Photos by Taylor Watt
By Jacob Baumann
A little over five years have passed since gamers were first introduced to the horrors of the underwater city of Rapture, and now the third installment has been released. When I first heard the announcement for Bioshock Infinite back in 2011, I was ecstatic, and after seeing its demo at E3, I was even more so.
Although the game has seen countless delays, I feel that they were well worth the wait. I applaud the developers, Irrational Games, and the publisher, 2K Games, for allowing this game to acquire the polish that it rightfully deserved.
Nowadays, games are constantly churned out with thrown together stories, programming, and pointless DLC. Bioshock Infinite defies all of those characteristics. The man behind Irrational Games deserves the most praise for what this new title accomplishes, and his name is Ken Levine.
Not only did he create the wonder that is Bioshock Infinite, but he developed the whole idea of the series. He is only of the best storytellers in the business, and he thought that the game wasn’t ready for production and delayed it. Obviously, he had to get it approved, but who wouldn’t listen to someone who created the multiple “game of the year” award winning Bioshock.
Moving onto the game itself, from the moment your eyes gaze at the wonder that is before you, it is impossible to be drawn away. The game immerses you into the storyline so quickly and with such force, it takes your breath away. All I could imagine was the quality games of my childhood, where the passion the developers could be seen and this game ranks itself up with those.
Nostalgia is something that also comes to mind, because although it doesn’t appear like a Bioshock game, but it feels like one.
In game you play a middle aged man by the name of Booker DeWitt, and although his past is sketchy, he is easy to become attached to. He was contracted to find the girl and repay his debt. The game is set in 1912 in a world in the sky called Columbia. The mysterious city of Columbia has the theme of the Chicago World’s Fair that occurred in 1893, and in my opinion the game’s interpretation is spot on.
I was distracted by the attention to detail the game provided, and would catch myself listening to a barber shop quartet instead of following the task at hand. The graphics in this game are impeccable, especially because I was playing it on PC in the highest detail. It may not be Crysis 3, but it is exceptionally good for being such a story driven game.
The visual experience on the aging consoles will not come close to my experience, but for this game graphics mean nothing. The Unreal 3 Engine is great and games like Call of Duty will be outdone by Bioshock’s graphics, but that’s not saying a whole lot. Overall, the quality of the visuals will be great for all platforms.
Gameplay is always important, and this game draws upon action that made the series great to begin with. The weapons are fantastic, and the sound engine provides an equally pleasant experience.
Another important character in the game is Elizabeth, and she is always by your side. Elizabeth provides the emotional characteristics that missing form games today. She drives the game forward, and it took me back to my experience with the first Bioshock. The AI for Elizabeth must be fairly sophisticated, because it was almost like I was playing with a friend and not a computer operated player.
While strolling through the streets of Columbia, I felt as though I was in Disney World making my way down Main Street USA. It is beyond fascinating how this game is able to include history into its story. In Columbia, people seem to worship our founding fathers, but not in the way you might imagine. How the game manages to deal with concepts like religion and racism really speaks to the care that was given to its development. Game creators shouldn’t be afraid to tackle these issues, because they are more thought provoking and meaningful than Michael Bay style fighting cinematics.
If you do pick up this game, take your time with it. Also, there is no need to play the other two games to pick up on Bioshock Infinite, but I highly recommend them. There is no reason to run through game just to say you beat it, because that destroys what the game was for. Exploration and becoming involved in the story is what games are for, not going for achievements or kill streaks, and this game capitalizes on that through its tremendous story-telling ability.
Available on: PC, Xbox 360, and PS3