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BioShock: Infinte. A Round-Up of My First Impressions.

March 26, 2013

bioshock infinite cover

Earlier this morning I happily went along and got my copy of Bioshock: Infinite for my PS3. I went to the store and got my snacks (fruit, cheetos and diet coke) and changed into comfy clothing in order to dedicate my day off to this game. After 3 hours of play and almost  a full bag of cheetos, I have decided to take a break and put my first thoughts onto this blog!

Now, I think it’s important to mention that I have only played BioShock 1 and I did not complete it. I loved the story, I loved atmosphere and I loved the premise. However, I could not get a grip on the controls and they ruined the game for me. So I gave up. Instead I have  waited patiently for BioShock Infinite in the vain hope that they had simplified the controls a little and allowed for some more intuitive play. And I was not disappointed. So  let’s get on with the review.

As I haven’t played the full game, I just want to cover a few points in order to give you a general idea. I will be back in future with a full proper review for you. As usual, I’m going to break it down so you can take what you will.

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A QUICK SYNOPSIS

So, instead of the sea-based watery town of Rapture, Bioshock: Infinite takes places in a brand new world. Columbia: a beautiful town in the sky which pretty much claims to be heaven. It is lead by a man who refers himself as the prophet of God. He claims that Columbia is a sacred place which will help cleanse the “sodom” of the Earth below. The prophet claims that God has sent him a messiah, in the form of his beautiful daughter Elizabeth, to take over his legacy after him. At first you will be in awe at this beautiful town, however, you will soon realise there is more to it behind the religious facade the “prophet” has built.

You begin the story as Booker DeWitt, a man who is on a quest to free Elizabeth from the town of Columbia. He is doing so in order to repay his debts to some unknown entity. This is all you know in the beginning, and you must piece together the rest of the story as you go.

Even though Colombia is very different to rapture on the surface, fans will feel at home in this town. It has the same creepy early 1900s music, it has the rather culty sayings and posters and it is ruled by a delusioned leader. You will be using plasmids and similar weapons to your destroy your enemies. Overall, it has the same look and feel of the originals but in my opinion this is what Bioshock 1 was supposed to be. It has all been leading up to this game.

Booker

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DEPTH OF THE STORY

As with the original Bioshock, the story will lure you in. You will want to know what the hell is going on in this town and why the townsfolk seem so delusional! What’s great about this game (and the original) is you can choose how much of the story you want to learn. You are able to listen to audio files recorded by various people who all have different views points of Columbia. You can also stop and take a look around your environment which is full of rather brainwashing posters and slogans. A lot of the parts of the town are set up like a museum in order to reiterate the story to the townsfolk.  There are also some very short silent movie style clips which will tell you facts about the town. However, most of this is optional. You don’t have to listen, read or watch but I bet you will want to. The story is so interesting and compelling you will want to absorb as much information as possible! And even if you don’t partake in the information gathering no doubt you will still learn a lot about the town due to immersion alone. So far Colombia makes me think of all the fascist points of history. It is a lot like America pre-civil war. Anyone who is not white is not accepted as part of superior race. It is quite an interesting, rather scary town.

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CHARACTERS

Booker DeWitt

As I have mentioned, you play the game as Booker DeWitt. You aim is to get Elizabeth and get her the hell out of dodge. You don’t know much about Booker except people on Colombia seem to believe he is somewhat of an Anti-Christ. Therefore, you will have to use your vigors (plasmids) and your weapons to kill your way through Colombia.
From what I’ve played so far Booker is likable enough and his back story is fairly interesting. I don’t want to say any more as I will let you discover the story on your own.

Elizabeth

I usually hate playing games when there is another character following me about so I wasn’t overly excited to get to Elizabeth. I expected her to be innocent, naive and annoying. Nope, she is in fact a kickass! You don’t have to worry about protecting her during battle or healing her. Instead she helps you by throwing you ammo, salts(Adam) or health. She also has her own special ability to pull things in from another world into yours such as medic kits or turrets. It’s hard to explain but its a really useful ability. She is also able to pick locks. But on top of all this, she is a really cool, likable character. It is a true joy to have her along with you. She’s great.

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elizabeth

CONTROLS

One thing that really put me of the original BioShock was the controls. I found them rather fiddly and there was too much going on. You had to use your plasmid and then switch back to a weapon to wack your enemy. Except the controls didn’t allow for you to do this smoothly. You also had to worry about manually healing yourself and adding to your Adam before. I just didn’t find it very intuitive. The controls in Infinite are much better.

