Definitive Bioshock Infinite Review with Benchmarks

5 thumbs up
BioShock Infinite starts as a straightforward mission:  Save the girl, and wipe away the debt. It ends somewhere altogether different, and the journey there and back again is one of the best story lines I've ever played. The game is designed to allow plot-centric players to waltz through combat to experience the story, and the story is more than good enough to carry the plot. As is often the case, you'll collect logs that tell you the back story of the characters in question, how the magnificent city of Columbia was built, and what the motivations of its citizenry are.


Virtually every new area had me reaching for the screenshot button -- and not just for the review

It's obvious almost immediately that there are enormous tensions between the Vox Populi (under-class) and the ruling citizenry. That tension defines the game and moves it forward; your rescue of Elizabeth precipitates the ignition of the underlying war.


The Siren (left), Columbia's artwork, and the statue where Elizabeth spent her life

As for the rescue itself, one of the problems with the "Save the girl" game trope is that escort missions typically suck. Games built entirely on escort missions (see: Resident Evil 4) often saddle the hero with a ridiculously fragile counterpart. BioShock Infinite subverts this trope neatly -- almost as soon as you meet her, the game tells you "Elizabeth can take care of herself."

And by and large, she does. While you lose contact with her at a few points, you never have to worry about Elizabeth getting shot, stabbed, or kidnapped if you fail to finish a mission properly. She's a helpmeet and compatriot, not a boat anchor.

Combat:

Combat in BioShock Infinite revolves around the use of firearms and vigors. Vigors, like Plasmids from BioShock 1 & 2, give you specialized combat powers, like the ability to fling fire, lighting, or a murder of crows at your opponents. There are vigors that create a bullet-deflecting shield around you, vigors that yank opponents into melee range (or fling them away), and one vigor that lets you charge an opponent, hitting them hard enough to fuse hydrogen.



There's also a melee attack option, if you enjoy mixing it up close-and-personal. Some of the gear you find will add melee attack capabilities, like a stun chance, while others boost your firearms skills.

At first, this system seems overly simple in an age of cover mechanics and attack combos, but there's far more depth to the system than initially meets the eye. How much fun you have with BI's combat mechanisms depends on how effectively you utilize the game's Skyline system and Elizabeth herself.


It's that moment of dawning, horrified comprehension that makes the game worth playing

Skylines are the series of suspended rails and freight hooks you use to traverse areas of the city. Elizabeth, meanwhile, can summon freight hooks, gun placements, health kits, alternate weapons, and heaps of rubble to serve as cover for Booker as you engage the constabulary of Columbia.

The player therefore has a choice:  You can take the straightforward run-and-gun path -- or you can ask Elizabeth to summon a freight hook, use it to line up a melee attack, summon an RPG for yourself, hurl angry crows of death at a pesky guard, induce liquefaction courtesy of the RPG, summon a gun turret at a now-visible choke point, and watch the ensuing carnage.
 

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For some reason this game made all of my fans go nuts

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I couldn't agree more with your assessment. I was considering the 7790 and the 650TI as an upgrade for my sons aging 5670 in his computer. I run a pair of GTX 670 in my main computer and am very partial to Nvidia GPU's however after looking at the current AMD bundles it made sense for me to spend a little extra on an AMD GPU (2GB XFX DD 7850 for $179) and get a free copy of Bioshock and a free copy of Tomb Raider, (worth $120 together). While I may have been sitting on the fence regarding Tomb Raider I certainly would have spent the $60 on Bioshock, so doing the math I really only spent $119 on my sons GPU upgrade (less if you consider the cost of Tomb Raider too, I'll give this to my son.). Terrific deal IMO. And a better GPU than both the 7790 and 650TI Boost.

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While Bioshock and Tomb Raider are worth "$120" I wouldn't except to be able to sell them for that so call it $40 each which still makes AMD cards a deal and half since you can take money off after alittle work or keep them for yourself.

On to the game! I've heard alot about this game and I have not played the first 2 Bioshocks but after all the reviews I just might have to see if I can find them cheap and play this one. I hate playing games out of order so id have to play the first two but i like the how the benchmarks are going. Definitely is sounding like a must play game.

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BioShock Infinite takes place decades before Bioshock 1 & 2. You won't be spoiled by anything if you play it first.

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Joel H:

BioShock Infinite takes place decades before Bioshock 1 & 2. You won't be spoiled by anything if you play it first.

Yeah, I just hate playing games out of order even if they chronological.

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5 pages of unadulterated praise but the game isn't given the editor's choice award? I wish I had money to buy this game, but I need to wait for the price to drop unfortunately. I haven't been so excited to play a game for its story since God of War 3, and won't be again, most likely, until Half-Life Episode 3.

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If you haven't play this game , play it!!!!

Deff second best game i've ever play

First . Resident evil 4

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I'm pretty happy with this game so far after getting it and crysis 3 with my 7950 sapphire card last week. I am not finished with the game yet but i do intend to play bio shock 1 and 2 after i am finished.

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I just finished the game a few moments ago and wow that plot got confusing near the end but was still pretty impressive.

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Soo shiny I wish i had the game and a pc that could really make it shine like this. Regardless it looks amazing and I've heard nothing but good things about it.

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