2K Games

Irrational Games

Producer: Ken Levine

Out to buy on PS3, PC and Xbox360

"Give Us the Girl, Wipe Away The Dept"

Booker Dewitt has been sent to the floating city of Columbia to collect a girl by the name of Elizabeth and return her to New York to wipe away his debts. When he gets their however, he is greeted by a world he never thought could exist and powers he could never imagine.

Bioshock heads from the depths of the oceans to above the clouds but can the quality of the game match these new heights?

In 2007 Irrational Games (at the time known as 2K Boston) released Bioshock. A First Person Shooter set in the underwater city of Rapture. The game was met with extremely high reviews and was named Game of the Year by many critics and went on to become the highest rated first person shooter of all time. In 2010 the sequel (Bioshock 2 does not count as it was produced by a different development house) Bioshock Infinite was announced. Three years later it is finally here… and it is infinitely better than the original in every way.

Bioshock Infinite follows the story of Booker Dewitt. Who has been sent to the floating city of Columbia to collect a girl by the name of Elizabeth and return her to New York to wipe away his debts. What follows is a wonderfully crafted story told beautifully by some of this generations best voice work. The plot is full of interesting and engaging plot twists and turns, there is never a dull moment during your trip to Columbia. Characters are the closest they’ve ever felt too been human. Elizabeth seems both strong and vulnerable at the same time, never will a player feel a stronger urge to protect a character. The support cast is a very short list of very strong and memorable characters. The Lutece twins. A pair of identical brother and sister twins who are sure to remind players of David Lynch films. Daisy Fitzroy an intelligent and brutal leader of a rebellious faction within Columbia and finally. The omnipresent Father Comstock also known ‘’Our Prophet’’ with provides the game with his very special brand of antagonism. The story in Bioshock infinite is the best seen in video games for a very long time and will be involved in debates over the title of ‘best ever’ for years to come.

The gameplay is similar to its predecessor using a variety of weapons such as pistols, shotgun and machines guns but not so similar in the sense that you can only carry two at a time instead of the originals one man arsenal system. The fact you can now only carry two weapons does create a sense of loyalty to certain guns. Players will have favourites very quickly after they first pick them up but the game still makes every new weapon you come across seem inviting and useful. You will never find yourself saying ‘’this gun is terrible’’ you will find yourself saying ‘’this gun is not right for me.’’ The gunplay itself does nothing that sets it apart from any other first person shooter, but its not the guns that set Bioshock apart it was Plasmids. In Infinite however Plasmids have been replaced with Vigors, this is simply a name change the premise of the Vigors is the same as Plasmids except inside of injectioning yourself with a foot long needle now the player will be downing litre bottles of luminescence liquid. There are 8 Vigors in the game each having very different effects, these range from been able to lift enemies up into the air leaving them completely open, setting enemies on fire with hellfire grenades and even been able to set a pack of murderous crows upon your foes. It is also possible to use Vigors in conjunction with each other, Assaulting your enemies with a flock of flaming crows can be easily achieved.

Replacing the Tonics from the original Bioshock is gear. Gear is piece of clothing the player can equip to Booker giving him different abilities. The can range from the obvious extra defence or extra power with a shotgun to items that can be used in mix with Vigors. An item of gear used in conjunction with a certain Vigor with alter the way that Vigor works, this leads to some interesting possibilities. Though like the guns in the game you will find yourself sticking to two Vigors. Though every player will create their own set of two Vigors that they will focus on. No two players will finish Bioshock Infinite with the same load-out, and to further add to the mix Vigors and weapons can be upgraded. While on the surface bioshock may seem like a simple First Person Shooter once you dig into its combat system there is a lot to be found.

Another aspect of the combat is platofrming. The city of Columbia’s main transport system is the Sky-Line. Imagine train tracks in the sky with people flying along them by their left arms, riding the skyline is a major part of the games combat. It allows you to gain the height advantage on enemies, move to cover or even trick enemies to fly on the Sky-Line too so you can quickly turn around and knock them to their doom. The Sky-Line add a whole new dimension to the combat not seen in any other shooter giving Bioshock Infinte not only its own identity among the crowded First Person Shooter market but also giving it something that cannot be found in the original Bioshock.

Bioshock Infinite is a truly brilliant game, a unique experience and barrels of fun. Not only is it the best game to come out so far this year, it is an easy contender for 2013’s Game of the Year and possibly even Game of the Generation. Games developers can learn from this title, this is how to build up to a major release and then deliver on every level. To top it off the games story ends of such a powerful note, even after the credits have finished rolling and the game has returned to the title screen. It’s still difficult to pick your jaw up off the floor. Memorable does not even begin to cover it, The narrative and concept of the story mixed with its truly standout gamely makes Bioshock Infinite the new yardstick, the title that games will be compared to for years to come.

Review by Ellis Atkinson & Jarrod Beauchamp

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