First of all you don’t need to worry about healing yourself or adding to your Adam (now called salt). It is automatically done for you when you loot the vials. That gives you one less thing to worry about. You also don’t have to worry about switching between your Vigors (plasmids) and your weapons quickly like in the first one. You don’t actually have to use your vigors much at all in battle if you don’t want to. This makes the combat a lot smoother. I can certainly see a large improvement. I actually want to play!

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SHIELD AND GEAR

There are a couple additional aspects that have been added into this game. First off you get a shield which so far just acts like a typical shield in a FPS. It has a certain capacity, and it recharges. That is about as exciting as it gets so far. Maybe later on there will be more to it.

As well as your shield, a really interesting feature they have added is gear. Throughout the game you can find and equip pieces of gear. Each piece of gear will give you an additional bonus or skill. For example, you can get additional critical hit damage or the chance to steal health when you kill someone using melee. You have four slots, boots, head, torso and legs (if memory serves me correctly). You can pick and choose which pieces of gear you want. This gives the game some level of customisation and some of the skills are pretty cool. The one I have equipped now has a chance to ignite enemies through melee attacks. They will ignite and burn to a crisp, which kind of reminds me of the Mars Attacks movie. Anyway! It is a nice addition to the game and I’m looking forward to discovering more.

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WAYPOINT AND MAP (OR LACK THERE OF)

Another aspect worth mentioning is the waypoint. In the original bioshock you were given an arrow which would constantly point you in the direction which you need to go. However, in Infinite, this arrow is only shown when you prompt it by pressing the up button. I am really happy they decided to do this as before I found I would just follow the way point on auto-pilot instead of exploring naturally. This way you will be encouraged to explore but you can also get a hand if you are lost. Which really comes in handy when there is no map. Yes, there is no map :(. However, I have not needed a map thus far.

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VIGORS (AKA PLASMIDS) AND WEAPONS

So far I think I have about half the available vigors. Unlike the first one you gather them pretty quickly and there is a bit more variety. You do get the original shock one but its a bit into the game. You also get the possession one.  I won’t tell you what the others are as I’m sure you want to find out yourself. I will just tell you they are pretty interesting and different.

Weapons wise I have came across a pistol, karbine, RPG, shotgun, machine gun and sniper so far. The gun mechanics are pretty similar to the original but I find them much more fluid to use. The weapons aren’t anything overly special but they get the job done. I don’t know if there is gear that allows extra effects for the weapons.  However, you do get a hook which you can use to melee which I find pretty cool. It is also the hook you use to travel on the skylines about the city. Very fun!

You can also upgrade your weapons ammo capacity and damage as well as upgrading your vigors which adds a nice touch.

bookerandelizabeth

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GOOD ROUND UP

  • Shield and Gear Additions which brings a customisable twist
  • More people! – the first one was a bit like a ghost town expect for the baddies. This one has a lot more folks in it who have funny conversations.
  • Smoother controls.
  • Kickass Sidekick who brings additional abilities
  • Better, more varied Plasmids.
  • Travel is really fun in this one.
  • Story depth and detail is phenomenal – This really is bioshock’s selling point!
  • Way point is optional.
  • Achievement tickers on screen tell you how close to unlocking an achievement you are.

 

 

Are there any negatives?

  • The loot is good but I just feel there is something missing. After collecting picklocks so Elizabeth can unlock a room, I just feel a bit underwhelmed when it’s just food or money.
  • Sometimes Elizabeth throwing you things can be a bit distracting!
  • The combat is good but the weapons could do with a bit more pizazz! Maybe this will come later?
  • It can be a bit of an information overload. I found myself forgetting what my current objective was because I got caught up on all the info.

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CONCLUSION 

So far so good! I am really enjoying this game and  I would give it an 8, maybe 9 so far. However, I will be back in a little while to give you a longer look at this game and a proper verdict. I am looking forward to seeing if there are any other additional extras I haven’t come across yet! I am interesting to get a bigger picture of the gear and abilities.  I also will discuss the 1999 mode of the game as I missed it out here.

So, have you played BioShock yet?  What did you think? Or are you looking forward to playing? Let me know any thoughts below.

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2 Comments
  1. I’ve only played BioShock 2 and I loved it. It’s one of my favorite modern games. I want to play Infinite but I think it would be more appropriate if I played the original BioShock before that. Or what do you think?

    • Thanks for stopping by. You can go ahead and play Infinite without playing the original as the story and setting are completely different! I havent even completed the first one. However, I would recommend you play the first one at some point too because its supposed to be the better one out of the first two 🙂 You will love the third if you are a fan! Happy gaming 🙂

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