It is not often that a video game gets a perfect score. Many have come close, some have made it, but most are considered nothing more than average. However, after the release of the greatly anticipated Bioshock: Infinite, game critics were giving it the highly sought-after perfect score. After playing it, it’s easy to see why.
Bioshock: Infinite is the third installment in the critically acclaimed Bioshock franchise. Fans of the original games should not expect much of the same. Instead, Infinite stands on its own as a fresh approach to the kind of games flooding the market.
Players control Booker Dewitt, a former Pinkerton, who is trying to rid himself of an impending debt. To do this, he must venture to the flying city of Columbia and rescue Elizabeth, a mysterious girl that the leaders of Columbia will do anything to keep from escaping.
To survive, Booker must utilize a vast arsenal of weapons and special powers known as “vigors.” The vigors vary from telekinesis to electricity, and affect your enemies differently.
Booker can move quickly in areas using a rail system that flows throughout the city. This adds a kind of gameplay that is uncommon in first-person-shooters.
The visually stunning environments of Columbia are one of game’s highlights. Detailed architecture, unique technology and deeply layered characters place the gamer in a seemingly real place. Players will quickly realize they aren’t just playing a video game. They are part of a story created by hundreds of artists.
What truly makes Infinite stand out is your AI companion, Elizabeth. Through the use of motion capture and perfect voice acting, the developers made Elizabeth more than a pile of pixels on a screen. She becomes a character that the player will care about, and instills a desire to rescue at any cost.
Unlike characters in other games, Elizabeth is never a burden on the player. Infinite avoids becoming a prolonged escort mission. Booker and Elizabeth work as a team. While you fight your way through hordes of enemies, she will search the battlefield for resources that aid you in your quest.
Like in the previous two Bioshock games, Creative Director Ken Levine adds his signature social commentary to Infinite. Columbia represents the idea of “American Excepionalism,” which is personified in the city’s leader, and self-proclaimed prophet, Zachary Comstock. The game tackles subjects such as racial superiority, theocratic tyranny, abuse of the free-market and radicalism. By applying other aspects, such as quantum mechanics, the plot is deeper and more intricate than what is expected in a video game.
Bioshock: Infinite shows how games can be used as a powerful storytelling device. By presenting the player which difficult moral dilemmas, believable characters and an interesting environment, the game becomes an unforgettable experience. Future developers will look back at Infinite as an example of how to do it right.
5 out of 5 stars!