
Sound 8.5
Value 9.5
Distributor: 2K Games
Rating: MA15+
Review Date: March 2013
James Wright


Bioshock Infinite
(Reviewed on the PS3)

Welcome to one of the world's best first person shooters with Bioshock Infinite that not only pays homage to the previous games but surpasses their gaming legacy. It features one of the most elaborate stories to grace a console that not only makes you care for the characters involved but really challenges your mind through metaphysics, player choices and parallel universes in this game set in 1912.

The main protagonist in Bioshock Infinite is Booker DeWitt, a man who has been hired to bring back a woman with special abilities called Elizabeth to New York in order to pay his debt. The catch is that Elizabeth is on the floating city of Columbia and when Booker first arrives on this almost magical city, he soon discovers that its underbelly is quite cancerous. Unlike the dark parallels in the original Bioshock with the city of Rapture, Columbia is almost its polar opposite, however upon delving further into this mystery, he discovers that this city is torn apart by factions and a powerful despot called the prophet.

The first thing that you notice about Bioshock Infinite is how gorgeous the game looks on the PlayStation 3. The attention to detail is outstanding and seeing this early 1900's floating city is a real treat to the gamer. It's almost like every brick or floorboard has been carefully placed to create this living breathing city. Whether it's the clouds moving around the buildings or that gently bobbing sensation as you see buildings slowly moving up and down in the smy, this is the first step in immersing you into this game. And then you have your special "Bioshock" powers or vigours (originally known as plasmids in the previous game) that will amaze you even more.

Music is another highlight of the game, especially the creepy renditions of classic and modern songs to suit the early 1900's themes. The voice acting is professional and this game must be heard loud and hopefully with surround sound to totally experience the great ambience of this title. For me, the experience of Bioshock is like seeing a circus for the first time as a child which has left its mark on you and this game successfully manages to recapture this wonder. The story of Bioshock Infinite is quite powerful with adult themes that revolve around racism, slavery and religion. Also littered through the city of Columbia are audio logs and videos that help piece together the story of this imploding city plus side quests. I loved how Irrational Games made the villain in this game re-write the history of America and as they say, the victors write the history but in this case, the despot does.

Once Booker is reunited with Elizabeth, the story of Bioshock Infinite goes into high gear in not just action but an emotional investment. The relationship between Elizabeth and Booker feels real and although she despises him at first due to the men that he killed, this relationship soon changes into something more comforting. Its this interaction between Elizabeth and Booker which really make this game so great.

Another brilliant element about Elizabeth is that she is the most realistic AI who can not only take care of herself but also gets lost down the beaten path by getting distracted with people and the machines of this technological impressive city. When the fire fights start, Elizabeth will hide and if Booker needs some aid, she will give him ammunition and health to support his battles.

Without spoiling the intricate story of Bioshock Infinite, the reason why Elizabeth is so important is that she can open up parallel dimensions called tears which are rips in reality. From here, Elizabeth can bring items and weapons from these worlds to support Booker and her cause. As Morpheus said from The Matrix... I'm trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You're the one that has to walk through it. This is what Bioshock does, it gives you all the tools but it's up to the player on how they will use these tools. Touché Irrational Games... touché!

But a first person shooter would not be a first person shooter without combat. Combat plays an integral part of the gameplay which first begins with this strange cutting utensil called the skyhook and then a gun. There's some brilliant 1900's inspired weaponry to find along the way and as Booker explores the city of Columbia, he finds additional weapons such as shotguns, machine guns to something more powerful like RPG's and my favourite, the Barnstormer. Combat is quite gruesome and whether it's using your vigours or a shotgun, it's extremely bloody, especially the decapitation of your melee attacks. Health is handled quite differently in Bioshock Infinite. Opposed to storing items of health such as medical kits and food, Booker can only use them when he is injured as he does not store health. Needlessly to say, some battles are quite challenging when your health is almost zero.

If you happen to die, Elizabeth will bring you back with some kind of medical needle after she drags you to safety. There is a cost involved and if Elizabeth is not around, you go back to the land of the living through some door from the afterlife. Similar to health are shields which basically give you additional health and can be upgraded. To compliment the player's abilities and weapons, gear is littered through the city that can give you bonuses such as a hat that forces your enemies to burst into flames. With that said, looting plays a key component to the game and is a must thing to do if you want to survive. Should get stuck in the game, pressing down on the thumb pad will display an arrow pointing you in the right direction.

Of course, vigours are the key to Bioshock Infinite such as the bucking bronco which suspends your enemies in the air to then shoot or my personal favourite, the murder of crows which unleashes killer crows at your enemies. It's like something out of Alfred Hitchcock. These powers can also be upgraded as can your weapons which opens up the game to quite a bit of artistic interpretation on how you can finish this title.

I loved the ability of possessing machines which could turn on their masters with violence and even humans down the track. As you upgrade your powers of possession, once the possession wears off on a human, they then take their life. Very Dark! Nothing is more fun than mixing up your powers and weapons but all this fun does come at a cost. Items like ammunition and salt fuels your weapons and powers and can be boosted by accessing vending machines through the city of Columbia. It's great to see Irrational Games linking back to the previous titles of the Bioshock series.

Exploring Columbia is generally done on foot (although a run option is available by pushing down the left analog stick which I despise), the next mode of transport is your skyhook. Skyhooks are used to traverse the city from building to building or via its rollercoaster inspired network. It does take a little time getting use to the rollercoaster's of Columbia but once you have mastered them, it opens up your transport options such as accessing sky ships (blimps) or other hidden areas. Combat on on the rollercoaster rails is possible as well. In terms of controls, everything is mapped flawlessly on the PS3 controller and the game does support the PS Move, however for that true first person shooter experience, the DualShock controller is a must. The only thing I did not like about the controls was the run button, it just feels clumsy.

Final Thoughts?

To use another Matrix quote and this time from Cypher... Jesus! What a mind-job. So you're here to save the world. What do you say to something like that? That's how I felt after playing Bioshock Infinite because once you learn the true story behind this game, especially the last couple of hours of the game that I really don't want to spoil. It was amazing and one the best times I've ever had playing a game.

Irrational Games have found the perfect formula for Bioshock Infinite, almost flawless gameplay, graphics and sound plus a mysterious story about a broken city of gold but where the game goes beyond its predecessors is with the inclusion of one of the most realistic AI characters to have ever graced a game. Elizabeth is what made Bioshock Infinite awesome! Enough said... go out and buy this game now because Booker DeWitt has a whole metropolis of propaganda to annihilate.

The official face of Elizabeth - Anna Moleva, Model & Cosplayer


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